Where have you been? I’ve been waiting all summer to tell you the latest.
Anyway, while you were on the beach sunning yourself, I was relentlessly getting ahead.
Picture the scene: it’s a late August night in the office (one of my very favourite times). There’s only one other person around: the IT guy, who’s doing something to one of the computers in a nearby pod.
On a separate note: I do think it’s a disgrace that I don’t have my own office yet. How am I expected to think Big Thoughts amidst the hubbub of the hoi polloi?).
So we get to talking, as I’m reliably informed average humans like him like to do. He asks me what I’m working on at the moment, so I start telling him about the olive oil thing.
“Oh yes, I know about that,” he says. “I’ve got high hopes for that. Looks like a slam-dunk. No, I mean: what’s next? Anything good in the pipeline? Assume you’re sticking with your mass customisation theme?”
So impressed was I with his outstanding commercial acumen (vis-à-vis my olive oil deal) that the weirdness of this didn’t immediately register.
“Actually, it’s funny you should ask: I met this incredible management team a couple of weeks back, based out of… Wait a second.”
“Yes, Nicholas,” says the IT guy, calmly.
“How do you… I mean… The olive oil deal, fair enough, I guess that’s the stuff of legend round here already. But My Theme… How do you know about My Theme, B– sorry, what’s your name, exactly?”
“It’s exactly Brian,” he says, with a smile. “And I know most stuff that goes on around here.”
“You do? How?”
“Well, people are quite indiscreet, Nicholas. On their email, and stuff.”
“Wait…You mean you see people’s emails?”
“The firm looks at all your emails, Nicholas. Didn’t you read your contract?”
No, I was too busy dancing round the room deliriously, before submerging myself in a bath full of Bollinger. “Must have missed that bit. So wait: you can read anyone’s emails?”
“Yes, Nicholas,” he says patiently. “Well, the firm can. Which I guess means me. Since nobody else knows how.”
At this point, I had one of the most magnificent ideas I’ve ever had (which is saying something). As my dear old vicar used to say, there’s nothing like naked greed and heathen self-interest to bring out the best in Nicholas Pye. This was my way in to Tamara’s deal pipeline! All I had to do was one thing: make a trade…
“So, erm, here’s the thing. Let’s say there was a certain set of emails I urgently needed to read. Nothing dodgy. More of a… compliance thing.”
“Compliance is a firm-wide issue now, Nicholas.”
“Exactly, Brian, exactly. So if you were to help me do that…. Maybe there’s some favour I could do for you in return?”
“Well now you come to mention it, there is one thing – but it’s a bit embarrassing…” For a moment I was terrified that he’d interpreted this as an offer of a carnal nature. But I was too excited to make discouraging noises. “You’ll probably think this is stupid, but all I’ve ever wanted to be is a buyout guy. I just know that if I got a shot… I could start as an analyst, work my way up… I could be so much more than a CTO, Nicholas. Could you put in a good word for me?”
“Brian, that’s probably the least stupid thing you’ve ever said. No wait, that came out wrong. Point is, being a buyout guy really is the greatest thing in the world. I’d be honoured to help you live the dream.”
Obviously I have no intention of actually helping him, of course. That would be totally inappropriate. But by the time that becomes clear, Tamara’s email account will be singing like a canary. Happy days!