A Downtrodden Man

A woman rang today and asked if we bought unusual American coins. I passed her on to the proprietor, as he has a wide-ranging knowledge of American coins. It turns out she had found a rare Buffalo nickel (1913 San Francisco Mint – I’m hazy on the rest of the detail as I wasn’t listening). The Buffalo Nickel is a lovely coin, and if I were American I am sure they would be a pleasure to collect.

This was unusual because “rare” coins usually aren’t rare.

Earlier in the week we bought some coins off a man. He brought two small lots in- one bag of coins from his wife and one from him. He told us his wife was making him sell the coins he had inherited from his mother when she died last year. They came to £17.50. The wife’s coins only came to £5. So he signed the form and went off with his money. Six hours later we had a phone call from the wife telling us he shouldn’t have sold hers. He had to sell his but she wanted to keep hers. Then she told me she wanted hers back. That was, off course, a problem, as we had already sorted the lot into various other places.

Spanish Poppy

She told me they were worth a lot more than £5. I couldn’t help it, I just laughed. It was the end of a long day (in fact it was 15 minutes after closing time and we were just parcelling up a couple of late orders) and I really couldn’t be bothered. They coins were rubbish, her internet search was misleading and her grading, as usual, bore no resemblance to the reality of the condition of the coins.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we sorted out a selection of coins that resembled the ones she had and the boss, worn down by her whining, just gave them to her to get rid of her, and to reinforce the idea they were virtually worthless.

It’s her husband I feel sorry for, he had to get rid of his but she keeps hers. (He’s a little older than me, by the way). His must be quite a cheerless existence.

You see all sorts in a coin shop . . .


In other news, my blood test was OK this morning, though I still have to go in next week. I really must start applying pressure about less testing.

Wednesday produced some brilliant service from the NHS, who sorted a problem out in five minutes and had my delivery with me inside 24 hours. If I were a curmudgeonly sort I would point out that if they had done their job right in the first place three weeks ago there would have been no problem.  However, it is the system that is at fault and an individual who sorted it out, so credit where it’s due.

Then tonight the warning light came back on in the car. Did I tell you about that? Ys, I checked and I see I did. So far that Engine Management System has failed to flag up a single problem but it has cost me hundreds of pounds for replacing a faulty valve and several trips to the garage to get lights reset. It’s the next step in consumerism – first we had planned obsolescence, then we had vacuum cleaners that need replacement filters all the time instead of a new bag every few years, and now we have systems in cars that need repairing even though there is no actual fault with the car. This is either brilliant or very annoying, depending on your point of view. To me, it feels like Volkswagen are picking my pocket on a regular basis. Technology does not seem to be good for me.


And that’s before I get on to the story about how I had to open a HP account to use my own scanner on my own computer. I couldn’t work round it by downloading a fix from Microsoft as they don’t recognise my account details. I answered a lot of stupid questions to try to retrieve the account and they told me I hadn’t answered enough. A big sort out is coming and the machines are going to come off second best when I raise the New Luddite standard. Thirty minutes messing about just to scan something for Julia, when in the old days, before the “new and improved” system, I could have done it in ninety seconds.

Photos are random, just to keep you awake.

20 thoughts on “A Downtrodden Man

  1. Clare Pooley

    That poor man and his coins! Possessions and collections are often a point of conflict in families. Richard, in a past life was asked to get rid of many things that he was fond of and still talks of them with regret – unlike the former partner 😉 I have never interfered with his belongings or told him to get rid of things that mean a lot to him. We have the room for them. He often tells me we ought to get rid of some of our books, meaning I ought to get rid of some of my books, and I do every now-and-then to keep the peace.
    Car problems! Especially car-computer problems! Ugh!
    I had a letter from the NHS the day before yesterday telling me I should make an appointment for my first Covid injection. It added a note at the bottom to apologise if I’d already had my first injection but insisted I should book my second appointment with urgency. There was an extra page printed with information in umpteen other languages. I had my first injection in February and the second in April. What a waste of time and money.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Back when I was in urology for a couple of procedures they booked me in for two tests. I duly attended and was told both times that the tests were impractical because of my condition and that if they could do the tests I wouldn’t need the operation. I agreed and pointed out that I’d already told them that but the system insisted. two wasted appointments. If I remember rightly they have notices up about not missing appointments.

      Talk about left hand and right hand not knowing what they are doing.

      As for the cost and uselessness of many multi-lingual signs, Julia has experience of that from her tie in the council.

      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        There were at least two sets of people responsible for organising vaccination and things seem to have gone awry. At least we are all vaccinated, even if the invitations are being duplicated.

  2. Helen

    Yes, it seems the gentleman with the coins must have some tough moments at home. At least, he got more money for his lot 😊

    A couple of years ago, one of my emergency lights came on. I can’t remember the problem except that it could have required the replacement of the electronic unit. The garage’s advice was to keep running the car and just if there is a real problem then get shot.

    I think it’s just quirky and from the print out of the problems this unit has had over the years (all of which have self-corrected), there probably wasn’t a real problem this time either. Makes me all the more determined to stick with the devil I know…

  3. Lavinia Ross

    The photos were restful, and beautiful.

    Life does seem to pile up problems, doesn’t it? And it is supposed to hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit here tomorrow. It’s going to be over 100 today.

  4. bitaboutbritain

    Love the shot of https://bitaboutbritain.com/freddie-gilroy-and-the-belsen-stragglers/
    Re your issue with VW, I think this ties in with my theory that large corporations, public and private, bully in otder to wear down the people that pay for them/buy their products. BT is a great example of this tactic – simply awful to deal with. But I also had a problem with VW and my EMS which cost me £1400+. VW, like many, tried to hide behind the expired warranty, which was irrelevant. The issue is often whether the product was fit for purpose and, when I asked VW whether their vehicles were only designed to run x miles before failing, they coughed up. Nil illegitimus carborandum (or something) 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      That’s a good result. My previous Passat did 247.000 miles but the minor faults started to build up and I moved it on. Not one of them was an engine fault, mainly electric window faults. This one has not been as good.

      It’s a great sculpture, and always strikes home because I used to work for a man who had helped at Belsen – it was the only time he spoke about the war as it had made such an impression.

  5. tootlepedal

    I feel for you on the matter of the HP account. This sort of thing is intensely annoying and bad for the blood pressure. The pictures had the desired effect.


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