It’s been 20 months since Boris Johnson announced the first lockdown and told us all we would be working from home, and it’s been three months since my boss Bella started trying in earnest to persuade everyone back to the office. Back in September we settled on a new regime of three office days a week, only to discover that everyone wanted their three days to be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in order to preserve their secret long weekends. With no children or other dependents, I drew the short straw and ended up covering Mondays and Fridays. Last Monday, however, Bella insisted that everyone came in for a very important team meeting.
I was in a good mood for a Monday, having celebrated my big birthday over the weekend with an impromptu night down the pub with my friend (and favourite former postie) Glenn, who made me feel glad that I’d gone to the bother of getting my hair and nails done for the “date date” that didn’t happen. That “date date”, Robert, texted me on Monday morning to say that the PCR test he’d taken had come back negative and perhaps I’d like to reschedule. Suspecting that there had been no PCR test, I said I was busy until January. That wasn’t entirely untrue. The run up to December 25th is always a nightmare before Christmas for PR professionals, as we compete to get our clients’ products in front of shoppers.
Thus I think we all expected Monday’s meeting to be the usual “show and tell” where we each outlined the progress we were making with our various Christmas campaigns. I was looking forward to sharing the social media competition I was going to be running for #Yne (pronounced Hashtag Wine), the alcohol-free, root-based beverage. It was called “Win Your Dry January” and the prize was 31 days’ worth of swede-flavoured sauvignon blanc substitute.
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