Friday, June 17, 2011

The Waiting Game

OK the editor just called me up to discuss my story for the week, my first major story in this magazine/newspaper. The ones I've done so far have been frivolous (an advertorial, a light-hearted look at the new kids on the corporate block).

But today, it was different. I was put on the weekly this week and by reading the papers every day and taking copious notes (mostly questions, because I've been out of it so long, I don't know nothing about nothing) I was able to come up with a story idea for the meeting. (Yes, PH, the meeting went well).

And I plugged away all this week, being such a pest that if I had been them, I would have switched off my phone and refused to answer. (OK one or two of them did do this, but all it meant was that I kept calling). At one point I nearly sent out a text to a contact saying:

"Sad. Nobody loves me. Nobody called me back or answered my questions."

But just as I was about to press "send" somebody called me back. And then someone called me on top of the first person calling me and got call waiting. And then a third person called. So, well, I suddenly felt very loved and aborted said message.

So anyway, my editor (who doesn't know me or my work and as such cannot be biased in my favour like my dear Anna who worked with me in BT can) said he hardly had to do anything to my story. "It was good. You write well." And he sort of looked surprised.

I felt this rush, you know, like the top of your head spinning when you read good poetry. Dial it back two weeks when I was busy getting daily migraines (while writing close-one-eye advertorials, for crying out loud) because of performance anxiety. The only good thing is that I recognised it for performance anxiety and was able to address it.

Mostly by having my weekends off and not thinking or talking about work and hanging out with Arnold and making red velvet cake (yeah OK there was a purpose for that last week) and walking aimlessly around Bangsar and sitting at the vet for hours and talking to other dog lovers who called my baby a handsome boy, and, and, get the picture.

Tomorrow, however, I have promised to help someone with something corporate. Also somebody else will be sending me "talking points" and I am supposed to write a speech. So if any of this goes through then I think I'll have less of a relaxing weekend.

And Monday is so far away (doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore, it would be so fine to see your face at my door, doesn't help to know that you're just time away...) OK I just found the song on my iPod and am listening to it. I love Carole King.

Maybe I can go home early after all. And take my doggie out. He needs a bath.

I am not drunk but I feel like drunk texting somebody. And saying "so far away" or maybe "one town's very like another when your head's down over your pieces, brother."

Anyone out there?



OK I thought I was done except for checking pages to see that everything was hunky dory but apparently I wasn't. The editor swung and saw me goofing around on Facebook and asked very politely if I had finished market. Which had me scrambling. Because I thought he had given market to someone else, seeing as I was busy trying to finish my story.

So I undid all the good work of my story by giving in what was probably the world's worst market round-up. Bad news, oh lookie here, more bad news, and even more bad news. In fact, a fricking Greek tragedy (and I'm not talking about the debt crisis here).

What is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he would weep for her?

Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing

And it was too late to call analysts so I decided to call my good friend Omar who, I had lately been chatting with about really important things like fat men and Abbotsbury and chocolate cake and twee tea places. And Omar, who has having a beer, came through. He sent me to look up comparative PE ratios (a little bit of a challenge as I'm spastic around the Bloomberg machine - CP? Really? Equity? Where? And what's the pneumonic for Maybank again? And what's the largest company on the index? It's been years...years since I've done market. And guess what? Even when I did it before, I never liked it. Never, never, never, never, never) He gave me a lot of funny quotes, sent me to look up Dr Doom's article about the Greek crisis, told me about this being down and that being down and in fact, everything being down - haha China..inflation up, IPO market soft (like a teddy bear) and cuddly too...

And so I managed to write....

the world's worst



My bad.

My fricking bad.

Oh boy.

I wish I could leave now and go out for a drink with Nitsy Poo.

But the copy editors have gone for their my copies are stuck somewhere in the process of being processed like candy floss or the rubber on your soles....or spiderman costumes.

You can see I'm losing it.

Losing, losing, losing...


Anonymous said...

"It's a drag, it's a bore. It's really such a pity to be looking a the board, not looking a the city..."

I do so love the intro on the extended mix of that song. Strange days indeed...

Congrats! We all knew you'd do well. Feel free to queue up another round Shah Rukh Kahn!


Anonymous said...

Corrections for a pre-coffee post:

"...looking at the board..."

"...looking at the city..."

"...another round of Shah..."

Sigh. Mea culpa.

Jenn said...

Hello young Perl. I'm still stuck in the office and it's half 10 and I'm starting to fade. All my irrational exuberance has seeped away and now there's one more story to oversee...and it's the longest one. I just want to sleep. Sweet harlot of the senses. Delilah of the mind.

I am so gonna bum tomorrow, you have no idea!

It took me a while to figure out the Shah Rukh Khan reference.

Jenn said...

FYI: I quoted Hamlet in my story and no one noticed. They let it through. But balked at William Ernest Henley. Apparently you can't say "bloodied" in a headline. Even if you follow it up with "unbowed".

Anonymous said...

Poor thing, I hope you get to sleep soon. I have certainly done my share of death marches for arbitrary deadlines, and it never seems worth it. Sigh.

Young Perl--ha! I will certainly take that compliment. Unless I'm mistaken, I'm one year your senior. More like, Old Tiger in the Snow:

Sleep, glorious sleep!

Good luck, I hope things get wrapped up soon!

Jenn said...

I do not for one minute believe you are older than me young 'un. And finally, finally I can go home. It's half 11 and the editor and chief sub have glanced over at the clock and said, today very early you can go home. It's still very early.

Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Easy enough to prove--I'll simply cut myself in half, and you can count the rings! :)

Jenn said...

There must be a less painful way of determining age.

You can be 35 then like that woman in The Importance of Being Earnest who was 35 ever since she was 40 and that was quite a few years ago.

35, as Lady Watzhername says, is a very good age to keep being.

Anonymous said...

I think I like your idea better!

About 10 years ago, I asked my maternal grandmother, who was 77, what age she felt like on the inside and she said she always thought of her persona as a woman in her late 20s or early 30s, and the question made her laugh. She said that at a certain point, mentally, you do kind of stop aging.

Anonymous said...

"You're the worst, you're the worst, you are the worst... Yes, you are the worst!"

I dunno, it still makes me want to dance around the room like a lunatic in a massive fit of tardive dyskinesia...

I'll bet your very worst still shines up to be at least bog standard, and more than adequate for the task at hand. And in a week, no one will remember it but you, so no permanent harm done. In fact, it may actually work to your advantage; if you write far better stories in other areas, they may notice the difference and assign market to someone else, allowing you to focus on writing the kinds of stories that emphasize your strengths as a writer. :-)

Jenn said...

Awwww....that's so sweet. Yes, I did think of that. But no chance. Nobody likes doing market. It's one of the fixtures that you take turns to do.