It was one of those cafes that start with 'B'. Why do they all start with 'B'? What's wrong with the other 25 letters of the alphabet? Becco. Babka. Bruno's. Benito's. BluFish. Baa. Bello's. Baloo. They could call it Garbage Truck or Strong Smell of Liniment for all I cared. As long as the coffee was good the name didn't matter.
The coffee was good. So were the scrambled eggs and bacon with hash browns, fried tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms on toasted sourdough. Should get me through to an early lunch, say around 12.30-ish.
I browsed through the complimentary morning papers over the second coffee and then, after paying the bill, I winked at the waitress on the way out. Can you still call them waitresses, or are you up against some workplace discrimination law or other, and get hauled before a Human Rights Commission, of which we seem to have about seventeen? Hang on, the wink is a criminal act now as well. I felt a hashtag digging into my back as I left.
In the office the first person I ran into was the suit who had called me at the seventh hole yesterday.
'Got some bad news,' he said.
A faint tingle started crawling up my spine. I ignored it and replied, pointedly, 'I'm recovering, thank you, but how are you?'
'Oh. Yes. Are you feeling better?' he stammered. 'And good morning.'
'Quite better thank you,' I answered. 'Bed rest works a treat for over-worked, stressed-out people like me. What's your bad news?'
'That client review I mentioned yesterday.' He paused.
'Mr Austin, the marketing director, has informed us that to hold the account we have to re-pitch against five other agencies.'
A long silence. I felt that tingle again, but decided to take the crash-through approach.
'Re-pitch? Tell them to get stuffed. Here: take this down.'
We were in my office now. I dictated while he recorded on his device.
"Mr R. AustinI do like a pun here and there, but that one would go straight over his head. Never mind. I continued:
Agricultural Bearings Pty Ltd
Dear Mr Austin
In asking us to re-pitch you have completely forgotten that our brilliant campaign not only saved your marketing director role's arse last year, but also added big numbers onto your company's bottom line."
"You now tell us you are 'reviewing' the account. Well, here's our review: Our work was great. It sold millions of dollars worth of agricultural bearings. Furthermore, you are an A-grade arsehole. So take your account and shove it.'Did you get all that?'
Kind regards, Blake Browning Burns."
The suit didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Finally he decided I was joking and managed a nervous laugh.
I glared. 'I'm serious.'
He didn't say anything, he just kind of squeaked.