I’m a copywriter for a resort in the south of Spain. Not sure if that's considered glamorous or not, but it's my job.
I have to travel for 50 minutes to get to work, sometimes longer if there’s traffic and I have to wait for my car share buddy. He’s nearly always late – I’ve started to read or clean the car interior while waiting for him; it’s too early to start thinking about work.
Some of our conversations are funny, but mostly the usual stuff. Jess in the kitchen says we should film it, like the programme, but we need a northerner in the car to make it funny. She’s a northerner.
Work creeps into the consciousness about 10 minutes out. If I have a large project then I’ll start arranging in my head what I’m going to do first, but it never goes to plan. Straight in and a big mug of coffee, then to the desk.
My desk looks like a creative genius sits there; at least that’s what I tell myself. To everybody else it just looks like a disgraceful mess. I tidied it the other day and then spent 2 days unable to find anything. Mess is best.
I’d love to be able to sit in a quiet place, with a view and write about interesting, fun stuff all day. Instead I’m in a basement with the graphic designers and project coordinators boiling in the winter when the heating is put on or getting a stiff neck and back in the summer when the icy air-conditioning blows against me at force 10 on the Beaufort Scale.
There’ll be proofing – one way to find out what’s going on elsewhere, but bloody irritating when you keep receiving crap copy from a “writer” who doesn’t know the difference between its & it’s or compliment and complement.
One of my colleagues suggested I might want to write more “fun stuff” and gave me a choice of blogs to write from the content plan I’d drafted with another colleague. That pisses me off. I’d love to write blogs all day about travel, culture, food, restaurants, sustainable tourism etc. but there aren’t enough hours in the day and task manager (our crap so-called project management system) gives me posters for spa treatments, proofing (see above), charity blogs/intranet articles/member articles/press releases, menu changes and hot tub rules.
I also have the nefarious job of responding to TripAdvisor reviews for all our resorts (except the USA). Some people will never be happy, some have legitimate complaints and I am thrilled when there are good reviews as I don’t have to worry too much about those. However, it does take up an inordinate amount of time.
Now it’s over.
I have taken to cartoons as a way of expressing myself. Not that I can draw, I do rough pencil drawings and then one of the graphic designers turns it into something fabulous. On our new-look intranet, we’re going to have a comic strip. That does seep into my non-working hours, but that’s OK, as it’s fun, creative and I can be a little bit cheeky without getting stern looks. Not that I give a fuck about stern looks…
At about 4pm hysteria sets in. I probably won’t have taken a proper lunch break – just sitting at my crowded desk, shovelling in food as I tap away on the keyboard with the other hand. So by 4pm (why haven’t we got a tea lady coming round with one of those big metal urns filled with hot water and a selection of really scrummy biscuits that I shouldn’t eat as I’ve put on 10kg on the last year as all I do all day is sit on my ever-expanding arse?), the most innocuous and unfunny word, glance or happening will send me into spasms of laughter that result in rolling tears and a well-exercised diaphragm.
I’m working on a big project now, so happy about that. There’s more scope for expression. I have to follow the brief, of course (provided there is one – that’s another story), but dreaming up a way of communicating the message is great. It involves research and a lot of staring into space to summon up, like a genie from a lamp or Beelzebub, sometimes it’s Beelzebub, the right word or phrase to capture people’s attention and hold it. To be memorable.
That’s why I’d like a view – for all that space staring.
Come 6pm, it’s time to hit the road again and we vent our frustrations for the first 15 minutes of the journey. Then we hang on for dear life as some idiot takes the braking space without even the courtesy of indicating, and talk about food, sport and life in Spain. Which is fabulous. As is writing.