The Trader: File under sobering experiences - for everyone but Rory

Drink is what oils the wheels of the big business bus - that and lies

"WHO'S GOT the file called `Stupid Ideas From Senior Management 1999', then?" Rory says in irritation. Laura and I gaze at each other and raise our eyebrows. We've been having a few of these Roger Moore moments since Rory drunkenly rearranged the filing system. Now he can't find anything.

"That's the problem with alcohol," I say to Laura. "All those fabulous insights into the working of the cosmos when you're steaming, then when you sober up you can't remember any of it." Let's face it, there are more than a few of those moments when you do what we do for a living. Drink is what oils the wheels of the big business bus - that and lies. Although we prefer to call it "bluffing", obviously, because lying is wrong.

Alcohol's on my mind, not just because of Rory. My plan for a healthy November - to prepare me for the festive season - is about to be scuppered. The parties have already begun.

"I suppose it's because everyone wants theirs to be the best and most memorable party of all," Laura says, gazing sadly at her first clutch of embossed invitations. "They figure if they leave it too late, everyone will already be heartily sick of champagne and canapes and horrible hangovers."

"The problem is," I say, "that at this rate we're just going to be heartily sick of it all several weeks earlier than we might have been. Look, there isn't a single invitation here for later than the first week of December. And what are we expected to do for the rest of the month?"

Laura shrugs. We have long ago banned all mention of the M-word, and even if we had found the concept exciting a year or two ago, all the millennium hype would have killed enthusiasm stone dead well before now. New Year's Eve is New Year's Eve, when all's said and done. "Except before 1752," Laura pipes up. "It used to be the end of March. Perhaps they ought to change it back just for this year - you know, to give them time to finish the Dome and the Jubilee Line extension."

"I don't think that'll be long enough," I say. "Still, you never know." Then Mrs Hughes rattles in with coffee and her homemade walnut and ginger cake.

Much later Rory returns from lunch, and he's been drinking. There's a tell-tale look of intense concentration as he tries to walk a straight line back to his desk, and hesitation as he tries to work out which of the two chairs is the real one. Laura hisses: "You can smell the fumes from here."

We watch Rory head to the filing cupboards and fling open the doors. He stands, frowning and swaying slightly, and I'm worried he's about to inflict further damage on his pride and joy. Then he turns, smiling stupidly. "I've got it," he says, and hiccups. "I understand. Rearranging the files. See?"

We don't. "Look," Rory goes on, impatiently. "It's obvious. They're arranged in order of annoyance, most irritating up here all the way down to hardly irritating at all down there. I knew if I got drunk again it would all make sense."

And he stumbles back to his desk, crawls underneath, and falls asleep.

thetrader@hotmail.com

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Head of Regional Sales - Financial Software - £130,000 OTE

Negotiable: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly expanding, global Software/ SaaS Vendor ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?