Imagine if you went to the railway station and the person who sold you the ticket told you to head to the platform because the train would be here sometime today. Or if you rang 999, suffering from a heart attack, and the call handler said an ambulance would be with you sometime before the end of the day but couldn’t give you a precise arrival time. The former is slightly more believable than the latter, but neither comes close to the service you get from just about any company which is delivering something for which you have paid a small fortune.

I’m having to spend the entire day waiting for a new mattress to be delivered. I got up especially early on my day off and I just know full well that the delivery won’t happen until the middle of the evening. It’s no good saying, “Well, just use a different company!” They’re all like this.

I try to get things done and they’re mainly quiet things, just in case the delivery driver turns up with a feather duster, brushes it gently on the front door, gets no reply and buggers off again. I daren’t go out the back and I get worried if I am not looking out of the front room window at least every 30 seconds.

I have acknowledged on numerous occasions that my brain cells are not the most numerous and I would be the last person capable of running a business, but isn’t there someone, somewhere who could set up a delivery service and arrange deliver something within, say, a two hour period? How hard can it be? Can’t the companies simply supply their drivers with Tom Toms with live traffic and can’t they text when they are vaguely near? They must surely know roughly what time they will be with me. Why can’t they fucking say?

When the delivery driver eventually gets here, I will not of course lose my temper with her/him. He – I’ll stick with he for the time being – will probably be on a crappy low wage which includes unrealistic targets and horrendous hours. Maybe that’s the worst thing of all: I have no one to lose my temper with, even if I do lose my temper which I usually don’t. If you follow what I mean.

It could be that when I am on my deathbed, with mere moments left until I expire, I will hark back to today, wishing I had put that Friday, on the last day of autumn in 2018, to better use. And for all I know, the bloody mattress I am waiting for today will be the one I will be lying on.