A tale of murder and mayhem in the office ...

Not a Shred of Evidence - Extract

The office is a mysterious place, full of sound and fury. Yes, it is. And we all fear it. Though some, the lucky ones, survive it. You don’t agree? Then let me tell you my story. Afterwards you can judge for yourself.

I’d been working as Support Hag In Training – a title that was never shortened – for Grabbit, Nickett & Leggatt, Customer Service Consultants, for two months but already I knew it was a job which might bring me hours of unadulterated pain, lightened only by the occasional sandwich or trip to the Ladies. At such times, much like the casual viewer of EastEnders, I would turn my back to the shouting and dream of better things. Some things can only be endured, but they bring a peculiar feeling of pleasure.

That day started out like any other. I’d come in ten minutes late, sweating from the effort of putting one foot in front of another; a Hag’s life was a hard one and they didn’t pay me for my energy levels. In fact they didn’t pay me at all. What with all that sweating, my salary went straight to the dry cleaners. It cut out the middle woman. When, oh when, would they give me a pay rise?

When I opened the office door, I could see my boss was weeping, his head squashed against the keyboard like an overcooked onion, and there were smashed segments of plant pot and half a wilted geranium on the thin grey carpet. Gosh, I thought, why the mess? But as I wasn’t overly fond of flowers, I trod on it on my way to my modern ergonomic workspace, or ‘desk’ as it was traditionally known. At once the day improved.

'Morning, Roger,' I said, but not before ensuring my Morning Hag Smile was in its right place. In the bin. I could always rescue it later, should it be needed. 'Lovely day.'

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