Monday, August 16, 2010

Dog Tired - Monday

Finish yet another one-sided morning meeting to blank faced apathy. I have a sneaking admiration for stand up comedians, able to expose their soul under the merciless glare of the spotlight. But like some bottom of the bill performer in a rain-swept seaside town theatre, I’m not connecting with my audience.

I’m not expecting hilarity - although a titter from negotiator S might leaven the atmosphere - but some sort of response might be nice. S just smiles benignly at me, idiot trainee F sits with mouth slack enough to catch any insects not deep-chilled by the air conditioning and assistant manager T stares impassively back at me his designer glasses winking under the fluorescents. Even a heckle would be welcome at this stage – some sort of engagement.

‘Anyone got anything to add?’ I finally plead. T’s glasses glint vigorously as he shakes his head in the negative. S begins to gather up her files and F gurns like some sideshow freak in a Victorian travelling show. I had such high hopes at the beginning.

‘I need some more leads.’ Spills forth mortgage man M suppressing a yawn as his vast belly shifts sideways with his movement and the chair creaks alarmingly beneath him. Now I want to heckle, but S is ahead of me.

‘It would help if you rung the one I gave you.’ She snipes acidly.
‘They were out, I left a message.’ Responds M truculently. He’s more convincing when he gobbles up pastries, than punters.
‘I could do with some more landlords.’ Chimes in B from her lettings desk. ‘How about some of your vendors who can’t sell?’

Now there is definitely no chance of levity. B has highlighted a long-running flaw in our office objectives: she wants a market that favours landlords and tenants, whilst I want buyers and sellers to believe that now is the perfect time to commit to ownership. It’s a funny old game.

M and S finish their petulant discourse about what constitutes a red-hot lead. As ever with indifferent salesmen, M is blaming the quality of the introduction for not writing the business rather than his lacklustre closing skills. Of course closing skills are a finely tuned technique, but they start with actually contacting the individual in the first place.

‘Anyway I’ve had to give a fresh undertaking to shift some more Pet Insurance.’ Counters M in a clumsy attempt at a diversionary manoeuvre. Sadly, like a vast oil tanker, he doesn’t change tack that adroitly. It doesn’t really matter because the communal howl of protest sounds like a dying hound of some description - one with its neck being throttled by another red-hot lead.

‘What?’ Pouts M. ‘We haven’t sold any yet.’ I let the clumsy change to a collective term - including the team in his failure – pass, but before I can give my opinion on insuring a flea-bitten animal, T gets there before me.
‘Waste of money paying thirty quid a month for vet’s bill protection.’ He says caustically. ‘Cheaper to just buy another one if they die.’
Annoyingly, T gets the first laugh of the morning.
‘That’s not the attitude.’ Pontificates M, but I can tell his over-worked heart really isn’t in it. He didn’t study and become licensed just to peddle Poodle policies. Our bosses have a lot to answer for.

No sooner have the door chimes finished clanging than I hear a gruff barking begin, followed by a scrabbling of paws on parquet. Something large and salivating is waiting behind the door and as I left M sulking in the office, it’s a safe bet it’s not him.

I hate household pets with a passion, unless they are safely confined in a fish tank – and don’t think I haven’t been tempted. All the creatures want to do the intruder in a suit is cover them with hair, or shag their trouser leg.

I manage to get a surreptitious kick in while the owner is putting the kettle on. As the mutt yelps and slinks away I vaguely wonder if Fido might like a free rubber bone and his initial month’s premium free, but the first sneeze arrives instead.

Still not laughing.


Chris said...

Some days are just down days, especially Mondays. If you come into work bright eyed and bushy tailed on a Monday either you love your work or there is something not quite right with you.

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily true. Once, on my way into work I saw a Celine Dion cd - all scratched up and discarded on the pavement. Sweet enough that I didn't need a sugar in my coffee that morning.

(and It could well have been a Monday.)