You may remember, if you are a careful observer of this diary, me saying yesterday that this particular issue of the magazine was finished and that it was a particularly successful process as so much good material was able to be included. Well. At three o’clock in the morning I was woken by a telephone call. It was Simon-from-the-office telling me that something had gone wrong with the printing press company and that there was a danger that we wouldn’t meet our subscription deadline.
I dressed and hailed a rather startled cab unused to seeing a woman at that time of night – something he proceeded to remind me of for the entire journey.
When I arrived at the press they were starting to get moving again and print was being struck left and even to a certain extent right. There was, however, one rather fatal flaw in the proceedings from my point of view, it wasn’t my magazine that was being printed.
“Hoi, Hoi!” I shouted.
“Excuse me madam,” the foreman said, rather a lot of madams this week, I thought, but he wasn’t to know that was he? “What seems to be the problem?” he said.
“I want to know why my magazine isn’t being printed now?”
“Well,” he said, “earlier the press experienced a rather serious fault which stopped it from being able to print, and while it’s now operational your magazine has missed its slot.”
“No it hasn’t.”
“Yes,” he said looking at the timetable on his piece of paper, “it has.”
“The magazine hasn’t missed its slot, you have missed my magazine’s slot, we are the customer here not you.”
“Late magazines do not get priority madam, then every other magazine would be late.”
“I appreciate and understand that, I know the policy, that’s why we always submit on time. But your machinery failing does not constitute me being late.”
“Same principle I’m afraid madam, this way fewer magazines are late.”
I blessed him for using fewer rather than less as seems to be the emerging trend but I had to let him know my mind regardless.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “but my magazine is more important than this one to me and to this press. If you are unsure about that then I shall wait while you consult your manager.”
“My manager will be in at Nine o’clock, I suggest you wait at home.”
“You will be consulting him now,” I said.
“But madam it’s four o’clock in the morning.”
“If you don’t want to wake him then you might want to consult his manager.”
“He doesn’t have a manager, his manager is the proprietor and you don’t want to me to disturb her, she’s a real dragon.”
“Is she… Really?”
“I’d ask for a penny for your thoughts, but I think that penny may have just dropped.”
“Apologies madam, we’ll get this sorted for you immediately.”
After he’d scuttled off to fix things I noticed Simon-from-the-office who had been skulking in the corner observing the whole thing.
“Too harsh,” I asked?
“No,” he replied, “It’s good when you get cross, they know it’s serious when it’s you getting cross.”
“Time to go home?”
“You go home,” he said, “thank you for coming out, they weren’t listening to me, I’ll make sure they don’t forget your wishes.”
He looked at his watch, “it’s going to be tight as it is.”
I went home and back to bed, a glint in my eye. I liked the action of moments like this.