There is a Costa Coffee on the retail park at Stanway in Essex. I can tell you that because I am in it.
Unexpectedly as it happens. I’m supposed to be in Cafe Nero in Woodbridge, Suffolk meeting a lady called Louisa who wants be in charge of her own financial future after working for years for a boss who thanked her by making her redundant.
But at the last minute she let her doubts steal her dreams and cancelled – after all these things never work, do they?
On the good side, she gave me an extra two hours in my day and saved me a good deal of petrol since tonight I am due to meet three other people who are taking their dreams to our Opportunity Meeting in Brentwood (lorry drivers and residents of East Anglia will understand the geography).
So I am not particularly worried by the meagre results of my half-hour of prize draw in the car park. Talking to 16 people in 33 minutes would normally count as a waste of time. But I don’t want an appointment in Stanway (look it up on the map).
However, I did have an ulterior motive…
Sure enough a van pulled in and the driver disappeared into Costa – to emerge five minutes later with his coffee and muffin.
Yes, he would like to enter my prize draw and five minutes later we were still chatting about how he gets paid and how I get paid (basically he gets paid once and I get paid forever). I like to think we got on rather well. If he didn’t have a parents evening to go to tonight, he would be at our Opportunity Meeting – but he may yet look at our website…
I was just looking round for other commercial vehicles when I discovered I had completely failed to notice the Windscreen Repair man – he had a van and a gazebo – but no customers. As I wandered over he got out of his van. He was the first to speak: He shook my hand. He introduced himself.
And not only is he now in the prize draw but he too knows how I get paid – and the essential differences compared to the way he gets paid (quite apart from the fact that my business costs £100 and his cost £14,000).
He’s not coming tonight because it’s 33.2 miles to Brentwood (how did he know that?) and it’s obviously not worth driving 33.2 miles to find a pot of gold.
But you never know – his wife is expecting their first baby. She’s on 18 months maternity leave. Already she’s thinking she doesn’t want to go back to work. Is it really possible that 18months of part-time effort could replace her full time income? He may think it worth firing up the computer tonight.
All I know is that I put in my activity – and when I went into Costa for my large skinny cappuccino, I felt I deserved it.
Anything else is a bonus.
|Date||Time||Tollgate Retail Park, Stanway||Minutes||Entered||Appointment||Callback|
|06.03.12||1545 – 1549||4||1||No|
|1549 – 1604||15 (19)||11 (12)||No||Yes|
|1608 – 1622||14 (33)||4 (16)||No||Yes|