“Hey, I’ve just managed to snag us a great new client!”
I tried to hide my disinterest as Charlie bounded into the room, clutching several creased pages in his hands.
Our business had suffered lately and we were barely making ends meet. The loss of several key clients to a rival firm had almost caused us to go under. Both Charlie and I knew that we’d have to pull something pretty major out of the bag to keep us afloat.
“That’s great,” I replied, not looking up from the spreadsheet that contained our profit and loss margins. It was just a shame that there were far more losses than profits.
“I’m serious, Tony.”
I only looked up when Charlie parked his considerable ass on the side of my desk, a movement that caused the end furthest from him to lift slightly from the floor.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself to feel decidedly underwhelmed by Charlie’s news. “Who is it then?” I asked.
“He’s called George,” Charlie began.
“He works in politics.”
I couldn’t help it, I groaned audibly. Politicians were always the worst people to represent; they wouldn’t know what good public relations were if it smacked them in the face with an AK-47.
Politicians were a bunch of slippery, sneaky, deceitful liars. There was a reason that the public hated them: they were always full of bullshit.
“Don’t look at me like that, Tony.”
Charlie’s face fell as his eyes caught sight of my frown.
“I met up with George today and he’s a real stand-up guy. Full of that old-boy Texan charm – he’ll be hit, I know he will.”
Things had started out well enough, until George found himself in a position of great power. It didn’t matter how many speech writers we employed, George would always manage to screw up even the simplest of presentations.
Sure, George was popular with the public – but for all the wrong reasons.
We were a PR company; it’s not good business to have your star client being lampooned in the national media day after day. There came a point where I stopped turning up to the speeches and rallies, I even gave up on attending any of the interviews he gave.
It astonished me that a man as well-educated and from such good stock could come across as a complete idiot when it came to the media and the things he said. I wondered if it was just an act, a way to fool his detractors into thinking he was easy prey.
We were at war with a foreign country and the best answer he could come up with was, “This is still a dangerous world. It’s a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses.”
The irony of it was the mental losses were all mine. I swear, good old George could drive a man to drink.
Written in response to Thain in Vain’s Week 39 prompt: A public relations (PR) firm’s newest client is a PR nightmare.