I’m due to start a new job next month and I’m over the moon.
I’m walking round London like this, smacking into tourists left, right & centre
I’ll be working for a magazine and – without sounding too much like a sweaty X Factor contestant who “gave it their all” and “made it their own” – it really is “a dream come true”.
Eee, pet! Ye gave it a-hundrad-an-fifty-parcent, pet!
So in honour of this upcoming move I thought it was time to regale you kids with another awkward incident from The Great Big Bumper Book of the Disastrous Life of Moi (Career Edition).
This tale takes us back to my first job out of uni.
The one where I grabbed life by the balls.
The one where I waved my bra in the air, like I just didn’t care.
I worked in the advertising industry – having landed there after some Gandhi-esque soul-searching – and was approaching the end of a six month graduate placement. We grads had been working for one month at a time in six different departments, and our final hurrah – before *hopefully* being promoted to proper Account Executives – was to present a pitch to the senior team in the firm.
I was giddy at the thought of having ‘executive’ in my title, but in actual fact it’s pretty much the lowest rung of the ad industry ladder. Always thought it was strange. Screwing Up The Excel Spreadsheet Assistant would have been a more apt job title (I apologise Jane, I know I was a menace).
We had a very special relationship, my manager and me
Anyhoo, this pitch was looming and I was obviously pretty nervous. This was our chance – in teams of four – to dazzle our superiors with everything we’d learnt over the past six months. My team had some solid ideas – something about potatoes – and we were ready to ROCK the HOUSE*.
*meeting room 3.1
We’d split the PowerPoint presentation up so that each of the four of us would get a chance to shine.
Before long the biggest moment of my career so far was upon me. At the front of the room, with the senior big shots lining one of those scary long tables you’d see on Suits, I regurgitated the lines I’d memorised.
I came to the slide which displayed our summer campaign plan; along the top ran the first letters of the months of the year, beginning with July:
J A S O N D
Looking from the screen behind me to the serious and expectant faces in front of me, I stalled. I’d never noticed it before.
It looked like a name.
And not just ANY name.
It looked like the name of the most senior person in the room.
One of the top dogs at our agency was called Jason D. I won’t reveal his surname but let’s call him Mr Doritos.
It wasn’t Jason Deruuuuuuuuulo in case you’re wondering
Don’t ask me why – FOR THE LOVE OF WORKPLACE SANITY don’t ask me why – but I completely panicked.
I felt exposed.
I felt like everybody was looking at the screen and thinking I wasn’t presenting a campaign plan at all, but just a man’s name. Jason D.
Jason D who was there to judge our pitch.
It’s at times like this that my brain just packs up its bags and goes off to find a reasonable Airbnb in Ibiza to camp out in.
So left to my own devices without a brain, Muggins over here just pointed directly at Mr Jason D and blurted out “We’re not having some kind of AFFAIR!”.
The poor – married – man looked completely horrified. Nothing makes people suspect an office affair more than you shouting in meeting room 3.1 that one ISN’T taking place.
I’ll tell you something for nothing: it’s very hard to remember your next line when a room of people are Wimbledon eye-bobbing back and forth between you and the man you just accused of NOT having an extra-marital affair with you.
Somehow our team passed. Somehow I was promoted from grad to Account Exec.
I guess it was like some kind of reverse casting couch.
I’m not sleeping with him! Please like these potato ideas and promote me! I’ll behave!