Do me a favour?

Once you start this blogging lark it can quickly become just another ‘nag’ in a wife-mother-self-employed woman’s life. I have to schedule it in somewhere but can’t find the time between feeding the cat (who incidentally raises one paw when he is nagging to be fed) and running around after children. My stats are dropping like stones because I’d need of a fresh and erudite new post. But I’ve mounting work so frankly unmanageable that my eyes are beginning to feel like they’ll bleed from starring too long at the computer screen long into the night.

It’s not as if I’m short of ideas. There’s: “I wish I was Elastigirl” in mid draft. “Parenting low points” and “Mid-life, hot flushes and me,” rumbling around in the back of my thoughts. Plus, I should have some updates on the Mother & Baby Awards to give.

Meanwhile I’m stumbling like a fly through treacle on another job that will never end…. I’m to supply purchasing ‘evidence’ to inform a copywriter and packaging designers. Names and blurb hang on learning what I say the top features are said to be; meanwhile the designers are resorting to ‘doodling’ on product pictures to make rockets and super-heroes!

It’s flattering to be called the ‘Great O’ (the Oracle), as I’ve now been dubbed – heavy pressure to remind me that everyone is left twiddling their pencils and waiting on me. But I also have a gender-inherent dilemma. Women don’t do ‘black and white very well’, we tend to respond in misty greys and pastel shades. I understand absolutely what my ‘female’ respondents are saying but I’m having difficultly translating it into clear colours for the men in the background who are waiting on my findings.

Thankfully, there have been some hilarious ‘writer-to-writer’ exchanges of e-mails that probably keep all from screaming at each other….

I might have shared some of the funnier ones but they would be difficult to explain out of context; instead I’ve shamelessly borrowed from something my sister sent me yesterday.

Some days it feels that this is the way that this job is going! After a friend doing some digging I can now credit its brilliance.

Far funnier and I laughed ‘til my sore eyes cried.

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.20am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Poster

Hi 
I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not to busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be A4 and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon. This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. Missing on Harper Street and my phone number.

Thanks Shan.

From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.26am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon, 
That is shocking news. Luckily I was sitting down when I read your email and not half way up a ladder or tree. How are you holding up? I am surprised you managed to attend work at all what with thinking about Missy out there cold, frightened and alone… possibly lying on the side of the road, her back legs squashed by a vehicle, calling out “Shannon, where are you?” 
Although I have two clients expecting completed work this afternoon, I will, of course, drop everything and do whatever it takes to facilitate the speedy return of Missy.

Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.37am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Poster

Yeah ok thanks. I know you don’t like cats but I am really worried about mine. I have to leave at 1pm today. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.17am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon, 
I never said I don’t like cats. Once, having been invited to a party, I went clothes shopping beforehand and bought a pair of expensive G-Star boots. They were two sizes too small but I wanted them so badly I figured I could just wear them without socks and cut my toenails very short. As the party was only a few blocks from my place, I decided to walk. After the first block, I lost all feeling in my feet. Arriving at the party, I stumbled into a guy named Steven, spilling Malibu & coke onto his white Wham ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt, and he punched me. An hour or so after the incident, Steven sat down in a chair already occupied by a cat. The surprised cat clawed and snarled causing Steven to leap out of the chair, slip on a rug and strike his forehead onto the corner of a speaker; resulting in a two inch open gash. In its shock, the cat also defecated, leaving Steven with a foul stain down the back of his beige cargo pants. I liked that cat.

Attached poster as requested.

Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.24am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Yeah that’s not what I was looking for at all. It looks like a movie and how come the photo of Missy is so small? 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.28am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

It’s a design thing. The cat is lost in the negative space.

Regards, David. 


From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.33am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

That’s just stupid. Can you do it properly please? I am extremely emotional over this and was up all night in tears.

You seem to think it is funny. Can you make the photo bigger please and fix the text and do it in colour please.

Thanks. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.46am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon, 
Having worked with designers for a few years now, I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism. I don’t come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook and look out of the window. I am willing to overlook this faux pas due to you no doubt being preoccupied with thoughts of Missy attempting to make her way home across busy intersections or being trapped in a drain as it slowly fills with water. I spent three days down a well once but that was just for fun.

