Saturday 10 February 2018

The Spy Who Loathed Me

OK, let’s start with the statistics:


  1. There are three people who work in this company: TBE (aka The Boss Erratic), Colleague Crafty and me. That’s not even enough to fill a taxi.
  2. The Out Of Favour (OOF) shop (where I work) is about twenty seconds away from the New Favourite (NF) shop (where I don’t work), which is just around the corner.
  3. Until the day both shops become self-service operations (oh, wouldn’t TBE love that: no staff [i.e. me] to whine on about employment rights), there is one of us working in each shop. That’s two thirds of the workforce hanging out within twenty seconds touching distance of each other at any one time.
  4. Given this arrangement, there is a high probability that when I am working in the OOF shop, TBE is very often just around the corner in the NF shop; twenty seconds away.
  5. That’s twenty seconds away. TBE is twenty seconds away. Very frequently.
  6. I haven’t clapped eyes on TBE for three and a half months.
  7. Three and a half months.
  8. Three and a half months is a long time.
  9. Three and a half months is at least fourteen weeks.
  10. Three and a half months is over a quarter of a year.
She’s just disappeared. Run away. Gone. Totally absent.

Actually, I should clarify this. When I say run away, what I mean is, she’s run away from me. And it isn’t the first time. She’s learnt by now she can’t sack or constructively dismiss me every time I inconveniently (but professionally and logically – which appears to wind her up somewhat) hold her to account for being massively pants about shop stuff. So she takes the only other route available to her – she runs away from me.

And when I say runs away from me, what I mean is, she hides twenty seconds away - in the NF shop. Yep, Lord Lucan she is not.

I don’t know if she thinks I don’t know, or whether it just hasn’t occurred to her, but the trouble with working in an environment with lots of chatty customers is they, um, chat:

I’ve just had a lovely chat with (TBE) over in the other shop.”
Oh, have you?”
She’s alive then? Not dragged away months ago by marauding health andsafety officials?

Doesn’t she look lovely with her new look hair colour? She looks so different!”
Does she?”
She’s changed her appearance? She must be absolutely desperate to avoid me.

She just never stops, does she?!”
Doesn’t she?”
Yeah, never stops avoiding me.

She’s never away from that shop, is she?”
Isn’t she?”
Are you sure she hasn’t just accidently locked herself in again? (It wouldn’t be the first time. I’m not joking).

Oh, doesn’t TBE work hard?!”
Does she?”
Are we talking about the same person?

It’s not the customers’ fault. They don’t know they’re supposed to be keeping a secret. They don’t know that the woman working twenty seconds away has been hiding from me for so long, she could have walked to frigging Lapland and back in the time since I last saw her (It’s true! Look it up: 30 miles/day). They don’t know because, if TBE were to tell them it would make her look like a cowardly, unpleasant, incompetent, neglectful, fair-weather boss. And, as we all know, she’s not that at all, she’s simply absolutely lovely!!!

Mind you, out of sight is not out of mind, apparently. It seems TBE thinks about me a lot, mainly because, to avoid someone in this tiny town you need to know where that person is at all times. You need knowledge. You need planning. And you need cunning.

If only TBE approached the running of her shops the way she approaches avoiding me, eh?

Another thing about a tiny town: it has eyes. Lots of them. So when TBE quietly and stealthily creeps up to, and peers around the corner in-between the NF shop and the OOF shop in order to make sure the coast is clear (i.e. I’m not outside the OOF shop), before she legs it across the road and up the street (presumably to the cake shop), she’s not doing it unobserved.

She might think she’s unobserved, but she’s not unobserved. She is most definitely observed. And I am told.


How many times has she done this in the three and a half months (THREE AND A HALF MONTHS!) since I’ve seen her? Dozens probably.

Maybe TBE should use this methodology in the staff training sessions: if you don’t like something, don’t deal with it, just watch it from afar and run away from it for as long as possible.

I’m being silly of course: there are no staff training sessions.

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