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Being a superstar

Being a superstar

For whatever reason, this has become the week to talk about myself at work – as if I don’t bore enough of my work colleagues with this blog.

First came the interview feedback as to why I didn’t get that job. I came third, which seemed nice enough until I realise I don’t know how many candidates got interviewed to begin with! But my self-confidence hasn’t been totally shattered, and hopefully I’ll improve at my next interview. I’ve also got my appraisal sometime this week, co-incidentally.

Then the internal staff newsletter came calling, asking for my life-story to go into a weekly feature section they have. So I burbled on the phone for an hour, giving them my best embarassing showbiz and work anecdotes – on the grounds that people are probably not all that interested in how I occasionally code HTML/XML for a living.

Thus the resulting profile (from what I’ve read) will be an embarassingly long Nathan Barley-esque read of a sad man who only lives through celebrity, and hankers to do everything at once, while eating toast. Although the features editor assures me it’s gold. In the same way that I have occasionally assured a freelancer that their work is fantastic, before I knuckle down and totally rewrite it.

They also mentioned, by the way, that they’d be commissioning a photographer to take a picture of me. So I thought it’d just be a quick pose in front of some building, job done in 5 minutes.

The photographer met me this morning, and we went down to the Millennium Stadium – Cardiff’s most famous landmark which happens to be a minutes’ walk from the house. And what i presumed would be a quick five-minute pose job turned into an hour of standing on various railings, by trees, next to walls near spiders’ webs’ while trying to look up, down, above the camera, slightly below the camera, and between the camera and the flash gun in an attempt to get 8 good photos to give to the magazine team. He even had me posing next to some random graffiti that had been spray-painted on a house there. All with his exortions for me to fold my arms, put my arms down, smile a brimming confident smile — if I could smile a brimming confident smile, I doubt I’d need a profile written.

Just when I think it’s all over, he decides he need something more natural as a background, and we end up at Cardiff Bay for another hour of posing, standing in awkward positions on top of fences, next to a railing, and sitting on some sculpture. I jokingly suggest posing next to a fire sign – surprisingly, he agrees and spends the next 4 minutes posing me against a green fire sign.

All this activity does make me feel slightly self-important for a second, but that thought is thankfully banished by all the passers-by. They seem mildly interested in the relatively frantic photographic activity and all the paraphenalia. Flash bulbs, a huge 12-megapixel camera, camera lenses bigger than my penis (that’ll get the Google search requests in). Then they see the subject and mild disappointment is probably an insufficient description. Lordie knows what gets wheeled out for the proper superstars. Although they at least get make-up artists.

After 2 hours of photographic preening and posing, he shows me a quick preview of the end result in the camera. It has to be said, I look professional, and vaguely interesting – even if I do look a bit too corporate and like my ultimate boss for comfort (in terms of pose and corporateness, that is). Much better than the various photographs that have been taken of me over the years – although most of those were even on holiday, or drunk. But at least they only took 5 seconds.

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