I have amended and attached the poster as per your instructions.

Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.59am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

This is worse than the other one. Can you make it so it shows the whole photo of Missy and delete the stupid text that says missing missy off it? I just want it to say Lost. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11.14am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11.21am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Yeah can you do the poster or not? I just want a photo and the word lost and the telephone number and when and where she was lost and her name. Not like a movie poster or anything stupid. I have to leave early today. If it was your cat I would help you.

Thanks. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11.32am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Awww

Dear Shannon, 
I don’t have a cat. I once agreed to look after a friend’s cat for a week but after he dropped it off at my apartment and explained the concept of kitty litter, I kept the cat in a closed cardboard box in the shed and forgot about it. If I wanted to feed something and clean faeces, I wouldn’t have put my mother in that home after her stroke. A week later, when my friend came to collect his cat, I pretended that I was not home and mailed the box to him. Apparently I failed to put enough stamps on the package and he had to collect it from the post office and pay eighteen dollars. He still goes on about that sometimes, people need to learn to let go. 
I have attached the amended version of your poster as per your detailed instructions.

Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11.47am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Awww

That’s not my cat. Where did you get that picture from? That cat is orange. I gave you a photo of my cat. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 11.58am

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Awww

I know, but that one is cute. As Missy has quite possibly met any one of several violent ends, it is possible you might get a better cat out of this. If anybody calls and says, “I haven’t seen your orange cat but I did find a black and white one with its hind legs run over by a car, do you want it?” you can politely decline and save yourself a costly veterinarian bill.

I knew someone who had a basset hound that had its hind legs removed after an accident and it had to walk around with one of those little buggies with wheels. If it had been my dog I would have asked for all its legs to be removed and replaced with wheels and had a remote control installed. I could charge neighbourhood kids for rides and enter it in races. If I did the same with a horse I could drive it to work. I would call it Steven.

Regards, David. 


From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.07pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Please just use the photo I gave you. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.22pm

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.34pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

I didn’t say there was a reward. I don’t have $2000 dollars. What did you even put that there for? Apart from that it is perfect can you please remove the reward bit.

Thanks Shan. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.42pm

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.51pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Can you just please take the reward bit off altogether? I have to leave in ten minutes and I still have to make photocopies of it. 


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 12.56pm

To: Shannon Walkley

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

From: Shannon Walkley

Date: Monday 21 June 2010 1.03pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Fine. That will have to do.

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14 thoughts on “Do me a favour?

  1. You have made my day sharing that story!! I have been in tears of laughter so bad that my teenage son and two nephews came in to see what I was laughing at. My dad is having a cancer op tomorrow and this has really cheered me up thank you so much. I can’t wait til the product testing starts so I have something to get excited about again, had alot of bad news this year unfortunatly. Keep up the good work with the blog 🙂

    • I’m glad I managed to make you day, Davinia. I’m not sure I’m often able to do that sort of thing!
      I hope your dad’s operation goes well and I will be thinking about you.

      • Thanks my dad’s op went very well and he’s cracking jokes again already! I found the website of the very witty man in the emails and some of the other email conversations he has are just as funny.

  2. That is just so very very funny! Really made my morning get of to a good start …. might even have to smile at the children whilst nagging them to get dressed 🙂

  3. And as for blogging …. you’re right, its yet another guilty ‘must do’ now! ….. you have made a rod fro your own back now too as you are going to have to top this one xxx

  4. OMG I am sat here PMSL… seriously the tears are streaming and my husband behind me was asking and tbh I had to get him to read it as I can’t read it out without laughing more. Thank you for cheering me up, I needed that laugh

  5. loved it !!! – how great – you have just made me smile – im expereincing a rather rubbish day at the office today with 5 very trying men to annoy me – but now i feel positively human

    many thanks for the laugh x x x x

  6. I’m so glad I had a mooch around your page whilst reading the Mother & Baby posts……this has made my morning…..in fact whilst reading it my one year old has tipped a bag of lentils all over the kitchen floor and my 3 year old has tipped out every toy we own on the lounge floor and after finding them both I just smiled and said nevermind….

    Laughter needs to be a mums therapy….I know my kids are glad you posted this….!

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