Communication breakdown

It appears from your letters column of October 12 that one Norman Clark from France is having trouble communicating with us here in Richmond. We stand accused, he says, of ignoring his e-mails, letters and “other forms of communication”.

Our records show that during our seven years of business we have had contact with just one Norman Clark – but this was back in July 1997. The very same day that he wrote to us, we sent him a letter that stated, despite his wealth of experience, at that point in time we were unable to help him in his quest for freelance work. Maybe, if this is the same Norman Clark who now resides in France, that’s what has rattled his cage.

We log every call that is made to and from Stopgap. Since July 1997, we have logged more than 730,000 calls, none of which have come from anybody by the name of Norman Clark. We also respond to each and every CV we are sent – currently in excess of 300 a week – again none since July 1997 from a Norman Clark. Also nobody at Stopgap recalls such a person making a personal visit, which brings us to the “other forms of communication”.

I must confess that we do not yet have a reception loft for carrier pigeons, and few, among more than 50 staff, have quite managed mental telepathy. So my suggestion to Norman Clark is that, if he has a constructive purpose in mind, he picks up the telephone and calls us on 020 8332 7656, faxes us on 020 8332 2747, sends an e-mail to or drops a line to Stopgap, Fitzroy House, 3 Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1RX.

I can assure you that if Norman Clark contacts us he will get a response. What I can’t guarantee is that we’ll find him work – sorry, but we don’t have much call for trainers.

Claire Owen

Managing Director



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