Friday, 25 June 2010

Marxism & Thatcherism Combined, and The Return of the Errant Husband

Sometimes it feels as if Fridays occur more often than other days. It certainly doesn't feel as if a whole week has passed since The Boss was last in the office, sitting with his feet up on my desk and helping himself to my breakfast. I do wish he wouldn't swear so loudly while I'm on the phone to constituents. They all know it's him because of his Brummie accent.

He's really demanding today.

"Molly, get me Paul Whatsisname on the phone."

"Andrew, you have the phone in front of you. Have you lost the use of your hands?"

"Find me his number then."

"Andrew, I have never heard of Paul Whatsisname. Who is he?"

"I don't know. You'll have to write to him instead. Bloody incompetent staff." The Boss rolls his eyes and finishes my croissant. There are crumbs everywhere.

I'm starting to worry about him a bit. Why he thinks someone from the Party is spying on him, God knows, especially as he can't have any secrets which would make it worth the effort - given that he makes his views known to anyone who stands still for more than a second anyway. But there's no reasoning with him this week.

He insists that we hold our usual Friday briefing in the corridor today, and that only I attend. Next week will be Greg's turn. The Boss reasons that, this way, Greg and I will be less dangerous if we turn out to be moles, as we will only know half of what's going on. I suspect that the person who actually only knows half of what's going on is The Boss himself, but wisely say nothing.

In the afternoon, Roger Fennis comes in for his surgery appointment. Apparently he is being paid far less than his much-younger colleague, whom he trained to do the job. The Boss is shocked to the core.

"That's bloody outrageous, Roger. I'm not having that. You leave it with me and we'll get it sorted." He pats Roger on the back and says, "Disgusting. Oh, and make sure you join the union too."

As soon as Roger has left, The Boss says,

"Molly, get onto that straightaway. Can't stand bloody bad employment practices."

I can't believe it. The Boss is a Marxist where other people's employers are concerned, but a veritable Thatcherite when it comes to his own staff. Just hope Roger has more luck with the union than I've had so far.

After I get home from work, Max suddenly recalls that he is married, and begins sending a flurry of texts which give me a blow-by-blow account of his journey home - but only from when his plane lands at Heathrow. He chooses that moment to share the name of the German hotel - now that it's bloody irrelevant. I had been intending to keep his meal warm, but after that, I burn it to a crisp by "forgetting" to turn the oven down, and then I go upstairs to take an exceedingly deep bath. This ensures that Max will be both hungry and unable to take a shower, as I have used all the hot water. I also tell Connie where Max's secret stash of Ferrero Rochers are kept, and I authorise Josh to drink the only can of beer left in the fridge.

I go to bed before Max finally arrives. I can't get to sleep, though, and hear him fall over the pair of shoes I deliberately left in our bedroom doorway. I watch the inevitable trouser dance through one half-open eye, and then do a very convincing stretch and turn manoeuvre so that my back is to him, just as he tries to snuggle up. Half an hour later, he's snoring like a steam train and I'm back downstairs making cocoa. I look everywhere for the valium Dad left behind when he came to stay after Stepmother Mark III left him, but can't find it. Looks like two sleepless nights in a row - the phrase, "I don't know the name of the hotel" keeps running through my head.

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