The phone rang.
- hello, says I.
- hi, it's xxx here. I hear you're writing an article about us.
- um, yes I am. I was actually about to ring you. (I really was. You can't write a story without letting the other party have their say.)
Hmmm, was my interviewee psychic? Stalking me?* We agreed to chat again in 5 minutes' time so I could get an official statement. In the interim I turned the air bluer than Jamie Oliver's latest programme, while I frantically ripped my office apart hunting for my Retell 156.** I found it and wired it in with seconds to spare. Then breathed out and flipped the "record" switch.
Sheesh, ain't that always the way when you get caught on the hop. At least my
Copy filed, I nipped out for a bit and returned to find an offer of work on my phone. The message was so garbled that I had to listen 5 times to figure out their phone number and I had no idea of the person's name. Then it was my turn to go stalking as I googled the number to get a company name and, importantly, the name of the person who just rang. This is one reason why email follow-ups are very useful. If I leave a voicemail for someone, I often mail them afterwards just to make sure my message is clear and they have all my contact details to hand.
** This nifty bit of kit doesn't look like owt special, but it plugs into the phone and a digital recorder so you can record a two-way conversation.