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WIP Chapter One

3 June, 2012

So I’ve been working on this for a while and I’ve decided to post the beginning of my current WIP (this is the first half of chapter one).  I would love to hear what YOU think of it, and whether you think it is a good opening, whether it grabs you etc etc. Whilst I trust and respect the handful of people that have read it and have made positive noises, as they are my friends I already know that it will appeal to them.

If you take the time to read it, please also take a few more minutes to leave a comment. Any feedback, positive or negative, is appreciated.

Quick warning: There are a couple of naughty words.

 

Rick picked up his cardboard coffee cup, turned it upside down to his mouth and sipped at it noisily. He was so desperate for more double espresso that he had convinced himself he could somehow coax one final drop through the funnelled lid, but there was definitely nothing left. Neither had there been anything left on his previous three attempts to drink from the empty cup. Partly from frustration, partly to avoid the temptation to try the cup again, he threw it hard into the metal bin at the side of his desk. The clang that sounded as the cup bounced into the near-empty bin made several of the dozen traders look up from their screens, phones still at their ears. Both ears in some cases. Aswell as allowing an outlet for his anger, Rick had hoped that the noisy and forceful disposal of an empty coffee cup would mean that someone would get the hint and realise that his cup emptieth over, and that it was about time for a coffee run. As Section Head, it would be simpler for Rick to select a member of the team and suggest it was their turn, but after the colossal fuss that – Jennifer was it? Jane? – had caused when he happened to ask her twice in the same day, it was easier to let someone volunteer. It had been unfortunate for her that she was “between calls” on two separate occasions when Rick needed a coffee. He hadn’t even registered that he had asked her twice, let alone that he had apparently ended his request for her to run along and get the drinks with the words “there’s a good girl.” It wasn’t as though she had needed to pay, everyone had their own accounts at Bean House, she just needed to be the waitress. It was only a coffee run for fuck’s sake. But she had run sobbing to the Ladies, and before the day was over, had gone all Equality Act on him and got HR involved. Who then suggested the drawing up of rotas, installation of a coffee machine, and even threatened to ban coffee in the workplace. Rick had managed to talk it all back down again with an apparently sincere apology but, Jesus, all that fuss over a bloody espresso could have been avoided if she had just got the bloody drinks in. If she didn’t want to be asked to go to Bean House then she should have been busier.

Those who had been distracted by the sound of the cup turned their attention back to their screens. No volunteers. In theory, Rick could have gone himself but he was Section Head and simply didn’t agree with that sort of behaviour. All that business with bosses buying drinks on special occasions, or serving in work canteens at Christmas didn’t wash with Rick. The Boss bosses, that’s why He’s called The Boss. With the emphasis on He. In a perfect world, Rick would do his Bossing from inside his own oak-panelled office, maybe with a nice flat screen television on the wall, but at least this open plan setup allowed him to keep a close watch over his staff, and exactly what they were doing or not doing.

As today was the first day of a new accounting month, most of Rick’s trading team were working on new deals. A few were reviving transactions that they had been trying to complete before Month End last Friday, but as usual on the North Wing of the sixth floor, time for refreshments was at a minimum. Last month, and on each of the three months before it, Rick’s team had exceeded their budget, and also the stretch target set out at the beginning of the year. They were the heroes of Palmer Carlton, and Rick was their Section Leader. Their boss. Their King.

The door to the office opened, and Michael from IT walked in carrying a handful of papers and a disc in a plastic cover. He headed straight for Rick’s desk. “Alright Rick,” he said with a nod. Rick alrighted back and Michael stepped uninvited around to Rick’s side of the desk. He placed the disc on top of Rick’s computer. “Got to run some updates,” he explained, “can you log off for a bit?”

“What, now?”

“Yeah, sorry mate,” Michael shrugged apologetically, “has to be done today.”

Rick sighed and looked at his watch. 13:17. As he began closing the various windows on his computer, the tiredness he had been fighting back with caffeine began to overpower him. He let out a wide yawn and rubbed an eye as he clicked Log Off. It had been a late night of Fifa12 and beer with the lads for Rick last night and even the usual hourly coffee run wouldn’t have been enough, but the flurry of first-day trades and introductory calls meant there had only been three coffee runs so far that day. Coupled with the sandwich company forgetting to deliver his lunch, and his having to survive on two bags of roast beef Monster Munch, Rick was flagging. Even a triple espressochoc from Bean House would not be enough. And now Michael was dicking around with his PC, and Christ knows how long that would take. Fuck this, time for the Boss to be proactive. Rick took an executive decision, and stood. He gestured Michael to the now empty seat where he sat, tapped the administrator’s password into Rick’s keyboard and slid the disc into the drive. Rick banged his stapler on the desk, his usual signal that he was about to make An Announcement. The team looked up, and he waited while the current calls were completed or curtailed, and some thirty seconds later, the room was still, save for Michael mouse-clicking. The team faced Rick’s desk at the end of the floor, waiting for him to speak.

“Alright everyone,” he began, “as you know, last month was another big one for North Six. We were top again, and left those tossers over on South Six trailing in our glorious wake.” He raised a hand in a dramatic gesture, and a couple of the team gave a restrained, semi-muted cheer in response. Rick carried on with his address. “We are hammering every other team at half year, and we are on course to be the highest grossing team of the year. Again!” He lifted his hand again, in a fist this time, and the cheers were a little more forceful. Elsewhere around the office, a few smiles and nods of congratulation were swapped, some fists were pumped , there was even a high five. “So it wouldn’t hurt to fuck off early to celebrate a bit. If you’d all like to log off, shut down and grab your coats, we can all adjourn to the Ferryman.”

A murmur of approval spread through the team as they absorbed the news. This was unlike Rick, usually his glare kept them working hard, but he was right, they had earned a break, an afternoon of down time Rick was already pulling his jacket from the back of his seat. The others quickly followed his lead, and by 13:20 Rick was turning off the light, checking his company credit card was safely in place in his wallet, switching the light back on in reply to Michael’s shouts, and leading the team to the lifts.

From → Blogging, Writing

One Comment
  1. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. If you accept please click below. Congrats!!
    http://onlinedatingjournal.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/my-versatile-blogger-nominees-are

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