Sun 27 March 2016
My phone rang early yesterday morning, while I was still basically asleep. A mobile number I did not recognise. I answered. It was "Vincent". He asked me if I was free to deliver 2 sofas from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare. I groggily suggested 50 quid, with no idea how long it would take, and Vincent said he would be in touch. I don't know where these people get my number from as I haven't had an ad for over 6 months...
All morning, Vincent gave me the run around: "Can't get through to shop", "Not sure if shop is open today". I thought he had bailed and was letting me down gently.
Around lunchtime, another call from Vincent: It's on.
There were no obvious staff at the SOFA Project. The back door was open. A mysterious hooded character stood outside, who turned out to be in charge.
The man wanted to see paperwork. I obviously didn't have any. He obviously over-estimated the operation I'm running. He expressed doubts that the sofas would fit in my van. He took a lot of my details down, clearly suspicious that I'd take the sofas and disappear.
Paperwork filled in, sofas on board, I hit the road once more.
I met Vincent outside his flat. It's a top-floor flat. Of course it is. We heaved the first sofa up to the top floor, where disaster struck! The sofa was too big for Vincent's door. We tried every angle, but no dice. Vincent suggested leaving it and he'd deal with it later. There's no way he'd get it through his door alone. He needed my help. So I suggested taking the door off the hinges and Vincent agreed. With the door removed, we were able to move both sofas into his flat.
I re-fitted the hinges and disaster struck once more! The door had a spring-loaded self-closing mechanism. I've never encountered one before and it was too strong to prise open. I couldn't see how to get it back on.
Vincent said not to worry about it and that he would get it fixed. I apologised a lot, but he said I'd done enough already. (Done enough damage already?)
It was at this point that Vincent revealed he did not have any cash, and I must follow him to Morrisons where he would withdraw some. He drove a silver Kia. Dodgy.
Despite his best efforts, Vincent did not manage to shake me off, and we rolled in to Morrisons. Vincent, maverick, stopped his car in the middle of the road and walked to the cash machine. I parked.
I spotted Vincent walking to his car. I ran to catch up, lest he escape without paying. Vincent handed me £60 in cash and we parted ways. He paid £10 extra for all my hard work! What a legend.
It took 3 hours, so £20/hr without counting diesel. And tax of course. Good adventure though, and Vincent was super cool.If you like my blog, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed or the mailing list: