I was once a nothing man in work. A nobody. The kind of man who drove a battered old Ford Focus while all around me turned up in their shiny black German beasts of the Autobahn. I wore my shirt and tie while they dressed in their fresh pressed three-piece suits. But here’s the thing. In the end, we’re all the same. We all take a crap, and I have the evidence to prove it.
Ian Jenkins was a big ol’ genial kind of a fella. He had a puffy round face with hair cropped short to mask its disappearance, and he had a tubby round torso that really called into doubt the very concept of gravity, topping out as it did this pair of spindly legs beneath. Ian Jenkins was a big cheese, and I don’t mean in the contents of his lunchbox. He was the number two guy in the whole of the plastics department. It would take a mathematician of great genius to work out my ranking number in the IT department.
This was the reason that I sat on the guest chair on the other side of his desk with my meeting notes balanced precariously on my knee as he regaled two of his buddies from purchasing all about his trip up the Norwegian fjords. Apparently, that was more important than our meeting that had to happen in office and had to happen today before the Christmas break and had to happen right now even though it meant me sitting bumper to bumper in an endless queue of corporate Ford sporty saloons fighting through rush hour traffic.
At twenty minutes past five the tale of the Kraut whose attempts to elbow into the breakfast queue had become the next chapter in the glorious Battle of Britain was over and I found myself having to come back to life and gather my meeting notes as Ian walked his buddies past me and over to the door. This wasn’t the politeness I had supposed. Ian opened the door for his buddy, he ushered him through and then grinned down at me.
‘Right, lad. You sit yourself tight there. I’m off for a shit.’
I stared up at his grinning face, my brain trying to compute. Out in the corridor, his buddies were grinning too. I was left sitting alone in the man’s office, sitting there whilst he was sitting someplace else. Sitting there with my pathetic notes on my right knee that was somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, connected to a man with a spine.
Here’s the thing. Like I said, I was once a nothing man in work. But I’m not a nobody. Instead, here I am at home, and here on my right knee is Baby Amelia, and she smiles at me.