Sunday, 16 December 2012

230: Death in the Slow Lane

Martin has just had a promotion, the first of his career. 

Now he may use the toilet without the permission of a supervisor.  He may make himself two hot drinks per day, the first at 10.30am and the second between 3.00 and 3.15pm.  He no longer has to bring in teabags from home but may use company provisions.  He may discover there is rarely sufficient milk and almost never any sugar at all.

Martin may also grant others permission to use the toilet, now that he is a supervisor.  He has moved to the desk placed at 90 degrees to the row of desks his team occupies, where he can see each person and consider whether they have worked sufficiently hard to have earned a toilet break.  Team members are allowed only one hot drink per day, using teabags and milk they have provided themselves and Martin may decide when that drink should be.

Martin remembers when he was in a team and how he looked forward to his daily hot drink.  He recalls a supervisor who chose 9.30am as drink time and would not permit toilet breaks until after lunch.  Martin hopes to be a more considerate of his team’s personal needs.

Martin has high hopes for the future.  Within as few as seven years he may be eligible for his next promotion, which would provide him with a larger desk at the front of the office.  He would then be supervisor to the supervisors and he would purchase company provisions, which he should claim back from petty cash on a pink form including all receipts, attached with a paperclip.

One day Martin may have his own office, if he proves to be made of the right stuff.  The office windows may not open and may be grimy but in the summer months the office may be flooded with so much sunshine as to become ‘an oven’.  Martin saw inside one of the offices once and has dreamed about working in one ever since.  Martin likes to have a dream to work towards and hopes he is made of the right stuff.

Martin hopes that over the next seven years he will not come to detest black tea.

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