"But I don’t care,
I really don’t care.
Did you see the drummer’s hair?"
My first (and only) office (it’s been all open-plan ever since) was a magnet for peeping toms, police snipers, and the Mitchell brothers from EastEnders.
The company was nestled amidst the vice dens and adult entertainment shops that still populate the shadiest part of London’s already quite shady enough Soho area. And my office overlooked one of the more livelier parts of the neighbourhood – a charming little block where fiends would drop syringes in to the primary school playground below.
I’m using the term 'office', but it was little more than an unwanted cupboard with enough space to house my desk and a chair. But at 3pm every day it suddenly became extremely popular with my boss and the sales team, as the local ‘working girls’ awoke from their night shifts and began watering their window boxes. In their underwear. I was always fascinated by their horticultural tendencies. Everyone else was naturally fascinated for other reasons.
Unsurprisingly, some trouble kicked off in the club opposite one day and I arrived at work to find the block cordoned off and a police sniper positioned in my office window. The rumour was that one of the girls had been taken hostage. But our sales team probably started that rumour,so who knows. Fortunately, it all ended peacefully. No plants got watered that day.
Now if this all sounds like a scene from EastEnders, things were about to take another surreal turn when I found out my boss had hired out my office to Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden!? Turns out the soap was filming outside for a few days (makes perfect sense considering how miserable it always is) and they were looking for dressing rooms. So I was turfed out and had to squat in reception – writing scripts for paving stones whilst fielding calls from Peggy Mitchell, aka Barbara Windsor. I’m not a fan of the show though and never saw the final episode. But I lived in hope that my boss would one day get a call from The X-Files production team. They’d have fitted right in to this bizarre place.