Finance: The Trader: Supersalesboy needs a spot of reprogramming
Simon's best chance of survival is to suck up to Rory for all he's worth
Wednesday 01 December 1999
Anyway, young Simon's fate is the hottest topic of conversation at the office for now. After all, what do you do with a pushy salesman who's been caught, er, exaggerating the strength of his corporate contacts?
"Of course, Rory was absolutely livid at first," I say. "Wanted to sack him on the spot, blacken his name around town, that sort of thing. Then this whole Archer business happened, and Rory realised he didn't want to look as if he was just copying the Conservatives."
"Hmm," Jaap says. "Well, there's nothing like watching other people doing something to make you see how over the top it is. Rory was the one who hired him, after all. I hope that's the last time he recruits anyone in a wine bar."
"I wouldn't bank on it," I tell Jaap. On the other hand, he may have learnt enough from his mistake to turn him into a better person. That's certainly what he's banking on in Simon's case. So instead of casting him out, Rory's arranged for our salesboy to attend an intensive one-week residential course called something like "The Ethics of Selling" with a colon and a few more words after to show how serious it is.
"It sounds a bit like a `reprogramming' session to my mind," I say. "Still, it may be useful and, if nothing else, seven days in the middle of Nottinghamshire should give him pause for thought. A week without takeaway sushi and he'll be promising anything to hang on to his job."
Jaap, who is older and therefore wiser than I am - at least, that's what he always tells me - laughs gently at my naivety. "You may be right. Simon may be so repentant he'll turn into the least corruptible man in the world. But the papers are strewn with tales of people who haven't learnt anything from their own mistakes. Supersalesboy may be one of those."
He's right, damn him. Worse than that, Simon's best chance of survival in either case is to suck up to Rory for all he's worth. I've seen it before with a salesman at my last job who lost the bank a ton of money, but ended up being promoted ahead of everyone because he was so good at flattering the boss; horribly unfair, and seeing all that grovelling made everyone feel queasy.
"Oh no, I can't bear the thought," I say. "Having to watch him fawn all over our big cheese and know that Rory's lapping up every insincere moment of it. Urgh! And what if he isn't really a reformed character? Then what'll we do with him?"
"Easy," Jaap says. "He'll just have to go into politics."
Then our food arrives and suddenly we're too busy toying with our crab cakes to think about work. It's not until the next day that my thoughts are brought back to Simon by Rory wandering over to have a quiet chat with me.
"Look," he says, perching himself on the corner of my desk. "As you know, I've decided to give Simon a second chance. But, knowing him, he'll be at his fawning worst. I want you to keep an eye on him for me, in case I forget to be angry."
"Angry?" I say innocently. "With the pipsqueak who beat you at go-karting?"
Rory's face darkens, and with a snarl he stamps away. Well, it wouldn't do for him to forget that now, would it?
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...