I know I mustn’t take things so seriously. I know I have to take things less personally. I also know I can’t allow myself to respond before I’ve really thought about the consequences.

All these things I know. None of these things I do.

Those moments where given the chance we might act differently, say something else or turn the other cheek happen to me daily. I blame customer service. Whenever someone says “Can I help you?” I hear “You look like someone clearly incapable of doing anything”.

Take the other day, another run-of-the-mill Tuesday; I’d just stepped through my front door and there it was staring back at me. A pristine white envelope contrasting with the dirty brown doormat it had landed on.

It wasn’t so much the content of the letter that irked, it was the way it was addressed. “To: THE OCCUPIER” it shouted. Occupier! As if I’d somehow come to power in a bloody coup and subjected those previously enjoying a house of freedom to a horrible oppressed existence.

The letter was from my doctor’s surgery. It was suggesting it would be a good idea for me get a check-up. The letter was a little disconcerting and vaguely threatening, as if willing some impending health disaster upon me. It worked. I called the number straight away.

A woman answered. “Hello, can I take your name please?” Polite, if not a little too efficient for my liking. I replied swiftly and, after a burst of typing, she came back with: “What would you like to see the doctor about?”

This was a little bit too close to the bone. It could have been a flare up of that problem I’d had at university when, well, anyway, those details aren’t important.

“I’m having a new central heating system installed and wanted the doctor’s recommendation on a combi boiler.” Silence.

“That’s not something the doctor can help with” she said.

I riposted with: “Until you can directly solve my medical issues, I won’t be telling you what I’m seeing the doctor for.”

Battle won. Turned out to be a pyrrhic victory. According to the receptionist the doctor wasn’t available on any of the first 15 dates I requested.

Still it did give me the best part of two weeks to attain a healthy lifestyle. Off I trotted to the health store. I wanted seeds, bran, and dried fruit. So I reached the checkout and my basket runneth over.

The assistant started scanning the items.

“The total is £47.35. Would you like a bag?”

I looked at her, then down at the health snacks then back before finally, in exasperated fashion, replying “Well, I’m not going to carry them on my head!”

I’ve added that shop to the growing number at which I am no longer welcomed.