Sacrificing Success for Contentment

Written By: anonymous - Jul• 01•12

Liz has not recovered from her performance at the Hen Do.

“Why didn’t you stop me?” she wails.

Jane lets out a loud snigger. “Are you joking? It was the best entertainment we had had in years!”

“But you were supposed to protect me!”

“We stopped the Policemen arresting you didn’t we? Even though you did attack that fat girl.”

“I didn’t attack her. I was defending Alex.”

“You hurled a sceptre at her.”

“To stop her from crushing him to death!”

“Do you think a court would have believed that? A strapping young man, in the prime of his life, needed your protection from a short, dumpy little girl?”

“She had tattoos!” Liz squeals.  As if having tattoos is tantamount to being commando trained. She looks to Alex for support. He has, thus far, been v quiet on the subject of his ‘rescue’.

“She was a lot stronger than me,” he admits, rather sheepishly.

“See!” Liz seizes on this. “He needed my help.”

“Yes,” Jane nods, “To gently pull her off; to reason with her; to calm things down, not harpoon her with a sceptre!”

This causes more hilarity, especially when Liz tries to bribe us not to tell Dan about her exploits.

“His Stag Do was all about art galleries, Champagne bars and poker,” she sighs.

“Really?” Alex pulls a face. “Then I’m glad I opted to go on the Hen Do. That was much more rock n roll!”

Aside from Liz’s embarrassment; the hen do was a roaring success. Everyone had a marvellous time; the hens are all, now, firm friends; and Natasha has, even, asked us to help with her speech (although Liz doesn’t know it yet).

Meanwhile, back in the real world of drudgery and despair (i.e. CWS) Selina is continuing her assault on partnership (or, simply, on the partners, as Jane observes). To our astonishment she has been invited on client trips to Queens Club and Royal Ascot.  The rest of us don’t get so much as a lunch invitation out of them so, Jane decides to stir things up by telling Tarquin.

“Are you going to Queens or Ascot?” she asks him.

He scowls at her. “No, why do you ask?”

“Oh,” she feigns surprise. “Selina is going to both, one with The Boss, one with Philip and Clive.”

“She is?” He scowls some more.

“Apparently. I don’t know how she has managed to inveigle herself in with them so quickly…”

“She is attractive.”

“Is she?” she feigns surprise, “She wears so much make up it’s hard to tell. And she does have rather a large nose….”

But while Selina may be impressing the partners with her attributes she has definitely not been impressing Margaret.

“What a vacuous bimbo!” She doesn’t mince her words. “I had to tell her five times how to use the bloody IT system and, then, I caught her asking Kevin!  Then, when we sent her to a meeting with some of our suppliers and she turned up giggling and asking them what she was supposed to say!”

“What are you going to do?” I ask.

“I’m making a note of everything,” she tells me, “but she has lavished a lot of attention on my boss. He seems bewitched by her, ahem, charms. Every time I say something he says she’s just settling in and I should give her a chance!”

“I’m so sorry about all of this,” I tell her, “If there is anything I can do back here, on the quiet, let me know. I had made good progress on the assessment; I could, at least guide you through the rest of it.”

“Thanks,” she says. “We may have to do that, just to get it done, but I don’t want that dim-witted dolly bird to take the credit for any of it!”

No, me neither. But, then, I am used to it.

I shuffle off to the kitchen to make a cup of tea; only to find that Jane has stuck a photo of Liz (in full Queen costume) on the notice board.

“She will kill you,” I tell her.

“Oh, come on,” she laughs. “She should be grateful I have only used the before photos and not the mug shots. She looks perfectly sober in this one.”

But that doesn’t stop The Boss from using it to his advantage; summoning her into his office for “a word”.

“Ah, Queen Elizabeth,” he greets her. “How nice of you to take a break from your Royal duties.”

“Yes,” she agrees, uncertainly.

“I hope you will find time for a little fee earning, in between planning the wedding and opening The Olympics.”

“Yes,” she says again.

“Good,” he nods. “I should hate to see you neglect your day job, you know, because when the wedding cake has been eaten, the bouquet has been thrown and the honeymoon is over, your chargeable targets will still be there waiting for you.”

“I am perfectly well aware of that, Alistair.”

“Well, good,” he smiles. “Because I should hate to think of you forfeiting your career for a few weeks of Champagne and confetti.”

“I am not planning to do that.”

“Glad to hear it. There is nothing worse than sacrificing success for contentment.”

Not that he would know. We all think he keeps his wife in a cellar. Either that or she’s run off with her tennis coach.

“No….” she agrees.

“And don’t go all mushy eyed about babies, either,” he goes on. “They are illogical, demanding and they deprive you of sleep.”

Not unlike partners in City law firms……..


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