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.
“I can only speak about the hair on her head,” replied Tranfield,”but it does look like the colour of shoe polish doesn’t it?”
“God, Martian, who taught you to program, Aristotle?”
“Aristotle the ancient Greek philosopher, you dimwit, this code is so complicated no wonder it takes a day to run.”
“Don’t you start criticising my work,” said Tranfield, “or I will stick you in that large recycling bag over there and tie the tag.”
“That’ll be the first time you ever use that bag,” said Joan mischievously, “you normally dump everything in the bin.”
“The recycling is for secure information only, Joanie.”
“It does no harm to recycle the other paper.”
“It all goes to the same place in the end, anyway,” said Tranfield, “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 Tranfield, “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 Joan.
“Something you’re not Joan, top of the range,” replied Tranfield.
“What’s wrong with him?” asked Atkinson.
“He’s just being normal” said Roger smiling at Tranfield’s discomfort.
“Go away, Atkinson, or I will stick in you in the recycling bag.”
“It’s going to be crowded in that bag soon, isn’t it?” said Joan.
“It’ll have to be another bag for Atkinson, because Roger will fill the first one up completely.” said Tranfield 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 Tranfield threw at him.
“Martin,” 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 git 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 he hit the barrier, quite hard at around 100.”
“What an idiot,” commented Tranfield.
“He’s alright is he?” asked Joan looking at Wood over the top of her glasses.
“He’s fine, he drives one of those Saabs, so there wasn’t much damage to the car,” Wood replied, “Ted will be in the office tomorrow – I think the barrier was a write-off though.”
“How can you drive sideways into a crash barrier at a hundred?” asked Tranfield, “I wonder what was distracting him?”
“Perhaps he was playing his harp and singing a song from the Eisteddfod, whilst eating a leek,” said Laurence, “you know, Martin, like Welsh people do, according to you at least, not that you’d ever stereotype people.”
“Shut up you scouse git, perhaps one of your fellow Liverpudlians stole his wing mirrors, so he couldn’t see in which lane he was.”
“Oh no, Martin, my fellow Liverpudlians would have stolen the whole car, not just part of it, not that I am stereotyping of course.”
“Martin, come on let’s go and see our supplier, Samlesberry Holdings. Roger let me know how your changes are going – give Barry Dingle a ring in about an hour and we’ll be there.”
“Give him my regards,” said Joan.
“How do you know him?” asked Tranfield.
“Joan went with me last time, Martin,” explained Wood, “anyway let’s go.”
“You took Joan to provide Barry with some hot stuff to look at while you told him we weren’t going to pay him for another three months?” said Laurence winking at Joan.
“Something like that,” said Wood.