Upon entering the Otago Daily Times editorial suite, I was
greeted first by a tube of toothpaste.
I went into the office on Monday having already been sent
a letter of rejection by the recruitment firm that is seeking a
new chief executive to run Forsyth Barr Stadium. That was
quick! I had only sent in my application a few days earlier.
Upon entering the Otago Daily Times editorial suite, I
was greeted first by a tube of toothpaste.
It was sitting in the middle of the corridor, opposite the
editor's door and below a wall of monochrome photographs of
editors past, going right back to 1861 and our founding
father Sir Julius Vogel.
It was Sensodyne in green, the tube slightly bent, having
been used. It had no apparent owner or origin. There it lay,
at the feet of the editors, at the foot of tradition and
It meant a swoop from seriousness to comic absurdity: a
definition of bathos. And it was comforting as a home,
refreshing as toothpaste should be.
My sore sense of woe at having been denied chiefdom, on
grounds not at all clear to me, was brushed away like a day's
plaque and replaced with a newly minted delight in life.
The first person I spoke to was deputy editor Barry.
Barry: So did you get the job?
Me: No, can you believe it. I was really disappointed.
Me: No, seriously. I had already started thinking of great
ideas to fill the stadium. Get this, gigantic-screen karaoke.
Huh? Huh? Gigantic. Screen. Karaoke. Who doesn't want to sing
in front of 30,000 people? Who wouldn't buy a ticket to see
that? It'd be inexpensive to run. And you could have a
website where people enter a ballot system to be selected to
sing the karaoke songs.
Barry: So did they already tell you you didn't get the job?
Barry: Did they really?
Me: Got an email from them first thing this morning.
Barry: That was quick! What'd they say?
Me: "We have read your application and CV and appreciate the
time you have taken putting these together. However on this
occasion we regret to inform you that your application has
not progressed to the next stage in the recruitment process."
Barry: A form letter then?
Me: Yep. Hey, do you know what I found when I got in today?
Barry: No, what?
Me: A tube of toothpaste. Right in the middle of the corridor
there beneath the editors.
Barry: Did you really?
Me: Yep. Pretty funny eh.
Barry: Yeah that's pretty funny.
Thus would go most conversations I had at work on Monday. It
was not a bad night at the dear old Oddity, not a bad night