You relish the fact that you will be privy to rub shoulders with the top brass in a social context, whilst not having to shelf out a penny! What a deal! The admin staff have been spending half their time on the phone and surfing the web to come up with shortlists of restaurants, clubs and bars for the various legs of the evening. Whilst focussing on this very important goal (important owing to Rupert’s role as its patron), they have conveniently neglected filing your expense claims and as you will surely find out later, you will be financing the firm’s corporate entertainment expenditure out of your own pocket because they won’t be able to reimburse your flight and hotel claims until late February, but that’s in the new year and not for now to worry about.
You decide it is a good idea to participate in this “team building” exercise, so you walk over to Melinda’s desk. Melinda is a rather typical i-banking secretary. Although she has been with the firm for over five years, she still gives people the impression that they have dialled incorrectly and have been connected to an industrial state in Essex – there have been cases where clients from overseas have a apologised and redialled, thinking that they were really put through to Melinda in Essex by mistake. Mental note – be sure to pick up your own phone at all times. Ah, but bless, Melinda is a nice girl, means well when she wants to. The only problem is that doesn’t happen to be very often.
You lean on her cubicle, smile (when faced by a such a formidable enemy, one must do one’s best to avoid conflict at all costs) and ask if you can give her a hand.
“Aw kay, posh boy. I’m trying taw get us a tayble at Annabell’s but they say they’re fully booked. That’s a load of shite, innit. Gawon, call them in your hoity toity voice and help us out.”
You agree to put your voice to good use, and jump at the opportunity to become the team hero by securing Bouji’s for after the dinner. You dial, politely ask for a table, smile and hang up. You quickly wipe the smile away, lest Melinda gets the idea that she aught to lecture you on how the class system in British society is still not eradicated and that this is a true disgrace.
Luckily for you, it worked.
“Saw, did yaw ge’ it?”
You relish the fact that the positive response you give Melinda will spread across the floor in a matter of seconds, and you will be the hero who got the team into Annabel’s. Wee done man, you can hear Rupert mumbling at you, after the tenth shot of tequila he will surely have downed by the time you reach the club. And you will modestly respond that it was your pleasure to secure a decent venue for some after dinner entertainment. You can also picture Melinda’s voice in the background as you bask in your glory in front of Rupert, screeching “Aw my, this playce is saaaw posh innit. Oh ya, saw posh indayd”.
You can also picture Henry, one of the VP’s in the team and a sheer disgrace to the world’s ever increasing population of muppets, complaining that the night would have been much more fun at his club of Choice, Bouji’s (which refused to make a booking when he called – well done mate). He will be sure to try to overcompensate for his inability to deliver by leaving his card behind the bar to order everyone a round of drinks. Hammered as he surely will be at that stage, little will he know that you will order the entire club numerous rounds of drinks before he remembers to close the tab. But surely, it’s all in the seasonal flavour of giving. Ho! Ho! Ho!