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

“Yes, the bloke in front of me kept looking in his rear-view mirror at me. That really wound me up. I was thinking – ‘what’s he looking at me so much for?’ That distracted me.”

 

“You’ll just have to fart around on that stinky little moped a while longer,” said Desmond.

 

“It doesn’t stink, John, it’s just been used a lot,” replied Bunn.

 

“Back on your heads everyone,” said Dobbs, “the big boss has arrived; he’s probably here to talk to you, Bunny, about your fight with Jim.”

 

“I didn’t touch Hayes,” said Bunn, “he started it anyway.”

 

“That’s the mature attitude,” replied Desmond putting his thumb up to Bunn.

 

Bunn thought about replying, but then realised he hadn’t logged in to the system yet, so he typed in his username and password and settled down to write his program, which had to be finished by the end of the day. Bunn enjoyed writing code as he didn’t have to interact with any of his colleagues. His desk was incredibly clean and all his documentation was in the drawers of his desk where it belonged. The lights in the office had been turned down earlier due to the brightness of the sunshine and the windows opened to let in fresh air. For a second he almost felt happy.

 

Mark Atkinson walked by – “Have you heard, Merton has written a program which is supposed to be run daily, but takes 26 hours to run.”

 

“That’s better than he normally does,” said Dobbs, “he’s improving.”

 

“Do you know why the big boss is here, Ben?” asked Atkinson.

 

“I don’t, but even if I did I wouldn’t tell you,” joked Dobbs.

 

“How are you, Tommy?” Atkinson asked Bunn.

 

“He’s in a bad mood because he failed his driving test again.” John Desmond replied on Bunn’s behalf. Bunn waved his hand in the air to indicate he was trying to concentrate.

 

“You’ve still got your moped, look on the bright side,” said Atkinson and headed away towards the front door of the office.

 

“Thank god TOTR’s gone – looking at him reminds me of a baguette and that leads me to think I am going to have myself something to eat,” said Dobbs, “and when I eat, I eat. And when I drink, I drink.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” said Desmond, “what are you going to eat?”

 

“Whatever the canteen has for breakfast, times two. I quite fancy some pancakes, actually – are you going to come?”

 

“Yes, I will get some of their coffee I think, it’ll keep me awake for the rest of the day. Do you want anything, Tommy?”

 

“No, thank you,” said Bunn, “I’ve had my breakfast already.”

 

“Oh really – cooked it yourself, did you?” asked Desmond.

 

“I just had corn flakes and orange juice.”

 

“Right, well we’ll leave you to it, Bunny, see you later, alligator.”

 

“In a while, crocodile,” replied Bunn, thankful they were leaving him in peace. He rubbed the back of his neck with his hands – he was beginning to get a headache.