So this Friday it’s supposed to be the annual appraisal and salary review day at work. For this rare event, I have decided to dress like I’m going to a funeral. It just seems fitting.
My funeral outfit is basic and consists of: black suit from Prada, white shirt with double cuffs from Zara, black tie from Hugo Boss, black leather shoes from Hugo Boss, silver square cufflinks from Paul Smith, black leather belt from Hugo Boss.
This outfit is designed to have maximum impact in an office where nobody ever wears a suit jacket, let alone a tie.
Having come up with this plan on Thursday, I contact A-Girl and ask her if she’d be up for wearing what has come to be known as her Funeral Dress on Friday as well. A-Girl’s Funeral Dress is an all black, knee-length 1950’s style dress, with short sleeves, a very narrow waist and wide hemline.
A-Girl is up for the idea, but she already has outfit plans for Friday – I understand the concept of outfit planning, so I accept this.
On Friday in the office, my expectations are very low already of course, but nothing can prepare me for the unfolding, disastrous sequence of events. A sequence of events that leaves me broken, shattered alive.
To cut a long story short, some people get their appraisal on Friday, some don’t. Naturally, I am one of the people who don’t. I am left hanging on all day and at 1530, I’m told that my appraisal will take place next Wednesday. In five, long, days.
Until I find this out this though, I have no better option than to succumb to the paranoia, speculation, gossip and office politics that surround me. The best way I can tell this story is through the sequence of emails I send and receive through this day.
Here they are, randomly picked from my inbox and/or my sent items folder, perfectly describing the whirlwind a emotions and desperate actions that a small group of employees fall victim to, trapped in a central London office, waiting to see if they will get a few spare quid a month or not.
Person A: I will now take some paracetamol, for no particular reason.
Person B: I’m taking some Midol, it helps with cramps, bloating, headaches. None of which I have at the moment but nonetheless.
Person A: I’m such a wreck. I spilled the paracetamol powder all over my hands, now they’re sticky. I tried to lick them clean but then washed them with my water bottle and used up napkin.
Person A: Are you hopeful?
Person B: Not especially, how about you?
Person A: I’ve been disappointed often enough in the past, XXX, to never have hope.
Person B: I see. Story of my life.
Person A: I’ve taken the dive into sugar treats. The peaches are my favourite. I don’t have an appraisal, I don’t have a corner, I don’t have a sharp object / other painful mechanism, I don’t have alcohol or ___ to ease my pain so it must be Haribo peaches then
Person B: I’ve been eyeing up this leftover baklava piece. I am that desperate.
Person A: Even though it’s been there since Monday, I don’t blame you, not one bit.
Person B: I poked it. It’s hard.
Person A: I’m leaving my last peach on my desk as a reminder of what we’ve been through today. Should any of us actually get a review, I’ll eat it, otherwise it will remain there indefinitely, which obviously is most likely the case.
Person B: I’ll get a spatula to scrape that peach off your desk in November 2008.
Additional quotes, not within their context:
“Do you feel as homicidal as I do?”
“I’ll sit under the desk in a fetal position, that will do”
“This is torture, but I’m liking it still, kind of. I need something to get me through the morning”
“I might just cry, mostly from laughter but not completely. I also might hit up XXX or XXX for some of their hard alcohol stash in their respective desks”
…to be continued on Wednesday.