On average, I would say I speak to / email the mailing house four times a week whilst in the office. I have met my two contacts on several occasions – at meetings in the big city and at the boat party last summer.
Yesterday, for the first time in nine years (that's how long I have been speaking to them) I visited their premises. I decided a visit was long over due, and a day out of the office would be a pleasant change of scenery.
I dressed myself in the smartest outfit I own, and set off with my production book packed with lots of important pieces of paper. A few delayed train journeys later (clever me allowed plenty of time for these circumstances) I was met at the train station by the managing director. The M.D. led the way to their offices and to the boardroom. Coffee and a presentation were the first items on the list. I was blasted with various facts and figures, and speeches on integrity and reliability. Next came the grand tour. I shook hands with many people and nodded politely at introductions, and then immediately forgot their names and roles in the company. (Luckily I was not tested on who is who and who does what, so I got away with this.)
I witnessed carrier sheets printing, poly wrap wrapping and lots of complicated data being sorted and routed. That's how a mailing house works. I had a rough idea, but now I have seen it with my own eyes.
One small black mark against them though, my name was boldly displayed on the board welcoming me (nice touch) but where was my lunch at a fancy restaurant? I do not possess a company credit card, and I am the customer after all, so I didn’t suggest buying them lunch once I realised my visit was coming to an abrupt end.
Instead I dawdled around St Pancras train station (it rather resembles an international airport) with a sandwich and a bottle of water, browsing in book shops, gift shops and a toy shop. I never realised a train station could be so much fun!
It was freezing cold, pouring with rain, and full of scaffolding and cranes in the outside world, and that was my excuse for not leaving the station. I was in no hurry to head home either, although I made it my priority to avoid the rush hour.
I could become accustomed to these visits. I wonder when I could do it again? But a friendly word of advice to whom it may concern on my next visit - lunch in a fancy restaurant would be appreciated. I promise not to choose anything too expensive. Honest!
Picture of the day:
Going anywhere nice?