Alisdon Goulding: No more nagging

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PESTER power. I think the phrase was coined to describe the physical sensation of a five-year-old tugging on your elbow and wailing as you try to stomp past the toy aisle.

But we all do it now, age is no boundary.

I pester all day long. I pester my colleagues to drink tea with me and discuss James Bond.

I pester my horse to love me.

Then I go home and pester my bf to make cheese on toast and talk to me about the effect his beard is having on the world.

I think it makes him look friendly, like a young Santa, but he believes it frightens strangers.

Of course, with all my pestering, I am pestered back in equal measure.

People, naturally, want to know when the article about them/their business or the business they work for is going in the paper.

The answer is always ‘Who knows?’ – since putting together a newspaper is like trying to stitch a family of lively squid together.

It never really goes to plan, and when it does the plan is wrong and everything gets postponed to Wednesday.

Our deadlines bungie back and forth and are generally as reliable as the weather forecast.

So you learn to exist in a quiet state of permanent chaos, interrupted at intervals by the most persistent, who are convinced that really you do know when the article is going in, you’re just not saying.

The irony being that the more you have to buffer these incessant demands, the less time you have to write anything.

Five missed calls and 10 emails doesn’t make me think ‘keen’ it makes me think ‘stalker’.

I witnessed an eerie form of pester power the other day. I’d nipped into a nice shop to ferret about for Christmas presents.

It was quiet and it was nearly closing so I picked quickly and went to the till where the shop assistant was dealing with a granite-faced customer.

From earwigging (breathing down her neck) I soon deduced that she’d stopped by in case her order had arrived.

Part of it had, and part of it hadn’t. C’est la vie, or so you would think.

The shop girl then had to go into a lengthy speech about the nature of shops, orders, delivery vans and physics until misery guts finally stomped off.

There was something about her menacing silence that suggested a next level approach to pestering: “I’m just going to stand here staring at you until you admit my lamp is in the back and give it to me.”

When did we all get so impatient?

It’s one thing to check if something is ready, or when something is happening, but quite another to bludgeon people with emails, phone calls, texts or silence until they do as you wish.

Well, you’ve got to be the change you want to see, so from this day forth I am going to endeavour to pester less and exercise a lot more patience.

And anyone who wishes to pester me is welcome to tire themselves out doing so and marvel at my unhelpfulness.

The nagging stops here.