Tact and Diplomacy.
The days in the murky world of Corporate Whoring plc continue to be dark, and I find myself attending yet another post-redundancy leaving party. It’s in honour of Uncannily Similar’s wife on this occasion. I know his feelings to be mixed – he’s worried about money, but is looking forward to not working in the same building as his wife. His reasons for that are his own.
Our venue is a tavern of low standing named The Smack Rat. Spirits are surprisingly high and strong drinks with equally high spirit content are consumed. As are even stronger drinks with only one ingredient.
I retire outside for a cigarette, soon to be joined by a couple of female colleagues. The cracked-tarmac street outside is as insalubrious as the venue.
The inevitable radge-packet weaves toward us, tracky-bottoms tucked into sport socks, shaven of head and belligerent as hell. He makes some unflattering comments, directed at the women.
I know exactly how to handle this. In a previous life I worked in the ‘licensed trade’ and have dealt with many a drunkard, despite – or because of - my less than towering height and slim build. Keep your voice low, steady and firm. No aggressive body language, do not encroach on personal space. Maintain regular eye-contact but don’t stare. Be polite, do not get annoyed. Easy.
Me: [Stepping to within 6 inches of his face and firmly planting my hand in the middle of his chest] Listen, chief. Why don’t you fuck OFF back home to your pregnant girlfriend and your fucking STAFFY BULL TERRIER?
I pause to consider my words. I feel I may have forgotten to include something. Ah. I know.
Me: You CUNT.
Astonishingly this does not have the becalming effect I imagined.
A split second later it occurs to me that the strong lager, stupid gay mojitos and tequila shots may have dulled my faculties a little. It’s possible I have misjudged the situation.
Suffice to say, after much escalated confrontation involving door-staff, several burly male colleagues and the two female colleagues insisting I hide behind their skirts, the radge is sent on his way and all are unscathed.
I am surprised that no-one thanks me for my intervention. I did, after all, heroically make myself the target for the ruffian’s ire, hence sparing the blushes of the ladies. None of whom swoon, but merely refer to me as a ‘cock’.
The following morning I resolve to work on my negotiating skills. Or to just never leave the house again.