Farewell YUPPY, hello GOSSIP

TWENTY years ago the Comet office resounded to the sound of typewriters ancient and modern being pounded. There was the rustle of carbon paper being slotted between two sheets of copy paper before being inserted into said machines. Along with notepads and

TWENTY years ago the Comet office resounded to the sound of typewriters ancient and modern being pounded.

There was the rustle of carbon paper being slotted between two sheets of copy paper before being inserted into said machines.

Along with notepads and pens, these were the tools of the trade for local journalists.

If you wanted to ring someone, there was the office phone or a public telephone box.


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None of the hacks had mobile phones. These were the preserve of the boys on the national press.

But one did not envy them having to carry round something which resembled a brick and must have weighed as much if not more.

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It was the decade of the YUPPY, an acronym the meaning and origin of which is a little obscure but which is generally regarded as describing a young upwardly mobile professional person who enjoyed an affluent lifestyle.

I never knew such people but apparently they did exist locally and maybe could be spotted in the early morning waiting at the railway station to go into the city and do their important jobs.

They all wore red braces, apparently, carried large briefcases and had those massive mobiles. Despite all their hard work, they also used to enjoy long lunches.

Things have inevitably changed, of course. The YUPPY is long gone, or more correctly, I learned this week, morphed into the 21st century as the Office GOSSIPS.

You may not have heard of this one - it stands for Gadget Obsessed, Status Symbol Infatuated Professionals.

According to research conducted among workers, today's ambitious young things arrive at the office with not one but two tiny mobile phones.

One for each ear, I would jest, but the real reason is that one is dedicated to the working world while the other is ear-marked (sorry, couldn't resist it) for their hectic social lives.

They also must have a blackberry (which in my book is a fruit but which these days it seems is a super duper telephony device), an ipod with headphones which I presume is for ensuring that users have serious hearing problems when older, sushi for lunch - what happened to the humble sandwich or pub meal? - a decaff cappuccino for meetings and a gym bag for a post-office workout.

What happens if they forget one of these things in the rush to get out in the morning? Do they feel obliged to trek back home to collect it before reporting for duty correctly attired? Would they feel undressed without all the gear?

It must be hard - and stressful - for some office workers those days.

I wonder how many of them know what the Domesday Book is.

In a recent survey, almost two per cent of the respondents thought the 900-year-old document was actually a novel by Dan Brown. Another 11 per cent believed it to be a chapter in the Bible.

That reminds me of the time some years ago when I was walking past the street entrance to the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage which had on a production of Betjemania honouring the work of the late poet laureate. There was a publicity poster on show.

Two youths were also going by, and one remarked to the other: "I've never heard of that group.

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