Friday, 7 January 2011

Day Three at Traveller!

24th September 2010

Perhaps I spoke too soon about Sarah. She has smiled at me a couple of times today and even asked, ‘Are you alright?’ as she passed me. I think perhaps she is just shy. Either way, she’s definitely NOT Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

It is half five and boy oh boy have I been a busy bee! Last night I sent an email round to everyone in the office, to remind them basically that I am here for work experience and not for ‘sitting-staring-at-a-blank-computer-screen’ experience. I asked them to give me some jobs to do, like ANY jobs. I think the words were ‘no matter how menial or time consuming’. And wow, did they deliver? Oh yes! Nothing that I have done today is boring, but almost everything was time consuming.

You see, first thing today the silly old post people hadn’t brought up the post, and they didn’t until about quarter to eleven! I know, what are they paid to do, eh? Anyway, because our post wasn’t here, I was free so I went upstairs to help them with theirs at I met some cool people and again, their office was so much more animated than ours. When I had finished doing that I checking my emails and I had loads from different editors and subs asking me to do different things. I’ve been so busy that I have had to leave blogging until now when I have practically no time in which to do it, so I’m literally going to list my different tasks in as brief a manner as I physically can. Here goes . . .

1) I photocopied two whole features from the April and June issues, as a lady from an architect firm told us that we had written about a couple of hotels which she had worked on and she wanted to obtain some print-outs.

2) I called four hotels in Nairobi to check what their cheapest double rooms cost during low season and to confirm that their phone numbers were operating. That will go into the little blurb at the end of mini features, for example ‘Double rooms with breakfast starting at £97, for more information contact that hotel on blablabla or visit their website’. It was very funny though, because all of the people who work in the hotels are African and didn’t really understand my accent so I prepared what I would say to make it more clear and concise and put on a posh voice. I said, ‘Hello, this is Gabriella Buxton calling from Condé Nast Traveller magazine and I just wanted to check over a couple of prices with you if that’s ok? How much would your cheapest double bedroom cost in low season? Thanks that’s great. Bye.’

3) I called four hotels in the UK and basically did the same thing, except at one place the man was so pompous who answered the phone. That feature will be about pub inns and places like that, you know, barn conversion B and B’s and the like, so the man on the phone was not a trained-in-customer-service reception assistant, but some posh country bloke who thought it would be a laugh to stick a hotel in his shed. He was all, ‘Can I ahhhsk when the feature will be printed. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Well, you will post me a copy wohhhhhnt you? Very well. Pip pip. Tallyho.’ Ok, so he didn’t say those last two bits, but he may as well have done.

4) In Traveller magazine there is a monthly feature called That was Then and it basically tells the story of what something was like in the olden days, eg. New York City, Boeing 747, The Titanic etc. This feature has run since the first ever copy of the magazine was printed, in October 1997. I basically had to create an index of every single topic ever explored by the feature which involved a lot of huffing and puffing pulling big heavy magazines out of really over-packed and high up cupboards. I was knackered by the end of it! But I got the job done, and tidied all of the back-issues while I was at it. A job well done I would say.

5) Finally, I have saved the best for last. I am going to have a piece published on the website!!! I will be an official Condé Nast writer! One of the girls from the website team asked me to ‘do a bit of writing for her’. A ‘bit of writing’ in her opinion is a 300 word PUBLISHED PIECE!!! Ok, so I’m over-using the exclamation marks, so sue me, I’m excited! Anyway, I did my first draft and it was crap with a capital K. J Well she hasn’t sent it back to me yet, but I know it was crap, I didn’t even know how to start so it must have been crap. Anyway, she said she will give me some notes for me to edit it with a couple of times, and it should be on the website next week. I will also post it on here, so you can all see.

Also, something else I have learnt is that just because people aren’t super-gobby, they are really nice and sociable. The two girls who sent me a job each are called Laura and Hazel and they are both so nice. There is another girl called Nell and she is really sweet too to the extent where her and Hazel were fishing around their loose change when they knew I didn’t have any cash for the tampon machine. One of the guys who gave me another job just came over to tell me that they were all going to the pub and did I want to come. I WISH I wasn’t going to Birmingham tonight, because I would have loved to be there and see what everyone is like in a sociable environment.

So in all today has been amazing, which was completely unexpected as I just got my monthly blood curse this morning and it usually makes me lose the will to live. Ooh, and also when I was eating my Special K and mango for my lunch, I went into the travel library and found a book about Florida. Result!

Finally, I am now the last one in the office, so I will very quickly tell you about some other free stuff we had in today. One of the guys was sent a box of health foods, which included little boxes of olives, chilli nuts, dried pineapple and coconut and some other lush stuff, so I’ve been snacking all day but it’s all really healthy so I feel great! Anyway, I’d better get off before the tube station shuts again.

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