general ramblings from a wannabe triathlete, confirmed foodie, and nutrition nerd

The ongoing saga of the pedal bin

on June 2, 2012

Don’t be fooled by the title. This is a tale of intrigue and endeavour to rival the most shocking of tales.

Well, perhaps not. But I challenge anyone to provide a more protracted, laborious and downright ridiculous back story to a pedal bin.

It began several weeks ago. Three to be precise. My Prince (yes him again) and I had battled through hordes of… cars, to the mythical land of B&Q. Legend would have it that it is a most wondrous place, an Aladdin’s Cave if you will, bursting with treasures the likes of which DIY enthusiasts literally weep for.

As with most legends, you would be excused for not quite believing the stories. B&Q is Hell On Earth. Hordes of people-of-a-certain-age wander the aisles, slack-jawed and fixed with a blank expression, dragging wonky trolleys behind them in remarkable semblance of Romero style zombies (the original ones, not the suped-up speedy ones the modern generations are treated to).

Aisle after aisle of goods extend as far as the eye can see, literally disappearing beyond the horizon. Yes, the store is so bloody big that it has it’s own horizon. Everything from paint brushes, to door bells, to apple trees and thirty-feet long power cables. The centre of the shop even has it’s own showroom – kitchen after gleaming kitchen, bathroom upon shining bathroom. All set out in a faux family environment to entice you to buy.

Anyway, back to the bin. My Prince and I, in a bold move towards the domesticity of married life,  had come to purchase a shed. How very grown up we felt. It being a bank-holiday weekend (thus accounting for the unusually high number of DIYers) there was a special offer in store – 20% off everything! Being a frugal pair, we decided to make the most of this generous discount and also buy a few other items in addition to the shed. A mop, paint brushes, wood stain (so very, very grown up). And the pedal bin. A decision that I have come to regret, so very, very much.

My trusty steed (the Skoda), though deceptively roomy, was simply not up to the job of transporting a shed, so we opted for delivery. And this, dear readers, is where the problems began. It seemed simple enough – buy the items, take them home, have the shed delivered. But no. No, we were told, in no uncertain terms. ‘Everything has to be included in the delivery’. So despite having paid for our goods, and the Skoda being more than capable of transport a mop, paint brushes, wood stain and a pedal bin, we had to leave them at the shop to be included in the delivery. If only I knew then what I know now.

Fast forward to Delivery Day:

Delivery Man: “Oh dear, we don’t seem to have the pedal bin on the lorry. Why didn’t you just collect it in store?”
Me: “They wouldn’t let me.”
Delivery Man: “Well that’s a bit daft.”
Me: “Indeedy.”

Several phone calls later and I was advised that either A) I would have to wait in for a second delivery, the time slot being anywhere within a four hour period. Or B) Go and collect it myself. I opted for B.

A second trip to B&Q resulted in the news that the bin wasn’t in the wareh0use, and nor were there any in stock.

So basically, they’d sold our bin to someone else. Our beloved bin, chosen for it’s anti-fingerprint tendencies. Who knew that fingerprints on a bin were a big problem? Apparently they are.

Cue a polite-but-deadly email…

Dear B&Q . We bought a bin several weeks ago, and would quite like to take possession of it  before it’s old enough to vote. I’ve made two thirty mile round trips and had to take a half day off work waiting for a delivery which was incomplete, can you tell me where my bin is or who I have to pay ransom to in order to get it back?

Which yesterday yielded a phone call from the manager herself…

“I’m terribly sorry about the problems you’ve experienced and can’t apologise enough, blah, blah, blah, staff training, blah, blah, a gift card as compensation, blah, blah. You’re bin is in stock and ready to collect.”

And so today I made another trip. On another bank holiday weekend (and the Queen’s Jubilee weekend at that. An extra day of DIY and even more people to battle through in amongst the never-ending aisles of MDF and Dulux paint). And guess what?

No bin.

They even checked the manager’s office to see if she had taken it into protective custody pending our collection. But no. There was no bin. And they were out of stock. Again.

Take note – years from now anti-fingerprint pedal bins will be appearing on the Antiques Roadshow. Rare and beautifully fingerprint free waste receptacles from a bygone era, before the advent of all rubbish being teleported to a distant moon, never to be seen again. They are like gold-dust.

And one day, perhaps, I might have one.

Don’t even blink. The mythical pedal bin – take your eyes off of it for even a second and B&Q will sell it even though it’s already yours.


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