Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mary Portas - Mighty Women con't

I've been up since 5:30 so this probably isn't going to be one of my best blog entries.
Apologies for any garbledness. Like made up words N' stuff.
Firstly, here's a picture I just finished drawing. I'm so tired I didn't even use my camera to take this shot. I used photo booth, which is why it's a bit grainy. Otherwise, I'm quite chuffed with it. The subject is none other than Mary Portas, fashion guru and business savvy celeb who makes delightful shows about good business practices.

I admire her hugely. She's well spoken, assertive, intelligent, motivated and compassionate. She really believes in better business practices, loving what you do and inspiring shop keepers, business owners and the consumer to be more responsible.

And she's really, really lovely.

Several weeks ago I emailed my number to the production team for Mary's latest show. I didn't expect them to get in touch but figured: Why not?

They didn't call for the show I'd sent my number in for an I'd all but forgotten about it until yesterday. I was sitting at my day job, suddenly becoming massively overwhelmed as my workload seemed to be spontaneously growing in leaps and bounds, when my phone rang.

Unknown number.

Normally I don't pick it up and just hope they leave a message, but this time, maybe because I wanted distraction from my suddenly stressful work duties, I answered it. It was the show. They were filming the next day at 12:30 and could I make it? I said I'd call them back but the second I hung up it occurred to me that the odds of this happening again were pretty slim. I conferred with some co-workers and in minutes I'd made up my mind. I called them back and confirmed, figuring it would be easier to cancel if I couldn't get the time off then it would be to try and get a spot if I waited.

I cursed myself for being so responsible before unloading my minor crisis to my manager. We went through my twenty item To Do list, gleaning it down and prioritizing it as best we could. I wasn't even going to mention the show until I knew things were under control. I couldn't just skip out when so many things were so urgent, no matter how much I admire the woman and how absolutely cool it would be to have the chance to meet her.

I cracked on with my work load, nipping off chunks here and there, plotting out solutions and generally getting it under control. Eventually I figured I should take my lunch so I popped out to the staff kitchen to make a delicious gluten free sandwich. My manager happened by and I took this as my chance. I asked if I could run something by him, ask him about something that had come up.
"Do you know who Mary Portas is?"
He nodded.
I explained about the call and that it was for tomorrow (today) and would be right in the middle of the day. He nodded, listening carefully and proceeded to tell me that, as long as I worked my hours around it, made up the time and kept my workload under control I was free to do as I wished. I thanked him profusely and then headed back to work, sandwich in hand.

In the evening I got my confirmation email with the details on where to meet and what to wear. My partner and I were a bit giddy and we proceeded to watch two episodes of Secret Shopper on catch-up.

And so we come to why I've been up since 5:30. In an attempt to make up the hours before going to the show, I rose well before the sun and headed to the office for 6:30. I cracked on with my work, pretty much resolving every little explosion I'd encountered the day before, and at 11:30 I was free to make my way to Angel.

I don't know that I have the energy to re-cap what happened. I've written it all in my journal and am eagerly awaiting my partner's arrival home so I can gush and *glee* all about it. It was incredible though. It was fun and light and the sun shone all day! Mary was delightful, the twenty or so other people who joined us were friendly and fun and the crew were really great. But I don't really want to share it because I don't want to spoil it. So, for a brilliant show by an inspiring and definitely mighty woman, do tune in on Wednesday for the last episode of Secret Shopper.

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