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.

====

Continuing from the previous post…

“Yes, anyway talking of speeding up, you should go and see Rog and check what he’s done to your program.”

 

“Good idea, Jan, I will go and see what the Fat Bastard has done to my program.”

 

“And don’t get too upset if he’s done a good job.”

 

“It’ll be the first time, if he has and that’s a big if.” With that Tranfield ran over to the door and headed upstairs to the office.

 

As Wood finished his cigarette he noticed a programmer called Phil Bracewell coming towards him. Bracewell had scruffy, brown hair, a wispy moustache, and glasses that magnified the hazel pupils of his eyes.

 

“Eh Phil, I hope you’re not coming over to fart near me.”

 

“I have been told to go outside when I am about to break wind as it’s no longer socially acceptable to do it inside the office.”

 

“It never has been, Phil, at least not in my book. It smells like rotting shellfish after you’ve polluted the air.”

 

“That’s just the way my innards work,” said Bracewell picking a bogey from his nose and flicking it away in an absent-minded manner, “and besides it’s not going to kill anyone unlike your filthy smoking habit, which will be a drain on the health service in a few years time.”

 

“I smoke on my own, whereas you seem to think your farts should be shared by everyone who is part of the team.”

 

“It’s a natural thing for anyone to do, it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” said Bracewell, “anyway, I can feel another coming on so I will go and stand over there by that bush.”

 

“Good idea, and make sure you’re downwind of the office, we don’t want it seeping in to the office when no one is expecting it. You must contribute to global warming more than most people with all that methane you pump into the atmosphere.”

 

Bracewell gave a weak smile, thrust his hands into his coat pockets, and headed away from Wood.

 

Back in the office, Tranfield was haranguing Roger Laurence about the program changes he’d made to Tranfield’s program.

 

“Have you included a record counter FB, so you can prove to the QA team that all the records have been read and all the right records have been updated? You know what Keith Bume said about providing some evidence that all the records have been read and the number of matching input records matches the number of updates.”

 

“Martin, I didn’t change that part, so you did get those three lines correct, it was just the other 997 lines that needed changing.”

 

“You’ve not had time to change that many lines of code you fat scouse liar.”

 

“I deleted about 800 of them that weren’t needed and then moved the other lines around to make the code more logical, that’s all. You’d got the same code appearing in more than one place and that wasn’t really necessary Martin.”

 

“Have you tested it, Roger?”

 

“I tested on the test database, Martin, like you did and my test lasted twenty five seconds as compared to your test, which lasted twelve minutes and eighteen seconds. And the results were the same, so I will go and ask Keith Bume to perform their testing and if everything looks good, we can run this next Monday in the overnight batch suite.”

 

“Who’s Keith Bume?” asked Wood.

 

“It’s Tranfield’s nickname for Keith Bottome,” said Joan looking up from eating her fishpaste sandwich wrapped in aluminium foil, “he thinks pronouncing his surname, Bottome, is pretentious.”

  

“Well, it is,” said Tranfield scowling at Joan, “adding an ‘e’ to the word ‘bottom’ shouldn’t change the way you pronounce bottom, it’s ‘bo tum’, not ‘b tome’. That’s why I call him ‘Byooom’ not ‘Bum e’.”

 

“It’s fascinating how your mind works, Martin” said Wood.

 

“Works being a relative term,” said Laurence, “works like a broken washing machine, sloshing around without doing anything.”

 

“You should fix your washing machine,” retorted Tranfield, “or put some washing detergent into the machine, so that your clothes are actually cleaner when they come out than before they went in. You smell worse that Phil Bracewell and that’s saying a lot.”

 

“Martin Tranfield’s household tips of the day number 1,” said Joan.