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Buying 2 pieces of wood


I’m pressing ahead with a modified hydroponic system for which I needed 2 pieces of wood. On Thursday morning of 10 May 2012, I walked from my home to the local timber merchant to buy 2 wooden planks 109 inches long. The man who served me was called M and asked $15.00 home delivery. Whilst I was there this miserable sod moaned and groaned about everything under the sun.

M’s tape measure was metric and I mistakenly told him the equivalent to 109 inches was 1.8 metre (the correct length was 2.8 metres, of course). I carried the planks home and discovered my error.

That afternoon I returned to the timber merchant to buy another 2 planks – the correct length this time. I was served by M’s wife as he was out. She offered to deliver the planks to my home, and I paid for the 2 planks. The proprietor of our local dry cleaners was present in the office and able to hear my conversation with the woman.

On Monday 14 May 2012, I called the timber merchant to enquire about the delivery status. I was told that the woman was due in 15 minutes and would call me. I called again about 1 hour later and M answered. I was shocked and amazed by his anger, his tirade: “I told you it’s $15.00 to deliver.” It was obvious that this nasty man had had an enormous row with his wife. This was madness if not ridiculous. I told him that I would return to collect the payment I made.  

That afternoon, I returned to the timber merchant and M rushed at me: “You’re the bloke I told it’s $15.00 to deliver.” I continued to the office which appeared unattended. I tried to explain my error. Mark’s tirade was threatening, menacing, bullying and his intention was to hurt me – severely, that was obvious. He is a burly framed man. His pressed his face against mine in an attempt to provoke me – at one point he said I pushed him in order to provoke a fight. I told him I would call the police. We made our way to the counter and there was his wife cringing in the corner behind the counter. She was silent during the time I was in the office. M returned my payment.

M’s behaviour was appalling, and I’m concerned for his wife’s well-being given the reality of what was, after all, an insignificant event. 

This morning, I realised that this matter had nagged me for a whole week and that was long enough and could not go unchallenged, any longer. My personal manifesto tells me: I know what’s important; I believe in myself; I’m not afraid to stand up and stand out; I must be fearless. And, at 8:30 I reported this matter to the local police. There appeared to be no basis to press charges against M. A civil action may be an avenue to follow. The police officer agreed to “Have a chat with M.” He did alert me that M would know that it was in response to my complaint. “That’s OK,” was my reply.


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