I don’t need to switch on my PC to know that the absolute bare minimum required has been done with my work. My desk has already cast me adrift by burying me in three weeks worth of paperwork. I wouldn’t even mind so much if it was left for me to be filed as opposed to being fucked on my desk. Days overlap each other as files are mercilessly pulled apart and thrown together to form one unrelenting uni-pile. The filing alone on this is going to take at least an hour.
Yellow post-its flood my desk along with crude short hand notepad messages, and the ones that are actually legible mean nothing or are outdated. “Call me, M”, “Sep file?”, “Kenya not updated” are just some of the many hieroglyphics.
I turn on my PC and try to login but predictably my password has expired, and when I ring IT to request a new one they too are predictably unavailable. Christ I’m not even in five minutes yet and already I feel like I’ve never left. Determined not to let it ruin my day I begin organizing and filing as much paper work as I can.
When I finally get through I catch a break in that Darragh answers the phone and resets my password. A review of my inbox confirms I’ve 982 unread emails and before I can check any of them a pop up calendar informs me I have a meeting with Hilary from HR at 9.30. This can’t be good-Hilary’s the director of HR and never dirties her hands with the banal day to day. I immediately search for her correspondence and the first thing that strikes me is it’s dated from about a week and a half ago.
I urgently require your attendance upon your return. I have booked the large boardroom for 9.00 and we can address the matter then.
I accept the meeting request and instantly begin trawling through my email for further clues. Could someone not find important documents or had I somehow breached client confidentiality by an accidental forward? Fuck maybe they’re cracking down on joke emails again. Upon joining I remember hearing that a college student got sacked because an email he sent-of a girl being fisted by a baseball bat-ended up with the top brass of AIB. Granted some of the emails I send around are borderline risqué but are still a million miles away from hardcore pornography. Although I know Merrill Lynch fired a whole load of people for an unrelated work email recently, and with the markets in such dire
A couple of things spring to mind but I can’t see how they can be proved either. It can’t be my time on the projects team because again Martin is hardly going to shop himself.
I slowly continue churning through my “grey areas” until it finally hits me-the stats. I certainly can’t deny my culpability for this one. From the second I took them over from John I was entrenched in deceit. Under his watchful eye I honed my skills in manipulation and deception to continue his legacy but in truth there was no other way. On any given day forty odd pricing slots (a group of fund numbers) are run, manually priced, validated, and checked. If you catch a break and you’re lucky a slot will have fewer than ten prices to correct, if you’re unlucky you could easily get 80 plus. In theory every single slot a supervisor checks has to be uploaded onto a central spreadsheet with the following details; Date, slot deadline, time received, total prices, total prices manually entered, days the prices are stale (anytime a price doesn’t change for a period greater than six days), the person who handed up the slot, the person who corrected the slot, and if
the slot was handed up late a brief explanation why. To fill in the required information honestly would take a supervisor around the 10-15 minute mark, and dishonestly probably half the time. The first slot deadline is 8.00 and runs straight through to 17.30. If supervisor capacity is full it stands at four, but for the majority of my time there it was usually just the two of us, or two good supervisors and one lazy dud. So in theory on full quota a supervisor can expect to do around twelve slots each meaning a bare minimum of-in at the very
After every stat is in the central system each individual slot has to be totaled and entered in a separate spreadsheet, which when finished is reviewed at board level on a weekly basis. In general anything between twenty and forty slots will miss their deadline of which usually just five would make it on to the report. For the best part, a missed deadline will only ever make it onto the board report as long as someone else is to blame. So if the vendor sends in prices late, IT never fixed a Bloomberg terminal, or someone from another dept fucked up something they’ll be slain in ink. If someone even as much as throws you a funny eye and distracts you from work they go down too.
Manipulating the board report is a whole entire task to itself as you’re not just manipulating stats for each week individually-they’re all tied in from the beginning of the year meaning consistency is king. If you slack on the stats and ignore the greater picture you’re fucked. It takes nothing more than a simple click to have the statistics broken down into percentages so if one week suddenly skyrockets it’ll be immediately flagged, and Evelyn will demand to know exactly what the hell happened. The same goes for a low week. If it was a particularly hectic week and you show only two missed deadlines Evelyn will question why this week’s so low when we were actually quieter the previous week. The catch 22’s arising from board reports are as complex as they are unrelenting. A pro for appeasing Evelyn is immediately combated with a con when pleading for more staff is met on deaf ears.
