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The Latest News from Article 25
This story is based on true events, however all details have been changed to a galaxy far far away…
After some considerable persistence, and lengthy negotiations, I recently reached an agreement to supply labour to a busy client in, lets say Cloud City. It was a tall order – my Force had to work 12 hour days 7 days a week in order to meet the Rebel Alliance’s deadlines.
I generally thought with a bit of experience, going through interviews, references, collecting all the passports, visas, as well as written oaths to say that nobody can discuss the nature of the project (building the Death Star) it would then be a case of just making sure the Force is getting paid every Friday. Such a simple dream…
What came next was tantamount to four months of what only can be described as a 1st class honours degree in counselling, Geography, History and a bit of talking my way out of one or two sticky situations with the Force and the Rebel Alliance.
So here is how it started, three nationals from Galatic City, a Cloud City resident, and two individuals from Imperial City, all looking like Grade A warriors save for the fellow from Imperial City who was somewhat mismatched.
Phone call number one of 800 (fact) was started like this, the two Imperials would not work with the Galatics because he was from outside of the capital and close to the border which meant that because of a civil war from the 1980’s, he found it impossible to even be near the others without ripping them apart.
Site visit number one of a hundred, and a team talk was given on a freezing cold January lunchtime not far from my parked up Podracer in Cloud City. I thought it would all now be running smoothly. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!
The foreman made a call asking me to politely escort the three Galactics off the Death Star because it was getting shall we say tense and also, would I mind doing this personally on a cold winters night just before their work day ended around 19.00pm. Cheers guys leave this one to me. I’ll walk up and tell three huge guys that they’re fired, sure, no problem, I haven’t had a black eye and fat lip in years.
So there I was in my suit up against three huge Galatics who would probably single handily tear me limb from limb using only their bare hands. I must say I thought this may get a bit hairy especially as I had to then collect their passes and ask them politely to empty their own personal lockers. In the end it was ok, even better for the rest of the workers on site laughing their heads off with the site of three big lumps walking off site followed by a recruitment consultant in a suit just wanting the world to swallow him up for an hour or so.
My next issue would be to explain emergency tax, which is difficult at the best of times, but five out of the six believed I was personally taking their money so once again I summoned the famous five to my current office on the side streets of Cloud City near my Podracer, to go through the law and convince them it was not going in my pocket and would be returned to them by our government within 21 days. Four seemed a bit sceptical but the other one (the biggest) spoke in his mother tongue and I got the impression it wasn’t “Thank You”.
(Little did I know it turns out this guy was winning about £100 a week in arm wrestling contests held on a Friday after work which involved every man and his dog. To this day I believe he is undisputed champion and when this project does finish I’m tempted to take my cut – Don King style)
Since then things have run as well as can be expected except for my phone ringing from 06.30am-23.00pm Monday to Sunday with questions such as “ I just sent my timesheet to you by fax did you receive it?”. Answer…”Believe it or not I am not office based on a Sunday at 21.30pm can I confirm in the morning please?”
If I were to write a book, I’d be tempted to use my experiences on this job as a plotline. The drama, the blood, sweat, tears, tempers boiling to the point of all-out War…
I have the utmost respect for these people who work their heart and souls out for myself and the client. It has actually made me think twice about complaining about a dodgy economy because in this country we are extremely lucky not to have experienced atrocities others less fortunate have.
A huge heart held thanks to the Admin girls in our London office who have also supported me with some challenging issues and without them I would not have been able to deliver this one if I am honest. A bottle of Inter-Galatic vodka will be on its way to you both when it all ends.
Until the next episode folks.
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