An extract from Different Planet – a story about 5 days in an English office available here on Amazon.

“The recycling is for secure information only, Susie.”

 

“It does no harm to recycle the other paper.”

 

“It all goes to the same place in the end, anyway,” said Merton, “it all goes in the landfill.”

 

“Recycled paper doesn’t go in the landfill,” said Mark Atkinson, who was walking by from another area.

 

“Who asked you to intervene in our conversation?” asked Merton, “go and polish your TOTR BMW or speak to your TOTR wife. With your hair tinged red like that you look like a thin paintbrush.”

 

“What’s TOTR?” asked Jones.

 

“Something you’re not Susan, top of the range,” replied Merton.

 

“What’s wrong with him?” asked Atkinson.

 

“He’s just being normal” said Greg smiling at Merton’s discomfort.

 

“Go away, Atkinson, or I will stick you in the recycling bag.”

 

“It’s going to be crowded in that bag soon, isn’t it?” said Jones.

 

“It’ll have to be another bag for Atkinson, because Greg will fill up the first one completely,” said Merton smiling.

 

“Do you practice making threats?” asked Atkinson.

 

“He does, whilst he’s waiting for his programs to run to completion, so he gets plenty of practice,” said Laurence ducking under the wet teabag that Merton threw at him.

 

“Albert,” said Wood, “don’t throw things in the office; I think you should come with me and see one of our suppliers.”

 

“I thought that Welsh person was going with you?”

 

“Ted? He’s from Nottingham, not Wales.”

 

“He lives in Wales though.”

 

“Yes, well he’s had an accident on his way in to work.”

 

“What’s he done this time? Run over a field of daffodils?”

 

“He drove into the barrier of the motorway at 100 mph, sideways.” Wood failed to stifle a smile that showed his nicotine-stained teeth.

 

“Sideways – why did he do that?” said Laurence.

 

“Well, he thought he was in the middle lane and he pulled out to overtake the car in front, but he was in the outside lane not the middle lane and so he hit the barrier, quite hard, at around 100.”

 

“What an idiot,” commented Merton.

 

“He’s alright, is he?” asked Jones looking at Wood over the top of her glasses.