The Health & Safety officer

Nigel Ward's mission is to guard the safety of all VM's staff, but will they listen?

With the synchronised beep of a thousand incoming e-mails, another of Nigel Ward's missives touches down in the inboxes of the hapless employees of VM Engineering. Sitting in his office, Ward smiles, a job well done.

He glances at the recently sent memo with paternal pride - it's a masterpiece of clarity: there is no mistaking its message, or its importance.

Yet few will read Nigel's note. Anyone with IT nous long ago marked nigel.ward@vmengineering.co.uk as spam; and even those who haven't will likely delete it unread. Of the company's 1,000 employees, 50 will probably open it. And of those, 49 will scratch their heads and say: 'Doesn't he have anything more important to do?' The sole exception to this unanimous disregard is Karen, Nigel's PA and staunchest ally. For reasons unclear - and which do not bear close examination - Nigel, in all his V-necked glory, is her hero.

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