Extract from my latest book – M for Misc…
Threnody Higginbottom is my secretary. I call her Miss Smith. She files everything under M for Miscellaneous.
It’s always nice to give a little surprise on Secretaries’ Day. Last year I surprised her with an expensive (and hardly used) “Get Well” card. The year before it was a birthday card –a real one and in good condition.
Make no mistake, I am aware it is incumbent upon the boss to do something bordering on the generous on Secretaries’ Day, otherwise one gets tea slopped in one’s saucer for months afterwards. So I took Threnody to lunch at Bobo’s where, I was pleased to see, they’d installed seats at last. It made it a lot more comfortable than having to stand with elbows on the counter admiring the back-lit blown-up photographs of sausages and chips.
“This is your day,” I told her, “and you may order whatever takes your fancy! Spare no expense! Even the ‘Special’ – a ladies’ steak and chips, if you like.”
To be frank, this annual lunch requires a very real sacrifice on my part. It’s not just the money it’s that Threnody is so very reserved. She sits up very straight and tense while I tend to be an exuberant eater, waving my fork around and dropping things down my tie which, when I get home, I often dig straight into the compost heap.
I allow her to drop the “Mr Clarke” and just call me “Sir”. I call her “Threnody” although, formally, I never address her as anything but ….
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