Friday, 15 January 2010

Business is great


In business it’s important to give the appearance of success. That means that when people ask how things are going and you want to say ‘OUR SUPPLIERS HAVE GONE BUST, WE HAVE AN ORDER DUE, IF WE DON’T DELIVER IT WE’LL LOSE EVERYTHING’ you are not allowed. You have to smile and say ‘Business is great’.

Grassy recently lucked out by getting backed by a pair of lady investors. This ended a long period of ‘yeahbutnobutyeahbutno’ from the bank and gave Grassy a new lease of life. To celebrate our investors invited us to a posh, Women of The Year event, our first chance to impress them and present an appearance of success.

It was at the Dorchester, neither of us had ever been there before and when we saw Dr Foxy from Capital FM in the lobby next to someone who looked a LOT like Lionel Ritchie we became hopeful that the lunch would be a star-studded event like the last one (where I ate Ether Rantzen’s bread roll and Abi shared a hand drier with Dame Vera Lynn) We were not disappointed when the first person we spotted as we walked through the door was Woman’s Hour broadcaster Jenni Murray. Needless to say we made friends with her straight away and ended up discussing lots of things including genetic variance in Chihuahuas and cultural isolationism in New Zealand and the surrounding islands. It might have been sometime between those two subjects, that the ‘Business is great’ rule slipped my mind a TINY bit just for a moment, I’m not exactly sure.

Our chat was cut short when our investors arrived and we sat down for lunch (which consisted of food items that can be described using the words ‘mousse’ and ‘jus’ but not ‘bap’). After managing to appear professional for nearly an hour lunch ended and the award ceremony began. Abi and I were delighted when our new-best-friend Jenni Murray was called up to the stage to receive an award and we clapped in a ladylike way (when only half your hand touches).

Jenni paid tribute to the esteemed company in the room and talked about the financial difficulties that businesses are facing. Then out of nowhere we were thrilled to hear her talking about us…
‘I have just met two young women’ she began
‘Who started a porridge business from their kitchen and now they sell it in Waitrose!’
Abi and I looked at our investors and beamed with pride. For about one and half seconds it felt like we had really arrived, that we belonged that we really were a success. Then the thing happened that always happens, the Grassy effect…
‘Which is remarkable’ Jenni went on,
‘Because last year they nearly went BANKRUPT’.
Abi shot me a look that said ‘What did you tell her?’ and I smiled back weakly and tried to remember for next time ‘Business is great’