An office in Slough has exceeded dire expectations by surviving Monday in the absence of its most vocal in-house critic. Technical associate Alex Shah was heard by all to exclaim on Friday: ‘I cannot believe that this place would survive five minutes without me here’ – just before he jammed the photocopier and finished the last of the communal milk.
Suspicions were heightened when Mr. Shah started talking in terms of a three-day weekend; while giving detailed, strident instructions to the entire finance, purchasing and compliance teams on how his single stationery order invoice for the month was to be dealt with.
In the event of his ‘surprise’ absence, Monday turned into a minor celebration – with productivity and diligence at unequivocally high levels. Office manager Simon Williams noted: ‘…a number of normally indolent individuals perked up considerably, turning up early to get the week off to a good start. Our hive of hyper-productive introverted accountants were particularly impressive; their analytical beavering reached almost frenzied hyperactivity. I’m astonished and humbled at such dedication.’
The day finished with unheard-of, genuinely spontaneously proposed and unanimously accepted round of drinks at the local pub. An accountant noted: ‘It’s normally very hard to build social bonds either in or outside the office as Alex is just one of those people who seems to be always right there. He’s very highly strung and there’s always something to bitch about ad infinitum. The thought of spending time in the pub with him makes a pint of arsenic sound very appealing.’
By Tuesday, the same doleful faces had returned, clocking in just on the hour for a standard day. Another accountant noted: ‘Monday will remain a beautiful memory for us all – nothing short of a moment of beatific ecstasy.’
A. L. Shaw