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Thursday, October 26

Lunchtime Futility

I went for a haircut this lunchtime. I don't know why I bother. I don't have a lot of hair and when it's removed, I look only marginally different. I think I must just like the attention, even if it is from the more amateur of the two ladies who work in the shop - the other is now far too concerned with being a boss than being a hairdresser.

The cost of my all-over shave and head wash is £10.50. As I was leaving the office I decided that my thirst and levels of dehydration warranted getting a drink from the coffee shop, using my last pound coin. I had no other change. I only had a £10 note in my wallet, so I needed to get some cash in order to be able to pay for the full cost of my hair cut.

I parked around the corner from the shop and went to the Co-op, which has a cash machine outside of it. That cash machine, like so many times before it, was not in operation - down for routine maintenance apparently. Given that Farnborough is basically a shit-hole of a backwater, and North Camp is its backwater, I couldn't expect to find another cash-machine within a couple of paces, as you might on a regular high street. However, there is a Lloyds-TSB around the block - exactly the opposite end from where I would be getting my hair done. It's not a long walk, but it was a barrier to the single-mindedness I usually apply to simple tasks like getting a hair-cut. I decided to walk, since I'm far too lazy.

I walked to the bank and their cash machine was also down for maintenance. Of course. It's lunchtime, let's put the slowest member of staff onto the very important task of changing the till roll in the machine - that won't cause any problems with one cashier on duty inside. Oh yes... sorry... it's supremely stupid, but they didn't need me to tell them that. I kept quiet. Instead, I queued. There were two people in front of me in the queue. The guy at the front was being served. I was there with my cashpoint card in my hand and there was a big-boned (I'd say fat, but that would give the impression that she was a big wobbly hefter, when, in fact, she was just a bit on the chunky side) woman in front of me. Wearing yellow.

When the first guy had finished, the ugly duckling in front of me waddled slowly to the cashier and pronounced deliberately that she would like to withdraw £10 from her account. No shit! Someone's pissing about with the cash machine, you'd have to go inside to get money. Then she proceeded to take about a minute and a half to locate her cashpoint card from within her handbag. Now, she'd had the entire duration of the previous person's transaction to get her shit together, and did she? No! What did she think she was doing in the queue? Was she there to admire the scenery? Was she meant to keep very still and hold down her section of the carpet? What could possibly have been so all-importantly-occupying that she failed to prepare herself for the task ahead by locating the cashpoint card. Perhaps she thought it was more easily at hand... but quite frankly that's a ludicrous excuse. She was clearly a very deliberate person who didn't have the intellect to operate a handbag. And she was in my way. In a situation where there's once person serving, life slows down to the rate of the slowest person in front of you. Duckling girl!

Following her production of the card and when she'd received her cash, did she get out of my sodding way? Well, ultimately yes, or I'd still be there, the slamming down of my cashpoint card on the counter becoming a regular heartbeat leading me ever closer to my frustrated demise, rather than a singular event, which I used to purge my soul of the built up irritation borne of two cash machines failing and the low-specification intellectual capacity of the bulging imbecile in front of me. However, before she got the hell out of my way, she proclaimed that she thought it was marvellous to receive two £5 notes, rather than a single £10 as the cash machine might otherwise have given her.

I'm so happy for her.

I asked for my £20, which I received as two £10's - as if that were important to anyone - signed my receipt and got the hell out of there. It wasn't difficult, though it was a few steps away from my original intention of parking, getting money and getting a haircut. I now had a walk around the rest of the block to get myself back on track.

At the hairdresser's, though the boss was in the back, there was a single person being haircutted and I was put into a queue of one. Fair enough. I thumbed through a tabloid newspaper, sickened, as usual, by the style of writing, the attitude in the editorial style, the whole image of British subculture it represents and the fact that I was bothering to put myself through coming into contact with it. Eventually it was my turn.

I am not in a talkative mood at the moment. I just want an easy life. As usual, it's the trivial things which annoy me the most. However, I was given a reasonable haircut and headwash. At the end, I presented my original £10 note and one of the ones I'd expended a great deal of personal stress to get hold of. The hairdresser told me she didn't have change - could I pay the extra 50p next time.

Could I...

...I would never have dreamed of going for a haircut without the requisite money, but now 20 frustrating minutes of my life seemed to be totally in vain.

Brilliant.

My neck hurts.

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