Wednesday 3 June 2009

little black book....

To the uninformed observer, it could appear as though my career is really starting to go places. For starters, my diary is absolutely full. It is a widely acknowledged fact that your importance in any organisation is inversely proportional to the amount of free time you have in your schedule. I have none. When asked what I was doing at 10:30 on Tuesday morning, I truthfully replied that I was attending three other meetings. I was tempted to go to none of them, but in the end managed the unhappy compromise of spending a few minutes in each of them. Well, I'm far too important to be tied down to only one meeting at a time, no?

One of the many meetings I've self-importantly attended this week was a briefing on some changes we're making to some internal processes. Sounds good, eh? Well, I was welcomed to the meeting by the announcement that I had been invited because I had been identified as an opinion-shaper in the department; someone with a real influence on what other people thought. They wanted to get on my good side. They were blowing smoke up my arse, of course, as was the person who told me this evening that the steering committee for that programme had received excellent feedback on the "builds" I made during that meeting.


My favourite though, the thing that really signals my arrival as a person of stature within my company, is really only a small observation: it was pointed out to me by someone that everyone in my department has started carrying around little black notebooks. Usually, people around the business either carry big leather portfolio cases stuffed full of paper, or they use spiral bound A4 notepads. For the last ten years, I've been using an A5 sized, (p)leather bound Moleskine notebook with squared paper. Each one lasts me well over a year and I've just started on volume 9 (I still mourn the new-ish notebook that was stolen from my car along with my laptop: volume 6 - you will not be forgotten). I don't really know why I started using them, but I've always hated carrying vast amounts of paper around with me, and somehow having a nice, neat little notebook encourages me to write spare, neat notes.... usually using a black ink pen. It's not much of a calling card, but people used to comment on it all the time, as though it was somehow freakish that I might use a notebook that was also used by the likes of Picasso, Hemmingway and Bruce Chatwin.

....And now, apparently and all of a sudden, loads of my colleagues are using them too. I looked around, and it's true. We're a relatively small team, but a good half of them seem to now be using small, black notebooks. Moleskine's or not, it's a bit of a coincidence, don't you think? It's not something that comes with a promotion or a salary bonus, but it's good to know that I've finally made some sort of an impact on my company in the course of my brilliant career. Everyone hopes to leave a mark, right?

Perhaps this is my legacy. I may be no good at my job, but I use lovely notebooks.


  1. This made me chuckle. You seem both bemused and amused by your new status. You're the "It" man. Love the way people went from scoffing at your notebook, to buying one for themselves.

    Er, what kind of notebook was it? *G*

  2. One of my second year students told me today she had watched a load of footage of The Smiths on YouTube last week, and had then bought a "best of" album. This made me smile - I have a photo of Morrissey from a gig a few years back as my laptop wallpaper, and a few months earlier, one of the same class had asked if he was doctor Kennedy from Neighbours. They may not leave me knowing much more about advertising or PR, but their musical knowledge will at least be enhanced.

  3. PS. I also use Peter, Bjorn and John as a case-study on how an ad campaign can make a band. I periodically hear them whistling Young Folks as they frown over their essays.

  4. glad you is da man wiv da style, but your post title has provided ruinous earworm work for the last 12 hours too - Cheers!