6 Aug 2003

For the love of Fatima

This time, there were no Pringles or preamble, we were called into Bernard’s office and the new staff communication video started straight away.

The video had “Nobody Does It Better,” played as an instrumental in the super-market style, playing over the top of images of out-of-copyright athletic events: Daley Thompson and Steve Ovett running behind Seb Coe. Over the top of these grainy images were words that faded in and out: “Desire,” “Determination” and “Dedication”.

Cut to Cathy Gilroy, the senior manager, giving a key-note speech at the managers conference, looking like a glamorous version of Mrs Doubtfire. There was something about desire, delivery and de-something else.

Cut to our office.

We cheered. Bernard said, “I hope that they have got my good side errrrmmm!”

There was a slow motion shot of Barney, the big bear on my team, getting animated while on a call. The music got loader as he waved his arms around like a happy camper in all senses of the word.

Cut to Bernard talking about determination, dedication and detoxing. Of course there was something in there about his pre-cognitive Call Centre too, but I still didn’t understand it…

More athletes.

The end.

We clapped and nodded to each other. Bernard said, “Well what do you think of that then.”

Brenda smiled and started to sing, “Nobody does it better …”

Tony carried on, “Makes me feel sad for the rest.”

Janice grinned, joining in, continued, “Bernard … you’re the best.”

They all then looked at me for a reaction. I was too busy thinking that a bloke on the 1st floor is the spitting image of Fatima Whitbread.