Imagine the scene – it’s 5am and I’m frantically tearing around looking for my work notepad holder on my way to see a client…. I grab the folder, kiss David goodbye (not that he noticed, he was more or less completely asleep) and make a dash for the car. Four hours later, I’m in the office of my client in Manchester and I open my folder – oh no – no pen!
Phil (client) came to the rescue and valiantly let me have his….the one pictured! In my job all of these things are completely non-funny and commonplace – I have a copy of the 2002 UK Sex Survey on my desk in my office It says that the average Brit has sex 67 times a year and that if you live in Yorkshire you are more likely to have a fuller sex life than if you live in London (among other such facts and figures).
I often have projects on the go that are related to sex and other ‘embarrassing’ topics. I’ve done projects on hirsutism (excessive hair – especially on the face), erectile dysfunction (impotence), haemorrhoids (piles), lubricating jellies (who uses and why), contraception and all manner of other such subjects. It makes us all a bit cavalier about such things.
One of my colleagues was researching genital warts when a sufferer offered to show her his warts rather than describe them for her – she couldn’t decline too quickly! Another colleague spent an hour on the phone to a guy who’d phoned the contact number on the bottom of a survey (we have to give contact numbers so if anyone wants to check out the authenticity of a study they can)…..he spent an hour telling her about how his erectile dysfunction had wrecked his life, ruined his marriage and shattered his self-esteem. She kept telling him she wasn’t a doctor and could do nothing to help him but he kept on pouring his troubles out on her.
The poor guy was clearly very traumatised and our colleague was completely unable to get him to stop confessing his bedroom secrets to her. She did really well to sympathise and suggest he visit his GP who would be able to prescribe him a treatment.
All of this makes us impervious to the giggles that usually accompany things like Durex pens so today, when I got out my folder at the office of another client and took out my Durex pen, it didn’t occur to me that there would be an attack of giggles from the client and one of my colleagues. In fact this pen became the talking point for about ten minutes of the meeting before we could get onto the topic of the day.
This client has a drug in their portfolio for ED and so I wouldn’t have expected quite so much hilarity. It made me realise I’d probably better not put it in my handbag or I’d be getting it out (and causing havoc) to sign the credit card slip next time I buy petrol!