Well, I suppose you’ll have heard by now. The news – and even now the mere idea of it feels like a fresh dagger plunging into my cold cold heart – that my erstwhile ‘friend’ (and when I say ‘friend’, I mean ‘work colleague’) Tamara has been promoted to managing director and put in charge of our team, following my boss’s preposterous decision to leave Big Shop.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the money. OK, it’s absolutely the money. But it’s not just the money. It’s the principle of the thing.
This is Tamara we’re talking about. This is the girl who once told me that my olive oil deal would make EMI look like the deal of the century. Who wouldn’t know vision if it was right in front of her eyes. Who’s more pedestrian than a gang of old codgers on the parish council’s sponsored walk. Her. In charge of a genuine dasher like me. Where’s the justice in that?
I mean, I can understand the logic, to some extent. The mistake a lot of shops make is that they keep promoting their best deal guys until they end up spending all their time managing people instead of money, which is a horrible trade-off whichever way you look at it. It’s important to make sure your top performers focus on doing what they do best, without unnecessary distractions.
Put it this way: if I was opening the bowling for England, you wouldn’t want me keeping wicket and captaining too, would you? Or as our American chums might put it: I can’t be the guy who throws the ball, and also the fat guy in front who stops people jumping on his head (is this right??? not so hot on the old gridiron).
Now my more observant fans may recall that at the time of my last missive, I was under the impression that Tamara was jumping ship to join my boss’s new venture. Well, I continued to be under that impression until I got back to the office in the New Year, whereupon I found her sitting in my boss’s office.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, utilising my uncanny ability to cut right to the heart of a situation.
“Good news, Pye. I’m your new boss.”
I promptly showered her with approximately 20ml of gingerbread latte, which unfortunately I’d been drinking at the time.
“Very kind of you to say so, Nicky,” she said, discreetly wiping a sizeable portion of saliva-specked coffee from the lapel of her immaculate Chanel suit.
I managed to overcome my momentary discombobulation. “But… I don’t get it. I thought you were leaving?”
“Don’t be silly. I’m hardly going to leave here to join a start-up that probably won’t even be able to raise a fund. It was just a negotiating tactic.” (I called my ex-boss about this later; the mere mention of the name ‘Tamara’ prompted the most abusive and foul-mouthed tirade I’ve heard since that incident at prep school when Paul ‘Psych Ward’ Ward caught me reading a Russian novel on the school bus.)
“But… when did this even happen? There was nobody here all last week!”
“Ah, yes… About that. When I told you the office was closed for Christmas, I may have exaggerated ever so slightly. The thing is, you see, I didn’t think it was a good idea for you to be around last week. You’d have only got upset.”
“Wait a minute… You mean… You mean you basically tricked me to stay away from the office, just so you’d have carte blanche to manoeuvre your way into this office without me cramping your style?”
“Oh don’t be such a drama queen, Nicky,” she said gently. “As if you could ever cramp my style.”
At some level, I couldn’t help but admire this absolutely unscrupulous chicanery. But it’s a different kettle of fish when you’re on the receiving end, I see now.
In fact, the whole episode has taught me a valuable lesson. Next time, I need to get my revenge in much, much earlier.