This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was the semi-autobiographical Just an Odd Job Girl.
About the book
At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.
Last time Imogen takes on a temporary assignment at a funeral home which came with some emotional surprises.
Chapter Twelve – Advertising Sales
Telephone canvassing was a whole new world. One populated by eager young men and women, seemingly with a death-wish, and who appear to be completely impervious to rejection. I was one of a number of agency temps who had been recruited into the job for a six week promotion on Cars and Property. It was obviously felt that two days training was quite sufficient to enable you to sell the set spaces for these two items, as the wording was fairly standard. The abbreviations were the most confusing aspect of the advertisement and I never did work out what some of them meant. I would write my advertisements down in plain English and find that on publication they contained gibberish, having passed through the hands of the layout department.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.
It was a rainy, blustery Monday morning when I presented myself, suited and professional, at the offices of the newspaper. On the reception desk was a woman of indeterminate age with the brightest orange hair I have ever seen. It stood up on end as if she had recently been plugged into a light socket and the ends were so split they formed little bushes at the end of each hair. I was mesmerised, but managed to stutter out who I was and what I was there for.
Six of us were ushered upstairs to a small, airless room containing a large table, seven chairs and an easel with a flip-chart pad. There were four girls and two boys, and all of them looked about sixteen, and very nervous. We made idle chat about the weather, Christmas and the latest football scores, another complete mystery to me.
At nine thirty sharp, the largest woman I had ever seen swept sideways into the room. She danced lightly around the table, navigating the narrow gap with perfect aplomb. She turned to face us and beamed radiantly at us. I was dazzled, not only by the performance but also by the rich emerald green of her jacket over the orange and black dress. An unusual combination to say the least, and I was somewhat distressed not to have bought my sunglasses with me.
‘Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Marigold Chambers. I am your trainer and the Advertising Sales Manager of the paper.’
She had a very soft voice but it rang through the room clearly. We were riveted. She had certainly got our attention. We stared at her as she appraised each one of us for a few moments.
She began to laugh, and then sat down on the seventh chair, which I might add appeared to buckle slightly as she descended delicately upon it.