Starting an email with ‘Dear Miss Choudhury’ might be a good idea, if you were emailing a woman whose surname is Choudhury. However, I am neither a woman, nor is my surname Choudhury. Despite having met me twice, you continue to send me a plethora of emails addressed this way. As an estate agent, a bastion of modern living, I cannot comprehend why you would assume my gender, and what’s more, assume wrongly.
But at least you’ve found me a house, I guess. “How many bedrooms does it have?” A perfectly reasonable question one of my housemates asked as we arrived at our first property, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. “Erm… I’m not sure, I’ll have to go back to the office and find out,” you replied. Now, I’m no expert (I do PPE), but it doesn’t take a degree in Maths from Oxford to count the number of bedrooms in a house. Anyway, ignoring the fact you prep for viewings less than I do for tutes, we were not disheartened and still excited to view our first property.
A three (or four) bedroom flat that could be reached through a dusty alleyway, above a local Chinese takeaway. This was the place we were looking forward to calling home for the next year. Alas, we might have been able to call it home if had you brought the right set of keys. So we waited for you to run back to the office, the rain beginning to slightly dampen our spirits.
We never found out if the flat had three or four beds. No, when you eventually returned, you informed us that this flat had already been let to someone else. Thanks a bunch. I could’ve spent my afternoon doing way more productive things, like sleeping, or watching Friends, or viewing houses with a competent estate agency (if there is such a thing).
Anyway, we eventually found a house, with the appropriate number of bedrooms, and, even better, it wasn’t already let out to another tenant. I thought that our interaction with you was over. But, no.There I am sitting in the library, writing my essay, with only six minutes to the deadline, relying on my 72 words per minute typing speed to help me reach that all-important word count – and then you call. And call again. And again. Not a good time Philippa. And if someone doesn’t pick up, why don’t you take the hint? Maybe I’m just not that into you.
When the shoe is on the other foot however, you suddenly start to play hard to get and take a week to reply to my emails. My tutor conducting research in remote parts of Kenya replies to her emails quicker than you. If I’m not mistaken, you spend most of your life in an office in Oxford, with WiFi, a computer, and a contract that says your job is to respond to my emails. Not impressed, Philippa, not impressed.
PS: Please fix the sink before we move in.