Order at a Cost. True Story from the Draymen.


“Good to see you back mate” as Cyril climbed up into the cab of his dray lorry “have a relaxing time on yer week off ?”

“Nah not really” replied Ben, “Her indoors didn’t take best kindly to the Lake District compared to her favourite little hotel just outside Benidorm. Cancelled it ‘cos no point in coming back and all that fourteen days self-isolating nonsense is there.”

“Wots wrong with the Lake District then, sound beer, good pubs, specially round Pooley Bridge and there’s the scenery”

“Yeah, once you’ve seen one lake you’ve seen em all incha, but with all this sitting to have a pint business, no standing at the bar or anywhere else, servers in face masks, plastic screens and the distancing palarva the fun’s gone out of the pubs. Can’t fall into conversation with the bar staff or folk next to you. Soul less”

“Well you missed the fun and games last week. You know him on Thursday first drop, nice guy, diamond geezer and always looks after us, great bacon sarnies and I don’t mind putting up his barrels on the tilters neither. Well he orders on a Tuesday and as you know we see him on a Thursday. He ran out of Guinness on the Monday, dunno why but there you are, and he does have quite a bunch of regulars who drink nothing else. So, only to keep his regulars happy, he asks about a keg to tide him over till the likes of us turn up on Thursday. Puts the request in on the Monday and Bob’s yer uncle ,it turns up on the Tuesday. Later that self-same day he gets his invoice for the cost of delivery only, not the keg. Its nearly hundred and thirty quid, or to be precise £127.88. he showed me the invoice. He was shall we say totally incanned something”

“You mean incandescent, like our trainee king is when he gets well into a hot strop”

“Well something like that, but it gets worse. He wonders why he hasn’t heard from his Punch telesales. They usually ring about noon on the Tuesday for his weekly order. So he rings them mid-afternoon. Why no contact. Guess what, they didn’t ring because the system showed that he placed an order on the Monday so they weren’t going to phone until the Tuesday on the week after. And he’d better  be quick because it was then five to three and the office shuts at three. Well he became unglued didn’t he. Rattled off his order double quick. When he gave them both barrels on the cost of delivery of the one Guinness keg they told him that if he had an order of up to six kegs the cost would have been the same. He was totally hopping bloody mad. If he were a dog he would have taken a bite out of somebody, most likely me. Wouldn’t fancy being his BDM right now..”

“Christ what a way to keep people happy” said Ben as he buckled up his seat belt looking out the window at the rain, “almost makes you wonder why some take it on themselves to buy from their local wholesaler, after all it was only one keg in an emergency and save that delivery cost kick in the teeth”

“well I kept seriously stuchm about that didn’t I, and so best you when we see him, although most likely now it will have crossed his mind. Can’t have any contract breaking now can we my old china. Come on, let’s face the six o’clock morning fleshpots of Whitechapel. To infinity and beyond and further” he chuckled as he switched on the windscreen wipers and slowly drove out of the depot.

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