Friday evening, 10 o’clock, and the phone rings at home. It’s Patrick, one of our Nigerian clients, who supplies card issuing sytems to banks and financial institutions. He phones on the off-chance that we might be able to do something for his sister.
Maris runs the St Maria Goretti school in Nigeria and has recently returned from a cultural school trip to the UK. She needs to produce a memorial brochure for parents and children but there’s a catch: the printed brochures need to be in Lagos by the following Friday. Producing a brochure within a week in the UK is not terribly difficult but we know from previous experience there’s a major transport issue, delivering material to Nigeria.
Before making any sort of decision, I need to see what we’re dealing with so Maria e-mails a draft of the proposed brochure in Word. On the face of it, it all looks reasonable straightforward but I need to check transport before commiting – and that can’t be done until first thing Monday.
And Monday is the 5th day of the Lord’s test with every chance of England beating Australia at Lord’s for the first time in years so I can’t miss that. The stewards at Lord’s are very hot on mobile phones so it’s back and forth between seat and the back of the grandstand making calls, trying to resolve the transport issue. Doesn’t look good when it becomes apparent that the brochures would need to be at Heathrow by tonight to clear Lagos customs in time for Friday delivery.
But what are friends for? Another of our Nigerian clients, Rockson Engineering, has a private plane leaving on Wednesday afternoon – if we can deliver brochures to Kensington by 3pm they’ll take them for us. Game on.
Fortunately Freddie destroys the Aussie resistance and it’s all over by lunch – shame in a way, as the atmosphere at Lord’s was simply fantastic.
Back to the office, and by early evening a draft design is on its way to Nigeria. A few corrections and tweaks on Tuesday morning, and by early afternoon we have approval and the PDFs are en route to the factory.
Sterling work by Prometheus to print the brochure overnight and have sheets drying on the floor by breakfast in time for folding and stitching. By midday transport is on its way to collect and deliver safely to Kensington (with a few minutes to spare!).
Late on Thursday I have a call from a very happy Maria.