“Why would we possibly need more staff? The board reports show we’re doing just fine as we are” is a typical response played out on loop.
When I left the department the stats were entrusted in Ludo’s safe hands and having trained him myself he definitely knows the score. Fuck, that bastard probably went on another gaydar rampage meaning the new guy got landed with the stats and hung us all out to try. I run around to Ludo for confirmation and begin to panic when he’s not at his desk until I realize it’s 8.40. Fuck there’s no way I’ll get to speak to him before my meeting now.
“Alright Thompson.” I hear the familiar catcall from Lawson as the entrance door behind me swings open.
“What’s the craic?” I say exchanging hand slaps.
“Good to see you. So how was Portugal? Many sluts?”
“It was savage Damo although I feel like I need another holiday after it. Any craic here?”
“Nah nothing much,” he says briefly pausing “oh wait I can’t believe I nearly forgot-the phantom menace struck again.”
“Where’d she pebble dash now?”
Damian briefly looks over his shoulder before responding, his face a caricature of excitement.
“Proper hardcore! A couple of weeks ago Gaz heard a scream from the ladies again so we knew something was up, but it wasn’t until the email from HR went around that we found out what really happened.”
“There was another email from HR?”
“There most certainly was and it was pure gold. Hilary actually sent it around and it was all about “keeping intimate personal belongings at home”, “abiding by company health and safety codes”, and “interpersonal hygiene”.
“You’ve got to check it out the mail’s a work of art.”
“So what happened?”
“That’s not even the best part-some guy down in legal called James Carroll.”
“Anyway this James Carroll in legal got the sack.”
“What the fuck was James Carroll doing with a green vibrator in the women’s?”
“I know. The email really did get out of control though even my mates were
“Heather so hard up for it now that she has to resort to knocking one off in the jacks?”
“You’re a bad fucker,” but again he can’t help himself from laughing at the notion.
“Have you been speaking to Ludo at all? It’s just I have a meeting with HR shortly and I need to find out if he knows anything about it.”
“Nah I haven’t seen him much at all the past two weeks
“Cool you can fill me in on the rest of your holiday at lunch.”
I return to my desk where I’m met with, “So you finally decided to
“I wouldn’t do that yet Donal as they’ll probably have to pull me out from the sea of paperwork you left on my desk at some stage.”
Take that you
“So no presents?”
“Yeah I brought you back a stick of rock but I had to throw it to the sharks to fend them off. Have you seen Roseanne yet?” Donal then proceeds to look under his desk before informing me that “she’s not here”.
“So how was your holiday?”
“I had a great time thanks.”
“Right, okay Anthony I’m not going to beat about the bush here. I want to know your side to this whole FX deal fiasco.”
“Hasn’t Roseanne briefed you?”
“No Roseanne isn’t in yet.”
“Very well then while you were away it came to our attention that
“I’ve never done an FX deal in my life.”
Why am I actually pleading? I haven’t done anything wrong. Right then Hilary counteracts my statement by sliding
“Care to explain this Anthony? “
I stare blankly at the sheet devoid of words but not of fear. Written in front of me in
“I never did this transaction?”
“Are you telling me somebody forged your signature Anthony?”
“No that is my signature alright but I never did that FX deal. Roseanne asked me to sign off on it for audit purposes.”
“But why would you sign off on something you had nothing to do with?”
Because I wanted to go on holiday. Because outside of the walls of the HR office forgery is an accepted and integral part of everyday life in funds. Which incriminating line do I hang myself with first?
“I didn’t want to be seen to be questioning Roseanne’s
I watch as her pen scribbles furiously, aware every single word is being captured.
“You didn’t think it particularly strange that she might require your signature?”
“No, I’d already applied my signature to various other documents for audit purposes that week so it didn’t seem out of the ordinary.”
“I wouldn’t even know how to.”
“So are you calling Roseanne a liar?”
I know the pen is dying for this one.
“Well for your sake I very much hope that they become
“I fully understand. So what happens next?”
“Due to the amounts involved and seriousness of the situation a preliminary disciplinary committee has been set up for tomorrow.”
