DIARY: Secretaries: here's how to do right by Mr Wight

A bizarre internal memo landed on the editor's desk at Campaign last week. It was an eight-page guide for potential secretaries, entitled How to Keep Robin Wight Happy.

Campaign believes that this is a unique etiquette guide that should be sold - at least in circles where being an exhibitionist adman in a bow- tie is something to be proud of. Highlights as follows:

1. 'Once I've managed to book a new-business meeting into the diary, you need to send a standard follow-up letter to confirm it. Finding a free lunch date is generally rather difficult as I tend to get booked up two months ahead. The contacts often cancel or change at the last minute, and so do I. You then have to make convincing excuses on my behalf, and if I've told you to cancel because I have 'flu' (for instance), you have to remind me of it when I eventually do go to meet that particular contact so I don't make a booboo.'

2. 'I like to drink pints of cold milk. You must, therefore, try to keep a couple of pints in the fridge for me and defend them from all comers.

The fridge is on the ground floor, you are on the fourth floor, the glasses are in the basement (though often you won't actually find one), and generally by 5pm there isn't a drop of milk left in the agency, but try all the same ...'

3. 'I do all my dictation on tape. My dictation is not at all clear and it will take you a while to get used to my funny little ways. I like listening to music full blast (and sometimes the news) while I am dictating in the car or at home (when you will hear the dogs barking and the kids shouting).

I mumble, run my words together, jump from one thing to another, tail off, gabble, but I can say without boasting that the actual text of my messages is always lucid and of a piece.'

(Are these really the least offensive bits? - Ed. It's the only printable stuff - Diary. Unprintable stuff next week please - Ed.)





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