Weirdo HR director Giles Renton-Willets facilitated board meeting. Sir Marcus occasionally allows this when there's nothing important on the agenda and we've all forgotten what an arse he makes of himself doing it. The first thing we had to do was share with other board members some little secret to help us bond. I thought about saying I had a knob the size of Denmark just to show what a stupid exercise it was. Ross Fulbright (sales director) announced he'd just a bought a puppy, then really took the limelight by announcing another record set of sales figures. Obviously, he wouldn't be getting half the results if it wasn't for our world-class marketing, but you've got to admire the man for his performance.
Got in rather late as the car wouldn't start. (It wouldn't start because the ignition key was still in my trousers, my trousers were still in the wardrobe and I was still in bed, but let's not get bogged down in detail.) Smoke Signals, our company newsletter, was on my desk, so that was my morning's work cut out. Fulbright was on the cover under the headline 'Close Relations With Customer Pays Off', with a photo of him hugging some poor customer. OK, he gets fantastic results but, boy, does he milk it. Do we shout about the quiet, unassuming, behind-the-scenes work we do day-in, day-out in marketing? Well, yes we do, but no-one seems to listen.
Normal day. Deleted e-mails, wandered about a bit, long lunch with Bill Peters, went home earlyish. Then the day really hotted up. In the evening paper there was a picture of Fulbright in a very tight T-shirt snogging the same customer he was hugging in Smoke Signals. The news item was about the customer coming out. He's a big backer of the Conservative Party so it's all a bit of a scandal. Old Fulbright's just been thrown out of the closet and no-one even knew he was in there. And I bloody work with him!
What the hell am I going to do now! I should have seen the signs: when a woman gets a cat you know she's given up on men. When a man gets a puppy you know he's given up on women. If he's 70 that's fine, if he isn't, it isn't. Went to the gym in a very loose-fitting T-shirt.
I parked in a bright, well-lit area of the car park and went in to assess the damage. I asked Shirley on reception if she knew that old Fulbright was a shirt-lifter. She said she knew he was gay and had done for years.
Yeah, right. That hadn't stopped her and all the other women in the office wanting to get his kit off. Sir Marcus has issued a red alert saying that we all have to treat Fulbright and his condition as if it were perfectly natural. He's called an emergency board meeting to make sure that happens - Fulbright not invited, obviously. Had lunch with Bill. We couldn't believe that Fulbright was an uphill gardener. It's taking getting closer to customers one step too far, in my opinion.
Bumped into Fulbright in the car park. He said he hoped our working relationship wouldn't be affected in any way. I said as long as we stuck to the work and left the relationship well alone we'd be fine. He then flounced off to reception and I moved my car just in case. Bill and I decided to have an emergency lunch to discuss the whole sordid business of unnatural relationships between men. Unnatural relationships between women we don't have a problem with as long as we can have a ringside seat, but not men. The lunch went on a bit and we got a mite squiffy. I can remember us both going to the gym and then ending up round at Bill's place but then it all gets foggy. If it wasn't for Bill I don't know how I'd cope with this whole Fulbright business.
Contact John Weak at email@example.com.