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

continued from Different Planet – 9

“I am sure they wouldn’t be, unless this wasn’t the first time for either of them.”

 

“Bunn hasn’t been with the company that long, so I doubt he’d have any previous. As for Hayes, he’s Irish so he might have some previous issues. I’d better not say anything just in case he has.”

 

“That’s your choice, Albert” said Smythe, who was beginning to tire of the conversation.

 

“I know it is, I will keep my nose out of their business I think,” said Merton. He looked at the empty desk next to Smythe’s and asked – “Who sits here?”

 

“That’s Rona’s desk – she ran out of petrol on her way into work this morning; she’s the careers and pensions officer – someone who helps people plan for the future, you know?” said Smythe.

 

“She didn’t plan her own future very well, did she? She ran out of petrol.”

 

“She normally fills up every Thursday morning without fail; she forgot she had an extra trip this past weekend to take her parents to the airport.”

 

“She doesn’t use the petrol gauge then?” asked Merton.

 

“Not everyone is the same, Albert” said Wood appearing at Merton’s shoulder, “just imagine if everyone in the world was like you.”

 

“I was just saying use the indicators available…, but if everyone was like me that would be terrible,” said Merton self-mockingly, “no one would ever get anything done. Anyway, have you finished Jon? We should be off.”

======

 

Wood and Merton said their goodbyes, left the gallery, and headed down the stairs to reception.

 

“Greg just phoned to say he’s altered your program and he thinks it will now take about 4 hours to run, which should be easier to schedule for the overnight batch suite.”

 

“If it works, Jon, he’s probably removed most of the logic, knowing Greg.”

 

“Well, you will be able to check tomorrow morning, won’t you?”

 

“Don’t worry Jon, I will test it to death, I know what that fat scouser is like.”

 

“Perhaps get Susan to help you.”

 

“She should, she wrote the spec for the program. We should follow our processes.”

 

“So, you think you got to know the people here OK?”

 

“I think so, Jon, although that Christine seems a bit prickly, and T-Terry was asking me some odd questions regarding my s-s-social life.”

 

“Was he now,” said Wood with a slight leer, “what does he know about you that we don’t?”

 

“He was trying to suggest I would drive all the way from here to a pub in Manchester just to try and hold his hand surreptitiously.”

 

“And did you?”