27 November 2008

Performance Review

“Appraisal time” said Accountant, producing an A4 pad and a sour expression. He’d come from the laptop so I’d concerns he’d checked the joint account.
“We’ll start with development areas”.
“You’re supposed to start with the positives.” I countered.
“Ironing” he began. I crossed my arms, lower lip protruding. “You don’t seem to be doing any”. I remained silent . “Well?” he coaxed.
“Sorry, I thought it was a rhetorical question”. Shake of head.
I pictured the dreary hours I’d spent hunched over his shirts and the resulting boredom. “I didn’t really like it” I answered.
“But I bought you that new ironing board” he responded.
“When I asked for a motivational gift, that wasn’t what I meant.” He seemed perplexed by my lack of drive.

He moved on. “Overspending” he barked. I avoided eye contact as he presented our latest statement and a pink highlighter. “£50 in Shoots, £60 in Next ...” I went to the happy place in my head as he reeled through, highlighting as he went, his voice and eyebrows rising incrementally with each transaction.
At the point I was imagining my former self floating through the golden doors of Bloomingdales armed with the wild and reckless credit afforded by my gainful employment, I could almost smell the Gucci ebony tote bag with brown trim and gold hardware.
“CREDIT CRUNCH” snapped Accountant, forcing me back to the place where a Bag for Life was supposed to provide fulfilment. His face was pink much like the statement he was waving.

I began my defence with some scene setting, sinister undertones in my voice. “Imagine you’re in a deep sleep that’s taken hours to achieve thanks to your partner’s snoring. Finally, exhausted, you’re at peace”. I smile, before contorting my face dramatically, ”but, wait, what’s that? Torturous screams ripping you from the depths of unconsciousness, dragging you to the surface where, for the 99th consecutive night, your master demands your presence. Then, just when you’ve fallen asleep again thanks to your child’s inability to differentiate day from night, he’s back, using your prematurely ageing face as a track for his cars”. Deep breath.
“Three hours of high-energy role play follow featuring mummy as Trevor the Triceratops and Chickie as Troy the T-Rex. Then 75 small cars, 92 kitchen utensils, 50 Thomas books and 6 boxes of toys need handpicking off the carpet, whilst Chickie sits on your back pretending you’re a horsey, using your hair as reins”. Accountant looks unimpressed.
I continue, frowning. “Then it’s question time. Why’s it raining? What’s p’ercipitation? Where’s Father Christmas? Why you yawning? Why? Verbal abuse set against a backdrop of noise you can still hear when it’s stopped plus relentless menial toil completes the cycle”.
Accountant waits for me to close.
“Perhaps these development areas could be viewed more positively,” I pause, “more as perks of the job?” I conclude triumphantly, pleased with my pitch.
Accountant refers me to eight separate transactions at Costa Coffee.