Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fast Car 

This morning Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, sidled up to my desk and said she’d got a big ask. I didn’t hear her properly and agreed, only realising when it was too late that I’d said yes to joining her for a meeting in Sheffield with Twat Brothers, one of my least favourite customers.

Twat Brothers don’t manufacture low rent kitchen and bathroom suites in Sheffield, but for the sake of leaving false trails and trying to protect my identity, let’s pretend they do. They actually design orthopaedic shoes for the fashionably late in a former butcher’s shop in Buxton, but that’s by the by.

Before starting the engine, Stella closed her eyes, paused for a few moments as if in prayer, then let out a terrifying sound like the love cry of Anne Widdecombe on a hen night in Blackpool. Ooooooomm! Ooooooooomm! Waaaaargh! Ooooommm! She stretched out her upturned palms, shook violently for about ten seconds, then fell silent again.
Eventually she said “Do you like whale music?” to which I replied absolutely fucking not, so she slipped some Humpbacks Of The Eastern Seaboard into the CD player and away we sped to Sheffield.

Stupid stupid stupid. I’ve never been made to feel so terrified in the name of customer relations and hell will freeze over before I agree to let her take me up Snake Pass ever again.

Prince, the IT manager at Twat Brothers has a head shaped like a gnarled bone, lumps missing from his ears and nose, and firm doesn’t begin to describe his handshake.
He invited us to sit on the toilet, the only seating that was ready to hand in his office. I chose the white one, Stella went for champagne with brass trim.
They’re having truckloads of problems with their servers, which are so decrepit you fear they may crumble to dust if you so much as breathe near them. My mission was to explain this with baffling technical jargon and pie charts - mmmm, pies - while Stella’s role was to talk money and promise unobtainable IT related happiness.

Prince stared at us like he was about to throw us out of a nightclub, but he took away our blurb and said he’d talk it over with “the knob heads upstairs.” They probably won’t do anything. The knob heads seldom do.

Back in the car, Stella was all high fives and You’re A Tiger, and I’ve no idea where she gets her energy or optimism. She spent the journey back to Preston talking excitedly on her blue tooth phone thingy, but I couldn’t be sure if there was actually anybody on the other end.

I had a bit of a snooze and woke up with dribble all down my shirt and the majestic and inspirational sound of whales doing the hokey cokey ringing around my head.

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