Another excerpt from a book about life in an English office.

“Good to hear you’re making friends again, Martin,” said Wood as he put his papers down on the desk, “hello Pete I am Jan Wood – I understand you were confined this morning.”

“Confined? I was put in a small cell and almost handcuffed to the railings.”

“It’s just an initiation ceremony we put contractors through,” said Joan, “and at least you have been released on the same day you were detained; other people, such as our much-respected colleague Mr. Pid, were kept out of sight for several weeks.”

“He,” said Brown jabbing a finger at Trandorf, “he was rude to me straightaway; he mouthed rude words at me from the start and all I was asking for was to be let in.”

“He’s rude to everyone,” interrupted Laurence, “and you got off lightly if he only mouthed the rude words; with the rest of us he speaks the rude words quite loudly almost all the time.”

“I bet you drive that Humvee thing that’s parked outside, don’t you?” Brown was now warming to his task, “That vehicle uses more petrol in one mile than my car does on my entire commute.”

“It’s my money,” said Trandorf, “and I will spend it how I like. So you’re Brown by name but green by nature, are you? You know you should get a real car, not one that has holes in the floor, so you can use your feet to accelerate and brake.”

“Anyway, children, let’s cut the insults and get some work done,” said Wood.

“I was enjoying that,” said Rudd, “it was better than a game of tennis.”

“Tennis, who can afford to play tennis these days?” said Brown.

“Martin plays, Pete,” said Laurence.

“Why am I not surprised by that,” said Brown, “he’s a nasty little Thatcherite that wouldn’t last 5 seconds in the Burnley Triangle.”

“Stop it, Roger,” said Wood, “and get on with your changes to the program specifications.”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Wood, sir,” replied Laurence.

“God, you’re pathetic sometimes,” said Trandorf to Laurence.

Wood put his finger to his lips.