Unexpected Disasters

While sitting at my desk at work this morning, fielding calls from Germany, and wondering quite why the ridiculously complex invention on the screen in front of me wasn’t working, the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hello.”

I knew the “Hello” well. It’s not a good “Hello”. When I walk into the house through our back door on an evening – after storing my bicycle in the shed – I can typically guage how the day has gone by the “Hello” I receive. This “Hello” was trying not to fall apart.

“It’s going to cost 750 to fix the car”

“It’s not worth that.”

“I know. I don’t know what to do.”

When faced with difficult situations, I tend to take a step away in my head, and work out what the various options are. I paused for a moment, before suggesting we get a hire car to weather the next few days, and to afford us time to work out what we might do next. The voice on the end of the phone line started sounding more optimistic.

As soon as I put the phone down, I looked around, and discovered two of my co-workers searching the internet for car hire offers. One of them wheeled around in his chair, and immediately offered to give us a lift to wherever we needed to go to pick up a car. I’m terrible at accepting help from others, but this time I did. An hour later, I found myself standing across the counter from a young guy in a suit, signing paperwork to take ownership of a brand new car for a few days.

When I got home from work, I was passed in the kitchen by two of my daughters running this way and that in football and hockey kit. There was a fleeting temptation to tell them exactly how much it had cost to get them to football and hockey practice – but I kept my mouth shut.

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