Paul Grubb was the first creative we hired at GGT.
He got the job because Gordon Smith couldn’t understand his accent.
What happened was Gordon answered the phone one day.
He’s from sarf London, and I could tell he was struggling.
I asked him what was up.
He said “You’d better take this, some geezer says ‘e knows Sherfield or summink.”
(John Sherfield was a supplier we used, so I took the call.)
It turned out it was actually a junior creative, saying he was from Sheffield.
That was how Paul Grubb got the job.
What was good about Paul being from Yorkshire was he was tough and hard working.
That’s why most of the guys we hired were northeners: Geordies, Scousers, Mancs.
Paul learned really fast, and he got lots of good work out.
He also liked to help youngsters.
On the upside, Paul was always available to crit their portfolios.
On the downside, he didn’t mince his words (he was from Yorkshire).
If you were tough and resilient, Paul was just what you needed.
Straight talk, instead of someone just trying to spare your feelings.
Some loved it, some didn’t.
One girl apparently left Paul’s office in tears after a particularly rough crit.
Paul’s attitude was “Don’t come here if you don’t want the truth.”
And a lot of people working in the business today owe it to Paul being truthful.
But Dave Waters, Paul’s art director, saw this as an opportunity.
For Paul’s birthday, Dave thought he’d do something special.
So he spent ages putting together the worst portfolio he could.
Then he hired a stripper to phone Paul up and pretend to be a junior creative.
She made an appointment for a book crit.
Dave briefed her on what to say and do.
At the time, all GGT’s offices were glass with thin strip-blinds.
Dave told Paul he wanted to close the blinds because of the sun.
When the girl came along for her interview, Dave left her and Paul alone.
Unknown to Paul, the entire department were watching through slits in the blinds.
Paul began to go through the terrible portfolio Dave had made for her.
“This is crap…..and this is crap……..crap……more crap….. this is awful…….and this is dreadful…….this is terrible…… ………fooking hell, haven’t you got anything any good?”
At which point the stripper popped open her blouse and whipped off her bra.
She said “Well, if you don’t like anything in there, how about these?”
And she wobbled them in Paul’s face.
Then she whipped off her skirt and panties and sat on his lap in just stockings and suspenders.
And started stroking his hair and nuzzling his neck.
She said “Surely I’ve got something you like.”
And now Paul is gobsmacked.
He’s sitting there with a naked bird on his lap, and she won’t let him get up.
And he’s yelling “What the fook are you doing?”
At which point Dave Waters opened all the blinds around the glass office.
And all Paul can see is the entire creative department looking in, laughing and cheering.
I think Paul’s book crits became a bit more tactful after that.