“Hold on a disciplinary committee? But I just said I had nothing to do with it.”
“Yes Anthony but your signature very much suggests otherwise. Senior management needs this issue resolved as soon as possible, and as you were out of the country for three weeks…”
I immediately cut her short, “Hold on I was on holiday”.
“Nevertheless two weeks have
“Four o’ clock tomorrow afternoon and I’ll send you on an email shortly with all the relevant details.”
On a normal day dealing with this hick-who was spawned in the shallow end of the genetic gene
He pauses, frowns, and deliberates intently before delivering his response. “What do you mean?”
Keep trying me motherfucker I dare you. I catch a glimpse of the picture and I could swear his wife is winking at me, egging me on.
“What do I mean?
“What am I a mind reader?”
Evidently not because if you knew what was going through my head now you’d shut the fuck up.
“I told you I had a meeting with HR, but I’m guessing cop on isn’t your strongest suit. Heaven forbid you
Come on Donal fuel my fire.
“Have we a problem Anthony?” She says and the very fact she predictably chose my name shows her allegiance. I suddenly feel like I’m surrounded in the oke coral. Do I shoot first, and ask questions later?
“No Roseanne. It’s just I’m already miles behind because I thought Donal would cover for me this morning. I had a meeting with HR first thing,” I say heavily
“And what’s this got to do with Donal?”
“Well as I had informed him of the meeting I assumed he would cover my work when he realized I was away from my desk for so long.”
“Assumed? So you didn’t ask him?”
I take this opportunity to stare her down. I am Iron Mike. I will eat her children if medical science ever grants the
“So what is Donal meant to be some kind of mind reader?” which is met by Donal’s sniggering approval.
“Well instead of worrying about what wasn’t done I think you should be more focused on the task in hand.”
“Fine,” I say not taking my eyes off her, letting the hate linger, until she backs down and returns to her desk.
I miss deadline after deadline to the delight of Roseanne. The dominos continue to flirt with me. Anytime I’m just a mere finger touch away from stopping one it
Today I’m everyone’s
“This is totally unacceptable”, “what the hell is going on?” and “you’re not on holiday now”, are just some of the many choruses that rain down on me. Roseanne also seizes the opportunity telling me on countless occasions how well the department ran without me throughout the day. I bite my tongue when I think of how there’s over five hundred thousand of the company’s money to suggest otherwise.
“Did you do something different with your hair today Roseanne?”
“No, I don’t think so Ludo.”
I’ve got to give him his dues. Not only does his manage to rile and provoke me, but keeps Roseanne sweet at the same time.
“Hey slut, glad to see the prodigal son has finally returned.”
“Oh Roseanne did you do something different with your hair,” I say mimicking Ludovico. “The cunt probably doesn’t even have a
“So what’s up? Lawson said you were looking for me?”
“I can’t really talk about it here,” I say rolling my eyes in Roseanne’s direction.
“Actually I did but then I realized you already had it.”
“The clap,” which he belatedly laughs at.
“So did I miss anything while I was away?”
“I meant in here? And anyways you earn the same as me dud-you’ll never be able to afford Castleknock.”
“Yes but my family love
“Haha very nice.”
“Nah you didn’t miss much here. I’m guessing you saw the mail about the phantom menace striking again?”
“Anthony whenever you’re ready there’s the little matter of deadlines to be met. I don’t want you crying wolf when you miss another one later,” Roseanne says cutting in.
Any restored vitality from my holiday is well and truly diminished. Since I arrived in after twelve I’ve been working on my defense for tomorrow, and three hours later all the fruits of my
I continue to bash keys, randomly holding down random letters for long periods of time hoping to somehow coax some untapped genius. I follow each letter as it roams recklessly and yet perfectly calculated across the screen, losing myself in its hypnotic wonder.
Gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg…Jesus Christ what the hell am I doing? I slap myself in the face, the severity of which startles me more than the pain. Come on Tony got to get the A game going.
I put on LL Cool J’s “Mama said knock you out” which is just the “fuck you anthem” I need to inspire me. “I’m gonna knock you out. Mama said knock you out” booms from the speakers helping me to what must be my 18th second wind of today. I feel invincible and valuable words begin to trickle across the screen until it gets to the stage were I don’t even notice that I’m typing….kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Okay time for bed.