Friday, 27 April 2007

Repeat mantra: I love my clients. I love my clients. I love my clients. I love my clients!!

Thank FUCK it’s finally Friday. My God it’s been a busy week. I seem to have a ton of business that’s converting at the same time and it didn’t help my workload any when Mr. Bossman came over yesterday to ask me to work on a new business pitch. In response I reeled off the 5 clients I am already working on, without any junior support, and my bottomless list of to dos - drowning not waving - hoping he'd agree I'm too busy and tell me he'd ask someone else. Ha, I should cocoa. His response? "Oh but I'm sure you could manage a few hours this week couldn't you?"

A few hours this week? It was already chuffing Thursday!!!! So that's a few hours I’m supposed to add to the 12hour days I'm already working then? Was I naive to hope he would be reasonable and realise that my having 6 clients without any support serves no-one well? Pshhhhh I’m starting to reconsider the offers I've received from other agencies.

Not only has work been completely bonkers, but I've generally had a lack of sofa time this week. Monday evening I was being a good friend to Francesca, under suspicion of leaking information about a pitch to the current incumbent agency purely on the basis of her friendship with a woman at the incumbent. The client was not happy that news had got back to the incumbent and dropped Francesca's agency from the pitch. Incumbent woman claimed someone 'senior' at Francesca's agency was responsible for the leak, but refused to say who, which led to Francesca's boss telling her that 'all fingers pointed to her' based on her friendship with incumbent woman and the seniority of her position. Francesca, of course, strenuously denies any wrong doing. I was worried she might be fired when she called to tell me the news on Monday, but she said her boss had told her there was never any question of F being let go, although as she said, it's hardly likely she'll be promoted her now if they don't trust her. Drama!!!

Fortunately things have calmed down since Monday and Francesca’s been told the agency will 'stand by her,' but that’s hardly a comfort since they clearly don't believe she didn't do it. Understandably she’s not at all happy, but planning to stick things out for the time being as if she resigns she'll owe them the legal fees for her greencard - approx $11,000!! Urgle!!

Hopes for a relaxing evening at home on Tuesday following Pilates, were dashed when around 10pm my neighbor, Semi, my “Turkish mother” - 'hello my daughter I loorrrve yoooo' is how she always greets me - rang my doorbell in tears after a big fight with the twenty-something woman she rents a room to, Semi is in her 60s, and rents out the room to help with the rent.

Roomie is an Israeli girl in New York on a work placement and, according to Semi, is very aggressive towards her, continually complains that the apartment smells of cooking (err hello, you live about a restaurant), is supposedly less than fastidious about her own hygiene – her room smells like a homeless person is living in it is how Semi described it, is generally untidy, never does any cleaning and leaves her leftover takeout on the kitchen counter, inches from the bin, for days unless Semi moves it. How smashing of her.

However the real dealbreaker is the windows and the way she insists on leaving the kitchen and bathroom windows wide open - often all night. Semi will close them, Roomie opens them, Semi closes, Roomie opens, and so it goes on, really upsetting Semi who’s worried about someone coming into the apartment, an idea Roomie scoffs at given the apartment is on the 5th floor. Clearly a woman who didn't live here during the brief reign of the 'Spiderman rapist' - seriously the man scaled walls as high as the 5th floor, and not via the fire escape. I heard he was a delivery man which is how he knew there was a female living alone - not to mention the opportunists who come down the fire escape from the roof.

Have to say I am siding with Semi on this one, and yes, I may be biased because she gives me huge hugs each time she sees me and plies me with Turkish milk pudding (Yum!!), but it sounds as if Roomie is being more than a touch disrespectful don't you think? Semi was so upset on Tuesday she asked me to come up to her apartment and keep her company for a while. I don't think she wanted to be with the Roomie alone after the argument.

I went up and Roomie was firmly locked away in her room, although I saw the evidence of her untidiness including a bloody paper towel rolled up, tube-like and about 3inches long. Seriously it looked as if the woman had left a dismembered finger wrapped in a napkin on the counter; I was in two minds whether to call the police, although admittedly I'd just watched an episode of Law & Order where kidnappers sliced off a guy's ear and posted it to the police, so my imagination could have been running slightly rampant.

