Sunday, 30 March 2008


It’s my first day at my new agency.

Things didn’t begin well.

Following the instructions on my one page letter of secondment to the agency- which arrived in a very tasteful silver, nearly opaque, irregularly shaped envelope, I made my way to the front door.

It was clear to me that this was a heavily creative agency by the very fact that the only way in through the front door was to push the un-marked brick, nine up from the ground and two in on the left hand side. These irregularly creased instructions are useful, I thought.

This caused the doors to slide horizontally open, perfectly bisecting the company brand - cunningly almost the same colour as the jet black glass doors upon which it resided.

“Cleve <---------------> rDicks”, It eventually read.

Things looked up

I was greeted by a lovely front desk superstar who was cheery and welcoming.

“You must be Frank please hold” she chirped, expertly switching between a conversation with me and one with a flashing light on her phone system.

“Mr Dicks will be with you shortly no I’m sorry he’s not in”, she continued her dual conversation, this time switching the order. Surprisingly I understood what she meant and took a seat next to the water-cooler.

“Splurp.”, it sang to me like a belly filled with Cola.

“Out of Order” read the notice printed on the front of it. I mused for a second whether or not this was in fact a piece of modern sculpture done by the in-house team until I read the “again” written in faint red ink just to the bottom right of the sign.

“Fill this in please hold”, the lovely Senga threw an A4 piece of paper on a wooden clipboard across to me.

All the information on it I’d already sent in.

“Haven’t you already…..”, I started to protest.

Senga looked at me and just continued her conversation with the person rabbiting into her earpiece. The look was one that said “I know, but just fill it in, it’ll cause less hassle.”

“Splurp” went the water-cooler.

Dutifully I filled in the information then waited.

After about an hour I began to get thirsty.

The water-cooler called to me.


Senga had surgically removed herself from her earpiece and gone into a meeting “of the utmost importance”.

So I was basically alone in reception. A few people had passed by. Most of them nodded towards me and had asked Senga “Who’s he?”. But now I was alone.

My throat was rasping.

I grabbed a clear plastic cup from the holder. “Cleverdicks” raced around outside.

I stood in front of the sign and read it again. Surely in an agency of this size the water-cooler must work?

I raised the paper and reached for the pale blue tap. I stuck the cup underneath and pressed down on the blue lever.

This seemed to cause a seismic reaction within the bowels of the machine. As soon as I pressed the tap a gush of air billowed up from its guts and the whole thing started to shake.


I was so mesmerised by the aqua-firework display that I failed to notice the fountain of mineral water that was spewing into my midriff until it was too late.

The freezing water hit me square in the cahonies and then slowly dribbled down my inner thigh.

I let go of the tap and gasped.

Firstly from the shock of the ice cold water and then once I’d peered down at my beige suit trousers.

Frantically I looked around for paper towels. Nothing to be seen. I leaned over Senga;’s desk to see if she had any handkerchiefs. But to no avail. My heart raced.

What have I done? What will people think?

I looked across back to where I was sitting and in desperation grabbed the nearest magazine to hand – Agency Weekly.

“You must be Frank”, Mr Dicks arrived to me feverishly rubbing the face of Liz Lyons the UK wide agency guru into my crotch.

“I see you’ve met my wife.”

D.O.A. - Diary Of an Agency