Friday, 12 November 2010

How To Turn An MP's Staffer Into A Domestic Goddess. Whether She's Willing Or Not.

The Boss is in a towering rage today, oh joy. I can only assume it's because Vicky has rung in sick. Or, rather, she says she's sick when I phone to find out where she is, though she doesn't tell me what is wrong with her. Probably a cricked neck from all that hair-flicking.

Andrew's also annoyed about the whole Phil Woolas thing. Harriet Harman's not exactly his favourite person at the moment, but he's most furious with the local Party.

"Why?" I ask. "What have Joan and the others got to do with it?"

"I told them to make a complaint about the LibDems' election expenses in Northwick, didn't I?" he says. "But the buggers wimped out. As usual."

"Well, you won anyway," I say.

"Though God knows how," says Greg, rather quietly - but Andrew still hears him. Ears like a bat, that man.

"Pair of comedians, you two, aren't you? he says. "There's no way that bastard Smithson could have afforded all those leaflets within the allowed spending. And as for how much the yellow peril paid for postage and deliveries - well, that'd have taken them miles outside the limit."

For once, The Boss may have a point. It certainly looked bad when Greg estimated the cost just after Election Day, but it's hardly worth crying over spilt milk now, is it? It's not going to help Phil Woolas. Or his staff, for that matter.

Talking of ex-MPs' staff, Jen phones after lunch and sounds really depressed. She still hasn't got a job and is finding being unemployed very difficult.

"I've done all my cleaning by 10:00am," she says. "And I've even resorted to bloody baking this week - Nigella's got nothing on me. I've got Christmas puddings coming out of my ears.'

"Shut up about Christmas," I say. "But I can't believe someone hasn't snapped you up by now. What's going on?"

"Well, I did get offered one job," she says. "But I couldn't bring myself to take it."

"What on earth was it?" Jen is nothing if not multi-skilled. And adaptable - it comes with the territory.

"The new MP phoned to ask if I'd become his office manager," she says. "For Christ's sake. Talk about crass. And he was offering a lower salary."

"Probably to cover his excess election expenses, if The Boss's theory is right."

Andrew looks up, makes an obscene gesture that he usually reserves for use when he's driving, and then returns to the important business of eating Greg's lunch. (I was right about the Complan, even though I can't bear it either.)

"So have you had any interviews at all?" I say. If Vicky manages to get rid of one of us, it may be me that's job-hunting next.

"Loads," says Jen. "Trouble is, no-one can get their heads around what MPs' staff actually do. The breadth of our remit just boggles their minds, and there's never enough time to cover everything. And I think half of them only want to meet me to see what someone who works for an MP looks like in the flesh."

Bloody hell. I'd be unemployable on that basis. Better give the Complan another try.

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