The Moral of the story

Until I retired I was involved in the Import/Export business (before you ask, no, not a drug runner or people trafficker) and had regular contacts with HM Revenue and Customs. These people tend to be a humourless bunch while I have what has variously been described as a wicked/sick/evil sense of humour.

On one occasion I had a requirement to export 300 ink cartridges for photocopy machines which I packed up in the normal manner and did my usual copy/paste of the description from the order to the supplier to the shipping documents. I used copy/paste as this avoids any corruption of the description which can cause complications.

Unfortunately, what I didn’t notice was that the order (placed by the buying office, not my shipping people) merely described the goods as “Cartridges” rather than the more accurate description of “Ink Cartridges”.

Off goes the shipment and next day I get a phone call from the aforementioned HM Revenue and Customs. One of their officers wanted to know what sort of cartridges I was shipping.

At this point my twisted (yes it’s been called that too) sense of humour kicked in and I told them “7.62mm, what’s the problem?” 

That’s when the problems started because, you see, HM Revenue and Customs, not being famed for their sense of humour immediately put a block on my shipment and it took me nearly 2 weeks to sort out the matter and get the consignment on its way.

So, to the moral. Never attempt to joke with HM Revenue and Customs.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Senior Chatters

Related Articles


  1. I went to sea with my ex husband. We went to many places in the world, and I can attest that wherever you go… customs officers are not peole you like with!!lol

  2. Too funny.. some people just don’t have a sense of humor.. I once was sitting at lunch table with thank goodness friends.. was loud and I don’t hear good which all knew.. well at my end they were telling a joke cause they were laughing. Sooo when my friend talked to me I started laughing to fit in.. then she looked at me and said you didn’t hear me did you.. I said well no why.. someone in her family just died and I laughed.. ohhh I felt so bad. But we still friends lol but I learned not to respond unless I know lol

  3. haha that’s brilliant, none of those customs people have a sense of humour, it must be part of the job description to be a miserable ***t… the ones at the airport are the worst kind of human on planet earth, they’re not too gentle with the rubber glove either so i hear lol

  4. I can feel for you way. I was involved for many years exporting from New Zealand throughout the South Pacific region and recall a client in Fiji who entered an insurance claim for goods that had not arrived. Imagine then, that I was due to visit Fiji and made an unexpected visit on the client who repeated that he was waiting for his claim to be dealt with – Imagine his face when I pointed out that in his window were the goods that had supposedly gone astray!

  5. Be careful where and when you use your sense of humour.. Its not always appreciated by the negative people of this world. Laughter helps one to lighten the day.

  6. Waylander,
    I have not shipped much but I have traveled and in recent years, the border people entering and exiting Canada were so horrible that I have not planned another trip out of the country. I have visited Canada several times and just the last trip was horrible. We already knew not to joke with them so that was not the problem. I kept wondering if a lot of US citizens are crossing into Canada to get government health coverage. For some reason, they don’t seem to like us citizens or senior citizens or maybe it is the same for everybody.

Chat Rooms

Request Friendships from Our Latest Chatters
Add a photo to your profile to be shown in our latest Chattters gallery

Latest Chatters

Click the X to close your Dashboard.  To relaunch navigate away from the page you’re on before clicking the link again