Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Walking In A Winter Wonderland 

War, Pestilence, Famine and Death have been selling support services to customers who’ve already paid for them once. An honest mistake, or so they claim. That’s what Friday’s meeting was about: damage limitation.

An eagled eyed customer at Salford Gravy checked his contract and thought “They just sold me something I’m already signed up for,” so checked with his mate who works at Burnley Body Parts, another customer of ours, who confirmed his suspicions. Word spread like wildfire, and the word was “Company X are a bunch of rip off merchants.”
The heavens opened, the dam busted, the cellar’s six inches deep in customer complaints and rising; bring your wellies. Bill Surname CEO needed a volunteer to stick a finger in the dyke and to her credit Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, was up for the task.

It’s been a blustery day. Outside my window it’s lashing down and Charlotte, Bill Surname’s loyal PA, and Rex the security guard are loading pheasants into the Company X minibus: peace offerings for irate clients from Bill’s private stock.
Stella co-ordinates Operation Olive Branch from her office - ‘Mission Impossible HQ’ - a clipboard in one hand and a Blackberry in the other, a blur of executive dynamism on a squeaky walking machine.

Poor Charlotte - it’s a difficult time for her, what with the annual turkey culling and having to organise the director’s night out at Studs, and now this: a public relations disaster and Bill Surname has appointed that trollop Stella to head up the rescue party.
Rex, wearing a Santa hat and singing Christmas tunes, tries to jolly her up but isn’t getting through. PR disasters? Charlotte, this is really nothing.

Did you hear the one about this guy who walks into a bar and asks for a room?
The landlord asks if he has a reservation.
“No,” says the man.
The landlord explains that it’s Christmas Eve, one of their busiest nights of the year, and sorry, but they’re fully booked.
“I’ve been walking for two days. My wife’s on a donkey. We’re knackered. She’s about to drop a sprog any minute, and the kid isn’t even mine. Are you sure you don’t have anything?”
The landlord apologises again, says they can stop in the cowshed if they want, then gets back to pulling pints.
As it happens, he’s only gone and missed the chance to have the Son of God born in his pub. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.

It could have been “The Messiah Suite” this, and “Cots available on request. Why not try the one the Infant Christ slept in?” that. Pull up a barstool and enjoy a Bloody Virgin Mary.
Instead, it’s all shitty reports on Trip Advisor - The Bethlehem sucks, dude. I stayed one night then transferred to a Travelodge - and feminists protesting at the door.
Here comes the man who refused a room to a woman at full term. What a tosser, now that’s a PR disaster, but Charlotte isn’t listening, she’s thinking about turkey stuffing and pheasant plucking and Bill Surname and love unspoken and happiness unrealised, and Rex is singing “Later on we’ll conspire as we dream by the fire, to face unafraid the plans that we made walking in a winter wonderland,” and the wind howls and rain is pouring off the both of them.

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