I should’ve stayed in bed today.
Started in the office supply shop. ‘Oooh no, we can’t photocopy that if it’s copyright.’ Sigh. Look, I’m the publisher’s freelancer and this is a set of proofs – the book hasn’t been published yet. I need to get this photocopied so I can check the computer files against the hard copy to check all the corrections have been done. They’ve asked me to do this. It’s my JOB. I’m not contravening copyright. As an author myself, I’m very careful about copyright. ‘Nope, can’t do it without a signed letter from the publisher.’ The publisher is in London and I can’t get you a letter because a) there is a postal strike, which is why I’m photocopying this and working from computer files instead of doing this my usual method via Royal Mail and b) we have a screaming deadline, which is the other reason why I need to photocopy this. Any letter they send you won’t get here in time. And my printer at home won’t cope with copying 600 manuscript pages, which is why I’ve come in and asked you to copy it for me. Look, if I ring my editor and ask her to confirm it’s OK, will that help?’ ‘No. We have to have a letter.’ I can’t get you a letter. Is there another way round this? ‘Well, we can accept a fax…’ Luckily the mobile phone was a) charged and b) in credit. Had to ring directory enquiries as my business diary was at home and I couldn’t remember the number offhand. Rang lovely desk editor. She faxed a letter straight over. ‘We can do this now. It’ll be three hours.’ Thinks: three hours for six hundred pages? The school photocopier works a lot faster than five pages a minute, and it’s really old... But smile sweetly. Thank you.
And the second I get home, they ring. Except when I answer they hang up. Twice. So I return the call. ‘Ooh, no, we didn’t phone you.’ Please can you try the copying department, just in case it was them and there’s a problem with my job? ‘Yes, your job’s ready. It didn’t take as long as we thought.’ Go back to collect it. Discover they only sell jiffy bags in PACKS OF TEN. (I did ask about single ones... ‘Not any more.’) Buy a box instead. Go home via supermarket cashpoint (courier only accepts cash or cheque and I’m not 100% sure I have cheques left). None of the machines are working. Drive home, and utter idiot in red car belching smoke decides he’s going to weave in and out of the cars, undertaking and overtaking (and breaking speed limit and cutting people up). Narrowly misses me – I flash my lights and he replies with obscene gesture. (DH says I should’ve called the police and got him cautioned. Yeah, right - as if that’s going to stop this kind of person driving like an idiot. The sad thing is, he’s going to cause an accident and come out unscathed, unlike his victim.)
Dropped stuff off to courier (where the kids discovered a cute Jack Russell and made a huge fuss of him), then home. So much for going out with the kids. But it was hot and sticky and not very nice outside.
I really ought to tidy my office.
But I can’t face it after a day full of aggravation.
So I’m going to play with my new nonfiction book instead. Lovely soul-soothing history... and I had a really good lightbulb moment, so I need to buy more books. I reckon I can sell this if I pitch it the right way, but I need to do some research first - hence the need for certain texts in the original Medieval rather than translation.