I had a great customer meeting today at IBM's Head Office in Portsmouth. I was helping the customer understand the IBM/Lotus strategy and why it made more sense than out competition. It was a open, sometimes funny and deeply rewarding meeting that reminded me why I love my job so much.
So I was feeling quite smug as I drove back along the M3 in my lovely BMW 320d listening to some fine music by the excellent Kasabian. A quick flick through the onboard computer informed me that I had about 60 miles to go and only 30 miles worth of fuel. "No Problem", I thought, sliding into the next service station and whacking the tank up to the brim with 55 litres of the finest unleaded.
2.1 miles out of the service station I was flying down the motorway at a serious speed (actual speed withheld due to it's police man baiting magnitude) when I felt a loss of power. Realizing there was something wrong I carefully proceeded to the inside lane. But still the power was going down. Eventually I was riding the hard shoulder at 10 miles per hour and still losing power when I had a gut wrenching memory. The d in 320d stands for Diesel and Unleaded is Petrol! I'd just filled my diesel car with petrol. Muppet!
Since it is a company car I rang the lease company and they said that since I was on the hard shoulder of a Motorway, which is dangerous, I was a priority so they would have a recovery truck with me in 25 minutes. So, two hours later the truck arrives. Hmmm - well I'm not going to complain, I've just filled my oil burner with petrol so I feel my moral high ground has been some what undermined.
I got home at 10:30PM when I expected to be back at 6pm and I still have a report to write for a customer tomorrow. Fortunately, I'm working from the IBM Barnes office tomorrow or I might have been seriously stuck. Because rather than the more conventional solution of draining the engine of Petrol and replacing it with Diesel, they just dumped me and the car back home. I think we both feel a bit broken :-(