Recently, more and more of my friends have been extolling the virtues of the wholesaler Costco. With the idea that by joining I might save some of the precious salary I command as a graduate engineer, I phoned the store in Thurrock to enquire about membership eligibility.
The lady on the other end of the phone reeled off a long list of professions (eligible for membership). I told her that I was an engineer. Her reply came back: 'Only chartered and civil engineers are eligible.' I tried to point out that civil engineers can be chartered too, but that I wasn't - she simply stated that all I had to do was bring down my degree certificate and a utility bill and I was in.
The irony of the situation was that my husband, a mechanical engineer, who earns half as much again as I do and is about three grades up from me, was not allowed to join.
Kate White (G), KEWHITE@ctrl.co.uk