Thursday, 11 December 2014
26 November 2014
The Grand Tour continues with visits to two London firms. Mr Davies and I are treated like royalty, which never happens at Council meetings and which I am enjoying immensely. I am thinking that perhaps Andrea On Tour is a good thing for everyone. And it is of course possible that Council would prefer me to spend the rest of my Vice-Presidential term on tour rather than causing trouble at meetings.
At one of the firms, we are shown around the office, and we get to nod graciously at the hard-working fee earners as we pass. This reminds me that I must issue a Proclamation about the types of regal stuff I can do when I visit people. For example, let it hereby be known to all my loyal subjects that for £105 I will declare open your new stationery cupboard (£110 if you also want me to cut a ribbon; £90 if I get to smash a bottle); for £125 I will press “Go” on your new records system (please boot up the computer first; I cannot do this); and for £150 I will bless an application for re-establishment of rights before you send it off. I can also unveil plaques and wall-mounted hand dryers for a mere £68 each, £62 if there are two or more and £350 for a complete toilet block. For £90 I will pronounce your office very smart, and for £190 I will pronounce your staff very smart too, although only if they are. Obviously. My fee for a speech is £550 per hour, because it is not always easy to source straw. I will accept bunches of flowers and boxes of paper clips free of charge: hand them to Mr Davies who will carry them for me.
After the office tour, we are taken for a most regal lunch. Mr Davies orders fish finger sandwiches and a beer, which kind of spoils the regal effect. I order a tart which contains something no-one has heard of, so the waiters make something up about it being a type of cheese, only one says it is like goat’s cheese and another says it is like Pecorino and yet another says it is like a BabyBel® so I am not sure they know any more than I do, but anyway it is a very nice tart and tons more sophisticated than a fish finger sandwich.
At the afternoon meeting, we have been preceded by the Dutch Apple Cake Pixies, who are my new Best Friends. We talk about CIPA Congress, the one-time CIPA ball, happy hours, relationships with IPReg, the Journal and the new e-newsletter, corporate membership possibilities and recruitment challenges. I am supposed to be taking notes because Mr Davies has explained to me that although there is no official job description for the VeePee, obviously note-taking must be part of it otherwise they would not have given me a free pen from the CIPA stationery cupboard. But I cannot write fast enough and I am getting Dutch apple cake crumbs everywhere. It is tough being VeePee. I think I might rather be the Chief Eggsek.