L is for: Laughter. I have quite a loud, distinctive laugh (some would say cackle) and I became well known for it. People would wander down to our area to see what we were all in hysterics about. (It was usually rude and we couldn’t tell them. Often, it involved the knitted bikini – see a previous post for enlightenment.) It didn’t take much to set us off. They would say they could hear my laugh from down the corridor and round the corner and when I apologised for disturbing them, they assured me it cheered them up and to carry on laughing. Now there’s a good title for a film… Perhaps I could hire myself out to TV and Radio shows?
L is also for: Lunches. LONG lunches. Imagine! Can you remember that far back?! To the days when people sat down for a proper meal and almost the entire magazine would troop off somewhere for somebody’s birthday, pay day celebrations, a long weekend looming or just because there was an “R” in the month. One friend complained that he could never get hold of me as I always seemed to be out to lunch. A bit of an exaggeration. I expect he was just jealous. Gradually, though, the lunches were dropped as staff numbers decreased and you were lucky if you could find a few spare minutes to gobble down a scotch egg, crisps and half a packet of chocolate biscuits at your desk while reading with one eye and typing with the other. Of course, I mean a delicious, healthy salad, an apple and a half-fat yoghurt. Don’t know WHO could possibly have gorged on the scotch egg, crisps and chocolate biscuits, tsk, tsk…
L is also for: Leaving dos. In a previous company, my editor had a strippergram delivered to his desk on his leaving day. It was painful to watch and he looked as though he could have committed murder. After that, it was always lurking at the back of my mind that, when it came to my turn, they would cook up some equally horrendous scheme and it would be fair to say I lived in dread of it. Come the day I finally left, however (to join WW – do keep up), I discovered I was one of several, much to my huge relief, so we all just went down the pub instead – phew.
Leaving dos on WW were as well planned and well attended as birthdays (see a previous post). I didn’t want it to ever happen, of course (I honestly thought I would be carried out feet first and I don’t mean because I was pissed after a particularly good lunch – see above) but at least if it did, I knew I would be guaranteed a good send-off. People had a collection set up for them, lovely presents, flowers, cake and a drinks do, a long lunch (see above again) and a huge card bearing a wonderful mocked-up cover of the magazine with their own face on it and coverlines pertinent only to them. I was really looking forward to mine and wondering what they would come up with. Sadly, none was forthcoming, the reason being that so many of us were leaving at the same time, there was no one left who had the time or inclination to do them. (Neither did I get to go to my own leaving do in the end (shared with others again – there’s a pattern here), thanks to another “L” – for “Leaking roof” at home, for which I had to beetle off early to sort out.)