16 Jul 2003

Another Bad Air Day

I spent most of the day consulting HR on how to handle the situation with Simon. The Call Centre has had its fingers burnt recently with a number of high-profile cases that have gone to a tribunal and subsequently the HR department are extremely cautious.

Wendy, my consultant, is ruthlessly efficient and, in between teaching old ladies the art of sucking eggs, she insists on EVERYTHING being documented in a ‘file note’. She can barely disguise her contempt for me. “Have you referred him to The Call Centre’s medical advisor?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Are there any underlying conditions that are causing him to behave in this way?”

“He farted. A customer heard him fart. What are you trying to say?”

“Well. Have you explored with Simon whether or not he has any medical history that can explain his actions.”

“He reacted badly to a donner kebab. I think you are missing the point. He farted. He used the word ‘arse’ which is inappropriate behaviour.” I was steadily losing the will to live.

“Well that may be seen as an acceptable idiom within the context of the call.” Wendy was matching my tone. “I think that you need to explore with Simon why he felt the need to react in this manner and if there are any mitigating circumstances.”

I gave up. “Sure. Fine. Whatever.”

“Oh.” She paused. “Don’t forget to document it.”