24 January 2013

Vintage Business who?

Today was a weird one. No talking for an hour then trying to squeeze twelve minutes out of a five minute break. No news quiz or submission sheets. No spelling tests or press releases.  

Even, brace yourself, not a single nanosecond of shorthand with Richard.

Instead we were given one instruction: get on the phone. Ring someone, and then when you’ve finished talking to them, ring someone else. And if they can’t give you the answers you need, you find someone who will. By ringing them, obviously.

I mean, being on the telephone doesn’t really bother me. I’m not one of the socially inept who can’t ring a taxi for a night out or book a table in a restaurant (I have friends who would rather shave off an eyebrow than do either of those).

It’s just, I can’t remember the last time I called from a landline - a cordless landline.

Mind, it is still a bit nerve-wracking at first. When the computer room (very 90s middle class I know but work with me here) is in complete silence, trying to start a conversation with someone you’ve never met before, and can’t even see, is like going to the toilet in public. When you're not exactly in your best underwear. You know, the ones with the holes and the threads and the early 2000s cartoon characters. 

However, somewhere in between hearing Becky tell someone they sounded “like a right goer”, and Katarina having to repeat her name for the ninth time, you kind of get over it.

That’s not to say it doesn’t stop getting interesting.  

You learn there are some right, to steal Roberta’s phrase as I can’t remember what the style guide policy on swearing is, wotsits out there.

No, woman with your pokey little shop in the middle of nowhere, I can’t send you specific information about our distribution figures. Yes, I understand you might not think it’s a good idea to give away some of your incredible best-kept-secrets on how you manage to make enough money to keep your 5ft square epitome of a vintage business thriving to the point you get a mention in the local paper. That still doesn't mean I don't think you're being unreasonable.

And of course I’ve already looked at your website for more information. No, I haven’t just glanced at it. Although, even if I had just glanced at it the 15 grammatical errors on the home page would still have hit me slap-bang in the kisser harder than Alan the Tatler dog collided with that revolving door.

Anyway. In other news, we’ve discovered Tom is a bit of an artist. Specifically portraits.

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