Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Days Like These

Today was a day that I was really not looking forward to. Really not looking forward to.  All the hallmarks were there - too many meetings this morning, spaced too far apart geographically, with (in one case) people I really don't care for.

but, as these things go, the Taoists were right as always. There was yin and yang all over the shop.

I had to drive to Slough, which is a bit much to ask of anyone to be perfectly honest, but my company provided a car for me to hurtle down the motorway in.

Some time ago I realised that I had two choices when getting cars provided for going out on business (I'm not enough of a bigshot to warrant a company car of my own). The route chosen by most of my colleagues (and indeed pushed quite heavily by the company) is that a hire car courtesy of Alamo is provided. This is invariably an Astra, or if you're lucky, an Insignia.

But there is another way.

If you're nice to the secretaries, if they take a shine to you, you can get access to the poolcars. These are cars that have been provided to erstwhile employees of the company who have now left. As a result of a fairly relaxed company car policy, it's quite a 'roll the dice' kind of strategy. there is a risk of getting a clapped out Golf estate that smelled like it had been driven for three years by a chainsmoking salesrep with poor personal hygiene (Manchester, November), but you just may get a shiny Jaguar in a jaunty colour (not managed that yet, but I live in hope). Today's car made my heart sink when I got the news. A Skoda.

The thing was huge. I grew to like it a lot as I hurtled down the M1. It had cruise control, a stereo that made my shirt sleeves vibrate in a most amusing way and a lovely sense of being at the bridge of a road-going container ship. But best of all was its Assisted Parking system. Basically you just have to get the thing alongside a space, press the button, stick it in reverse and let it do its thing.

Due to my absolute confidence in technology and the sure and certain knowledge that it wasn't my car, I used it to park with a speed and decisiveness that quite surprised a pedestrian and her small dog. As I whizzed backwards into the space at an alarming pace I sat and watched, transfixed, as the steering wheel span wildly, sensors chirped and The Barge parked itself.

The meeting was OK, I drove home and got caught up in huge traffic jam which was a bit tedious, but I amused myself by playing I-spy with myself. I won a couple of rounds too, so I didn't feel my time was entirely wasted.

Last stop before getting home was a quick run through Sainsbury's to pick up some bread. It was made considerably better by listening to The Darkness as I wandered aound the aisles. I'm sure Justin Hawkins would've enjoyed the irony.

So a Yin & Yang kind of a day all round. Some things went my way, some didn't, but given how little I'd expected from today when I got out of bed this morning, I'll take today's score thank you very much.



  1. My company car's an Astra, do you look down on me for driving such a car or admire me for being a big enough shot to warrant one? Hmmmn strokey beard

  2. Oh I never judge anyone for the car they drive. If people judge me on that basis I'm afraid I'd come up as a card-carrying tool.

  3. Assisted parking? oh I want one of those....nay.... I need one of those.
    I am a bit concerned about your absolute confidence in technology though ....where does such a cavalier attitude come from? wish I could be like obviously know what you are talking about 'techie wise'.....

  4. How sad am I...if I'm taking a local cab, I'll wait until there's a Skoda, because they're nice and comfy. Does AG have a St Andrew's cross on her car? If so.....

  5. Libby - I trust technology loads more if I don't have to pay for the consequences if it goes haywire.

    NB - It was a huge car and very comfortable...and AG had a St Andrew's cross on her car, but now she has a company car with a no smoking sticker.

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