I don’t keep a diary


Actually I do keep a diary. The title isn’t about me. For me, gone are the days of keeping a hidden book under my pillow. My diary is either my public musings, collected on my blog or on my phone as a practical reminder of upcoming events and meetings.

No, this is the story of a man who threw logic to the wind as he went against everything you would expect of him. This is the story of the tradesman with no diary. Yup, this post is a little bit of a humorous rant that takes place not too long ago rather than a helpful debate about whether to keep a diary or not. Sorry to disappoint. But without further ado, I present ‘The man with no diary’.

Obviously, I’ve changed quite a bit of the context to protect the identity of the individuals involved. As there are innocents connected to the story. But rest assured that if you are reading this it’s highly unlikely you even know the person involved, much less indirectly related to the story.

Wet January, half way through my birthday family time off of two weeks. We have been out most of the first week, visiting family attractions or taking the dog for a long shower (British word for walk in Winter). It meant that we were all exhausted and looking forward to a chilled second week. We hadn’t planned anything, so we were quite excited to disappear from the planet for seven days or so. That’s when my wife’s phone rang.

Unknown number, so she answered it. It was a tradesman for something we needed doing. Sadly due to circumstances beyond our control – it wasn’t up to us to choose the tradesman we use. Due to product guarantees and various legal reasons we were stuck with this fellow. At first we were glad to hear from him, as the job did need doing.

As my wife describes him, he had a typical London accent and sounded fitting to the trade he worked in. But then came the most redicilous conversation piece I’ve ever overheard of a tradesman and his customer.

“We’re technically off on holiday this coming week, is there any chance you could come next week?” My wife said.
I couldn’t hear his responses, they were more like gorilla growls from where I was standing, but presumably he said something along the lines of ‘no’.
My wife, being the ever-polite and seeing-the-best-in-people, overlooked the plain rudeness and continued: “Oh, that’s a shame. Ok well I guess we could do a week-day if it doesn’t take too long?”
I later discovered his ape-like response was “I’d like to come over on Sunday.” To which, my surprised and gracious wife had no choice but to oblige. Naturally, since he was gong to be interrupting our weekend, she enquired about the time of his visit. And this is the most hilarious and equally frustrating response that a tradesman could ever ever give. More annoying than an estimated time, more annoying that just ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’. Even more annoying than ‘sorry I’m not sure as I’ll be coming from another client’! His response was:
“No, I don’t keep a diary”.

I love how my wife keeps her cool in these situations. If it had of been me answering the phone – the bloke would have had more than an earful. Look, I realise not everyone keeps a diary, I’m not on a mission to make everyone keep one, don’t worry. But if you are a tradesman, better yet, representing another company or person, you need to book in appointments. It’s just common sense. The concept of just rocking up at someone’s door whenever you feel like it because you were incapable of righting a few notes in a diary or even a reminder on your phone is utterly proposterous.

Needles to say, I was unimpressed. And that concluded the adventure featuring the tradesman from Neverland. Why? Because as we reach the end of a Sunday (where we anxiously awaited his arrival, ensuring someone was home at all times), the man with no diary missed the date. Presumably, because he has no diary. Or perhaps because he’s finally returned home to a land where time stands still.