Methodical Marketing Mike, Unfeasibly Young Zak and I are suffering. It’s a work ‘Christmas Do’. Consisting only of us and unwanted Boss.
Boss has given us each a Christmas card that contains a bonus £100
in cash. It’s out of character and we’re surprised.
We are eating in an unbearable restaurant that serves
mountains of smoked meat of doubtful provinence on metal trays – without plates
– accompanied by big glasses of beer in handled glasses that inexplicably have
jam-jar tops making them almost impossible to drink from. It's the choice of our Boss, as it's cheap and he believes it to be 'hip'.
I’m already irritable and the clientele of twenty-something men
sporting full beards, immaculate side-partings, sleeve-tattoos and check-shirts
loudly discussing the forthcoming evening’s “bants” is not helping.
We retire to a nearby bar for cocktails as beer is no longer an option - all of us feel
sick and bloated following our consumption of tourist-bait hipster food. Boss has to return
to the office for ten minutes to check ‘something’.
We decide to ‘do one’ and lose him, because we have become fifteen year-olds again and that’s what we now do. We're not proud of ourselves but the man is unbearable.
Boss rings Zak who promptly bottles it and reveals our
location. MMM and I are furious. After a while Boss joins us.
"Trying to lose me were you?" He loudly says, jokingly.
Silence reigns. Zak, Methodical and I glance at each other, our shoes and our phones.
We stand with Boss and look out
of the window of the bar and watch a Twix wrapper float by and discuss the
outrageous changes in confectionery prices over the years until Boss finally
goes home out of sheer boredom and the three of us begin to enjoy ourselves.
Come January we examine our pay-slips and discover the £100
wasn’t a bonus and had merely been a cash advance that had been deducted from our
normal salaries - money we could all have made use of after Christmas.
“I’ve got to find a new job.” I think to myself.