Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hire Thought

This column is from a blog I once wrote called 'Rage Against the Storm' and is being printed here today in lieu of a new tale. I say this for two reasons: Firstly so that those of you who remember my previous blog won't think I'm trying to pull a fast one by trying to pass this off for anything other than what it is, and secondly to explain the real reason why I'm not producing an original tale this week. 
Put simply I'm feeling so very ill and my mind just isn't on the job. Feeling as rough as I do I don't feel in the best of humour. So rather than produce less that my best for you (something I would never do) I've re published a true tale that I truly hope you will enjoy. That said, sit back and enjoy a story of one of my battles with petty authority.






Although the story first appeared over two years ago, it is actually true, with only a smidgen of


I went to hire some ladders from the local builder’s merchants yesterday only to be told I couldn't have them. When I asked why I was told: Because of health and safety.

Not one to be deterred by the mindlessly banal I enquired as to what the hell he was talking about. He stated that they could no longer hire out their ladders as I might fall off it and  sue them'

'But why would I sue you?' I persisted. 
'Because you hired the ladder from us', he replied
'Why, have you rigged them to explode just as I’m poised to paint my house?'
'Don't be silly' he said, obviously not needing to duck as my sarcasm flew right over his head 'Of course we haven't'
'Then why would I sue you?'
'I don't know, but we can't take the risk' said he

I felt the need to step back from the conversation at this point and re-cap over what had just passed between myself and the obviously redundant ladder salesman. I began once again:

'I walked past your shop and saw a ladder with a large sign saying 'FOR HIRE' on it, correct?'
'Correct' came the reply
'I came in because I was a man who is in great need of a ladder, correct?'
'Er...correct' continued the now nervous rep, who was starting to smell a trap 
'You said, I can't hire it in case I climb up the ladder, fall, and while I'm in flight and presumably awaiting the obligatory bump at the end of my trip, I'll start plotting as to who I could sue for my own clumsiness, and in a eureka moment between the clumsy act being expedited and journeys end, I'd arrive at the wholly unsubstantiated conclusion that it would be you who should take both the blame and foot my legal bills?'
'Er...in a nutshell, yes'
I thought I'd take a different tack; 'So why are you advertising ladders for hire that you plainly can't hire?'
'To let you know what we have on offer' he beamed, with the look of someone who'd just mastered the companies mission statement
'In that case I'd like to hire the ladders' said I
'But you can't' said he
'But they're clearly on offer, says I
'I know' says he
'So can I have them'
'No'

I walked out of the shop with visions of this column swimming around my head. Sometimes you just can't believe what you hear or the stupidity of the rules and regulations that govern us. Who, in their right mind would conceive of hiring a ladder, taking it home, falling off it and finding the person who got you to 'sign on the dotted line' as at fault for your clumsiness. 

Ambulance chasing lawyers, that's who. 

And as soon as we can stamp violently on their  individualistic brand of stupidity and greed, the sooner I can hire those damned ladders and paint my bleedin' house.



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