Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You want a what?

On Monday morning at 09:40 I had a telephone call from Philip, my line manager. He asked me if I could do a favour for Jason, our Commercial Director. Could I walk into Swansea Bus Station and purchase from the newsagent, 3 copies of the Swansea Evening Post?

This was a very strange request indeed. What would a man, sitting at a desk in Llantwit Fardre, a village some 15 miles north west of Cardiff, want with a Swansea newspaper, some 35 miles away? Why would he want 3 copies of a little known regional newspaper?

Then the alarm bells started ringing! The time was 09:40 in the morning and the title of the alleged newspaper was the Swansea Evening Post. Surely an evening newspaper would be published late afternoon and trying to purchase a copy at 09:40 in the morning would be a fool's errand. Would this request be swiftly followed by another request to purchase a tin of stripped paint and a carton of pigeon milk? Philip must be having a laugh!

I have known Philip since 1997 and he has never once joked with me. He tends to be a serious guy and takes his job seriously. If this was a genuine request from our Commercial Director and I did not comply, then I could be in trouble for not being helpful. Because I trust Philip and he has not lead me astray before, I went into the Bus Station to satisfy my curiosity.

There was a big stack of newspapers on the bottom shelf. I could not find a Swansea Evening Post but did notice a large stack of South Wales Evening Post with the sub heading of Swansea Final. The published date was Monday 19th March 2012 and the price 45p. Very surprised at this discovery, I purchased 3 copies and the sales woman did not bat an eye lid.

So, Philip was not joking and the South Wales Evening Post is actually a regional morning newspaper. When I handed my coach over to Dave at Cardiff West, I told him of this strange request. One of the passengers overheard our conversation and told us that the South Wales Evening Post used to be a late afternoon newspaper and had changed it's timeline but kept the original name! We think Jason wanted 3 copies because our company supplied coaches for Saturday's Six Nations Rugby Championship and there may have been some pictures of our fleet at the stadium.
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