It's been a week in the new job and things are looking okay. Alright, most of them still tut when they pass me in the corridor but I can live with that. What really wound me up was the Friday beer trolley. Every Friday at 5.30 the trolley comes round, on it are some bottles of beer (near sell-by date, so they are cheaper) and wine. Apparently the new human resources director thought it might perk up flagging morale (good man!). It has been running for a couple of months (originally there were spirits too but a small riot kicked off between sales and operations when too much whisky was drunk and old differences came to the fore). The new finance director (miserable old crone) has put her own evil mark on it. She has tweaked the idea (which was fine in the first place) to only be available to employees of grade G and above. Okay, so that is 90% of the staff, but for us grade H-ers, it sucks. Here I was, looking forward to a cheeky beer before knocking off to go home to screaming wife and screaming kid but no. I lined up in the beer trolley queue, a big smile on my face. Picked a bottle that was suitably chilled, turned round, ready to walk back to my desk and enjoy it, when it is plucked out of my hand by the finance demon herself. I looked at her, confused and in a state of beer challenged shock.
"Grade G and above only, sorry, now move along", she squawked.
The rest of the office suppressed a snigger and the line continued shuffling forward. She scanned down her checklist of other potential grade H offenders and satisfied that all had been repelled, trudged off back to her pit.
When she was gone I wandered back over and attempted to regain my lost treasure. Dylan, the office facilities manager (odd job man and toilet unblocker) was guarding the trolley. He barred my way shaking his head.
"You heard the lady. Grade G and above.", he said.
"Ah, come on mate", I plead, "she won't know and anyway, it's only a beer"
"It starts with a beer, who knows where it'll end. If I let you take this, then I might as well leave the windows open and put a big sign out inviting burglars to help themselves.", he said.
"What? That makes no sense"
"It's all just different sides of the same different coin or coins", he said.
There was no more activity at the trolley, everyone had got their single approved beverage and the trolley went on to the next area.
I dropped down in my chair, dejected.
"here you go mate", said a voice. I looked up, it was Craig Jones, office wag and up until now someone I didn't care much for.
"I sneaked an extra one for you", he said and handed me a beer, "don't let them catch you with it. Probably best to nip outside."
I thanked him profusely, remembered to add him to my Christmas card list (as soon as I decide to have one) and zipped outside with my crock of liquid gold.
Bloody marvelous it was too. Good work Craig!