Take a good look at the picture above. What you see before you is a set of instructions. A set of instructions, Dear Readers, telling me how to get to a room on the second floor of a building. Now excuse me if I sound a little ungrateful here, but WHO AN EARTH NEEDS INSTRUCTIONS TO REACH A ROOM ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF A BUILDING? When the security guard on reception handed me this slip of paper, he looked pretty embarrassed – I mean, I’m sure that he would have preferred to have just said – “second floor, love – turn right then left.” Obviously some absolute Numb-Nuts had spent a proportion of their morning sat at their computer composing these ‘Model Instructions’, printing them off (after messing around for an hour with the layout, seeing how many squares of instructions would fit on a sheet of A4) and then using the guillotine to neatly chop each and every square of paper.
Let’s take a closer look at these instructions shall we? Just so that we can see how essential they were to me reaching my destination. I’ll break the instructions down into manageable, bite-sized portions for those of you (perhaps you’re models!) who can’t quite take in the whole lot at once.
1) Take lift to 2ND Floor (their italics. The 2ND Floor, people – not the first, fourth or nineteenth.) This sets the tone for the rest of the ‘instructions’ – it’s like a man with a megaphone shouting at a group of shuffling old people. Totally unnecessary and patronising. It’s so bad, it’s good.
2) Exit lift, turn RIGHT. (RIGHT! Not left, you pack of utterly useless twits!) The ironic thing about all of this, is that models are actually exceptionally good at finding their way to places. Most have been dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar city at some point in their careers and been expected to make their way to “Plaza Okionoko – Bldng 8 – Precinct Number 6734219 – Nomansland” without a map. Most have had to navigate their way around sprawling foreign industrial estates with little more than a scrap of paper from the agency with a cryptic clue such as “the casting is in a blue building between the autostrasse and the border of France”. But wait: finding our way to the second floor? Oh now we’re screwed!
3) Go through the doors. Hold on a second, Mr Numb-Nuts; go through the doors? That isn’t very clear! I mean, how do we do that? Take a running jump and smash our way through? Open them first? Please; if you’re going to give models instructions, then do it thoroughly! Otherwise, you’ll get models jamming up that corridor – standing stock-still in front of the doors, not knowing what an earth to do!
4) Turn RIGHT LEFT again. This is possibly my most favourite part of the instructions, not least because Numb-Nuts has made an error. I bet he kicked himself over that one. But how did he make such an error? (I’m assuming it’s a he, for obvious reasons – ie, a woman would never have made a mistake.) He was obviously sat at his desk, thinking through the route in his head (or perhaps he actually tested out the route first! Oh the joys!) and took a wrong turn somewhere in his tiny imagination. I love the fact that he changed each and every slip of paper with his blue felt-tipped pen (it astounds me that it’s not amended in crayon), and I love the fact that he only had to get two direction changes into his instructions yet he was still 50% inaccurate. Blinding.
5) Enter door labelled MODELS. Oh dear GOD. I don’t know where to start with this, and we’re at the end! I mean, not only did this client feel the need to write directions to a room that is basically a stone’s throw from the lift doors, they felt the need to put a sign on the door! There was only one door! And to mark it ‘MODELS’ – well. The mind boggles.
Needless to say that when I walked in to the casting, I made sure that I had put my cardigan on backwards and tied my shoelaces together. I didn’t want to disappoint!