Olympic Ideals

Written By: anonymous - Aug• 13•12

It has been a frantic few weeks. Liz has, finally, made an honest man of Dan and London has exploded with a frenzy of Olympic excitement. Not that we would know it. Whilst other firms are allowing employees to work from home or stagger their hours, ours has decreed that we should all be at our desks no matter what transport traumas befall us.

“Do you think Londoners ‘worked from home’ during The Blitz?” asks The Boss, when Jane tackles him on the subject.

“No,” she admits, “but that’s because their homes were being bombed out.”

“Then there you go! If they can carry on then so can we.”

“You can’t compare The Olympics to The Blitz!” she protests.

“Why not, we’re invaded by foreigners, our services are disrupted, we’ve lost almost every battle and our politicians keep telling us not to panic. Sounds a lot like 1940 to me.”

Worse, because of the Creepy Nigel and the IT Police, we can’t even watch any of it on our computers. We have to resort to viewing via mobile phones or sneaking down to the foyer (where there is a widescreen TV). It’s a perilous pursuit; we were almost caught screaming for the Men’s Eight to hang on to gold. And when the cycling got started we were hard pressed to do any work.  And once the athletics got underway, we almost abandoned it all together.

“Why couldn’t we just have the fortnight off?” Jane grumbles.

Her new-found interest in sport is something of a revelation, although, typically, she enjoys the events that no one else does: weight lifting, wrestling and judo. Alex (by contrast) has shown a predictable interest in diving, dressage and beach volley ball (for men). I like the swimming and the rowing but I’ve also found new interest in Water Polo, which is the sport I think most suited to law firms. Lawyers would be brilliant at it. It’s all about sneaky, underwater tactics, ducking  opponents and hogging the ball.

I (jokingly) suggest to The Boss that we might establish a CWS team.

“I used to play Water Polo!” he agrees. “I was captain for my school.”

No surprise there.

“I thought it might be a good Team activity.”

He laughs! “If you want to hospitalise your colleagues.”

“I wouldn’t mind drowning one or two of them,” I admit.

“Well, there you go! HR would never permit it. But I like your thinking; perhaps we should arrange some sort of Team games……”

It doesn’t take long for him to come up with his proposal.


Inspired by the success of Team GB; we have decided to instil some of the same values of competition and team work into our department.  We have challenged the Property Department to a Rounders match at the end. We have four weeks to transform ourselves into a slick, co-ordinated fighting force. Training will commence on Tuesday evenings at six thirty pm.

This is not, quite, what Jane had in mind.

“Rounders!” she splutters. “It’s hardly the ruthless gladiatorial combat I would have proposed!”

If Jane had had her way we would have been fighting bulls and spearing lions.

“I didn’t propose it, I proposed Water Polo,” I explain. “But as a joke; I never thought he would take it seriously.”

“Water Polo was obviously too expensive for them to fund,” she sniffs, “So you’ve lumbered us with Rouders instead.”

“It might be fun,” I try to look on the bright side. Although I am, also, wondering what possessed him.

“It would only be fun if we were playing against our colleagues,” she tells me, “Not with them!”

Alex is disappointed that we won’t be wearing Speedos.

“Did you really want to see Tarquin in a swimsuit?” I ask him.

“Oh, god no!” he pulls a face. “But I thought we might find some fit opponents to challenge.”

“The Property Department?”

“Yeah, maybe not.”

Just as we think that things can’t get worse; Jeannette appears and distributes fluorescent “CWS” bibs for us all to wear. Pink for Property, yellow for Litigation.  And we’re told to wear shorts, which Jane flatly refuses to do.

“I haven’t worn shorts since I was at primary school,” she declares, “And I don’t intend to do so now.”

She decides to wear combat trousers instead.

Meanwhile, back in the real world of work, Selina and Margaret have well and truly fallen out.

“She’s never here!” Margaret  fumes, “And when she is, she spends all day flirting with my Boss.”

“She has had a lot of clients to ‘entertain’ recently,” I explain. “Helping them watch the Olympics was very important.”

Especially the Beach Volleyball.

“Pah!” she snorts. “It wasn’t called ‘entertainment’ in my day! It’s nothing short of prostitution!” She doesn’t mince her words. “She trots in, wearing skimpy little dresses and high heels and sits on the edge of his desk simpering and swooning at him! It’s like something out of that awful MadMen series.”

Her Rounders outfit is no different. Whist the rest of us cobble together old vests and running shorts, Selina turns up at our first practice session in all over lycra. No wonder all the boys volunteer to be back stop. We divide into teams, Jane on one side, Tarquin on the other. Jane picks me, Danielle, Simon and Clive (and a rag tag band of trainees/paralegals). Tarquin gets Melinda, Malcolm, Selina and Alex.

“Tactics are simple,” she advises. “Hospitalise them. Do whatever you can to put them out of action.”

“Ok,” Simon nods.

“Absolutely,” Danielle agrees.

I say nothing but thank god I am on her side.

We are first to field. Tarquin thinks this is a sign of weakness but he hasn’t reckoned on Jane’s bowling. The first ball goes whizzing past his head but the second finds its mark; hitting him squarely in the unmentionables.

“Ooow!” he’s squeals.

“One down,” she mouths to me. “five to go. You need to speed up your swinging action,” she tells him.

“You need to work on your aim!” he screams.

Selina is next. She slinks, slowly on to the square and wiggles her bottom at Simon ( who crouched behind). Jane’s eyes narrow murderously.

“Simon!” she orders. “Swap with Danielle.”

He protests, but too late, Danielle has elbowed him aside and taken up position. Jane readies herself for the throw: Pow! It’s a corker, straight to Danielle. Danielle catches it and flings the ball to me.  It seems to all happen in slow motion. I leap for the ball; Selina charges for the base; I snatch the ball from the air, and we both leap for the post at the same time. Seconds later we are lying on the floor; me clutching the post, her clutching her nose.

Jane is screaming “Out, out out!” at the top of her lungs.

“Are you ok?”

“No!” she cries. “My nose!” She moves her hand back to reveal a red, swollen mass.

“I’m sorry!” I gasp as Malcom, Tarquin et al, rush to her aid.

“Stupid cow!” she retorts.

“It was an accident,” I protest. “We both went for the post at the same time.”

“You didn’t have to knock my nose!” she shrieks. “I won’t be able to face anyone for weeks!”

“I’m sure that’s not true,” I soothe, “A bit of ice and some Nurofen will sort it out.”

“If I need surgery!” she goes on, “I’ll sue you! My surgeon is bloody expensive!”

So that’s it! She thinks I’ve messed up her nose job! Oh my goodness! I know it’s not sporting, but I don’t think we couldn’t have hoped for a better result…………









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