8 Jul 2003

Learn, you will

Had my first weekly session with Brenda today. She has promised to spend an hour each week as my Call Centre Yoda: analysing my team, establishing the weak points, the strengths (she suggested building Barney’s profile) and concentrating on my development.

She is having similar meetings with Tony and Janice. I asked them for advice for avoiding the Tuna-breath problem, “Make sure that you’re in a room with a table, make sure it is between you, and take in a packet of mint imperials.” Tony suggested.

The session started well. I wanted to express how unhappy I was with how she had spoken to the team. I suggested that it was not appropriate to talk down the Team Managers in front of the team in the way she did as it could potentially undermine the team’s confidence in my ability.

She was clearly shaken by my new found assertiveness and was not sure what to say in response. She sighed and I caught a waft of her lunch (Hummus and fresh garlic, followed by cheese and onion lites).

I reached for my mints. They were those paper thin, translucent, blue things that blast a fresh taste through your mouth like a dose of toilet duck.

I slipped one on my tongue, “Would you like to try one of these?” I discreetly offered her the packet.

“No thanks. I don’t like them. They’re horrible.” Honk. Honk.

In my haste, I had accidentally put five layers of them in my mouth. I began to leak from every orifice as the minty freshness melted the inside of my head.

“Look at you.” Brenda said, “I’d put up with bad breath if I was you.”

Honk! Honk!