Thursday, March 10

Gripes, Groans and George

The Inn at Harvard treated us like garbage when we were up in Cambridge covering that panel on Monday, I am so peeved. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I admit, but still, you arrive at a swanky joint and you expect your bags whisked upstairs, your reservation to have been processed properly, the freaking room service kitchen to be open during the hours listed on the menu, and the front desk to be able to hook you up with the in-house WiFi in less than 45 freaking minutes. Yes, you dumbass, that password is CASE-SENSITIVE. Ever heard of a little thing called UNIX? And if you leave your laptop power converter in the room, bailing out in a hurry after a night of covering your ears against the noise of the heater, you expect them to e-mail you that they're FedExing it to you overnight. That's what you expect if they want to book your business again, at any rate.

Not the best trip, but the event I covered was worth it. Good stuff. Had never been to the Pomona College of the East before, the hippies have all fled before the red tide of biogen yuppification to Somerville, one hears.

Went from a 24-page issue to a 36-pager in one week with little advance warning. Yeesh. Wrote another one of my patented "We are committed to covering your client fairly and thoroughly, but we would prefer that someone more professional represent them to us in the future" memos to a slimy jerk who called one of my reporters a "fucking bitch" on the phone today. Hard to understand: Without getting into the nitty gritty, there was a press release circulating about this firm by a fly-by-night lawsuit plaintiff, and our story actually counteracted the patently absurd negative spin that these sketchy folks were putting out. And here we were getting called fucking bitches for repeating the charges the other party had made only in order to put them in proper perspective. Polite offers for the client to go on the record and debate the nuisance were rejected obscenely.

Paranoia will destroy ya. PR is a career that apparently drives some people out of their gourd, whereas other people in the profession seem to grasp that getting your point across is all about understanding what the press needs from you and busting your butt to get them it. As the Staples Singers put it, "If you don't respect yourself ain't nobody gonna give a good ga-HOOT." Yeesh. You have to train some of these paranoid freaks that they're human beings like the rest of us and need to observe the golden rule in a minimal way or we can't transact.

Very tired and into an amusing little Aussie Shiraz. I take back those "shrimp on the barbie" crack I made the other day to a gentleman in the elevator. There's there there down under.

We're watching a tribute concert to George Harrison, "the quiet Beatle," on PBS. George was always my favorite Beatle. Read into that what you will. I just always liked the weird gleam in his eye.


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