by Charlotte Wilson

In such times of uncertainty it’s sometimes difficult to be grateful for the good. I had one of those moments on 23rd December 2020.

I had such good intentions of getting up at 6am and going to the supermarket to pick up the last bits of food I needed (and wine) for the festive period as a few days before, Christmas had been essentially cancelled. I was awake before my 6am alarm and dressed and out the door, by 6:15am. Plenty of time to get to the shop and be ready for work at 9am.

As I am driving to the supermarket, my tyre blows out, car becomes undrivable. Manage to limp it to the nearest car park, survey the damage, have a small breakdown and stomp home. Order a taxi from an app that shall remain nameless, and receive a call from the driver asking me to cancel the job as they weren’t coming… charming. Cancelled the job and was charged £4.25 for the privilege, argument with the company then ensued to claim my money back!

Next cab turns up as I am on the phone to my breakdown service (again who shall remain nameless)… £150 because I am within a mile from my home. Pay it because I need my car and I am told it will be an hour and a half… ok fine I still have plenty of time. Get to the supermarket, breakdown service call to tell me they are on the way to my vehicle, I however, am not near my vehicle. Blood pressure through the roof, I get back in the cab and go home.

Breakdown man is there and I almost jump into his arms! That is until he tells me, it’s 7am I can’t get you a tyre, there isn’t much I can do. All that is going through my head is “I have paid £150 to be told there is nothing you can do”. I take a deep breath because after all it is not the mechanics fault and then brain wave! I have a spare! He fits my spare, and off he pops telling me not to do over 50mph. Wonderful, but I needed to drive to Staffordshire to (socially distanced of course) drop Christmas presents off for my family that evening– requiring a trip up the motorway which I am now not happy to do due to not wanting to die.

So I get to the supermarket just before 7.30am – still got enough time if I am quick. Shopping all done I make it home for 8.30am.

Call my dad (because I am that person) asking where I can get tyres from and he tells me. Also tells me that as he is the shape of a Christmas pudding I will have to pay someone to fit them. £140 for new tyres and they can’t do them until after Christmas. This whole morning has cost me nearly £400 (£100 of that was definitely not spent on wine). By the time I have cut my finger trying to get the lid off something, I feel I am going to cry and there is no one home to tell me to pull it together.

I then stopped mid breakdown and thought how lucky I actually was. I wasn’t hurt or worse, I could call the breakdown service to come and help me, I could get a taxi to get to the places I needed to go, I could call my dad to give me advice on where to get my car fixed and could call on my brother to do the rounds with the Christmas presents and that I had the money in my account to sort things out. It is so important that even if you can’t see the people you love and who love you during these times, that you can call them, that you can speak to them and they will be there to reassure you and that there is someone there on the end of the phone to help you and I thought ok, this morning has not been the best but I at least I can call on people to help me.

I try to employ this tactic with clients as they are going through a difficult time. Never underestimate the importance of being someone they can turn to for help. One of the great things at Greens is that we all try to go above and beyond to help our clients get the best result possible. Sometimes though, it’s just having a friendly voice on the end of the phone to help and guide people through that makes all the difference. Sometimes we all need a little help.