Picture the scene – modern hairdressing salon, people having stuff done to their heads while other people keep asking where they’re going for their holidays etc., and a little white reception desk staffed by a pretty girl confronted with an Adele.
Me: I’d like to make an appointment for a cut and blow-dry.
Girl: Which of our stylists would you like to see?
Me: I don’t know; I haven’t been here before, but I want a senior stylist.
We then sort out the day and time for the appointment.
Girl: What name is it, please?
Me: Adele Cosgrove-Bray.
Girl: Picks up a pencil and writes Edel Cosg…
Me: Don’t worry, everyone gets it wrong. That’s A-d-e-l-e C-o-s-g-r-o-v-e hyphen B-r-a-y.
Girl: Writes Adele Cosgrove’Bray.
Me: Oh, that’s an apostrophe. You need a hyphen.
Girl: Giggles, uses an eraser and writes Cosgrove,Bray.
Me: Smiling politely That’s a comma. You need a hyphen – like a little dash which joins up two words?
Girl: Oh, sorry! Giggles, uses the eraser again and writes Cosgrove/Bray
Me: Abandons hope.
Girl: Which stylist would you like to do your hair?
Me: I don’t know; I haven’t been here before. I don’t know their names.
Girl: Oh. Would you like an appointment card?
Me: Yes, please.
Later, when I was about to begin some research in the library’s reference department, I glanced at the card. Under “Presented by:” she had written her name in big round letters. Under “Appointment” it had 12.00. So she’d remembered to add her own name, but not the day of the appointment. (I knew it anyway, but that's hardly the point!)
Here’s hoping their hairdressing skills are an improvement on those of their receptionist!