I have a list of strange places I’ve been.

It’s not so much about unusual locations, as unusual buildings.

The first entry on my list involved a trip to the LSE university library when I was an articled clerk.  I’d been sent in by my principal, and at the reception desk I was directed down a long corridor.  At the end, I found a sign pointing me to the left.  At the end of that corridor there was a sign pointing me around a corner and so it went on.  On several occasions the signs stopped but I always managed to find someone who would help.

Eventually I came to a large door with the word Library above it.  I opened the door, and found myself back out on the street, and started looking around for the camera, convinced I was the victim of some cruel freshers week style joke.  The attendance note I typed up for the office afterwards (in the days when we still used typewriters!) made my principal laugh so much that he overlooked the fact that I’d come back to the office without the research I’d been sent off to do.

Yesterday I added a new building to my list.  I went to a meeting in Rickmansworth, which has plenty of car parks, but mostly with a 2 hour limit. I managed to find one where you could park all day, and duly drove around, and around and around.  The instructions on how to drive in and out, up and down were superb and eventually I found myself a space but by now I had lost track of where I was in the building.  Was I on a high or low floor.  I made my way over to the lifts, which told me I was on a car park floor, and I could go to other car park floors, or I could go to Waitrose.  However nowhere could I see how to exit on foot.

I decided that there must be an exit in the supermarket, so I went up to that floor.  Unfortunately the way out took me only into another floor of the car park.  Apparently you only enter and exit Waitrose by car which is possibly an indication of their target audience. After walking around for about another ten minutes, I eventually came across a fire exit.  I must have stood there for what seemed like ages trying to decide if it looked like it was alarmed.  I certainly was!  In the end I reached the conclusion that setting off an alarm might not be the worst thing I’d ever done.  At least that way someone might come to my rescue.

What’s more, I was starting to run late to get to my meeting, and I didn’t have time to be choosy about my options.  I pushed the door, and made it safely out into the daylight.  I can’t tell you if I did set off an alarm as I didn’t wait around to find out.

We all need an exit strategy, whether that’s how to get out of a building, or a relationship, or a business.  Sometimes it’s better to consider what your options are at the outset rather than towards the end when time might not be on your side.  If you are embarking on an arrangement with someone else, whether that’s a business, or a building development or a romantic relationship, there is a wealth of advice I can give you on how to have the maximum protection.

If you want to know how to get out of the all day car park in Rickmansworth I’m the expert. On the other hand if any of you know how to get back in, please let me know as if I don’t go and get my car soon they’ll clamp it.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Good with ins and outs as well as ups and downs!