Thursday, 3 June 2010

Nasty Constituents, Oil Spills and Heavy Breathing

What on earth do the girls in the Westminster office do? Are they completely hopeless? In the morning, I receive an email from Carlotta saying that she's booked Mr Beales in for tomorrow's surgery, as Greg and I aren't answering the phone.

Wrong, you dingbat. Greg and I are screening the calls - which is a completely different thing - with the sole aim of avoiding having to give Mr Beales another surgery appointment so soon after his last one. We do try to leave the odd slot free for people with real problems, but it's constant battle, even without the London-based girls being pushovers. Marie-Louise is even more of a wimp than Carlotta.

To add insult to injury, Carlotta says she is going to complain to The Boss about it.

"I should not have to speak to people who are so rude that they make me cry," she says.

Mr Beales? Rude? He's a rank amateur compared to most of the usual suspects - and Carlotta doesn't seem to realise that she wouldn't have a job if it weren't for those "nasty constituents"?

"Those people are for you and Greg to deal with," she says. "I have Andrew's speeches to write."

"Carlotta, Andrew's a back-bencher, for Godsake, and no-one in the Chamber ever listens to a word he says."

This doesn't go down very well, and Carlotta does one of those exaggerated Spanish sighs that she's so good at.

It's not just that the girls are largely decorative: I wish they'd use pseudonyms too, because constituents are constantly moaning about why The Boss only employs "foreigners" in his Westminster office. He doesn't, but he does insist on long legs and an appearance which won't embarrass him at the Cinnamon Club.

Greg's so cross about the Mr Beales incident, that he decides to get his own back on Carlotta. He waits until lunchtime, then phones the Westminster office and leaves 25 "messages" on the answer-phone while the girls are out for their no-doubt glamorous lunch in the House.

The messages involve little more than heavy breathing, coupled with the odd menacing grunt and barking noise. I really hope Greg remembered to press 141 before he dialled.

Things don't get any better in the afternoon. Miss Chambers phones again, this time to complain that the Police aren't taking her latest incident report seriously and "are trying to imply that she has made a lot of enemies."

She goes on to say that she has never upset anyone. This is so delusional as to be almost funny - except that then she asks what kind of madman would post dog-poo through her letterbox?  I don't tell her that I am sitting in the office with exactly such a man.

In the evening, I get another email from Johnny. I don't tell Max, as I'm not at all sure that Johnny's not flirting with me now. It's very odd. You'd think he'd be too busy trying to sort out the Gulf oil disaster - all hands on deck in an emergency and all that.

Also, we have nothing in common, except being the same age and having been to the same school aeons ago, so I can't see what's in it for him - it's not as if The Boss can wield any influence over Obama. Or anyone, for that matter.

Johnny's attached a photo, but it's a bit of a disappointment. He's definitely not the dark-haired blue-eyed one from the school bus, but (just my luck) the mousy paperboy. And he's sitting in a mid-life crisis-style car, grinning inanely, and looking disturbingly like Vladimir Putin - though I suppose if you live and work in Russia, it's quite a good idea to look like someone who's well-connected. I wonder if Johnny looks as good as Putin in a judo suit.

I can't believe how pedestrian my life is, in comparison to his. He seems to be on a plane almost as much as on land, and says he's working flat-out so that he can retire at fifty-five. I haven't even decided what I want to do when I grow up, and my pension's going to be worth nothing, especially now that IPSA's making The Boss pay for it. (I'm expecting a nasty surprise on that one anytime soon.)

On top of that, I bet Max will trade me in before much longer - probably for Annoying Ellen if the sit-ups and mooning around in the garden are anything to go by. Then I won't even get half of his lousy pension and will have to work 'til I drop (or The Boss does).

At that point, I'll probably have to euthanase myself when I can't face another day without heat or food, spent wrapped in a blanket and wearing an incontinence pad. And all while Johnny will be sunning himself on the deck of the architect-designed home he's building for his retirement, and admiring his flash-git car collection.

Mind you, it's quite nice to have an International Director of a Global Oil Company flirting with me. It makes a change - though I do wish I could actually recall whatever it was we did together behind the Science Block.


  1. I'm very worried regarding the IDGOC flirting with you. Usually, things that seem too good to be true, are.
    Have you considered that there may be 'grooming' taking place? CJ

  2. Your office sounds a such a good place to work I'm off to find a crip accessible constituency office to demand they employ me & comply with IDS welfare reform fantasies!
    Personally I'd start leaving the flirtatious emails from Johnny where the hub can find 'em...nothing like a bit of jealousy to arouse a man's desires...he doesn't need to know you don't even remember the guy ;)
    BG Xx

  3. CJ - Thanks for your concern. I hadn't considered that possibility - though it had occurred to me that it might be a mad constituent (or Greg's idea of a joke). Now you've given me something else to worry about! I'd better send Johnny a photo, quick - so he realises I'm too old to be groomed!

    BD - Nooooo! Don't do it - unless your bendiness means you are particularly adept as escaping from tricky situations and aggressive constituents! Might try your idea about the accidentally-strewn emails, though...

  4. Sorry to hear about your science blockage. Always found the combination of bunsens & hot air bin bags rising on a winter morn most stimulating during a chap's teen sappage.

    Would that a chipped wheelie bin offered such a flight of fancy.