Up to the smoke for a breakfast meeting tomorrow. These invitations to go to product briefings at unearthly hours are a great opportunity. This is what I do:
Step 1: get Mavis to call and say Mr Bound is really interested but as we are not based in London it is difficult to get to the briefing.
Step 2: salesman calls Mavis to visit Bogcaster and she agrees a date.
Step 3: Mavis calls them the day before and cancels. My diary is impossibly crowded, but I am now free on the morning of the briefing. She says I can come down the night before and asks for the guy's company card details to use to book the hotel. He readily agrees.
Step 4: Mavis uses his credit card number to book a decent room at the Connaught (not a suite, must not be greedy), purchase two good seats at Covent Garden and pre-pay for our supper.
I popped into the breakfast meeting a little late and "forgot" to pick up a name badge. Twenty minutes later, at the close, I excused myself from the lukewarm croissants, having already dined on bacon, devilled kidneys and wild mushrooms at the salesman's expense that morning.
On the way out I bumped into the salesman and asked him why he failed to turn up as arranged last night. "What?" he asked.
"The Ivy and the opera, of course. Good idea of yours to ask my PA to make the arrangements. Next time remember to pitch up, though! Must dash - another meeting."
On his return to the office, the salesman will find an e-mail dated three days ago in his inbox giving a full itinerary of the arrangements and asking him to confirm.
Mavis and I stay on another day in London. Two-nights-for-one deal.
I listen as Mavis deals with the saleman's call.
"I am afraid Mr Bound's diary is now fully booked you understand I was not popular with my boss after I made all those arrangements and you failed to turn up I am sorry but he does not give people second chances Can I stop you there, I think I should be candid with you. I am surprised that Mr Bound even turned up on Tuesday after you failed to keep the appointments. There is no prospect of you getting any business from us now. Please do not call again. Goodbye."
Managed to get Dave to come with Charlie and I to the pub as usual, but all he drank was J2O. It's not natural.