Monday, January 10, 2011

Good Intentions.

I’m on the phone, listening to the ‘ringing’ tone whilst I wait for the other person to answer. The person is a client; the director of a small advertising agency. I’ve not been able to get through on any of the landlines, so I’m trying her mobile.

She answers, and we exchange the usual pleasantries.

Me: Anyway, so it’s been nearly a year since I last spoke to you so just thought I’d check in.

I have what many may think an unappealing habit of completely dropping a person the moment they cease to be immediately useful to me and never making contact with them ever again. My past life is littered with abandoned friends and family members.

The friends – well, I’ve never had any problem making new ones, probably to the amazement of anyone who regularly reads this horrible blog, so big deal. And the family members – well, fuck'em, you know?

But I’m starting - with this phone call to a lady that I used to know quite well and speak to very regularly - to try and feel the spirit of the New Year and the good intentions that are supposed to come with it and that.

Old Client: Oh don’t you know? Of course you don’t. We had to liquidate the business six months ago!

Me: Oh.

O.C: Yeah yeah had to lay-off twenty-five people. Terrible. No fun, no fun at all.

I’ve been robbed of much of my motivation here, but persevere.

Me: What happened? I mean was it the usual thing with, you know ….

O.C: Oh nonono nothing like that. The accountant was stealing.

Me: Eh? Who? Lesley? [Her name wasn’t Lesley] She seemed really pleasant whenever I spoke to her. [To ask if she was ever going to pay me, as it happens]

O.C: I thought so too. She’s halfway-through a two-year prison sentence for fraud now.

Me: Right.

I’m really at a bit of a loss now. Old Client is making no effort to end this conversation, but I’ve nowhere to go. I could ask about her family but knowing her school-age son to have a crippling combination of autism and ADHD and also the trouble she’s had finding a suitable school for him – to the extent that she even tried to create a new one tailored for other children with her son’s special requirements – I don’t really want to go there. I’ve such a low level of natural empathy I could be fucking autistic myself.

Right then. Well. Ok. [Old Client is silent. She’s not making this easy on me] You’re alright yourself though?

O.C: It’s been quite a year to be honest. My sister died ….

Me: ………

O.C: ….and my daughter’s been diagnosed with cancer.

Me: ………

O.C: It’s in her brain.

Me: ……..

O.C: So, anyway I’m really not doing much in the way of press advertising these days…

Me: Well, God, no, well, of course…

O.C: I’ve a couple of small clients that I do occasional stuff for so I’ll be in touch, but it’s more a hobby now. Lot’s to do, you know? Good to hear from you again though.

Me: Ah. You too. Er….

O.C: [With remarkable cheeriness] Alright then babes, later yeah? Be good!

I hang up. She always ended a conversation ‘Be good!’ It suggested a mutual naughtiness that rather amused me.

I take the imaginary ‘My Name Is Earl’ – style list of my new good intentions and tear it up. And stamp on it. Then set it alight. Before pissing on it, and then burying it in a field of bastards.


Blogger Z said...

Made you feel better about your life though, yes babes? Me too.

8:56 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

'Spose. I'm a very insular man really.

9:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year. Innit x

Ann Anon

11:35 pm  
Blogger Author, author! said...


1:34 am  
Anonymous looby said...

What's the usual thing with you know?

2:36 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

You could have offered her Favourite Daughter as a bride-to-be for her son. Or as a replacement for her daughter. What a demonstration of good intentions that would have been!

*Hopes she hasn't gone too far.*

7:54 pm  
Blogger punxxi said...

Hmm, i suppose you think you are insular. i am . one day i was fooling around on the internet( what a surprise!) and looked up the social security death and noticed that my mum had died like 8 years prior. some day i will get a copy of her certificate and find out the cause or not.
Happy New Year,TD, u da man!

9:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy crap. There's a lesson for you, fuck that shit right there. Don't be anyone but yourself.

5:02 am  
Anonymous Johnners said...

Aww, poor you, and poor her too, how crappy. Not very profound, I know...

8:03 pm  
Blogger Alison Cross said...

Makes me realise how insignificant my own shit is compared to this lady's.

What a grim time.

But excrutiatingly entertaining post!


3:22 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Ann: Thanks.

Loob: 'Current economic climate' blah blah

Ellie: Nah, you're fine.

Punx: Ok, you win. Another SUPERB story.

Anon: Definately.

Johners: Yeah, well.

Ali: Thanks.

4:40 pm  

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