I used to. After all, she comes across as warm, bubbly and personable. But underneath that candy floss sweet exterior I found something more akin to a rusty old nut: hard, stubborn and flaky. Yes, that’s it; I reckon she’s a candy floss covered rusty old nut. Lovely!
It was The Minimum Wage Episode a couple of years ago that really started the scales falling from my eyes…..
I discovered, during the December, that the minimum wage had gone up the previous October. I debated how to approach TBE, and decided that a light and humorous approach would be just the thing to prevent myself sounding like a bitter, accusatory old cow, and TBE from reacting like a wounded bear (I.e. scary and wanting to rip my face off).
I texted TBE (text, always by text), gently telling her about the new legal minimum wage, (I was under the misapprehension at this point that she can’t have known about it, otherwise she would have told me, wouldn’t she?....). I kept the tone light; I added a joke that I wouldn’t ask for back pay (even though I had every right to do so – which I didn’t say, obvs; far too inflammatory). I even included a playful exclamation mark to show just how relaxed and easy-going I was about the whole thing, and not uptight at all!
(Big fat lie. I was definitely uptight).
Anyway, it seemed my light-hearted and humorous touch wasn’t quite the persuasive success I’d envisaged. I got an avalanche of texts in response, and the tone, far from being friendly and apologetic, which was what I was expecting, was aggressive and defensive instead. Oh dear. Tactical fail there then…..
•Yes, she knew all about the minimum wage two months previously.
Really? Gee, thanks for that!
•“Adjustments” were dependent on how the business was doing.
‘Adjustments’?! Umm, OK. But anyway, are they? I thought they were according to the law…
•She gave me a cash bonus the previous Christmas.
Umm, yes, and….? I’ve sort of spent that by now….
•The wages were to remain unchanged until the end of the year.
In other words: ‘Down, you uppity Shop Girl! Down!’
There was a potential sweetener, a pacifier sentence in amongst the rest of the avalanche, but even that was a bit, well, pointed:
“It has always been my intention to review wages at the start of each year. You never know, it may have been my intention to pay you more.”
|Yes I know it's Grace Kelly, not TBE, but she does look like |
butter wouldn't melt, whilst dreaming of killing you
and knitting your intestines into a jaunty hat, don't you think?
Or, as I read it: ‘How dare you think badly of sweet ol’ me? It’s you who are at fault for not knowing the good intentions secretly swimming around my lovely brain. Ah, but you’ve spoilt it all now, you’ve jeopardised the Big Money, and you’ve only got yourself to blame. I am simply being the lovey, bubbly, wonderful person everyone knows I am. You, on the other hand, are being absolutely beastly!
(Me? Reading too much into this? Getting carried away? Never…..)
I did get my raise at the beginning of the year, but I got a lot more than that. I got my first teeny weeny glimpse of what my fun-loving, bubbly, gregarious boss is really made of. And it’s definitely more snips and snails than sugar and spice......
What are Little Boys Made Of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails.
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And all things nice.
That’s what little girls are made of.
Opie, P. and Opie, I. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (2nd Ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp100-101.
*Dickens, C. (1837-8). Oliver Twist (reprinted 2007). London: Vintage Books. pp 12.