Stephen Hey 2019

An Annoying Boss, A Briefcase and A Fake Illness

It started in Scotland, in 1995. I was working in a chemical plant just outside Glasgow. Our CEO had recently left the company when he found out his wife had cancer, and a new boss had just joined. And he was annoying. He was really immature and sometimes talked in a high-pitched squeak.

“Did ye see what Mr. Clement did this morning?” We would gossip after work.

“Gosh, ain’t he not fit for a chemical firm?”

“He really shouldn’t belong here.”

We all didn’t like him. But we tried not to show it. Because we knew that if we did, he would leave, and as he was the only CEO we had, if he left, we wouldn’t have a boss.

One day, I got called into Mr. Clement’s office. He was there waiting for me, with a look of fake solemn-ness on his face. I was worried, because from what I could see, it didn’t look good.

“G’day, Mr. Chale. Come in and sit down,” he said.

I sat down nervously.

“I have been evaluating how you have been working.  And I have decided what to do with you.” He sighed, “I’m… Giving you a promotion!”

Oh no, I thought. He’s going to talk in a high-pitched squeak again. And sure enough, he did.

“This is so exciting for you, right!” He squealed, and started dancing around the room, and I was just trying to keep my sanity.

“Oh, I almost forgot. I have a special surprise for you!” And Mr. Clement pulled out from behind his desk, a large briefcase.

“This briefcase is just for you! It’s large, has a lot of pockets, and is even fireproof in some places! It was made just for you!” And he shoved the briefcase into my hands.

“Err… Thanks?” I wasn’t really sure what to say, so I took the briefcase and left.

That afternoon, when I went home, I looked around the briefcase. It was much larger than my old one. It was perfect, I thought to myself. But the next day, when I took it in, the boss said, “Oh, Mr. Chale, you are using your new briefcase! How amazing!” And he bugged me about it for the entire rest of the day.

However, there was good news for us. Our old CEO had confirmed that his wife’s cancer had been removed and that he would be returning to the company the next week. Sadly, however, this caused Mr. Clement to act even more annoying and unbearable.

I was so annoyed with him by the end of the week that I decided to make up an excuse not to go to work until the day our old boss came back, so I wouldn’t have to deal with Mr. Clement. So I pretended I had a very serious cold.

“Hey, I’m sorry, Mr. Clement,” I said in a fake sick voice, “I can’t come to work today, as I have a serious cold, *cough* *cough*.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Chale,” Mr. Clement replied, “I hope you can return to work soon.”

Then, the next Monday, our old boss was back, Mr. Clement was no longer CEO, and I returned to work.