I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.
1990 – Advertising, Chinese Food, Family celebrations, M.C. Hammer and Pretty Woman
It is 1990 and I am 37 years old. Work was going well and I was now Advertising Sales Manager for the paper I worked for, bringing a fair bit of stress but nothing that I could not handle. I had a full-time telesales team during the day and part-time team that came in until 9.00pm each evening and all day Saturday selling private property and car adverts. This meant that I tended to be in the office from 8.00 a.m. to 7pm each weekday and on call on Saturdays. I had some great supervisors thankfully which meant I rarely received a call. It was also pre-mobile phone days which meant that if we had headed off to London to the cinema they had to make the decisions.
There were some interesting moments at work as keeping 25 young telesales staff motivated enough to achieve the tough weekly targets we were given was challenging. Rejection is part of the package in outbound cold calling and we focused on building up regular advertisers who booked weekly. They were offered incentives of course for longer- term bookings and there were bonuses for those sales people who managed to obtain these preferred customers.
This did not always involve spot prizes such as money, cinema or theatre tickets. It also involved some personal forfeits by their sales manager. On one occasion I promised that if they hit a particularly heavy weekly target that I would do the splits; a skill left over from my ballet days at age seven. To be honest I did not expect that this target handed down from head office was achievable despite my team’s best efforts and it was in desperation that I put my well-being on the line.
Bless them they pulled out all the stops and at the eleventh hour they overtook the target in spectacular style. I am a firm believer in keeping promises and despite being a fairly hefty 15 stone at the time I honoured my commitment and descended into the splits. They of course were delighted but it did take three of the more substantial lads to get me back up into a standing position!
Some of the aforementioned regular advertisers who had taken out six-monthly or annual packages were sometimes treated to lunch. I was not into three hour business lunches as there was far too much work to be done, but I would meet them at Ho-Ho Chinese Restaurant up on the high road in South Woodford and we would have the set lunch accompanied by a bottle of warm Saki served in very small china cups. Since I was a very regular customer (David and I used to frequent often), I knew the owner and the head waiter very well and we came to an arrangement that when I brought in a client they would serve the Saki in the much larger tea cups so speeding up the process.
On one occasion as I was walking up the high street with an important client on our way to Ho-Ho’s I noticed a pretty Chinese girl coming towards us. As she came level she held her cupped hands way out in front of her breasts and smiled at me.
‘Hello Miss Big Cups, how are you today?‘ Recognition in any form is always excellent customer service.
In the September of 1990 my parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and we enjoyed a family party in Brighton at my eldest sister’s house with old friends of the family and a lot of champagne. My parents loved to dance and to travel.. and here is a photograph taken by my sister of their trip to Paris, on top of the Eiffel Tower.Now to the music and film of the year….
With limited time music was something I listened to whilst I prepared the evening meal. I tended to stick with my long-term favourites on the CD player in the kitchen and only bought a couple of new albums. To be honest I thought that a lot of the chart hits were not great that year apart from stand outs from artists such as Elton John with Sacrifice – Healing Hands, Phil Collins – I Wish It Would Rain Down, The Beautiful South – A Little Time – The B-52’s – Love Shack, Kylie Minogue – Tears on my Pillow and Better the Devil You Know. I am a huge fan of Michael Bolton so his CD was definitely added to the collection that year and his single How Am I Supposed to Love Without You was and still is amazing.
The films of 1990 seemed to be mainly sequels. Predator 2, Robocop 2, Back to the Future III, The Godfather III, Die Hard 2, Rocky V. There were some stand- alone films however that have stood the test of time. Home Alone, Total Recall, Awakenings, The Hunt for Red October, Dances with Wolves, Quigley Down Under (had to include because of Tom Selleck!) and the very memorable Ghost.
I guess my favourite film of the year was Pretty Woman… and Roy Orbison’s track is one I still enjoy on my playlist today. Moon
Buy Pretty Woman: Amazon
I hope you have enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me to 1990 and will join me again for the next installment… thanks Sally