21 Jul 2003

Open your eyes

I’m off until next Monday, so I thought that I’d better make a start with my appraisals. I have taken note of recommendations from readers of this diary and prepared by buying some sweets for each member of the team. These light confections will make the processes literarily ‘sweeter’ and act as a cheap bribe in the hope that they won’t be too hard on me.

I bought a box full of those ‘sherbet flying saucers’ and some fizzy-dummy-shaped sweets.

To break myself in gently I thought that I’d deal with the FNG (the flippin’ new guy), Manic Miner. He was new and there was little to say to him other than the odd word of encouragement. “Keep it up, and help yourself to a sweet.”

“Is that it?” He replied, while his thumb quickly scratched the inside of his nostril. “I was expecting you to give me some idea of my future in here.”

I’m a Team Manager. Not Russell bleedin’ Grant.

“Well,” I said. “What do YOU want to do?”

“I want to work for the boss. You know. Him with the big telly in his office.” His little finger popped in and out of his left nostril. “I graduated in marketing and electronics at University. I think I could do a lot better than being on the phones all day.”

I had a flashback. Eleven years ago. I was in an appraisal, with headset rash behind my ears, I wanted more: “How much notice do I have to give when I get a proper job.”

I sent Manic Miner away with some platitudes and spent the rest of the afternoon scoffing fizzy-dummy-shaped sweets.

My stomach is still burning.