During my time working for a company that was in Swindon, I was given the opportunity for overseas travel, visiting a number of countries including regular trips to Copenhagen. My three daughters and I had made an unspoken deal in the family that each time I went overseas I would bring a gift I could only get from that country. Some times it was special Danish cakes and other times wafer thin chocolate that I thought was only available in Denmark. Years later my eldest daughter found that exact type of chocolate had been available in a nearby supermarket! I tried!
About 6 years ago the Swindon office was closed and most of the employees were either made redundant or were moved to the offices in Hull or Slough. I thankfully managed to negotiate a ‘work from home’ contract which required me to go to the global head office in Slough for meetings only 2-3 times per week to start with. When friends and family asked me where I was working I would innocently reply the ‘Home Office’. Most cottoned on to the joke, but one of my sisters genuinely believed I meant the Home Office in Westminster! We played that joke for quite a while, until she eventually realised!
Being home based with the need to travel to Slough frequently, meant I was often driving to Slough during the rush hour and naturally got used to driving through those difficult conditions. Then when I had to go abroad, I used to leave my car in the relative safety of the head office car park, and catch a corporate chauffeur driven vehicle to Heathrow. This gave me lots of experience of the good, not so good and quite honestly, the painful times being chauffeur driven by other people. The seeds for creating my own executive travel company were being sown.
Whilst waiting for a meeting to start at the head office, I was sat in their reception area enjoying a coffee. Unfortunately, I was blissfully unaware that every time I reached forward to pick up my drink from the low coffee table, my tie was being dunked in my mug! I only realised something was wrong when the coffee had seeped through my shirt and trousers. Thankfully I was quite early for my meeting, so I rushed to the toilets and attempted to dry my clothes using the hand dryer, very much like the famous sketch by Mr Bean!