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.
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.