I’m ahead of the game. I’m on top of the chaos. I’m organised to within an inch of my… I don’t know where this sentence is going. Suffice to say, plans for our trip to Japan are going swimmingly.
Or so I thought.
I have three to-do lists. One itemises what I need to do in general in my ordinarily busy life. One lists what I need to do to prepare for the Japan trip. And one lists what needs to be packed to go. There is also a growing list of useful information for the family who will be house- and cat-sitting while we’re away. So that’s four lists.
To make the place that little bit neater, less chaotic and breakable for the house-sitting family, I have been packing away much of our stuff. For which I needed boxes. So, on Saturday, I went online and ordered 10 boxes. I received the email confirming my purchase. On Monday I received an email saying the boxes had been despatched.
Stay with me, this gets slightly more interesting.
I gave the email a cursory glance and continued sorting what needed to be packed away when the boxes arrived. Then I thought, I wonder when the boxes arrive. I’ll just check that email.
I scrolled down the email and read this:
SW BROWN STRONGER ECONOBOX C125TT 508Lx508Wx508H PACK 20 QTY 10 PACK 20
Wait. What? Quantity 10, pack 20? But that would be…
I phoned the box company and spoke to a very nice lady called Angela. “Could I just ask you how many boxes I’ve ordered?” I asked.
“200,” said Angela.
Two hundred boxes. “I only wanted ten,” I said.
“Didn’t you see the bill on the order?!” Angela exclaimed.
And you see, here’s the thing. Here’s where all my smugness at my extraordinary organisation evaporates in a mist of shame and embarrassment. Because no, I didn’t look at the final amount I was paying. I mean, who does that? Who, when purchasing stuff online, doesn’t have a quick peek at the pound sign on the payment page to make sure they haven’t paid £300 for 200 boxes?
Me. That’s who.
“That’s £300 came off your credit card,” explained Angela, incredulously. “Two pallets of boxes will arrive at your house!”
“I’ve got a lot on my mind! It’s full of sh*t!” I wailed. “We’re going to Japan!”
“What, permanently?” asked Angela.
That’s a bit rude, I thought. “Well yes, pretty much of the time,” I said.
“No wonder you’re distracted if you’re moving to Japan,” said the very understanding Angela.
“Oh,” I said. “I thought you were asking if my mind is permanently full of sh*t.”
“Mine is!” said lovely Angela. The long and the short of it is that the boxes were still on the lorry and Angela had them taken off, the order cancelled and a new order, for just 20 boxes, put through. She’s an angel that Angela. Oh! That’s literally her name. Nominative determinism.
The moral of this story is that when you are going to spend 11 weeks in Japan, there is an awful lot to think about and prepare for and you should never let me do your online shopping.