P is for: Pounds. We used to say if we had a pound for every time we heard: “Oh, my mother/grandmother used to read your magazine,” we could all have retired a long time ago. Also, if I had a pound for every time someone said: “If I had a pound…”
P is also for: Plain. A catchphrase we used in semi-jest forever after hearing a colleague exclaim, in tones of outrage and disbelief: “But she’s so PLAIN!” This was forced out of her when we mentioned that the husband of a woman who worked on the magazine had been visiting the office that day, and he was rather gorgeous, to put it mildly. She just couldn’t understand how someone not terribly blessed in the looks dept could catch someone who so clearly was. She herself had been very attractive when young, was always very well turned-out and possessed a certain derision for anyone not meeting her exacting standards. God help the rest of us!
P is also for: The Great Pork Pie Incident. Every now and then, the Cookery dept would have a clear-out of their fridges and cupboards and we would all take ourselves off to the kitchen for a rummage amongst the goodies. On one occasion, after furtive sounds of rustling at her desk, a rather greedy colleague (see C for Canteen, etc), suddenly went quiet. Repeated work-related questions from the rest of us were met with an unnatural silence. Until, eventually, she turned around at her desk, somewhat abashed, to reveal an entire pork pie wedged sideways in her mouth.
P is also for: Post-it notes and paperclips. Stalwarts of office life, I can barely recall a time before post-it notes. How on earth did we manage?! Paperclips – well – see below! Enough said.
P is also for: Paper-free! We were encouraged to cut down on paper in the office and were informed that the aim was to end up working in a completely paper-free environment in the not-too-distant future. How we all laughed at that one, as we surveyed the mountains of manuscripts, books, magazines, newspapers and sundry assorted necessary bits of paper piled up on everyone’s desks and also on the floor. It would never happen… would it?!