Almost Banned from B&Q

One of my (John’s) unusual traits (some would use the word puerile) is my complete hatred of corporate business and multinationals. I have on many occasions been known to take direct action in the supermarket by ‘accidentally’ knocking over some display of consumer goods that I find annoyingly blocking my genial saunter up their crappy aisles (I digress). Indeed my eldest son was particularly aghast when at a dreadful and expensive motorway service station (the type where they extort vast sums of money because there is nowhere else to go to have a leak and take a break) I pocketed an unopened bottle of tomato ketchup to use later at home because the menu helpfully exclaimed ‘free sauce’. Without any mention of a limit to this offer I felt it only fair to take them up on their largesse and get back some of the cash that they had previously extorted.

However, being a hypocrite, I do occasionally find myself ensnared in their evil clutches. So it came to pass today, when Liz and I  decided to set about building a log shelter to keep our ever increasing stack of wood from fallen branches dry for the winter. Being somewhat surprised by a pleasant sunny day (after several days of soggy rain) we set about the task only to realise that in our unpreparedness we were lacking some essentials.

Firing up the Landrover I took off to B&Q to get the missing bits and pieces. Grabbing one of those large trolleys I set off to the rear of the store only to find the aisle fairly well blocked by other trolleys of stock that the poor inmates were obviously trying to find space for in the helter skelter of having to meet the corporate sales targets handed down from ‘on high’. As I wheeled past bits of overhanging stock flew off and the staff looked on aghast particularly when I exclaimed ‘for feck’s sake’ (or words to that effect). One female inmate did start to remonstrate with me and I did, in a somewhat firm but not rude (I hasten to add), manner, inform her that they were clearly failing in their obligations under the The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 – the poor woman was somewhat taken aback to find out that the Troglodyte personage in front of her had been, in another life, an Environmental Health Officer (who had seen the light and decided any life was better than watching the clock tick by in local government – I’m digressing again) who clearly knew his stuff (even barristers do not know that The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 has an etc. at the end).

Anyway I was happily (that’s a lie I’m never happy spending my dosh in such places) collecting the things I needed when the manager appeared and asked if he could help. Luckily I refrained from one of my more obtuse replies (like could he lend me 20 quid?) as he continued to inform me that one of his female employees had been reduced to tears by my actions and that if there was any further trouble he’d have to ask me to leave the store. This left me with at least a couple of dilemmas (is that a dichotomy?); firstly should I have felt amazed that someone who deals with Joe Public all day has to go off for a cry (and probably a week’s sick leave) when they meet someone who doesn’t conform to the usual show of devotion in the temple of commerce or secondly should I just tell him that being banned from B&Q would not actually affect my life too much and I think I could exist without going there again (not to mention the revenge I could cause in other stores by ‘accidentally’ knocking over the annoying displays of consumer goods – sorry if you’re having deja vu). Anyway after I’d given him a full run down of his responsibilities, particularly the bit about safe access and egress (great word to bamboozle) under the aforementioned HASAWA (notice the sophisticated use of jargon to help confuse) he sheepishly backed down and offered me a 10 percent discount for my trouble.

After such an exciting start to the day the log shelter construction was a bit of an anti climax but it does look rather functional even if I say so myself.

Log Store
The Log Store (almost finished and sans logs)

3 thoughts on “Almost Banned from B&Q”

  1. Dionne :Very nice ‘n cosy. The logs will love it! I could very much do with a man who is handy with a hammer ‘n nails. Can’t find one ‘ere for love nor money. Actually the fact is I probably could get one for money but I can’t afford to pay one right now and I am fresh out of charm! Speak to you soon. Regards to you both and great to read all your adventures! (I am working on getting the web site up to date ‘cos I have just found another man who can!)

  2. Well all I can say is that you were nearly banned, I on the other hand have found that I have been banned from every store in the UK for laying my hands on an employee (their words) It seems that the young lad who I was joking with is using our laugh and joke the day before xmas eve as a way to get money and time off from B&Q. I am such as bad person and threat that 2 of the 4 purchases I made were xmas trees and when outside a woman came up to me and told me that I had bought the last trees and could she buy one from me I told her no but I would be happy for her to have one for free.

    Anyhow since then I was asked by 7 members of staff to leave the premises when I tried to take something back that was damaged and required a replacement I even had my receipt and was told that I was barred and that I had lost all “privileges at the store”

    Not sure how to proceed but am sure it will involve a letter to their chairman and maybe even a paper if they are interested.

    But on the plus side Homebase and other suppliers will benefit and i wont have to watch B&Q staff walk around looking at the ceiling and trying hard not to make eye contact!

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