might think that playing the organ at the office Christmas carol service is a pretty uncontroversial activity.
Not so for a professional organist (as they’re called) engaged for PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual festive singsong. The stage was set, the decorations tweaked and the set list compiled when all went awry.
Details are hard to come by, but we understand that there was “a creative difference” about the mist machine that had been hired to give the event an atmospheric feel.
The result was a full-on strop by the organ player, who stormed out five minutes before the show was due to start, leaving the choir of two dozen PwC workers without their Christmas accompaniment.
What to do, as the first of the 200 attendees filed in through the beautifully arranged mist?
Luckily, a hero was on hand: PwC consulting expert Charles Hildebrandt bravely stepped up to the plate. He hadn’t played an organ in seven years, but a quick read-through of the score, and he settled in for a flawless concert.
The audience was none the wiser – until now.
CANARY WHARF COUP
It’s not just JP Morgan planning a big investment in Canary Wharf real estate. Boisdale restaurant, the smokers’ haven, known for its extensive range of cigars for sale, is also opening up shop in the Square Mile’s rival locale, with a branch coming to Cabot Place in April.
It might not be on the scale of the bank’s £500m outlay, but the £2.7m restaurant will do its best to serve the influx of new bankers. It will feature not only a full Scottish menu along the lines of its Bishopsgate and Belgravia branches, but is also boasting of plans to build “the world’s largest whisky bar, with a selection of over 1,000 whiskys”.
The Scotch drinkers will need a decent accompaniment for their glasses, to be supplied in the form of a cigar shop featuring a range of Cuban cigars and a 1000-foot, heated smoking terrace and walk-in humidor.
You’ve got to applaud the effort. In a desperate attempt to make insurance festive, Lloyds of London has announced the appointment of a “Christmas risk officer”.
“The new CRO, Mrs Santa Claus, is believed to be unhappy about the appointment but accepts that someone has to do it,” said Lloyds in a release on Tuesday, calling Father Christmas’ delivery strategy “an inherently hyper-risky business model”.
The Capitalist understands that Claus will be responsible for polishing Rudolf’s nose on misty nights and making sure it is lit with the right wattage.
“Santa’s reputation is based on him successfully making every delivery on time, on the day,” says a consultant. “He misses a delivery; he loses the franchise.”
And so on. Time for a holiday, methinks.
WE NEED YOU
Do you enjoy lunching, partying and meeting the best and brightest in the City? If so, City A.M. wants you to become the new Capitalist.
We’re looking to hire someone who’s already familiar with the ebb and flow of City life, with its constant stream of parties, champagne receptions and galas.
You will already know some of the City’s biggest characters, and will need to quickly learn the names and faces of the rest.
You don’t need formal experience as a journalist, but must have a knack for picking up gossip, an eye for the comic and curious and potential as a witty wordsmith.
Those interested should apply by writing a sample article for the Capitalist page, based on a good party or an interesting snippet of news, along with a CV and covering letter.
Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org