Sorry, what was that you said, Mrs Finny?

THE computer might have been amused, but Richard Finny most certainly was not.

Through the mail came a missive addressed to the Sheraton's public relations and promotions director offering him a place on a seminar aimed at improving his communication skills.

While those who know Richard might feel he could do with a little bit of help in this area, there was, however, one major snag in this bit of junk mail. The seminar was promoting ''Assertive communication skills for women''! Lowering his voice to the lowest possible octave, Richard growled: ''Of course, if I wanted to know the difference between a man and a woman I would not use a computer.'' Richard then went on about one of the courses in the seminar which offered guidance on how to handle people who deliberately ignore you.

But, I'm afraid I wasn't paying any attention.