Friday, October 01, 2010

Borrow your layout ?

A gentleman from the paying public side of the barrier at a railway exhibition told me this recently.

He had received an enquiry about taking his layout to a show. The event was being held at a prep school in the Cotswolds and apparently takes place every year. On the 'phone to the organiser, he was being instructed when and how he was to arrive:

But we haven't even agreed terms yet.

Terms  ?

Yes, how much I'll be charging as expenses.

Expenses ? We have to pay you to come ?

No, not pay me. But I have to hire a van to transport the model. Then there is petrol for the van. You don't actually pay me but I expect the expenses of bringing the model over to be covered like any other show. After all it will cost me money to bring the layout.

Oh. We weren't expecting that. We are a charity you know.

Fair enough. I don't expect to make any money doing this, it's my hobby. It is normal for the exhibition organsier to cover my out-of pocket expenses though.

Oh, err, I'll have to talk to the comittee and get back to you.

Anyway, a few days past and there was another call.

We've managed to sort out the payment problem

So you are happy to pay the expenses

Well, no. What we are going to do is come to your house on the Friday. You can show us how to use the railway and then we will transport it to the school in the minibus and bring it back to you after the show. That way we don't have to spend anything.

Needless to say, the reaction to this was not exactly positive !

"I wonder how many bits I would have got it back in ?" was the gentleman's question as he told us this story.


CF said...

I've bumped into this charity/expenses thing quite a bit over the years. My response is 'would you expect a plumber to come out without a call out charge? No? Well then think again.

Phil Parker said...

Yes - I've had a few shows that keep reminding me that they are raising money for charity. My response is "Fine, I would have happily have donated the price of my petrol to get here and had the weekend off, but if we all do that then you wouldn't have had much of a show.".
My attitude is that I'm donating my time for free, everything else you reimburse me for. Mind you I've never had a request for the layout to attend without me !

Anonymous said...

Could I borrow your layout for the weekend? I've got the grandkids coming over for the weekend and I would like them to have some hands-on experience of playing trains. Its o.k. because their ASBO's expire on Friday night and their 'attention deficit disorder' is under control with drugs, so there won't be a problem in them coming over. So, if you could just drop it over on Saturday morning and collect it again on Sunday night I would be obliged. By the way, if it's raining on Sunday night, I'll have to go out to sort out my elderly mum's leaking roof, so I'll leave your layout in the front garden. Hope this all meets with your approval. Terry