Colin finds Honesty is the Best Policy!


This is a story about how Colin Mallery started out as a the 60s.

“I was working for Ruffler and Walker at their Factory in Battersea  when  I was called into the General managers office,

This was unusual as normally we were just told to load the vans and go and deliver. But this day, Len Cullum said, “I need you to take some machines up to Widnes and Liverpool. You have 10 Keeney Blue Spots to deliver to a customer in Widnes and you have to pick up another 10 from him that he is sending back. He is not happy at all. Make sure you pick up the cheque from him but don’t expect a friendly reception. Then I will need you to deliver to some other addresses in the area, including Easyserve in Liverpool.

So I drove up to Widnes and looked for the address I had been given. I was somewhat surprised to find it was a chicken farm with a bungalow in the middle of the countryside. When I hopped down from the van the door to the bungalow opened and a vicious alsation shot out and started going for I leapt back into the cab  it was still trying to get at me.

A man came out who shall remain nameless ( as I have forgotten it ) and looked me over. “Are you from Ruffler and Walker?” he asked. It turned out that the working men’s clubs he supplied in the area had not wanted the machines he had bought from us. He was not a happy man. He didn’t offer to help me unload the Keeney Blue Spots or load up the other machines. When I was ready to leave I plucked up the courage to ask him for the cheque. Our parting was frosty to say the least.

I had a much better reception From Bill Magee and Leo McCormack at Easyservice in, which was a growing  company. As I was unloading their machines, Bill saw the machines I had recently picked up in Widnes. “What are those?” he asked. “I have got to take those back to HQ,” I replied. “I could do with those machines,” he added. “How much do you want for them?”

I explained that I was taking them back for the customer from Widnes and he asked me to call the man up and tell him they were interested in them, passed the phone to Leo & Bill and a deal was soon done. The man from Widnes was very happy – he told me to go back with the original cheque and he would give me a new cheque for the balance.

So, I made my way back to Widnes with an empty van. This time, the operator didn’t set his dog on me. Far from it. He invited me into his lovely bungalow and gave me a snack, while he prepared a new cheque. And in addition to the cheque he passed me a white envelope. “That’s for you,” he said.

I drove away and stopped to open the envelope as soon as I could. You can imagine how I felt when I found £300 in crisp white fivers inside!  ( remember this was in the 60s ) But now I had a new dilemma. What would I say when I got back to the office? And how would my manager react?

I decided thankfully that honesty was the best policy. So I explained what had happened and luckily my boss was thrilled with the result, especially as they really hadn’t wanted those ten machines back at all. I was well on my way to joining the sales department.

I hadn’t been completely honest though. I didn’t mention the white envelope and the £300. Good job too, because when I got my pay packet at the end of the week I had an extra £10 inside.

Years later, I did come clean to Bill Ruffler & Fred Walker and we had a good laugh about it.



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