The digital interrupt is relentless, often trivial, sometimes insufferable, cunningly finding new channels, often repetitive, poorly constructed and lacks sufficient courtesy to recognise that you are busy.
Companies have problems, of course. The worry is when those working next to or with the problem-because of a toxic organisational culture -are fearful of mentioning it. As problems ignored rarely self-heal.
When we decided to start a science magazine to rival the glorious arts one Isis I guess we all envisaged being in the cool jobs: editor, layout, photo-shoot specialist and so on. We loved concept meetings, brainstorming possibilities of who we might interview was fun and commissioning articles from fellow students keen to 'build their brand' was not hard.
But as always we needed money; we needed to sell advertising. I decided to give it a try: how hard could it be? Very hard: I wrote, I telephoned and we got by with each issue but I realised we needed a breakthrough. I decided to go to the top: Sir Basil Blackwell, head of Blackwell's Book Shops.
Sheer naivety on my part of wandering in and asking to see him (several times) must have caused him to be curious. I got 30 minutes with the great man. I did my pitch, he listened carefully, and then pronounced that Blackwell's had no need ot an advert but would do so to support us. He was exceedingly courteous.
Working on Zenith I learnt a lot. Everybody wants the cool jobs but if 'sales' is not done and done well the cools jobs won't exist. That it's amazing what you can get if you ask by being polite and persistent. And that looking back although Blackwell's didn't need an advert then it certainly needed to shift its thinking very soon after; the empire is not what it was.