Real Bodies: AUNTY AG UNCLE ONY

Two heads are better than one. Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony explain how to handle fussy bosses, land a job in television and what to say when you're (wrongly) accused of being pregnant

I'm always very busy at work because I work for three different people at once. They are all quite particular and fussy about the way they want things done and I am key to their executive roles - it's a very responsible position. However, they have no notion of co-ordinating their workloads and staggering my tasks to make things a bit easier for me. Is there any way I can sort this out?

Maeve, via e-mail

Aunty Ag: If you're feeling brave, get yourself a decent agent and whenever your bosses ask you to do anything, refer them to him (or her). Then he or she can take the strain of pointedly refusing new tasks when your diary gets too full. This may rapidly lead them to get so fed up they sack you, but if not it may jolt them into realising how much pressure you are under. A less drastic measure is to fall ill. Fade gracefully into bed with that flu that's currently doing the rounds; it takes a good fortnight to recover completely. At worst you'll get two weeks of lounging around at home; at best, when they realise they need a temp each to replace you, they will be a bit more considerate.

Uncle Ony: Soldiering on in this way does nobody any good. It makes you resentful and from your bosses' point of view it makes you less efficient. Evidently you need extra help, perhaps in the form of an assistant, which would be a most reasonable request for you to put to them. However, given your insistence on your bosses' "fussiness" and your "key" position, I wonder if you actually relish the power it gives you over them. This kind of control-freakiness will do you no good in the long term, if it stops you from doing your job properly. Let go a bit and everyone will benefit.

This morning I opened the door to the postman in my pyjamas. He apologised for getting me out of bed, then looked me up and down and said, "Still, you'll be having plenty of sleepless nights soon!" I realised he thought I was pregnant! I don't think I'm that fat. (I enclose a recent photo.) What's worse is that I felt too ashamed to deny it because on balance I'd rather people thought I was pregnant than porky. What do you think?

Elizabeth, London

Aunty Ag: What a ridiculous man. You are not fat at all. You know those amusing T-shirts the sprog-bound wear: "I'm not fat, I'm pregnant"? Perhaps you could get one of those printed up saying "I am neither fat nor pregnant" and make a point of answering the door in it early in the mornings.

Uncle Ony: From a male perspective it is hard to comprehend the pressures on today's ordinary women, constantly the subject of cruel comparisons with media images of the slender and beautiful. I can but sympathise. This tyranny should and must cease! Your postman is merely reacting to all the posters and photographs and features he has seen over the years that feature the young, skinny and gorgeous. So you're none of these - well, so what? There are lots of women in the same boat, so don't feel downcast. You probably have a delightful personality and we all know that's what really counts!

I was interested to read that the Big Breakfast presenter Kelly Brook can't read her autocue and gets people's names wrong all the time. I can read and wonder if I might be in with a chance at this kind of thing.

Zena, Wolverhampton

Aunty Ag: Being able to read is not the point, I'm afraid. Looking good in a skin-tight satin frock with a surface area of approximately 10 square centimetres is the point. And flirting with Johnny Vaughan is the point. There is more to this wiggly-giggly style of television presenting than meets the eye. And just think what time you'd have to get up in the morning.

Uncle Ony: Why would you want to? I can think of no more degrading job than being the bit of fluff in this kind of programme, valued not for your brains and personality but for your pert bosoms, cascading hair, pouting lips, firm young thighs, rounded hips, ogled by men with only one thing on their mind ... anyway, you get my drift. It would be a pointless, empty existence. I'm sure there are plenty of charities in your area that would welcome your skill with words, so why not take up a more worthwhile option?

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    BI Manager - £50,000

    £49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

    £48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

    VB.Net Developer

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

    SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game