Things are going rather well for me over here at Integrity, dear diary.
I’ve been seeing rather a lot of young April (see Xmas party entry for details), my new protégé and, dare I say it, romantic interest. She’s already proving remarkably adept in one of those roles so far, and I’m sure will soon catch up in the other one.
But please be careful who you tell: I don’t want gossip around the office, you know. That would make it difficult for our working relationships. So we keep it very professional during the day – I’m pretty sure nobody suspects a thing!
It has been a stressful week, however, as our entire European equity team was ‘lifted out’ by a rival firm. I’m terrified that Charlie Soo over at MIC, one of the most gigantic clients in Asia, who has a mandate with them, will get wind of it and call me before London has a chance to build a Plan B.
In fact, just after I heard about the mass defection, who do I bump into at the IFC mall but good old Charlie. Fortunately my bumbling excuse to keep on going without a chat – something about a meeting on a Sunday morning, yes, and I was just popping between Hugo Boss and Zegna during the coffee break…erm… Fortunately April distracted him by curling up my arm and smiling at him.
This, however, led me to a new panic – that her meeting with Charlie might get around the office, thus linking her to me…
I needn’t have worried. As we hurried on our way, she asked, “Who was that man anyway?” She had forgotten (a) who he was, and (b) the situation in London, and (c) that MIC is our client.
As I said, one of her two roles needs a bit more effort.
Near misses aside, the main news this month has to be that it’s once again bonus time. Integrity has a history of paying good bonuses and I’m hoping to be amongst the elite this year. Apparently I missed out only marginally last time around – they sure can’t accuse me again of not gelling on well with my teammates!
There are rumours of an Integrity ‘Super-Bonus’ system for the real top brass (the top 350 or so in the whole firm), which works as a multiplier beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. I have been asking Kim, our regional CEO, about my chances.
The normally avuncular Kim has been avoiding me, however. At first I thought he had simply gone mad. He’s been floating around the office lately speaking out loud to himself. Then I noticed this sapphire glow around his right ear and realised he had gotten himself a new Bluetooth earpiece. He’s strutting around now like Clark Kent, on call for any emergency, poised to dash into the nearest phone booth and emerge as Superman.
Dear diary, quick aside – where the hell does Clark change into Superman in the era of mobile phones? The loo?
Anyway, Kim’s keeping tight-lipped on my Super-Bonus. I faced him directly. I told him I know he knows, and now that he knows that I know he knows, he’s got to tell me, because it’s driving me nuts and therefore distracting me from making rain.
But he just mumbled something about HQ demanding total silence.
I warned him of the consequences of being so tight-lipped. What if WikiLeaks gets hold of it?
That didn’t work either. Kim says the global CEO wants to deliver the message and it’s out of his hands.
The global CEO…personally…
Yes! That’s it. That must be it. My bonus is going to be immense and HQ wants to manage the message to ensure no one gets jealous and quits.
I spend the rest of the day Googling jewellery shops in Central. I’d like to use some of the bonus to get a little something for April…perhaps a slender necklace, something she can wear discretely.
(And not just at the office. She still lives with her parents, who would not approve of her dating her boss, especially if he’s a gweilo.)
(I didn’t mention this to my parents either.)
Monday morning and still no word from London on the European situation. I’ve told my PA Colinna to screen my calls. Anything from MIC or their consultants and I’m ‘on the other line’ or ‘just stepped away from the desk’. I hear Kim shouting my name from down the corridor.
What on earth is going on? Then my phone rings and Kim’s cell number flashes up on the screen – he has been having so much trouble with the voice recognition on his Bluetooth all month! He sounds formal and asks me to come to his office.
This is it. The next big step in my career. Super-Bonus time.
I clear my throat and head towards Kim’s office.
The light buzzes overhead – let the coronation commence.
Kim stands behind his desk, looking serious. Well, as serious as anyone can with a blue flashing dildo in their ear.
I draw the door closed behind me and take a deep breath.
William T. Fitzgerald is a fictional character, as are all the other individuals and companies in “RFP Diary”. Any resemblance to the living or to real firms is purely coincidental. Will’s adventures continue fortnightly.