I think this is the first time I’ve used the word “satisfactory” (as in “not satisfactory”) without irony in spoken conversation

I’d ordered a diary online from a company called WH Smith – a reputable high street chain of stationery shops here in the UK, no reason not to trust them, I thought… The website offered the option of paying through the nose for delivery to my house, or free delivery to one of their stores. As they have a shop in a nice little town near us which I like going to once in a while, I thought: why not…

A while later I had an email confirming that my order was on its way. The same afternoon I got a message on my phone to say it had been delivered and was waiting for me at the shop. Since then I’d been looking for an afternoon in which I could get there to pick it up.

Today was the day. I finally made it to the shop. The girl serving at the till said she’d have to ask the manager. The manager turned up and seemed surprised, she didn’t know anything about a diary awaiting collection. She took my name and went to check, then came back saying no, nothing there. Then she wondered aloud about whether perhaps it had gone to the wrong branch – apparently this had happened once before, so she left me again and went to phone that other branch. She then came back and told me that yes, it had gone there, so I would have to go there and get it.

I disagreed. This is where I found myself using the word “satisfactory”, as in: no, this is not satisfactory. I would expect WH Smith to post it to me since it’s their mistake. I’m not prepared to go to this other town specially for this.

I did not growl, but boy did I feel like it.

We eventually reached a compromise. The manager is going to get it from that other store and I’ll pop in there next week and pick it up. A bit of a nuisance but not a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, it’s only 15 minutes’ drive and there’s free parking, it’s just that I’m not all that good at getting to shops within their opening hours, but I didn’t try to explain to her that I’m a night owl struggling with SAD and getting to shops before they close at 5.30 is tricky for me, and that the only way I got there today was by rushing out straight after breakfast :)

Questions? Thoughts? Talk to me - I don't bite :)

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