xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Meet me in the Muddle

Friday, November 27, 2009

Meet me in the Muddle

When in the olden days, I worked for that shiny stuff called money, which you got given to you, if I recall, at the end of the month and you went whooppeeeee! Let’s go and spend it! Woo-hoooo!
......yes, in those days of yore, I was a high-powered business-woman working in the exhausting and high-powered world of media, in Big Fat London, as we all know it’s called.
Well, ok, I wasn’t really very high-powered at all; where I worked was rather like having a job in your school sixth-form; we were media sales people, selling advertising space in magazines. It was energetic, boisterous, and jolly, and we worked in teams. There were targets and competitions and Salesperson of the Month and weekends and days away; we were quite loyal to each other and our publications and there was a lot of going out and fraternising in the local pub. Maybe a little too much fraternising. The Husb was my boss! Poor man, he does hate it when I say that. “Makes me sound like I pressured you into it and exploited my position,” he mutters.
“Fnarr fnarr!” I say back. He didn’t at all.  Well maybe once!  Ha ha, pulling your leg.  Anyway, really that’s a whole nother story.
I laugh now when I look back at how decisions were made back then, in a ‘proper’ office environment, and how decisions are made now, in an, um, I suppose you might call it a decidedly un-proper (but not improper like The Husb's behaviour in the office, fnarr fnarr, only joking) home-based environment.
I mean, really, the palaver. If I was going on a business meeting it would be hours of preparation and presentations and props and prototypes followed by highly necessary meeja lunches and drinkypoos and follow-up documents and meetings in booked rooms with sandwiches and coffees for refreshment....

My meetings now are accompanied not by mini-Danish pastries and decaffeinated lattes, but rather a) ablutions b) small children hanging off trouser legs c) rain/sleet/cagoules. They take place in such lugubrious surroundings as a) the bathroom whilst The Husb and I dance around each other cleaning bits of ourselves in the morning b) the preschool carpark whilst hustling children into car seats or c) the school playground whilst wrestling with bookbags, packed lunch boxes, school letters, pushchairs, coats, jumpers and quite often a delicious class-cooked biscuit.
Given these rather challenging environments, my meetings are now short and to the point. All the uncomfortable bottom-shuffling and beating about of bushes, the going round of houses and generally avoiding asking outright for the deal, seem now to be faintly ridiculous. My meetings rarely have the luxury of being more than 3 minutes long and go something like this:
“Right – so if I get some fabrics over to you...Hetty you can’t sit on your lunchbox, get it out from under your bottom. Which I think epitomise OriginalStitch, you know...Hetty where’s the strap? Are you sitting on that now? So yes, you’ll work out a colour palette for me, yes?”
“Yes, great idea, we love to work from a visual. Darlin’, don’t splash in the puddles please, where’s your helmet gone, where did I put it...and how does £☺ per hour sound to you?”
“Fine yes, that’s your best rate isn’t it. Whoops, sorry Hetty, squashed you – yes, here’s a snack, no, I don’t want any thank you Sweetheart but thank you for offering. At that rate I can budget for 6 hours for the logo, labels, flyers and tags by ☺th November?”
“Oh she’s dropped her biscuit, well how about we say the ☺th+3days of November then I think we have a deal there, oh dear it’s under the wheel in a puddle.”
“Done. Never mind Hetty, I’ve got something delicious in my bag.”

Or like this:
“What have you done with the toothpaste? Why do you leave it up there where I can’t reach it? So anyway, Mr Website wants the business plan so he can oh that’s lovely colouring-in Isla, seriously can you pass me the toothpaste I’m standing here like a lemon with no clothes on waiting to clean my teeth, anyway, yes, so he can develop the website in line with our goals, you see...”
“Yes, I spoke to him, ooh blimey this stuff’s a bit refreshing isn’t it, what’s it got in it, here give my back a scrub will you, and he was talking about Google optimisation, we need to do some tag terms and thank you Hetty, yes, a flannel please, yes, no I’ve already shaved my face Isla I don’t need to do it again.”
“What do you think this is, a spa? Well lean over then and I’ll, pass the scrubby-stuff, gosh yes it's a bit tingly.  No no Hetty, just leave the lid alone please, don't dip your fingers in. So yes, I got the general gist of that, is it descriptive terms that are not too specific but not too broad either, there, that’ll do, your back will be raw otherwise, where’s the toothbrush gone now? Yes, and do we have pay Google for that or no, Isla, tights I think, it’s a bit chilly today. Well, you can help me with that can’t you? Can’t you? Are you listening?”
“Hm? Sorry, my head was under water, what did you say?”

And as for phone conversations, well. They are the biggest risk to the appearance of authority I might need sometimes to muster, so to be frank I steer very, very well clear of them. Especially when talking to people who don’t have children. They must recoil in horror at finding themselves involved so intimately in the rigours of my daughters’ lives. Let’s put it this way. I was once on the phone to a potential print supplier when I got caught short by an urgent daughter poo, and was trying to wipe her little bottom in a very echoey toilet, phone 'twixt shoulder and ear. This daughter in particular likes to furnish us with a daily report of her movements, in a loud 3-year-old's voice, which was thus winging its way down the phoneline to my poor conversationee. Said report goes something like this:
“I done a windypop, a big wee, a poo, another poo, another windypop and a small wee, Mummy, but I din’t do any more windypops after the small wee. The poo was a bit sloppy Mummy.”


Mairi said...

I have indeed experienced the phone conversation. It is quite the eye-opener!!!!

bunting said...

Oh, the joys of a scatalogical conversation with a loud voiced and precocious toddler!

Once upon a time, I did not discuss poos with other people, but now we have 2 children, an awful lot of time has been taken up with the stuff.

And a conversation to be had without the constant interruptions of family life is unheard of in this house!

LollyChops said...

Oh you have me rolling over here. 3 year-olds sound like so much fun!!!

white o'morn cottage said...

How I laughed at this post! You seem to have multitasking down pat girl. Good luck with the website. If you need links I have one and would love to link if you think it's suitable. My sister set up my two sites and I remember having all those conversations (minus the running commentary on someones "Doings"!)...Love Pam

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo enjoying reading your blog, it's all far too familiar :)

Liz of Wool Boutique said...

Ok, so i'm sat here cracking up at my desk. Hetty and Isla sound like awesome fun.

Liz x