Blog: Scrooge of Bromsgrove

Catherine Sleep | 21 July 2004

Just had to share a pet hate with you. I cannot stand it when PR people (or pretty much anyone else) who don’t know me from Adam ring and ask how I am before launching into their spiel.

They’d be completely thrown if I actually told them, wouldn’t they? Perhaps next time I should give it a whirl: “Well, Bunty/Janey/Mikey, actually I’m kind of under par because next door’s baby kept me awake half the night. My car’s failed its MOT, the dog’s got worms and I was outbid for an antique teaspoon I had my eye on on Ebay. So how are YOU doing?”

But of course that’s not an acceptable answer. The only acceptable answer is a brief “Fine thanks”. I’m not sure why it grates so much, because generally I’m all for the little niceties in life that grease the wheels of social interaction. Perhaps it’s because we Brits are so bad at this particular little trend that’s crept across the Atlantic. When I’m nervously asked how I am by somebody who is clearly ill at ease asking the question and certainly doesn’t want a genuine answer, it makes me uncomfortable and this can get the conversation off to a bad start.

Things can deteriorate further if they then ask me to "send them a sample copy of just-food magazine". Bit difficult to stuff a website into a brown envelope and send it via Royal Mail. How about glancing at the site before making that call?

But I’m not really a grump, although I realise I'm doing an excellent impression of one right now. And I generally get on with PR people very well.


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