Sunday, April 03, 2005

What Goes On 

“You fucking ass hole,” said Diana as we sat down for coffee on Friday morning.
I’d gone for two slices of white toast and a regular coffee - which I’d later spill all over the place - while Diana had chosen the hot cross bun and cappuccino combo, £1.20.
Through the hatch, lovely Kath in the kitchen raised an eyebrow towards me in a “somebody’s in trouble” kind of way. I went over to fetch a fork - why a fork? - and said “Nah. You watch. April Fool's day. She’s putting it on.”
There was nobody else around.

“I don’t like what you wrote about me yesterday,” Diana said. “You’re trying to paint me as stupid and naïve. I’m not having that. And you make me sound slutty.”
“I so do not!”
“You do actually. People must think I’m some sleazy bimbo at large in the world and your role is to fret about me and play the hero.”
“But I am the hero. It’s my blog,” I said. “Nobody thinks bad things about you.”
“And I don’t like what you wrote about my Aunt and Uncle.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You heard.”
“You are not Mike and Sue Cosgrove’s niece,” I laughed. “Absolutely not. I’m sorry. No way. Otherwise you’d have mentioned it before. Like yesterday, for instance, when I was spouting off about them.”

Diana looked me in the eye, paused a moment, then told me that Sue is her Mum’s sister. Diana and her brothers used to stay with Sue and Mike when her Mum was ill and her Dad needed a break from looking after them all. She’s never told anyone because she doesn’t want people thinking she only got her job because she’s related to two of the directors, that she didn’t win it on merit.

I mulled this over for a minute or so, then told her she was talking bollocks.
“You’re twisting my melon, man,” I said. “Nice try, but that’s bullshit. April Fool's.”

This was a mistake. Something snapped and for a second I thought she was going to go ape. Instead she just went really quiet. It wasn’t good. I’m not sure, there may have been a tear, she wouldn’t look at me.

It was round about this point that her mobile rang and I jumped up as if it was gunfire or something and sent coffee flying everywhere, and she spent ages talking to someone about print runs or brochures or whatever and it dawned on me that I don’t actually know anything about what a Head of Marketing does. She’s my only ally in this place and I know nothing about her job, how she spends her days here, what goes on in her head, not much about her at all.

I mopped up the mess with some kitchen towels, then sat around and waited for her to finish, but the call went on and on and eventually I had to get back to my desk for a conference call. So I sort of gestured at my watch, shrugged lamely and mimed putting on an imaginary headset, all of which is international sign language for saying look, I’m sorry, I’ve got to go now, I’ll catch you later, I really am sorry, whatever it is we can sort this out.

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