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|The Chester-Perry Co|
The Typing Pool
Chester-Perry, like most large British companies in the sixties, employs a group of typists to provide communal services to the middle and junior management. (Senior management has individual secretaries). The typing pool is staffed almost exclusively by young, single, frustrated women who share a single ambition - to marry for money and escape the drudgery of work. Bristow expresses the typically sexist attitudes of men in the 1960s in strip 1032 and in this early reference to the pool- strip 29 .
Bristow lets out an unimpressed "Holy Mackerel" after he is introduced. Jones asks him "How come the typing bureau only send us plain, unattractive girls?" Bristow "Standing order".
The worst thing that can happen to a typist is to do a whole page of typing with the carbon back to front. Other bad things include having Bristow singing his dictation, Bristow coming in at 4:55pm with an urgent letter to type and Bristow hanging round the typing pool gossiping.
The best thing that can happen to a typist is to win the heart of young Robin Chester-Perry, the ne’er do well son of the firm’s founder and heir to the C-P fortune. The rumour of his presence in the building is enough to bring all work in the typing pool to a halt as makeup is hastily applied and hair retouched.
The pool is run by Miss Glockling, a fearsome lady whose management technique seems depressingly familiar.
Discipline is certainly harsh in the Pool. When Miss Sharman is caught sneaking off work at 3pm with the part-timers (Bristow: "We've all tried it at some time") she is give loss of privileges (i.e. no tea and cakes) and 40 days hard labour (i.e non-stop typing with no carbon paper allowed). Bristow and his colleagues are appalled and naturally do what they can to help strip 4008 .
The typists are a naturally bitchy lot, eager to score points off each other. When Miss Sharman wins a beauty contest in a minor seaside town, Bristow can't wait to race to the pool, inform her colleagues and relish the resulting "Miaow"