Academic Anonymous, B&Q and The Man That Knows.

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Blog world

Just been to DIY superstore, B&Q, and had this rather Kafka-esque encounter:

[Cue theme tune to The Third Man – Anton Karas – Harry Lime Theme]

Are you The Man That Knows?

AA: [Approaches man with clipboard who looks like he knows] Hello. I’m looking for a set of new doors and….

The Man That Knows: [Points to the right] They’re all over there at the end.

AA: Yes, I just looked but I have a couple of questions.

The Man That Knows: Yes?

AA: First of all, do you deliver?

The Man That Knows: Oh certainly, sir.

AA:  Excellent. And will you install the doors as well?

The Man That Knows: No.

AA: Oh. Is there a tradesman you can recommend maybe?

The Man That Knows: No. Company policy you see. It’s in case we recommend someone and they do a bad job.

AA: [Crestfallen] Oh.

The Man That Knows: Though we do have a carpenter in-store.

AA: [Perking up again] Ah! Can I book him then?

The Man That Knows: No. Company policy you see. It’s in case he does a bad job. We know he won’t do a bad job because he’s very good. But company policy, sir.

AA: Yes. Just in case he doesn’t, right?

The Man That Knows: Yes sir. He’s very good though.

AA: [Crestfallen again]

The Man That Knows: You could always talk to him and come to a private arrangement but that would be totally between you and him. It would have nothing to do with B&Q.

AA: [Perking up again]: Oh of course. So what’s his name?

The Man That Knows: [Looking right and left] Sorry. Can’t tell you that. Company policy, sir. We are not allowed to give out staff details.

AA: [Looking at the name tag on his coat] Not even a name, Chris?

The Man That Knows: [Solemn shake of head.] You’ve just missed him anyway. He’s gone for the rest of the day.

AA: [Moving away] Okay. Well never mind then. I’ll try somewhere else.

The Man That Knows: He’ll be in on Sunday, though. You can talk to him then.

AA: But how will I know who to ask for if I don’t know his name?

The Man That Knows: Just ask for the carpenter. Or if I’m there, I’ll nod you in his direction.

You dirty rat! Tell me who The Carpenter is or it's no deal!

AA: [Speechless. Heading quickly for exit]

The Man That Knows: [Calling after me] But I didn’t say that. Yeah?

AA: Oh okay. Think I’ll still try somewhere else.

The Man That Knows: Sorry about that sir. Company policy.

AA: Company policy to lose business?

The Man That Knows: [Shrugs] Nothing to do with me sir. And by the way!

AA: Yes?

The Man That Knows: We didn’t have this conversation ok?

AA: Don’t worry. Unlike Arnie, I won’t be back.


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