I had to return a faulty suitcase this morning. Its costly swivel wheels do not swivel, for some unknown reason. It has a mind of its own, and is particularly disobedient in crowded airports and tube stations. I geared myself up for a major argument in the department store where we’d bought it, armed with a bulging bag of evidence in the form of warranties and receipts and if necessary, a full-scale demonstration. (I mean the kind where you show them the problem, but was also quite prepared to do a sit-in if required.)
The assistant completely took the wind out of my (billowing) sails. No questions asked, no demo requested, and just a cursory glance at the receipt.
So, with the transaction all over in a matter of moments, I took myself off for a coffee. I also took the opportunity to do a little surreptitious sketching. I think I’ve only before sketched people who were a) asleep, b) members of my immediate family or c) descending a steep slope on skis at the time and therefore powerless to dissent.
The two women across from me caught my eye, and were deep in conversation. I chickened out when I thought I was staring too much (hence the missing leg of the Timberland-sporting lady and the rather mushroomy-looking table). But this was a brave move for me, and I’m encouraged to do more.