Cleaned myself: 0
Monkey see, monkey do: now and again (see tyne 3)
Believe in God? dear me
It is a while since I made a diary entry, basis: I have a job. It seems only reasonable that in return for a stipend I should turn up and make an effort. It seems more reasonable still that I should recognise that it is a job, not a career, and that it is a miserable, shitty job to which I am not suited. It behoves me therefore to make something of it.
My three pronged strategy puts gratitude on tyne one, and personal development on two and three. They are in that proportion because the doing part of the job, old men without formal schooling excepted, can be knocked off by going-home time on Monday, provided that you spend most of the day having lunch and polishing any new cars that have arrived. My predecessor had owned a garage in his day but he had sold up his lot to Roger and for as long as anyone can remember had worked for him in an insignificant admin role which, over the course of the years he had worked up into a sort of pretend job. Either he was as thick as pig shit, or utterly anal about everything, because what he did do, did not fulfil the criteria for a job. It amounted to taking photographs of new cars, assembling a thumbnail layout of them for that week’s ad, placing said ad in the local papers on the same terms on which they’d worked for decades, and, if that wasn’t challenging enough, make sure that all customer enquiries were properly reported to Roger. Err, that’s it. I’ve seen photographs of him and he looks like one of those men you see on adverts from the old days painted on tin, waving an oily rag at passing tourists – all brylcreemed and correct, like he’s never had a shit in a public toilet. I imagine him to have retired to a Werther’s Original house.
Well, I do what was his job on Monday, then I slowly turn the emphasis towards my own interests. Tyne two and three have similar goals but are crucially distinguishable, in that I’ve labelled one of them short, and the other long-term, meaning that I have something urgent and time consuming to occupy me now, and I have another project coming over the horizon. In that way I can never be accused of being indolent – © brotherhood of lazy feckless bullshitters. The latter also provides me with lots of reasons not to be on the lot on any given day. As they are in turn ticked off, the rest of the week is devoted to writing the first chapter of my novel, and setting out a storyboard for a play I fancy writing.
OK I’ll tell you then. The short-term project is to up his advertising spend. We have tons of HNW individuals a short distance away yet only sell to locals. The demographics of new wealth tell us that you’ve got to reach out to vacuous millennial-late Gen X types. Like all the other groups that have gone before them, they think that they’re smarter than anyone else and that they’re the only ones that get sophisticated (sic) ironic humour. Most of them are suckers for what they don’t realise is made-up nostalgia too. And so, my idea: have Roger make a knowingly ‘naff’ advert that evokes the way such things were done yesteryear that can run in local cinemas throughout this region of near-London suburbs. The beauty of the project is that it has to be done on the cheap and so if it’s done well, I’ll have entirely made a cool advert all on me own. Then once it’s wrapped, oh yes, wrapped, I get to liaise with other people in the advertising business who place and organise adverts like this.
De der de der de der de der de de de …. De der de der de der de der derrr dah!
The longer term project is to organise an event. That is to take place in the summer, and it looks likely that it’ll be held at the rugby club in the closed season. We’ve got a few ideas kicking about at the moment, but the main point is that Roger will have his cars on display and we are to attract high rollers to the event. Maybe we’ll also have a Z-list celeb there for selfies (remember the Car Show at Earls Court?); and there’ll be trial drives, and a win-a-car-for-the-month competition – that sort of thing. That’s why Roger’s current preference for us to organise our own It’s a Knockout is a bad idea. The truth is, he hasn’t been himself since the government’s announcement this week about the end of fossil fuelled cars and he has taken to believing that the value of his stock will reduce to zero shortly. The greatest challenge in my job has thus become to persuade him that this isn’t so, and that there is nothing to be gained by selling up and bailing out now. I feel a print advertising campaign coming on, on the back of the summer jamboree, persuading the Millennial+ bracket, in an ironic way, that the world is not about to end; perhaps with a tongue in cheek slant about having passed the global warming tipping point already. We’ll see about that. Maybe I’ll have to devote Thursday afternoons to prong four for a while.