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This is a question The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

So, Television is a hot bed of lies, deceit and made up competitions. We can't say that we are that surprised... every job is full of this stuff. It's not like the newspapers currently kicking TV whilst it is down are all that innocent.

We'd like you to even things out a bit. Spill the beans on your own trade. Tell us the dirty secrets that the public need to know.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2007, 10:31)
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I murdered a director
I used to work for a company that was run by academics. Marketing types would ring speculatively and, being academics, they hated talking to real people let alone sales people and would often hang up, not answer or just leave them on hold while they went off to do more interesting things. This often left me, acting as the receptionist, getting an earful from some very annoyed phone monkeys.

Eventually the directors and I came to an agreement where we would give marketing companies the name of a fake marketing manager, who would be "out" a lot. And when one of the academics was bored, or the company seemed useful, they would speak to them.

As the head academic was particularly keen on X-men, we named the marketing manager Dr. Jean Grey, but pronounced it John.

It all started very well

PM (Phone Monkey): Can I speak to your marketing director?
Me: So sorry, he's out on the road
PM: Can I have his number?
Me: He probably won't be able to pick up, he's in China, you can send some literature if you like, address it to Dr. Jean Grey.
PM: Okay, I'll call again after I've sent some information

All very nice, no-one got hurt, and everybody was more productive.....

Until we met the jack russells of the sales and marketing world. They started ringing, and I gave them the above speil.

After a week or two, they rang again

PM: Hi, can I speak to Jean Grey?
Me: It's Dr. John Grey and I'm sorry, he's "out" on the road.
PM: Did he receive the material we sent?
Me: Yes, I'm sure he did
PM: Do you know if he read it?
Me: No idea, I'll ask him to return your call when he comes in.
PM: Great, thanks

*sniggers from office*

And again:
PM: Hi I called last week to speak to Jean Grey
Me: That's Dr. John Grey
PM: Okay, sorry, has he read the material?
Me: Oh yes, he said he was very interested and he was going to get back to you. Did he call?
PM: No I have no record of that
ME: Well not to worry, I'm sure he will soon, he's in India at the moment.
PM: Thanks

*sniggers from office*

Another week passes:
PM: Hi, could I speak to Jean Grey?
Me: It's Dr. John Grey, I'm sorry, he's not here at the moment
PM (getting irritated): Do you hold his diary? I've been trying to speak to him for weeks
Me: I'm sorry, Dr. Grey *sniggers* is a very busy man, I'm sure he will get back to you when he's available
PM: Well, make sure he does...

I had a bit of a "handbags at dawn" moment there, and everyone thought it was hilarious, but I knew we weren't going to be able to do this all the time, afterall, Dr. Jean was supposed to be saving everyone time, and phone monkey was being a bit of a pest.

So we decided to hurt him (Dr. Jean that is, not the phone monkey)

The beginning of the end:
PM: I would like to speak to Jean Grey please
Me: It's Dr. John Grey, and I'm sorry, he's not available
PM: Look, I've been ringing for weeks, I know what my company is offering is not hugely important, but it could be highly beneficial, if I could just speak to him once, I'm sure arrangements could be made very quickly.
Me: I appreciate that sir *sniggers* but unfortuntely Dr. Grey has been involved in an accident and I'm not sure when he'll be returning to work.
PM: Sorry to hear that, I'll ring next week
Me: You do that, thanks!

I'm sure you can see where this is going can't you? We had to kill Dr. Jean Grey, it was a hard decision because he was such a valued member of the team, but he had finally become a bit of a millstone, he had to go.

Next week:
PM: Hi, can I speak to Jean Grey please?
Me: *sniffling* it's Dr. John Grey, and I'm sorry, but no, he's unavailable.
PM: He's always unavailable, is there someone else I can speak to?
Me: There's no need to speak to me like that sir *sniffle*, Dr. Grey was the only person you could speak to
PM: Was?
Me: Yes, he died yesterday, he stubbed his toe at the Australian embassy and contracted gangrene, it spread to his abdomen, they tried to amputate, but he just didn't make it.

(Think about amputating an abdomen - honestly! Australian embassy? Don't ask, I don't know why)

PM: I'm so sorry.....*BIG Pause*...have you found a replacement?
Me: That's very insenstive sir, I suggest you don't call again

*SLAMS Phone down*

Everyone laughed like horses, we toasted Dr. Jean Grey at the pub later.

The whole company agreed that Dr. Grey had to be killed, and that I was the person to do it. Although there was no mess to clean up, no body to hide and no snooping by the cops, this dirty secret was particularly guilt-free and legal (and nonsensical).

But the emotional price was high, not only did I "give birth" to my very own fictitious marketing director, I then killed him with the Australian embassy. I still miss Dr. Grey, sometime I feel a deep ache of longing, he'll be forever in my heart

Most of this story is true.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2007, 12:21, Reply)

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