I'm all in favour of business kissing as long as it leads directly to business intercourse. There's a plague of business kissing at the moment. You can't meet anybody from an agency without half an hour of tongue lashing. This wouldn't normally be a problem as the agency generally lays on industry-leading totty, but Bridget, their new account director, is deliberately and provocatively ugly. She looks like a new-born bird, and if that wasn't bad enough she insists on kissing on the lips. She taps at me with her little beak as if she wants feeding and it's all I can do not to regurgitate. After work, went to the gym with Howard. After a few punishing laps of the hot tub we warmed down in the bar and had an interesting discussion about where women sweat first.
Got in late due to having left home late. There was a person at my desk with a beard and a trolley. I know for a fact that there's not a single person in marketing in this country who has a beard. Stubble yes, beard no. It was actually Ted Iverson from dispatch dropping the mail off. He's a cheery old soul but no-one can understand a single word he says. He doesn't even have the excuse of being Glaswegian. He comes round the office giving out the mail and makes a joke at every desk. Absolutely no-one understands him and everyone strains out an embarrassed little laugh. He could be telling us all to sod off and we'd be none the wiser.
Ted came round with the post. I pretended I had hearing trouble and asked him to write down his morning witticism. I took it, nodded gratefully and he trolleyed off to baffle someone else. I looked at it but couldn't read his writing. Went to another meeting with Bridget the Birdwoman. I tried to shake her hand and keep my arm absolutely rigid to fend her off. But she pulled herself along my arm as if it were a branch and started pecking away at my lips. I'm beginning to think we may have to pull the plug on her agency. It's funny, because nobody in logistics would dream of kissing you. If they did you'd suspect they had pink lorries. IT people clearly don't kiss as they find any kind of human interaction difficult. Of course PR people kiss. In fact, that's about as much useful work as they do in a day.
Stood outside the meeting room door bracing myself for a bird strike from Bridget. Ted rolled past with his trolley and I noticed his beard had a nasty collection of small bits of spaghetti and fried egg. I had a brainwave and asked Ted if he'd like to see how a marketing meeting worked. He said something that could have been 'I'd love to' or 'get stuffed, gobshite'. We went in and I introduced him as a creative, which is a shorthand for don't expect decent clothes or communication from this man. Then something marvellous happened. Bridget puckered up, closed in and at the last moment veered towards Ted. She vanished into his beard and must have had the equivalent of a Full English Breakfast.
Got into work late due to sheer cowardice. Final meeting of week with Bridget. When I got there, everyone in the meeting was sitting round the table quietly while Bridget was locked in a titanic snogfest with some account man I didn't recognise. I sat down, had a coffee and waited. They finally took a breather and I tried to place the account man. I suddenly realised that it was Ted without his beard. After the meeting Ted asked for a job in marketing because he thought it consisted entirely of croissants and kissing (not far off). Clearly, I couldn't give him a job, because once a beard always a beard. But I told him he could come to every meeting with Bridget as long as he guaranteed her mouth was always engaged with his or a croissant. He agreed and told me it was good to be off his trolley. Quite.
- John Weak can be contacted at email@example.com.