Mark: What a waste of time! I wasn’t pleased when Mr White sent me running off to the other side of town on Tuesday morning. I’m in the middle of writing a piece that I’m really enjoying, and there’s a good chance that this will be the first article of mine that the magazine publishes. I’ve been an intern in the office for three months now - it’s great, my university sets up internships, related to your degree. There’s only one month left so I’d be really excited if I got a story published.
Mr White wants to publish a feature on a French cinema exhibition on at the moment at the city art gallery across town. He’s writing the piece himself, but a meeting was moved to Tuesday and he couldn't go to see it or interview the gallery owner. So he printed out a list of twenty questions for me, for yours truly to ask and gave me his press pass.
The traffic was terrible. And to make matters worse, the bus I was on broke down and we had to wait twenty minutes for a replacement to arrive. I’d planned on getting to the gallery about half-past ten and that would have given me plenty time to get all the information Mr White wanted. It was eleven-thirty when I eventually got there.
I ran up the steps into the gallery and asked at reception where the exhibition was, and if there was a press officer on duty I could talk to. There usually is at events like this to speak to the media. And you will never guess what. The French cinema exhibition is not open on a Tuesday. Dear, efficient Mr White had not checked. He’d sent me on a wild-goose chase.
Annie: You know what Mandy’s like. She’s always asking people to do things for her, and I always agree to help her. I’m much too soft. But this is definitely the last time. She sent me on a wild-goose chase, and I’ve better things to do than run around for her. What happened? Well …you know she’s crazy about that American writer Jack Smith? He writes those detective stories set in New York. His new book has just come out and he’s doing a tour of big bookshops, where fans can go meet him and buy a signed copy of the book.
Mandy was crazily happy when she found out he was coming to a bookshop in Tsim Sha Tsui last Thursday night. You had to apply for tickets to attend the event, and there were only one hundred tickets available. Mandy was quick off the mark, and got herself a ticket. Then last Thursday morning, her mother fell down some stairs and broke her leg.
So, obviously, Mandy needed to be with her mother who was going to have to have an operation on her leg. Mandy asked me if I would go to the book event in her place. Of course, I agreed. Stupid me! When I got there, I discovered that the signing had been cancelled because Smith was ill. Someone at the bookshop told me that all those with tickets for the event had been sent an email telling them this.
I rang Mandy and, sure enough, there was the email in her in-box. She just hadn’t checked her emails. I suppose she had had a lot on her plate with her mum’s accident……… but still ………. I didn’t appreciate getting sent on a wild-goose chase and told her so, quite loudly. Maybe I overreacted, but I was really annoyed!