Towards the end of a year (normally in that weird no man's land between Christmas and NYE) most of us get impatient for the new year to start. Much as I detest New Year's Eve (and when I tell people this, they ALWAYS confess "I hate it too!" so I don't know who is still pushing for the compulsory party activities), I do think that having an official end to one year and fresh new start is beneficial for all of us. But let’s just review some of my greatest achievements of 2011:
Blanking a Popstar
When a colourfully dressed girl came into the office I was temping at, I politely enquired her name. She answered “Paloma Faith,” very distinctly. Oh well, she did look like every other self consciously kooky girl in London.
|Come on, Paloma - EVERYBODY looks like this. (Although not|
everybody looks like a strangely evil marionette doll in real life)
Making a Strong Impression
So, I was on the tube with a director I’d just been working with. As I stood up to say my goodbyes (“Well, it was lovely working with you, do call me next time....”) I then started doing that apologetic, delicate pushing to get past the throngs of fellow passengers by the door. Making slow progress, I started to panic that the doors would shut, and got a little more forceful in my gentle shoving. As I looked back, I saw one girl theatrically flailing backwards like the victim of a cyclone. This may well have given my boss a lasting impression of me violently bulldozing my way out of a tube train, but he did call me again, so maybe he liked my go-getting attitude.
Best Faux Pas Ever
I was chatting to the boss of a company I was temping at (good grief, there is a theme emerging here... maybe the real reason I'm self-employed isn't because I'm a freedom-loving Sagittarian, it's because it's the only way I can escape the embarrassment of generally making a fool of myself everywhere I go). He asked me if I’d been to uni: “No, I just went straight into working.” He exclaimed “Good for you! Some people, they go and do a media degree and by the time they come to us, they’re too old, really, to start as runners.” What, at 21? It makes you wonder what indignities 16 years old will put up with, doesn’t it?
Without engaging my brain, I told him I felt sorry for all the young people trying to break into the TV industry these days, because “Most of the time the jobs go to somebody’s nephew, don’t they?” He went a bit quiet at this, and later the runner mentioned her relief that one of her friends was coming in to help out, as “normally the runners are useless, because they’re the boss’s friends’ kids.”
Oops! Actually I think it’s hilarious that I was honest with the big boss, especially as he must have wondered if I knew about his usual MO and was making a subtle dig at him...
This may be a family trait as my mother told me she once got the sack when she (genuinely) innocently remarked “Have you ever noticed, people who drive yellow Cortinas are always really aggressive?” To the owner of – you guessed it – a yellow Cortina.
And Some From My Friends
My friend Jasmine had to undertake a gruelling test of her swimming abilities in order to qualify for a marine observation job on a boat. Part of the test would involve being strapped into a helicopter simulator and submerged in water (the test being whether you could find your way out. No, I don’t know what happens to people who fail the test). She thought she had better get really comfortable being underwater, so she went to her local pool and practised, in her words, “dunking” herself. My image of this involving a bullying imaginary friend may not be too far from the mark, because apparently the lifeguards became quite concerned...
Jasmine (who is actually more like a sitcom character than I had previously realised) also tried to climb over her 6 ft back gate to avoid her uncle and aunt’s surprise visit. She didn’t make it... ouch.
And as a last highlight of my year, I present a video I LOVE. I especially like the sounds he makes as he transitions from barking to miaowing. It’s like a real life version of Tom and Jerry!
This link http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1557-cat-barks-like-dog-video-explained.html has an “animal expert” explaining that “turning its head reduces the energy going out through its airway, so the bark turns into a meow." Hmmm, I’m not convinced on this – I think we constantly underestimate the capabilities of animals....
Assuming we are not taken over by furry overlords in 2012 (they WILL evolve with opposable thumbs sooner or later, I'm sure) here's to a very happy new year to you all!