Lost weekend. I got embarrassingly drunk on Friday and have been suffering for it ever since. Be warned, iced alcoholic drinks sneak up on you and before you know it you’re sat in a corner of the kitchen being video’d having an unspecified rant (probably about how much I hate the real PHBitch, see below.)
I’m also late with the pictures- Friday’s, Saturday’s and today’s.
George took everyone into a meeting room to tell them he was leaving. They weren�t as ecstatically happy for him as he�d expected.
Paul was studying the floor. A little plastic trapdoor in front of him would flip open to reveal power sockets and network connections. He pushed at it with his shoe, trying to flip up the finger holds. �Of course, someone will have to replace me and I�m pleased to announce that Marie Daley,� Paul�s head shot back up, �will be taking over my post.� Sarah caught Paul�s movement and studied his face. He had gone a shade of red. Beyond him, Mike was shaking his head, somewhere between resignation and despair.
Sarah made up a reason to visit the office. After dropping off the reference book, she casually asked, �So who is this Marie Daley then? I haven�t met her yet.�
�You don�t want to know.� Paul assured her.
�I do. I�ll have to work for her. Tell me what not to do.�
�She�s the Bitch Queen. Don�t disagree with her.� Mike advised, �Even if she�s disastrously wrong.�
�Particularly if she�s disastrously wrong. She gets nastier when she knows you�re right.�
Sarah sat on the desk beside Paul�s PC. �How much nastier.�
�I once made a system change, a minor one at that, which saves the company about a hundred grand a year in manpower and recovery fees. And she spent half an hour screaming at me because it changed the number of pages in her weekly report.�
Paul checked the pages again. Eight, down from twenty the last time he had run the report. He left them on the desk, looked at the arrangement and moved them slightly to the left, just to make them that little bit more obvious. Happy, he nodded and returned to the office.
�What did she think?�
�She wasn�t there. I left it on her desk.�
�Not hanging around to bathe in the glory?�
�I�ll bathe later. It�s time to surf.�
Paul got to the phone on the fourth ring, �Hello.�
�Come out here now.�
�Okay.� He shrugged as he put the phone down. �She sounded pissed off.�
�Why would she be pissed off.�
�Maybe�. No, I can�t think of a reason.�
She held up the report as he approached her desk. �This is wrong!�
�No it�s not, I checked.�
�This is wrong.�
Perhaps he had been a little abrupt, it was time to try reconciliation. �How is it wrong?�
She picked up another report from the desk. The same layout, but noticeably thicker. �It doesn�t match this. This is the one you printed out on Friday.�
�Ah.� Now he knew where he stood. It was time to take the credit and get his kudos, �I improved on it. Some of the returns were coming through labelled differently. I fixed it so it re-labels them properly and the search can�..� He wasn�t getting through. She didn�t have a face made for pleasant expressions and was using it to full effect.
�Why didn�t you do it on Friday?�
�I didn�t know how to do it on Friday. I just fixed it yesterday. But now it�ll save a load of time every week.�
�Alex was supposed to come in and do all this manually over the weekend and you�re telling me that all that work would have been wasted?�
Paul was having problems joining the dots. He had nearly cost The Company a little money, but he had definitely saved it lots of money. �This makes his job easier when he does turn up. And it finds more returns than he ever could in the time he�s got.�
For a moment there was a hint of understanding. �Well you�ve wasted my time.� This was true, she had spent minutes looking at the reports and counting the different number of pages. �I want you to apologise.�
�For this.� She waved the old report at him.
�You want me to apologise for making things work better and saving the company loads of money?�
�I�… If Alex had come in we�d have had to pay him, and now you�re telling me you can do all that automatically. Why didn�t you tell me you could do that when you printed out the report on Friday?�
And so it went on.
Sarah shook her head. Of course, the tale was skewed by self interest, but it sounded just wrong enough to be true. �So what happened?�
�I stood there listening to this shit for half an hour, not really understanding what I�d done wrong. Then for the rest of the day people kept coming into the office and telling me what a bitch she was. That bit was quite satisfying.