Thursday, April 20, 2006

Games Without Frontiers 

The prevalent management style at Company X can be summarised as a game of malice, the gist of which goes “I take one step backward, you take one step backward. You take one step forward, I shove you into a vat of gunk while you can’t see me.”

It’s a battle of wills, of trust versus mistrust, compromise versus non-compromise, a sort of ‘It’s A Knockout’ for our times - all greased poles, bungee elastic and intermittent WiFi reception - and heaven help the customer who should get caught in the crossfire. Little wonder that Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, needs such long lunch breaks to maintain her levels.
“I’m meeting Becky down at Swank,” she declared at half past mid-morning. “You’re all in charge.”

A conspiracy of silence surrounds the R word thing in our office, as if the first person to say it will jinx themselves.
Terry read the paper, looking up new words in the dictionary and writing them in his notepad - impecuniousness: a complete lack of money; podcast: a complete waste of time - while Mike, for whom every week is Flatulence Awareness Week, basked in a cheese and onion fug of his own foul devising.
I made too many trips to the coffee machine and felt a bit panicky.

Stella breezed back into the office two and a half hours later, phone to her ear, all Chardonnay swagger and glowing post-lunch poise - “Nah, don’t worry about it, Babe. I like a girl who takes her time down there” - and cancelled her meeting with Death and Pestilence on the grounds that the meeting room was double booked. She declined to mention that both bookings were hers.

Next she sent two emails: a report she’d prepared earlier to Bill Surname on service level agreements, the subtext of which was “Death and Pestilence are rubbish, aren’t they? Lucky for you that I’m alright,” and a proverb-like note to us which read “Just because you’re not afraid of failing, it doesn’t mean you’ll succeed.”
Then she slumped unconscious at her desk, smelling of roses, her Joker played, points doubled, face down on her keyboard, doubtless dreaming of sabotage, and if a third email was anything to go by, zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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