Posted by: Vicky V | April 23, 2009

More than Michael Jackson

All I had to do today was meet my new colleagues and keep my head down.

But if I’d gone into the office and taken them all out with pointy carrots fired from an oozi, it would have been better than what actually happened.

Arrived 9 am. The empty kitchen I’d been used to while manning the fort was now stacked with coffee cups whose fossilised contents lead me to believe that my colleagues had been there since day break. I was proud to be keeping to my rules and arriving at the appropriate, contracted hour rather than scrabbling about trying to impress people. I peeked round the corner and saw everyone was wearing sunglasses. It looked like a fly farm in there. Just great; if there’s one thing I hate more than flies it’s not being able to see the whites of people’s eyes.

As I turned the corner the flies looked up and gave me the kind of slow applause you get when you’ve done something monumentally clumsy in a pub like break all their whiskey bottles. Patsy was standing by my desk at reception doing a good impression of a cream horn, albeit a thin one; slim at the calf, inflated at the chest and finished off with a thick coil of braided hair. I would not be surprised if she consciously fashioned this cream cake image as a daily reminder of what not to eat:


I had not seen Patsy since I was six when, dressed in a tutu and leg warmers, I beat her daughter Alicia at the Milton Keynes danceathon (my hillbilly interpretation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller beat Alicia’s break-dancing Swan Lake by a cracking 7 points). She was a pushy mother (otherwise known as a helicopter mother in middle class parts of London) and had been competing with my mother ever since they met on the regional beauty queen circuit. By the black look she was giving me I wondered whether I was about to spend the coming months atoning for my dance triumph.

“Well, if it isn’t the face of Strike Models” she said through pastry lips.

Then the penny dropped. This wasn’t about Michael Jackson and my victory over break dance.

There was a creak, like the sound a hinge opening my coffin might make, as everyone propped their sunglasses back on their heads.

Turns out my practice with the model’s offline portfolios had turned into a major gaff fuelled by my boredom and utter dislike of technology. I’d failed to down, up, side and not-load something and my face had been plastered to the bodies of all the clients on the company website since last Friday.

Patsy looked down at her pointy cream horn shoe, “I had Shibella Camartney (undercover for famous designer) on the phone wondering if our computers had been hacked into by some grungy anti fur protester. She said she hadn’t seen hair like that since she was a filthy student”

A hammer blow to the heart. My hair, albeit quite normal, mid length and brown, has always been a dear friend. It hid my pointy ears. I was devastated.

I spent the afternoon keeping my head down, answering calls and madly trying to correct the images on the website. Going through the CVs I discovered how often a model changes her hair colour. About 4pm there was a blood curdling shriek as one of the flies discovered last week’s handiwork; that I’d rearranged the files according to hair colour.

Never mind not being competitive, I’m not even going to survive at this rate and would do just as well to start sharpening carrots into points for my own use.



  1. […] To top it all off my all time King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died. At least there will be a market for my Jackson routine. […]

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