The City Correspondent takes off his rain sodden overcoat, empties his rain sodden shoes, and admits the shirt that was neatly pressed this morning is now a fairly disgusting mixture of sweat and sleet.
He begins: “They dragged me across town. Three hours out of my day. 90 minutes there. 90 minutes back. For a meeting with a really boring chief executive that I didn’t want to do in the first place. And they didn’t even give me any sodding lunch. I’m starving. And cold. And pissed off.”
Part of how flaks justify their fees is arranging meetings between clients and hacks, we know. Come and meet so and so, they say. She’s a great laugh. Their office ok? It’s very conveniently situated. If you live in Reading.
Sometimes we agree to go. We probably should meet so and so. Maybe she actually is a good laugh. Then we arrive to find a CEO who is under the mis-apprehension that this meeting, which is plainly a rude interruption of her day, was something WE requested.
How can we help, they ask, like some sort of condescending newspaper Agony Aunt. Erm, we say uneasily, You Called Me.
This can make hacks cross.
Not me, you understand. I like cold coffee and mouldy sausage rolls and incredibly boring conversations. But some of the grander elements of the hack trade think you lot are taking the mickey bliss.