W ell, here’s a funny thing. Back in December, I received exceptional customer service from Kelly at Octopus Energy. So much so, in fact, I was moved to write a blog post about it, and that is something I only do about every three months or so. (Being a journalist, I am quite lazy and only write when I have a fixed deadline. Not all journalists are lazy, though, before you go hating on me.)
I did it for no reason other than that it was the right thing to do and with no expectation of reward. Random acts of kindness an’ all that palaver. It’s how I roll.
I tweeted a link to my post and headed off to Somerset to a fancy dress party where the theme was “après-ski”. I went freestyle and a little off-piste. Not sure there’s much skiing in Bavaria but, you know, you have to make an effort. That evening in the pub, I got an email from Kelly who works a split-shift to fit in around her childcare. She was really delighted that I had taken the trouble to do this and it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It must have created good karma, ‘cos I got really drunk and seemed to be having a good time, or so witnesses and the police told me later. (Jooooke. I wasn’t that drunk. Pipe down.)
And that was that. Or so I thought.
Next, the CEO of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, retweeted my post. “Oh, that’s nice,” I thought. And then I had an email from Go Fund Me to say that he had put £50 into my fundraiser. (We drove an ex-police 4x4 from London to Bamako, in Mali, west Africa, after Christmas. It took a month. Everyone said I was completely radio rental. Except my daughter who just gave me an eyeroll. Again.)
Like Humpty Dumpty, Greg was clearly a Thoroughly Good Egg, I thought to myself. And that was that. Or so I thought…
Next, I had an email from a lovely young woman called Rebecca. Rebecca is marketing director at Octopus and got in touch to say she had also put money into my fundraiser. She also said that she liked the writing on my website. And she asked, would I come in for a chat to take a look at the tone of voice of some of their customer communications, such as emails and blog posts?
Choosing my words Caerphilly, I said “There’s lovely.” (See what I did there?) Alas, I would be in Africa till the end of January but would certainly be in touch if – I mean, after – I made it back from my trans-Saharan lunacy. And that was that. Or so I thought…
Two weeks ago, I had an email from Octopus reminding me to provide my meter readings. “Lawks a lumme!” I cried. “Wherefore art thou, lovely Rebecca?” So I dropped her a line, vaguely mumbling about having just got back from Africa. The ever-sharp Rebecca pointed out that, as a donor, she saw all my updates so will have seen through my pitiful prevarication, though she was far too much of a lady to say so. Rebecca copied in Lara, her head of strategy, and I went in for a chat last week.
We talked through a few ideas and suggestions and off I trotted to meet a journalist for a late lunch before going to a book launch about polyamory (don’t ask, there might be minors reading this) at Soho House’s gaff on the Portobello Road, Electric House. The next day, Lara said, “we love your energy.” Which was funny because I was about to say that to them. I’m punny, me. So we agreed a day rate to do some words an’ that for two days a week. Lara came back later and said, “Actually, can you make it five days a week for the next month?” and as the word “no” should never be in a freelance’s lexicon, I have just done my first week with them…