12 Jan 2004



“I don’t think that that is appropriate, given the present circumstances.” Mary (aka Cottonmouth), the compliance officer, descended on my team today to conduct spot-checks on calls. She was pointing at the Victoria Beckham slogan. I quickly put it away in my desk.

The Call Centre has been inundated with complaints about items from The Catalogue That Cannot Be Named (fro keeping my job reasons). Believe it or not, some customers thought that the novelty, internal, television aerial, in the shape of a satellite dish, would give them a full sky package for the princely sum of £4.99.

An internal investigation has been ordered as a solicitor has successfully argued that the ariel had been mis-sold by one of our operators and Bernard, the head of the Call Centre, has agreed to provide her with a 12 month sky contract to get the solicitor off our back.

There’s something about Mary. To coin a phrase from Shakespeare, “Her eyes drop millstones while others drop tears.” The only difference is Mary would check the millstones to ensure that they complied with the 1968 Flour Refining Act.

There’s something about Mary that makes me want to get her approval. If I wanted to be ‘made’ she was one of the people that I needed to get on my side.

She handed me one of the ariels. “I’m going to be here for a few days,” she said, “listening to some of your calls.”

“That’s great. You can be sure of a good reception.” I held up the dish.

She glared at me.

There’s something about Mary.