Robin called after two, just as the Ministry people were knocking off for the day. As usual, his faux-posh voice was disgustingly cheerful as he brayed at me.Pauls' boss, publisher Robin Goodyear, never actually makes an appearance in Olives, he just lives on the end of a phone line, which is just as well because he’s an obnoxious sod. He’s also someone anyone who has worked in magazine publishing will identify immediately as belonging to their company.
‘Stokesy. Hi. It’s me. You have a nice weekend? Settled in yet?’
The bastard had booked me on a Saturday flight so I wouldn’t miss Sunday, a working day in Jordan. When our call was over he’d be off down to the pub then back home to Sunday roast and a pissy, red wine-fuelled row with his poor wife, Claire. The thought of Sunday pubs brought a wave of homesickness and the strong temptation to whinge to him about just how badly yesterday had gone. Ibrahim and Aisha’s exhortations to silence won the day. Just.
Olives - Page 15
Robin lives in a converted barn in Kent and drives a BMW. He likes to do beers on Sunday with the CEO down at the Morgan Arms.
There are a lot of Robins out there, usually heading sales teams in trade publishing houses. Most publishers in trade publishing come from a sales background. The sales teams are the people the journalists love to hate, confident, brash and breezy, minted and possessing not one shred of sincerity. Of course, they're the reason the journalists are in a job (which they will waste little time reminding anyone who'll listen, particularly journalists) and the fact this is ultimately true is not something journalists like to be reminded of.
In Robin's case, Paul is living in Jordan for a year to produce the magazine the publishing company (TMG) has contracted with the Ministry of Natural Resources so Robin has a vested interest in motivating Paul which is offset by a keenness not to go spending too much money on his 'hack'...