I met The Commander when I worked in the local bakers, I never was told his real name, unless his real name is The Commander? Hmm? Anyhoo, I’d left the bakers after 12-13 years of joy and iced buns to pursue my career in hotel receptionry. I hated it. I’d handed in my notice before my notice at the bakers had ended so I left two jobs in one week, impressive huh? Now jobless I wandered the streets. Here I bumped into The Commander, he asked how I was doing and I told him.
“Come with me” he said mysteriously.
I followed him to the post office where he asked the postmaster if he had any jobs going? The Commander was a postie and thought I was cut out to do the same. John, the postmaster and all round splendid human being, asked
“Can you ride a bike?”
Of course I could ride a bike, how very dare he!
“You’ll need three days training, start Monday”
Now that is how you do a job interview. Of course I already knew John, he didn’t let any old Tom, Dick or Tina deliver the mail but still, the best job interview I’ve ever had. Hilariously it transpired that I couldn’t ride a bike after all. Postie bikes have big baskets on the front, these baskets stay where they are whilst the wheel turns, it took me way too long to get the hang of it but I did and I fell in love. Being a postie rocked!
Back then you received training for every round and eventually it was The Commanders turn to train me. At one house he explained that if there was no answer I could wander to the bathroom window, which was left ajar when parcels were expected, and pop the package through it. Check. Got it.
Fast forward a few weeks. I had a parcel and I knew what to do with it. I prised open the bathroom window and popped the package through. Instantly I heard the unmistakable sound of something valuable smashing.
SHIT. WRONG HOUSE.
My heart started to race, I thought I was going to cry. I popped an apology through the letter box and finished my round as quick as I could to go and tell John. He was fabulous as always and told me not to worry, these things happen and all would be well. It wasn’t enough though. I went home and rang the package owner. It wasn’t hard to get his number, I knew his name, Mr Pull, and his address. I dialled, how I’ll never know because I felt awful weak and more than a little sick.
He answered and off I went.
“I’m so sorry, I thought yours was a different house . . . can’t believe I . . . . so so sorry, I’ll pay for whatever it was I smashed . . . . so sorry . . . . ” and so on.
Finally he got a word in.
“You cant replace it I’m afraid, it came from (insert distant land here)”
“Now, it’s a lovely day, go and enjoy the sunshine and please don’t give it another thought”
A few days later I was strolling along in the fresh air. I’d probably stroked a few cats and chatted to some folk whilst whistling as I worked. God I loved that job.
A car pulled up along side me. Thinking they’d need directions I poked my head through their now open window.
“Hello there, thought I’d introduce myself. I’m the chap with the smashed up bathroom. Lovely to finally meet you” he said and shook my hand.
That could have gone either way. Phew.
Mistakes are mistakes. A boo boo is exactly that, a boo boo. An error. A whoopsie. Nothing more, nothing less. Mr Pull knew this and was marvellous about it. That said, I think I should steer clear of brain surgery or piloting jumbo jets.