Monday, 18 May 2009

Old dog, new tricks.

Colin had spent twenty five years as an engineer. He started off in the field and ended up doing fifteen years air-conditioned soft labour in middle-management in the Gulf. He built up a prodigious set of golfing stories, a confirmed way of doing things, and very few friends. The longer he stayed in place, the more he was singled out as a target by other, younger, hungrier engineers. They felt he was cocooned. They felt he had been cocooned years ago, and had dried out in there. He was best hoovered up discreetly.

Colin continued to pump out his complacent bonhomie, with his short-sleeved drip-dry shirts and multicolour biro, until finally he was sucked up by someone in human resources, based in Houston, and spat out at Heathrow, with a small remittance and no career prospects.

He found a job as a limo driver; shuttling those still rampant on the career ladder to the airport or other significant destinations. He always had an anecdote handy; a cheerful recollection from his past to mirror or cap whatever the suit in the back seat was going through. He was cordially detested by those who bothered to listen to his observations and advice.

Until one day the culls began, and the suits in the back seat began to look ashen and stressed. As the days went on, they talked about downsizing, changing careers, opting out, trying anything

“Whatever you do,” advised Colin, “Don’t touch the chauffeur business. It’s a disaster.”

This time he had his eye on the competition.


No One In Particular said...

Wonderfully topical, with sage advice tucked in between the lines. And as always, illustrated with preternatural appropriateness by Oscar. I may tease you guys sometimes, but I'm a big fan. Am always excited when a new story is available. Never stop! Unless a better job offer comes along of course.

Oscar Grillo said...

Thanks for you kind words, No One. I'd like to invite you to check also these stories about the London underground here:

chips said...

As I type this, I'm the 5555th visitor to this site. A moment of history. As indeed is every other moment. But perhaps without so many '5's in it.

Oscar Grillo said...

666 was better.

No One In Particular said...

05-05-'55: "Damn Yankees" opens on Broadway for 1,022 performances; 1+0+2+2=5. So that one has 5 fives, plus another one if you count the number of fives. Get back to work Suzanne!

No One In Particular said...

Should have mentioned that the previous comment was the 5th on this entry. GET BACK TO WORK!!!!!!