May 17th 1975

“Work. Mrs Francis getting right up my nose”

Maybe I was too confident and cocky early on about being able to sell music to the masses?

Mrs Francis – as I have mentioned before – was a stickler for certain work ‘protocols’ and how her staff deported themselves.

Despite the fact that I dressed smartly – I was probably the neatest record shop salesman in Southampton? – in full accordance with her ‘rules’, I know I was often quite effusive with customers about what I thought they should buy. Sometimes LOUD and effusive.

She didn’t like that and so I had to – as the phrase goes – ‘curb my enthusiasm’ considerably to stand within her guidelines.

However, I hated the idea that customers may be going elsewhere to buy their requirements when she refused to listen to my suggestions about what kind of stuff we should be stocking and how many I could sell the following weekend.

Yes, this early in my record career I was that aware of what people really wanted.

Yes, I was already railing against “the man” (or, in this case, the old woman) and despising being told what to do.

Long term, that attitude would serve me very well… short-term it was – as readers will discover in coming entries – nothing less than a recipe for disaster.

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