As I am a member of my employer's senior management team, today, I have just had to have my picture taken for the company's website.
I arrived at the Boardroom at the appointed time and was met by the photographer - an amiable hippy with long wavey hair and big eyebrows. Indeed, his eyebrows were so luxuriant that they resembled two caterpillars advancing towards each other in preparation for combat. They were also of a different colour to his hair - which led me to question which was as God intended, the answer unclear as both looked unnatural.
I was a website virgin and viewed my elevation with a sense of wonderment.
Prior to the shoot, I had reviewed the photos of the current management team on the website to see how they looked. A few had used pictures that made them look impossibly young. Indeed, in a few cases, I would have barely recognised them. A few were implausibly cheerful - a state they were rarely in during my dealings with them. For those that were normally cheerful, their photos positively whooped with joy.
I was stood by a white wall from where the photo would be taken.
It has to be admitted that there has only been one good photo ever taken of me. I do not now how it happened - perhaps the fact that my family was with me in it. In it, I look like the sort of bloke you would not mind being stuck in a lift with.
I had a brief career in modelling in my student days lasting one afternoon when I was asked to model Wellington Boots for the catalogue of a well know Garden Centre where I was working. Even then, my lack of photographic potential shone through - the final calumny being that the picture used for the catalogue only captured the boots and my upper legs. It was a wise choice though for the manufacturer to avoid a collapse in sales.
In all other pictures, it is as if the bad photograph fairy has been able to insert a broom handle where the sun don't shine disappearing all the way up to the brush when it temporarily destabilises my shoulders and creates a look of alarm on my face consistent with such an insertion. This coupled with the fact that my forehead has gained the ability to reflect light in the same way as a cats eyes do in the middle of the road, making the resulting image far from appealing.
It was for this reason that I was nervous getting the photo done.
I kept my counsel and started at the enormous lense in front of me. The shutter winked loudly at me a few times.
"Don't look so worried" - the hairy one pleaded.
"Yes, that's good"
"A smile, that's good"
I remembered the original brief that marketing wanted. A head shot and a full body shot. He must have taken about 20 pictures of me. This was not going well. Yet, he seemed to be quite happy.
He thanked me for my efforts, and I picked up the cup of tea and biscuit I had been given as I had entered the Boardroom. I felt flustered and the warm glow of embarrassment coloured me unnaturally.
He left the room, and when to talk to the Marketing Manager, going through the carnage which had been caught on film in hushed tones
I did not want to see the photos. I didn't know why, particularly as they were going to be accessible by everyone in the entire world. It was like having haemmoroids injected - painful to be have done, but you did not want to see the after effects.
Into the room came the Finance Director looking more presentable than I had ever seen him look. He spotted the tea and biscuits and asked whether this was to stop him fainting afterwards. I told him to take his clothes off and leave them in the corner of the room as we were submitting him for the "Finance Directors in the Nude" calendar for 2012. He ignored my comment, probably because he was nervous.
I wait for the final website launch with some trepidation but also the feeling that I am one of those people who need to be experienced rather than captured in two dimensions. It is the same good brandy - the bottle may be pretty, but the contents need to be poured, swished around the glass, smelt with love and wonderment, tasted gingerly at first but ultimately with a sense of passion. The same is true of me.
All the pictures will prove is that I can operate with a broom handle stuck up my arse.
On the plus side, it could be the start of a long and varied internet career, so far untapped.