Monday, January 16, 2006

Milk of Human Kindness

Like navigating around the London Underground system, the trick, I’ve discovered, to get the best out of Irish radio, is to know when to change stations.  Sometimes its best to change early to avoid subsequent disappointment.  Other times it makes sense to ignore the schedule and just go with the flow.  Continuing to listen to Newstalk, after the Dunphy show ends, is like taking the wrong spur on the Northern line.  Staying on until the Orla Barry show is akin to ending up at Hendon rather than Finchley Central.  Both are bleak, soulless experiences designed to push you over the edge.

Ray Darcy’s chirpiness isn’t everyone’s cup of skinny late with two espresso shots.  But I just love the optimistic note his programme strikes.  I rarely fail to be shaken from some stupid pointless downer that I’m on, by his boyish humour.  And so it was today, where Ray invited listeners to share with the nation (anonymously if preferred) their most embarrassing faux pas.  Now I know that this is hardly earth-shattering radio, but it can be damn enjoyable.  (In fairness to Orla, the conversation around single teenage fathers’ rights is a laudable piece.  It would have just been better if it had been covered by someone who gave the impression that she cared or even knew what she was talking about.)

Rather than spend an age texting my anecdote only for it to be ignored by the Today FM switchboard, I thought I’d share it with those who really matter, my blog buddies.

Several years ago, whilst working in a London office, I was tasked with showing an interviewee around before he saw the Director of IT and the Chief Financial Officer.  Being an office junior, and having only recently navigated that hurdle, I felt more than a little empathy with the enthusiastic young man from Bedford.  With his bright new tie, lemon shirt and charcoal coloured suit, he was clearly pushing the boat out for this job opportunity.  I did my best to relax the boy short of offering him a shoulder massage.  Although it was only 2:30pm and the place would have just cleared after the lunch break, I took him to the communal tea area for a cup of tea.  I recall I had to come all Mrs Doyle-esque in order to persuade him that it would be okay to take such an early tea break.  

In his honour, I cracked open a new box of Tetley’s finest.  Knowing that the carton of milk that sat on the worktop had probably been sitting in the sunlight all morning, I got some fresh milk out of the fridge.  Now, although with no more than 20 workers, our office insisted in ordering huge quantities of milk.  (Much to the delight of one licentious colleague that I’ve blogged about before.)  As a result, the UHT cartons in the fridge could have been there for several days.  I took one that was lying on its side on the bottom shelf and the was within its Best Before date.  Taking it out of the fridge with a dramatic flourish, I inverted the carton vigorously several times.  What I didn’t know was that this carton had been opened previously.  To this day, I don’t know how the contents had managed to stay inside whilst it lay on its side in the fridge.  Nevertheless, I managed to twice throw the contents over the poor interviewee before I notice my error.  

I’m sure he thought twice about having this demented Irish as a co-worker, however he never got the chance.   Perhaps it was the milk stain on his charcoal suit or maybe he just didn’t have the necessary skills set?  Either way the poor lad didn’t get a second round interview.  Which is probably just a well, because I’m sure that his suit would never have been cleaned in time.

So if you are that young man, whose career was blighted by a milk shake before it had a chanced to take off,  I’m really, really sorry!


Blogger JL Pagano said...

Although she once interviewed me on her show [yeah I know its namedropping so sue me lol] I thoroughly agree with you re: Orla. In actual fact it's quite a boring timeslot but that doesn't stop Sean Moncrieff producing an entertaining two hours in the afternoon.

7:51 p.m., January 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Paige. Lovely stuff.

I'm addicted to Joe...


1:48 p.m., January 20, 2006  

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