Hopefully Roomie will get her marching orders sooner rather than later. It’s not worth the stress of living with someone you don’t get along with and dreading coming home.

Wednesday was another late one, self inflicted this time, so have no sympathy. I worked until 7pm, and then went to dance class for a couple of hours followed by a jaunt to Room 4 Dessert with Megan and Jacqui. A place I've wanted to try for a while since so many critics have heaped praise on the place and chef/owner Will Goldfarb's dessert genius.

Oh, I so wanted to love it, but I am disappointed to say it was just okay. Definitely an interesting place to try, but I would not go back nor recommend to visitors, since I only liked about 50% of what I tasted – we shared the 3 plates we ordered, each with 4 sample portions of different desserts along a theme - apples, India, chocolate, you get the picture - and if I’m honest, ‘liked’ is probably too glowing a term. I just didn’t get all the powdery bits, such as the dried coconut milk powder, and the basil brioche just needs to go, so greasy.

I suppose I just don’t have much of an appreciation on the finer points of molecular gastromy, foamy things, xantam gum and what not, to have enjoyed it, and I was REALLY unimpressed that the woman preparing and plating the desserts kept touching her hair and licking her fingers. Ugh, completely revolting!!! Megan was thoroughly appalled, she's been in culinary school a few months - training to be a pastry chef and expanding my muffin top by bringing the fruits of her morning labors into the agency every afternoon where she’s working part-time - said she'd only unconsciously made that mistake once and was severely rebuked by the chef.

I got home around 11.30pm, so not *too* late for a school night, but my brain was whirling with work thoughts - or maybe it was all the sugar coursing through my veins - so it took a couple of hours for me to relax and it was after 1am by the time I got to sleep. Not great since I'd set the alarm for 6am to get into the office early and get a head start on work.

I had a voicemail waiting for me when I got into the office, from the head account guy on one of my clients asking me to call him about my experiences working with one of our clients. Head Account Guy rarely calls me so I was intrigued to find out the reason for his call. I later learned the aforementioned client had blown a gasket and gone off on a 10minute phone rant to our fabulous AAE for what he perceived as the agency’s ‘incompetence’ - some nonsense or other about it taking 5days to traffic a particular set of banner ads - and how ours is the "worst fucking agency" he's ever worked with. Charming, not to mention ohhhh so professional!!

I was stunned to hear he went a bit Alec Baldwin on our AAE as I've never had a problem with him and he's always been fairly good natured and generally like working with him even though he can be demanding. He's one of those clients that expects the agency to jump everytime he clicks his fingers, and doesn't recognise that many of us work on multiple accounts and that we do our very best, but requests take time. I get so tired of working my arse off only for them to turn around and say it’s not good enough, that I should have done more. This particular client pays for 25% of my time, technically 10.5hours a week, but in reality I end up spending more like 25hours a week on the account since I work wayyyy more than the 8hour day the rate is calculated on.

Naturally we are not going to stand for this sort of treatment of our amazingly hard working and lovely AAE by the little nasty little pinhead so the issue has been elevated to his superiors.

Making Thursday even more of a thrill was the ton of kids running amok in the building for "Take Your Children To Work Day," such a great contraceptive. Well, okay...there were some cute ones, but there were some precocious little darlings too. I walked past one group and overheard a girl of about eight say to the employee volunteer looking after the group "Do you KNOW who my father is?" Ahh yes, the Big Cheese's daughter.

I was positive after my early start on Thursday that I'd get to leave by 6pm and finally have my night on the sofa, eating the last of my Walnut Whips and catching up on everything that's piled up on the DVR. Unfortunately work intervened and I didn't leave until 9pm. And what was I working so hard on? Oh I'm so glad you asked. Well, I was working hard to complete our weekly status report which we present in a conference call to one of our clients - a colleague of Pinhead - every Friday at 10am, and guess what...she didn't chuffing turn up. No phone call or email to say she would be late, or that the meeting would be cancelled, she just didn't turn up. Does she think we have nothing better to do than hang around listening to the lovely supermarket style hold music? This is the 3rd or 4th time she has done this. I could've gone home at a reasonable time yesterday and worked on completely the report today had I known. Pardon my French, but what a cheeky bitch!!!!

I love my clients. I love my clients. I love my clients. I love my clients.

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