Friday, August 18, 2006

Not Our Natural Habitat, You See

The thing with writers is that we're terribly articulate and that with the typey-typey keyboard, but stick us on the phone and we miraculously transform into monosyllabic imbeciles.

Today I was meant to have a briefing call with my client's in-house writer about an article they want me to write. The call went something like this:

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello, Patroclus speaking.

Other Writer: Oh. Ah. Hello. How are you?

Me: Fine, thank you. How are you?

Other Writer: Very well, thanks. Bit cloudy here.

Me: Oh. It's sunny here.

[Long pause]

Me: So, er, you wanted to brief me about something?

Other Writer: Oh. Ah. Yes. about I just send you some stuff? I could send you an article I wrote, and you could write something like it. Only there are lots of different versions of it. Um. Because I cut it into different lengths for different places. It's all the same though.

Me: Alright, well just send me the longest one.

Other Writer (brightening up): Oh yes, great. If I send you the longest one, that's got the bit about Jiminy Cricket in it. [Sighs] He was the first to go when it got cut.

[Long pause]

Other Writer: Are you still there?

Me: Oh, yes, sorry. I was just thinking.

Other Writer: Right. So I'll email you that article then.

Me: Great! Bye then!


realdoc said...

Trying very hard to imagine what sort of article you are going to write which may or may not feature Jiminy Cricket....failing.

Dave again said...


Tim Footman said...

I misread that the first time, and thought you were going to write about Jimmy Cricket, the Irish comedian with his wellies and that catchphrase I can't quite remember.

But now I read it again, it makes much more sense.

Arabella said...

Not as funny though Tim! Hilarious.

Wyndham said...

My whole life is like that. With relations and everything. But without the animated insect character with the topper and the umbrella.

First Nations said...

completely off topic (i despised jiminiy cricket and wanted him to sit on that stupid umprella the sentitious little insect bastard)
ahem. anyway.
is your paper on blogging posted anywhere I can read it? because i want to read it.
yes i do.

Aimee said...

I second first nations request..if you feel great demand is needed before you reveal the whereabouts of this piece. I'm really quite interested to read it.

patroclus said...

Ah yes, it's very possible that that conversation is amusing to no one but me. And it might as well have been Jimmy Cricket, for I have no idea who either of them is, nor why either of them would be relevant to compliance software.

FN and Aimee: I'm toying with the idea of posting the dissertation, but I'm a terrible coward. Also it isn't as interesting as I've made it out to be, although Billy's 'six degrees of blog separation' game does feature in it. Of course Billy's been pushing the boundaries of blogworld culture even further since then, hosting live pub quizzes and stuff, so it's already out of date, sigh.

Whinge whinge whinge, quite frankly.

Now I'm off down the shops to buy a bed.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

But you simply must post the paper. Your readers require it. (Yes, that certainly does include me.)

Anyway I was delighted to hear it's not just me with the phone problem. On at least one occasion, in a short telephone conversation I've managed to convey sniffy contempt and lack of desire ever to speak to this person again, when what I really meant was "but yes, it would be wonderful to see you soon, I'm so glad you called!" *sigh* Took a bit of sorting out, that did.

I shall have to start explaining to people that I'm a writer, you see, and hence utterly useless on the phone. Although I'm actually not a writer in any official capacity. Could make things tricky.

GreatSheElephant said...

Ah yes. Nods in recognition.

I hate talking. This is one of the reasons I'm so slow at writing. I cannot abide listening to myself mumbling on interview transcripts. I'll do pretty much anything to put that off.