The manager’s name was Freddie.
He usually bought the lunch.
His phone rang and he went to take the call.
Said to order him a salad while he was gone.
The waitress came. Greek Salad for Freddie, please.
Ordered a steak for myself. (Extra side of chips. Pint of coke.)
The food was here when he got back.
He looked at the salad on his side and the famine cure on mine and frowned, took an accusatory look around for the waitress, then sat down.
He took out his phone again and scanned through an e-mail for a second. Hissed and muttered, then pushed it aside.
After he said: ‘Ok, time for your quarterly.’
I took a chip from the plate, said: ‘Sound.’
There was a form to be filled.
He took it out and wrote my name carefully on the top. Then his name. Then some stuff about my performance.
After, he tapped the pen on the table, and asked: ‘What do people buy most?’
I took a hit of coke and said: ‘Electricity?’
‘No, no. I’m not talking about what we sell. I’m talking about how we sell it.’
Beat. Then he said: ‘So?’
‘So what do people buy most? Eh…people?’
‘Exactly.’ He said: ‘They buy people that they trust. That they like. That they can invest in. And that’s what you have, they trust you and like you.’
‘So why aren’t your targets through the roof?’
‘People have enough electricity?’
‘No, you’re not closing enough. What about Rita back there?’
‘We closed her.’
‘Yeah, because I was there. If you were there on your own, you would let her go.’
‘No I wouldn’t.’
‘You were talking shite.’
‘Well, let me see, what’s a Super-capacitor?’
‘It’s a term I use for a fusebox.’
‘Rita didn’t know what you were talkin about.’
‘I thought it sounded good – like I was fluent in the product.’
‘It didn’t. I don’t know what a Super-Capacitor is. No one does, because it doesn’t exist. You need to keep it simple. Telling her we have the “Best Super Capacitor” on the market is just pure mis-selling….’
The waitress came with the extra chips and asked: ‘Everything else alright here?’
‘Yeah.’ Said Freddie, sounding like he was being mugged. ‘We’re fine thanks.’
She smiled and left.
Freddie put the biro in his mouth. Studied the distance for a second. Then put his head down and wrote. ‘Needs to keep it simple.’
After he asked: ‘Ok, what else? What are your goals?’
‘To keep it simple.’
‘Hit my targets?’
‘Yeah, we’ve kind of covered that.’
‘Who’s talkin about organisation? This meeting’s got nothin to do with organisation. Although you could improve in that area too.’
He put his head down and wrote “Organisation needs to improve.”
‘Ok, what else? Hang on, why don’t you write it.’ He pushed the form across the table. ‘Just write your stated goals in there.’
‘Where it says “Stated Goals.’
‘Oh right. ‘
I thought for a second, then wrote: ‘My goal is to increase my targets by closing better and keeping it simple, and be more organised and use less pseudo-science.’
I pushed it back and asked: ‘How’s that look?’
He scanned thought it. Then went: ‘Pseudo Science – what that fuck does that mean??????????????!’
I told him and he said: ‘Right, the office won’t know what the fuck you’re talkin about so I’m just goin to have to write “Big Words” in brackets beside it….’
He wrote it in, scanned it again, then went. ‘Ok, that’ll do. Just put your name there at the bottom and I’ll send it in.’
‘Cheers. I might order a coffee. Do you want one?’