DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

I’m trusting that my days of puntership status are drawing to an end. More fool me, for I am one of those hapless hopefuls who has opted to lay their dignity, sanity and self-confidence on the line and enter the graduate trainee rat race.

I’m trusting that my days of puntership status are drawing to an end.

More fool me, for I am one of those hapless hopefuls who has opted to

lay their dignity, sanity and self-confidence on the line and enter the

graduate trainee rat race.



Since early November I have slaved over some of the most bastard

application forms ever concocted. I’ll bet all you recruitment lot

regularly gather in the pub to enjoy great laughs over the various

teasers that you’ve dreamed up for us innocents: ‘Describe yourself as a

whoopee cushion in 14 words’; ‘How many times a day should an account

planner pick his nose?’; ‘Are you in love with your mother?’.



More jollity will have ensued over the festive period as our much-

agonised-over answers finally found their way onto your desks. Is it

just a rumour or does the cabaret at every agency Christmas party

consist of a recital of the most amusing extracts from among our paltry

offerings? Or do they simply find their way on to the corporate fax

circuit and end up adorning the office lavatory walls alongside the

alternative rules of golf?



Then we’re left to stew for a couple of weeks. Every phone call, letter

or passing comment causes an involuntary movement below. Then come the

regrets. ‘Why did I say Rover’s advertising had sunk to ‘limp

stereotypes’ on APL’s form? Why did I say Orange’s campaign was

brilliant on AMV’s? Why can’t I spell Haagen-Dasz?’



By the time the 50 ‘least bad’ applicants have been asked for interview

I’m a nervous wreck. Still, I had a couple of positive responses. These

took my mind off the stack of ‘Don’t ever darken our door again, you

toad’ replies.



Of course, it’s all smiles at interviews. Far too many smiles, in fact.

I say all the right things. Perhaps I ‘um’ and ‘ah’ here and there and

occasionally I have to resort to the old gems like ‘rewriting the

agenda’ and ‘good ad, but is it good advertising?’. But I’m not meant to

know it all yet. Apparently. Then it’s more smiles and coffee and I’m

off. In time, the ominously thin letter will doubtless come again and

it’ll be back to work experience.



Still, at least Campaign remains firm.



Got something you’d like to rant about? Send it to Stefano Hatfield at

174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP. And make sure it’s no more, no

less, than 400 words, please.



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