Occasionally my boss comes up with a good idea, such as the recent managers’ conference in Krakow with our European counterparts. It was a shame she made a complete fool of herself, but the benefit of hindsight is a beautiful thing.
Her downward spiral started in the airline’s business lounge, when the conversation got onto seat numbers and I casually revealed I had seat 1A. My boss, adopting a facial expression that Anne Robinson could only dream of, spat: “That’s ridiculous. I’m a gold-tier customer loyalty cardholder.” And off she stalked to complain. The check-in guy held his nerve, so my boss used her crazy-cow stare at me.
Matters got worse on the flight when I deliberately selected the last available salmon lunch; she was left with the “ghastly” chicken stew.
Arriving at the hotel, the suitcases were off-loaded at reception and the debauchery got under way. The next morning, as we all huddled in the buffet breakfast queue like methadone addicts waiting at the pharmacy, it was apparent that the first day was going to be a washout. Instead of getting down to business, we piled into taxis and headed to bars for round two. The compliance manager, who doesn’t get out much, guzzled several large whiskies and insisted on shouting “giddy up” whenever a woman came within spitting distance.
There was a worrying moment, though, when an American woman tourist asked him: “Tell me, which village is missing its idiot?” To which the head of corporate finance replied: “Oooh, watch out for the bovine one.” This prompted mooing noises from my London colleagues, all men, apart from my boss, who didn’t notice as she was orally occupied with a Polish boy.
The second day was more productive, and marked by my boss’s absence, as we pressed on with the art of point-scoring. Towards the end of it, we were gathered in the foyer when a shrieking noise punctured the morgue-like silence.
Looking towards the revolving doors, I saw my boss, like a garment on a giant spin cycle, trying to get into the hotel in her rat-arsed state. Eventually she made it and God knows what drunken antics she had inflicted on the good burghers of Krakow. But, as she swayed lopsidedly towards us, it was obvious the cobbled streets of the medieval city had taken their toll – she was missing one of her beloved Jimmy Choos.