Wednesday, 26 August 2009

more adventures in the book trade

hmmm, I'm sure one of these tools is supposed to extract cheques from bookshop owners...


Carrying on the japes from yesterday's episode, which left me waiting for a phone call that didn't come.

The next morning....

ring ring... ring ring...

"Hello, it's the Small Independent Bookshop. We've got a cheque for you."

"Oh, goodie! I'll pop round shortly"

"....and.... can you bring some more books? -we're down to our last one."

This is what we want to hear. I package up some more books and presently arrive at the shop.

"Hello! Here's your cheque."

She produces last weeks' invoice too.

"Oh," I say; "this cheque should be for the June invoice, not the one from last week."

"Oh, I'm sorry; I didn't know there was another one."

She pops off to the back of the shop. Unfortunately, the proprietor is ...about to go out to lunch with her mother.

"Treasure in store," as Prof Burrows used to say, brightly if not accurately, when I handed him my Anglo-Saxon essays....

Remember Michael Heseltine? -he effectively gave the official stamp of approval to delaying payments, back in 1996, when he admitted that he always held off payment of business debts until threatened by legal action.

I didn't need to learn the lesson that some, even many, people are dishonourable; I have seen 'nice' people stand by and do nothing when someone is being mistreated. Usually when that person was me, admittedly, which made it kind of memorable.