Great British brands

Day 71: 1 clementine, blueberry yogurt with psyllium husks, banana, seeds, honey; 1 bacon and egg bap; 6 chicken gyoza, ricotta and spinach tortellini with butter and sage, 1 fennel and some radishes; whisky.

When I walk, I don’t lift my feet enough from the floor, because I’m a lazy Italian. Such deplorable behaviour has caused the soles of my boots to detach a bit at the front. So I took them to get glued back to this great, British company called Timpson which prides itself for offering great service by great people. If you’re English you certainly know them. If you’re not, then you may not. I know about them because I write about such great British companies at work. They claim they can fix shoes, cut your keys and wash your clothes. Inside Alperton’s Sainsbury’s there’s a Timpson, so on Sunday I took my boots there to fix. The English guy working there said he would do it, it would be a fiver and to come back on Monday to pick the boots up. So I did. When I arrive on Monday afternoon there was a different guy. British black guy. He was doing some dusting – moving all the products and wiping surfaces. How admirable. I say I’m here to pick up the boots and point to them behind the counter. Not ready, he says. I’m surprised. English guy had said he would do it. He didn’t, apparently. And British guy was doing some dusting, but obviously not my boots. He says come tomorrow. I decide not to get pissed off, guy was nice, and I say OK, I come tomorrow. I ended up going today, Wednesday, and the boots were, finally, ready. Except whoever did the job didn’t really put the glue everywhere. I say, look, you got to put more glue there. They guy shows some annoyance and tries, unsuccessfully, to argue boots are good to go. Eventually he agrees to put more glue. I ask how long I need to wait. 20 minutes. Only 20 minutes? Yes, 20 minutes. So why did it take 4 days to have them ready? No answer. Guy now somewhere between annoyed and hopeless. I pay the fiver, take boots and leave.

I bet that the great, British company called Timpson pays these guys shit money to do this job in one of the saddest London postcodes. So I can’t really blame them for being bored and not committed. And yet, they really annoyed me. Putting a bit of glue is not rocket science. But of course it’s the southern Europeans who are lazy. They – we – don’t lift our feet and then this happens. Lazy, lazy southern Europeans.

The guy obviously doesn’t really like doing that job. He reminds me of when I used to work in restaurants: I would dry forks and knives while the room was full of people, and the head waiter would get mad at me because I was doing that instead of going to serve people. But I hated it so much. I hated carrying plates to people’s tables. Once I dropped a whole tray of coffees. The Timpson guy probably hates fixing shoes. But maybe if you put him in a library re-ordering books he may be a happy person again. I don’t know what his vocation is. He obviously liked dusting. I hope he finds his way out of there.