"C'est la vie", or some similar phrase, was probably in the mind of John Dobie, head of education in Edinburgh, during a recent sortie to Paris on a fact-finding mission.
Bad enough that Elizabeth Maginnis, the city's education convener, had already been accused of junketing by the Edinburgh Evening News but more humiliation was to follow during their visit to a Paris secondary school.
As with schools Europe wide, entrances are never clear to drivers. Maginnis and Dobie were duly dumped at the pupils' entrance when the welcoming party were waiting at the front door.
Jannies, currently in long-term dispute with Edinburgh, are obviously the same Europe wide. Monsieur le Janny knew precisely zilch about the high-powered visit.
"Passeport, s'il vous plait," he demanded, intent on protecting his domain. Edinburgh's senior official was in no position to argue. Still miffed, Monsieur More Than My Job's Worth clung tenaciously to the passport. It was released only after some stern words in exchange for a business card.