Is this a typical non-working day in England? On days like today I fantasise about lining everyone up against the wall and... oh, what's the use. Let me just get it off my chest.
9am - Meeting scheduled with my architect and a supplier of lighting equipment with whom I am spending £5,000.
9.20am - Architect calls to say he'll be 15 minutes late.
9.45am - Architect is still not here and neither is the supp-lier. I call the supplier and am told, without an apology, that he has flu.
10am - Architect arrives one hour late, when the meeting has already been cancelled.
10.15am - I telephone a builder to finalise details of a renovation job starting on Monday week. An answering machine tells me he will be away for a fortnight.
10.20am - I telephone my car dealer to say that an estimate for some body work, which was promised seven days ago, still hasn't arrived. But the dealer is on a call and doesn't ring me back.
10.30am - While thinking of cars, I remember that my mobile telephone dealer hasn't replied to a letter written two months ago. I call the firm and they have no record of my letter.
10.45am - My insurance broker conducted my annual business review three months ago. I call to chase it up and he tells me he's been very busy. (So?)
11am - Six weeks ago, I wrote to a dairy to propose a joint promotion. I've already chased them four times, but I try again. No luck, the boss is not in (or so I'm told).
12 noon - An appointment with a candidate for a new executive head chef's position. Final and fourth interview today when he will cook some sample dishes. No show, no call, no explanation.
12.25pm - BBC TV news call. They want a short-notice interview about my reaction to a recent Which? report on the mark-up of wines in restaurants.
12.45pm - The BBC shows up (hallelujah!). I panic because I realise that I am ignorant of one fact the presenters may quiz me on.
I call my wine supplier, but he is on a call. I explain the urgency and beg for him to be interrupted for just 20 seconds. The BBC crew is hassling me as they need footage for the 6 o'clock show.
Still on hold five minutes later, I hang up and decide to improvise my answer. I make a note to reassess the £500,000 I spend with the wine supplier.
1.30pm - Call to a glassware specialist to discuss new business. He is on the telephone but "could I call back?" Me, the customer, call back? Get real, pal. (Two days later, he calls me...).
2.15pm - I suddenly remember that I never got my "check" copy of a press release (that's the one where the client's details are on the mailing list which proves that it has been sent).
I call and am told "sorry, there must have been a mistake." What's the point, then?
3pm - I telephone my electrical contractor to check on an emergency lighting certificate that the council is chasing me for, and which should have been ready last week. Excuse proffered: secretary was off ill last week.
You can rely on bills
3.30pm - A bill arrives for £650 for replacement fire extinguishers, ostensibly needed (or so my manager was told) because of new regulations. I call the fire officer who says they won't be necessary for at least three years.
3.55pm - I get a call to cancel my 4 o'clock interview with Jazz FM radio. At this point I'm grateful for small mercies. At least they called.
4.15pm - Second post brings a letter from the newly named "user-friendly" Contributions Agency (formerly the DHSS). It starts: "Thank you for your recent enquiry". I wrote to them five months ago.
On days like today, I despair for the long-term future of this country. True, today was extreme, but every day is made up of many smaller examples.
Please someone, cheer me up and let me know it's not all that bad.