Excerpt from the book Different Planet

5 Days in the life of an English office – there’s lots of banter and insults flying around in this story. One person goes to the wrong place for the weekend, another has horrible personal habits, but the main protagonist realises how he can become a better person – he undergoes a transformation after losing a race and feels better for it.

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Continuing from the previous post…

“What? Running three miles, hurting your hamstring, and propping up a wall. He’d still be there if it wasn’t for me.”

 

“Well you’ve done your good deeds for the day, stopping to pick up Nigel and helping Bill across the road.”

 

“Yes, it’s obviously my morning to help those with physical disabilities; this afternoon will be spent helping those with mental disabilities such as FB, The Old Dog, and Benny.”

 

“I thought you were helping Pete Yorke with something this afternoon; that report about the parts that have been damaged in transit?” Wood blew a long cloud of smoke over his shoulder and stamped out his cigarette.

 

“I’d forgotten that – no disrespect to Pete, but he should be running a sub-Post Office in the Yorkshire Dales, somewhere where there’s plenty of sheep. His secretary is mutton dressed as lamb and he’s too obsessed with wool for my liking.”

 

“How do you know that?”

 

“All his clothes are made from wool; it’s like he was a sheep in a previous life.”

 

“His shirt is made from wool?”

 

“No, he wears a vest under his shirt, a woollen vest; wool trousers too – he’s a sheep in human form.”

 

“Wool socks?”

 

“Wool socks, to make sure his hooves don’t get footrot.”

 

“Your powers of observation are truly exceptional.”

 

“Not really, he takes his shoes off in his office sometimes, and puts his feet on the desk, so you can see that little symbol which indicates the garment is made from wool.”

 

“You’ve been spying on him again haven’t you?”

 

“Just observing Mr Jan, through the glass in his door, just watching what he gets up to when he thinks there’s no one watching him.”

 

“Why do you do that, Martin?”

 

“Something to do whilst my job’s running for all those hours, Jan.”

 

“We shall have to give you more work I can see.”

 

“You don’t have to go that far,” said Tranfield. He genuinely believed that running the rule over his colleagues was part of his responsibility to the company. He would, in private moments, admit he was very nosey, but he loved finding out what made people tick during their time at work. He almost needed to discover things about people that no one else in the company knew, just in case he ever needed a bargaining counter when asking a favour in the future.   

 

“Martin, when you get back to your desk ask Joan to give you the program specification for the reports that management wants on the parts we obtain from Barry Dingle’s people.”

 

“The Old Dog has written another program specification?”

 

“She has Martin and she’s been working away at it for a week now.”

 

“Gnawing away at it, like a dog with a bone.”

 

“You’re a cheeky sod sometimes.”

 

“Excuse me, Jan,” said Tranfield, “I am not a cheeky sod sometimes, I will have you know that I am a cheeky sod all the time.”

 

“And very proud of it.”

 

“I am, just like I’m proud that I don’t recycle my paper and plastic bottles, that can be someone else’s job.”

 

“That’s selfish, Martin.”

 

“You’ve got to look after number 1, Jan, no one else will do that for you.”

 

“We’re the stewards of the planet, Martin, just looking after it for our kids.”

 

“I am going to make sure my kids can swim and sail a boat.”

 

“But why should they have to do that just because you’ve been selfish, Martin?”

 

“Adapt and survive, Jan, that’s what evolution should have taught us, previously it’s been a slow evolution, but soon it will have to speed up.”