I was buying some fruit (fresh, of course) yesterday, and when I handed over the money, the man behind the counter looked at one of the coins I’d given him and then frowned.

“I can’t take this, mate”, he said, holding up a pound coin. “It’s dodgy.”

I decided against taking issue with the meaning of ‘dodgy’ (though I assume he meant it was only borderline in legal tender, not that the minute he put it into the till it would start trying to sell pirate DVDs to the other coins), and instead showed him my hand, which held the other coins I had.

“Well, it’s the only one I’ve got,” I replied (this was true, I hadn’t been to the cashpoint). “We’ll have to forget it.”

I put the fruit down on the counter, and held out my hand so he could return the money to me, and as he did so he gave me a look of absolute revulsion, as if I’d just threatened to snog the corpse of his grandmother or something. Which seemed a bit unfair given that he was the one who’d made the fuss about the coin.

Maybe he was assuming that – because I was wearing my work clothes – I was some kind of moneybags, loaded with hard currency. Maybe he liked the mischievous twinkle in my eye and was using the coin thing as an excuse to prolong our interaction, with the hope that I’d hand him another coin and our hands might brush and some kind of spark would pass between us, and I’d change the habits of a lifetime and shack up with a man.

But I didn’t, and they didn’t, and it didn’t, so I left the shop – quite quickly, as it had been a faintly irritating exchange.

And also because I didn’t want to see him start to shed tears onto the fruit I’d left behind, and bemoan the fact that he was going to die alone, all for want of a pound coin.

An important lesson about customer care there, I think.