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

continued from Different Planet – 8

“You’ve not seen me before have you?” asked Merton.

 

“Oh, I most certainly haven’t, I am sure I would have remembered you, what with the shape of your face and all.”

 

“The shape of my face?”

 

“Well, your skull, the shape of your skull, it’s very…what should I say? Cro-magnon?”

 

“Crow what? Who was he?”

 

“Not Cro Magnon, Neanderthal, sorry I meant Neanderthal.”

 

“That’s so much better, you mean I look like a caveman?”

 

“I suppose so, but please don’t be offended in any way, because those Neanderthals did have a larger brain capacity than homo sapiens.”

 

“That’s reassuring to hear, thank you for pointing that out. So, what else do you do apart from ordering parts – you don’t work for the Samaritans do you?”

 

“I don’t work for them, no, do you think I should?”

 

“I don’t think you should do, because you’re not the most reassuring person I’ve met and I think you might end up achieving the opposite of what you were intending.”

 

“Thank you for that feedback, well don’t let me keep you.” Christine gestured to the person next to her, whom Albert hadn’t met yet.

 

“Hello Albert, my name is Dermot Smythe, and I work on the industrial relations side of things.”

 

“Hello Dermot, so you work with the unions, do you? Keep them whipped into shape.”

 

“I work with everyone to ensure we have a happy working environment, as the employees are a company’s biggest assets.”

 

“You obviously haven’t worked with some of the people I work with, if you had you wouldn’t say that,” replied Merton,” there’s one lad called Bunn who has a very bad attitude and almost caused a fight earlier this week, can you believe that?”

 

“Was he trying to fight with you, by any chance?”

 

“No, of course not, why would anyone be offended by me? It was someone else; Bunn’s very immature for his age.”

 

“What are your HR department going to do about it?”

 

“Them, they’re useless, they probably don’t even know it happened.”

 

“Did anyone tell them?”

 

“I didn’t – I don’t want to get involved in someone else’s business.”

 

“It is your business though if it’s happening in your office,” said Smythe, trying to put his point across as gently as possible, “and you should in my opinion let your HR department know as soon as you can.”

 

“We’ll see,” said Merton, “I don’t want to cause Bunn or Hayes to be sacked.”