My first proper job was working in an advertising agency, Bates Dorland, on the Woolworths Christmas campaign. This was in the late ‘90s, the year Keith the Alien starred in our campaign. (The fact Bates Dorland and Woolworths both subsequently went out of business is not my fault – honestly, it isn’t. I wouldn’t even blame Keith – he was endearing, in his own way, though no John Lewis penguin.)
But right from the start, my choice of day job seems to have messed with my Christmases. Working on Christmas every day of the year might seem like a great idea – like eating chocolate at every meal – but inevitably you sicken of it far quicker than you’d think.
The last job I had, before giving up day jobs altogether, was the anti-Christmas job of all anti-Christmas jobs: looking after turkeys for a supermarket in the run up to Christmas. I shall spare you the details – I don’t wish to ruin your Christmas dinner too – but suffice to say: not a single bite of turkey has passed my lips since.
So anyway – there are lots of lovely, romantic Christmas short stories out there on the internet for you to download and enjoy. As the title might suggest, A Pear-Shaped Christmas is not really one of them. Nonetheless I hope it brings you a small slice of festive cheer, and an idea of what really goes on behind the scenes in advertising.