If you're looking for Wordzzle, it's the post below this one.
I actually hate this Phil Collins song. Who does the sanctimonious little drum-goblin think he is, trying to make us all feel guilty because there are people out there who have to beg a living on the streets? If he's so worried, let him donate a few mill (he probably does, actually, thinking about it, the git).
I'm well aware that there are people who have to spend their days begging for change. I know because I passed a guy doing just that every day last week as I made my way through the Old Street underpass to get from my hotel to where my course was being held (BEA Weblogic Server Administration, in cause you're interested).
Anyway, this chap sits at the entrance to the underpass, so you have to pass him whether you're on the stairs or the ramp (clever, eh?). I, like most other impatient, busy type, just pretended not to see him. Don't meet his eyes, then you won't have to feel guilty, will you?
Except that I did.
Just not enough to do anything about it.
Now, what this post is actually about is the sheer contingency, the sheer randomness of that thing called luck.
On Friday morning, I awoke in my hotel room to find the bill they had shoved under the door "for my convenience at check-out time" included a bunch of charges to me personally that should have gone straight to my company which had booked the room in the first place.
Now, I really dislike confrontation, I do. I had even managed to grit my teeth and not got worked up when some stupid woman punched me in the ear on the Tube a few days previously (Ok, it was an accident, I think, but still).
Anyway, I was not relishing the thought of having to have a fight with the hotel about what was on the bill, so I was in a bad mood. The mood was made worse by the fact that I now had to get packed and ready more quickly than I had planned in order to allow more time for the checking-out process. This is always hectic on a Friday when everybody else is doing the same thing, and the possible disagreement, threats (me), tears (me again, probably) and freezing politeness (the hotel staff) would only make it longer.
I stumped downstairs, ready for the fight. Luckily, the queue for checking out was small (bonus) and I was soon at the counter, looking into the smiling face of the improbably pretty young lady receptionist.
Careful to be calm and polite, I explained the situation and showed her the booking form which clearly laid out what was to be charged to whom, and held my breath as she tapped keys on the computer, which seemed to take quite a long time. Maybe she was writing a blog about bolshy customers.
"That's alright," she eventually said brightly, "I'll just amend the bill and there will be no additional charge."
I almost felt let down by having my fight taken away, but not for long.
I strolled out of the hotel to find that the sun was shining, the air was warm, and I had loads of time to get to the course so I could just take it easy and enjoy the walk.
Now, here's the contingency of luck bit that I just know you've been waiting for: the guy at the bottom of the steps got a couple of quid in his outstretched cup – just because I was suddenly in a good mood.
Here's a photo of the area just above the underpass, that I took about two minutes before giving the chap the two quid.
Have a great weekend, peeps!