The story of a day in the life of an unsuccessful office worker

1:58pm Caught in the act

In today’s corporate world, if you have a problem, you should discuss it with the people involved. 

I have a problem right now. Last month, I made an accounting mistake and I have to put through a negative adjustment of $5.9 million to correct the mistake.  

The adjustment will adversely affect the performance of the Technology Solutions department and will be the third such adjustment in the last six months.  

Needless to say, Alan Donnelly, head of the Technology Solutions department, will not be happy. This will not be fun. 

I reach his office – the door is almost closed. I’m not sure what this means. I can hear sounds coming from within his office but I cannot hear talking.  

Should I enter? He may be busy, and may not appreciate the interruption. On the other hand, I need to get this over with. 

I knock and stick my head in – big mistake. He is alone with Vanessa Carlson, head of Applications Development.  

There have been rumors about these two for some time. Not that they actually like each other – he is desperate and she will do anything with anyone in order to get ahead. 

I can now confirm these rumors. They are having – how can I put it - an ‘employee relationship building’ session. No, perhaps a ‘bonding session of an intimate nature’ is a more accurate description.  

They are not happy to see me. Perhaps they feel that three is a crowd. 

“What do you want, Robertson?” Mr. Donnelly growls. “Can’t you see that my door is closed?” 

Oh dear. How do I get out of this one? 

“I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Donnelly. Your door was partly open. I didn’t realize that you were in a ….meeting.’ 

“Yeah well, what do you want?” he snaps back. 

“Nothing urgent. I can see that you are … well … busy. I’m very sorry, I can see the two of you…well… have a lot to do. I’ll come back later.” 

I turn to leave. I cannot get out of there fast enough. But Alan has something to say. 



“If anyone finds out about this, there will be hell to pay!” 

“Oh, yes of course. I understand. What happens in a meeting stays within that meeting, particularly when … well…sensitive issues are dealt with.” 

Mortified, I close the door and stumble meekly back toward my desk. 

Tempting as it is, I must not tell anyone about what I have seen. It’s simple corporate etiquette – what is said behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. 

The same applies to what is done behind closed doors.


  1. January 11th, 2008 | 9:45 am

    Dude… now you have the power of blackmail!

    It looks like Alan here is the one who will do anything to get a head. Ha ha ha! Get it?

  2. January 11th, 2008 | 10:32 am

    Ha ha ha! Great one, IP!

    Good point. I have the power of blackmail. H’mmm wonder how that might work to my advantage. Pity I didn’t take a camera!

    Nevertheless, you are right. I have an ace up my sleeve now. Wonder how I might use this in the future.



  3. January 11th, 2008 | 1:23 pm

    His threats are empty. I bet he’ll look away everytime you look at him and grin. This can work to your advantage, but be careful of how powerful he is. Be careful of your demands and honor the deals.

    The problem with having the power of blackmail though, is that you may never-ever be caught doing anything distasteful. Or at least be caught. As Jack Sparrow would say… leverage.

  4. January 11th, 2008 | 1:25 pm

    Oh, and Andrew…

    Make sure NONE of your co-workers find this blog, now that you have a dark secret.

  5. January 11th, 2008 | 3:20 pm

    Hmmmmm. Leverage. Brings an evil smile to my face I like the sound of that one, IP. You think like a pirate. Llllleverage.

    Come to think of it, not only do I now have leverage over him, I also have leverage over her, too.

    I wonder what kind of ‘favors’ I could get either him or her to do. (I’m not talking about unclean things, either)

    I might test my new power out tomorrow. Think I’ll start by seeing if I can get him to make me a fresh coffee and bring it to my desk. White with one, maybe around ten thirty.

    It’s not often that a senior manager makes and delivers fresh coffee to a finance assistant. It will be nice and humiliating for him. However, being waited on a senior manager would be very satisfying for me. And just imagine what those around me would think.

    Oh, and if he could kindly just wash my cup and saucer after I am finshed, that would be great.

    The coffee will be my test. If he goes along with it, I have him on a string.

    What other ‘favors’ could I get either of them to do for me. Any ideas, IP or anyone else?



  6. January 12th, 2008 | 2:12 pm

    No, Andrew, no! Even with this dark secret in your hands, you must remember to come out as the good guy or the victim in all this, in case the whole thing blows over. Unless you have an “in case shit happens” plan, don’t get in too over your head.

    As for Ms. Carlson… just how hot is she? *grin*

  7. January 12th, 2008 | 7:42 pm

    Thanks for the caution, IP.

    Ms. Carlson has blonde hair and is quite nice looking.

    However, she is almost twenty years older than me and she does get around a little. Moreover, I now know that she has had relations with Alan, and that makes me a little less keen for relations with her if you know what I mean.

    If you have seen the movie Office Space, it’s like the situation where “Lumberg” has had relations with her. If you haven’t seen the movie, you won’t understand what I mean, so don’t worry about it. I’m just not too keen for relations with the same women as older senior managers.



  8. January 12th, 2008 | 10:44 pm

    “I’m sure what I have to tell you will be treated the same way…”

  9. October 28th, 2008 | 8:50 pm

    Good words.

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