Those lovely souls among you whom I have met in person (you know who you are though some of you may still be none the wiser due to that I’m writing under a secret blogger identity) will be able to attest to the fact that my hair colouring errs on the side of brunette.
Not on the side really more all the way over the edge. (It’s coz I’ve got brown hair, innit!)
I’m telling you this up front for if you don’t get all the way through the following story you may go away believing that I am, in fact, a blonde (total and utter disrespect intended of course – but with much love girls… seriously, much love).
It goes a little (actually a lot) like this.
I had the occasion today to go into the city to attend a conference.
For a change it was not one of those ecstatic, spiritual, Big Thing type conferences I’m usually a part of. Instead, it was a geek1 specific conference. This one CeBit.. It was really good. (Thereby already demonstrating that I’m not blonde… but keep reading… we’ll get there.)
Getting to the event necessitated the catching of a bus and a medium to long walk to the convention centre so I’d got up well early to get there in good time [those of a legal bent will recognise the building of defense at this juncture]. In the course of the walk it became apparent that I could benefit from some lip balm having left the other 23 tubes/pots/sticks of it I own in my other bag. Tissues were also deemed necessary as one can’t sit in a geek conference and hawk lugies all day (I’m still recovering, remember?). So I called in to the nearest City Convenience Store (sorry, can’t find a website for them… bizarre) and duly made my purchase, adding to the inventory a bottle of water (because we all need to stay hydrated).
I left the store and crossed the Pyrmont Bridge making a beeline for Starbucks to soothe the savage caffeine beast and promptly ordered my Grande Non Fat Flat White With No Sugar (that’s skinny flat white to the rest of us).
(Here’s the good bit) As I went to pay for the coffee I opened my wallet expecting to find somewhere in the vicinity of forty bucks – the change from my transaction at the convenience store.
It was not there.
I had the 5 cent piece the guy had given me, but I felt an immediate note of concern as to where the lovely folding stuff was.
I searched all the wallet’s pockets, my massive, all girl handbag and all its pockets, everything.
I still had the wherewithal to pay for the coffee so be not concerned on that account, but the absence of change from a fifty was downright annoying. I mean, that’s a couple of week’s worth of coffees!
I called Directory Assistance to try and get a number for the store. I dialled the number they gave me and spoke to a man who was less than helpful, largely because it was the wrong store. It was wrong on two counts I had the name wrong AND the street wrong [blonde, blonde, blonde, blonde, blonde] and as we all know two wrongs don’t make a…
As the conference was about to start I made my best effort to get over myself and write off the forty bucks. Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things I have alternate [free] flat white sources but I wasn’t delighted to do write off my quality coffee for that long.
Later, as the event began to wrap up I took myself back to the bus stop and in doing so I passed the same store. I figured I had nothing to lose and so took a punt by going in.
Business card in hand I approached the man at the counter, the same one I’d seen in the morning, and I told him of my plight. At that point I was simply expecting that I’d give him my card and ask him, on trust, to contact me if he found that his till was over when it came time to balance.
But he went one better.
He said, if you’re ok to stick around we can check the surveillance video to see where the money went!
I stuck. And after checking that I hadn’t changed clothes during the day and some careful calculation as to what time I’d actually gone in to the shop he found me.
And together, we watched…
There I was as I put my goods on the counter and withdrew the fifty from my wallet.
There I was handing it to him and then putting my hand in my pocket and taking out a 50c piece which I handed over as well. (I would have given him 45 as the total transaction was $10.45 but I didn’t have a 5c piece.. and as I was doing this, there he was withdrawing my forty bucks from his drawer and holding it.
Apparently the coinage confused him as there he was going for a 5c piece, handing it to me and then wouldn’t you know there he was tucking my forty bucks back into his drawer. Not smart on his part, for sure but here’s the kicker…
There was I, leaving the store. Completely. Oblivious.
I still can scarcely believe it.
Obviously, in the face of this overwhelming evidence he handed over my forty bucks and I thanked him profusely, gave him verbal permission to stick the video on YouTube (I think he was joking – just in case you thought you might like to look for it) and set off towards the bus stop2 feeling both as though I’d just won the lottery and mortified I’d been that inattentive…
I think that next time I’ll have the coffee BEFORE I leave the house.
1Note to Firefox – how come your dictionary doesn’t include the word geek?
2Insert blonde moment number 2… but that’s another story…