Neil has now been here six weeks and his salesboard box is as white as pure-driven snow. Kevin is very much "on-message" as he tells Neil starkly that he's "toast if he Frank the Blanks this week". Cue Neil disappearing for some soul-searching in the toilet. He's back soon doing deep-breathing exercises. Well, he wouldn't want to be doing those in our toilets anyway. He'd pass out from the fumes after I'd been in there.
Bryan Lyon, our distastefully ginger FD, is prowling around the salesfloor like a bad smell. Joe's off for house-moving today, so BL obviously feels it's incumbent upon him to rally the troops. Justin, treading the safe turf of being the firm's top producer, tells BL that "if we want to hear from an a**ehole, we'll fart".
Charles phones out of the blue and asks me if I'd like to go to Sydney over Christmas and, if so, could I lend him the air fare. The other great man of integrity in my life, Simeon Bowell, is flogging gold watches around the salesfloor. The manufacturer is, no doubt, brimming with excitement over the "Exhibition Showcase with the British Council" that he's been offered. Fiona's melting the phone in terms of call rate, fuelled by her desire to avoid her team-mates' scintillating conversation.
Neil is starting to feel the pressure with Joe and Kevin standing over him like a couple of buzzards. Craig is telling him "it's easy, you muppet. Just lie about the circulation". I tell Craig I'll take over, but I quickly get frustrated by Neil's hangdog face and tell him to "make something happen, for Christ's sake!" Bizard tells me he'll take over and I'm suddenly reminded of the bit in Airplane! with the hysterical female passenger.
Neil has a glimmer of hope. A call he did yesterday to Switzerland found a potential "mug punter". Kevin is due to do the call back and is clearly enjoying the feeling of power as Neil looks wistfully at the call-back sheet on Kevin's desk. Eventually, the call is made, but the guy's just gone home for his "raquelette". Neil's head falls on desk - though still attached to his body. Joe tells Neil: "OK, come in on Monday, but if the deal's not back then, you're out ... er ... doing anything good this weekend?"