|Fall from Grace (standard:humor, 1063 words)|
|Author: Earl||Added: Mar 28 2001||Views/Reads: 2146/1036||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The worlds most beligerent boss gets a bit more than he bargained for when on a trade mission to Prague.|
I was terrified, but there was no going back, there simply wasn’t time. I looked at the piece of paper in my hand and had second thoughts. No, the die was cast and whichever way it landed was going to cost me my job, possibly accompanied by some big public show of humiliation. My boss, the wonderful Right Honourable Martin Jennings, Minister for European Co-operation and possibly the most bloody minded man on the face of the earth, has been gunning for me from the moment we embarked on the trade mission to Prague. His ire had worked up to a peak five minutes ago. “I don’t care what I said two days ago, I want to do grace in Czech, and if you don’t know any, they you ain’t much good on a trade mission to Prague, are you”, he bellowed. I felt myself starting to sweat profusely. “I’m just about sick of you, Smith,” he continued, “get me grace in Czech in five minutes before I have to get on my feet or you’re out, understand.” On that, he turned on his heels and started towards the function room where assorted Czech heads of industry were waiting for their guest of honour. “That’s four minutes and fifty seconds, Smith, get moving,” he added. The assembled throng turned to greet him as he entered the room and adopted his best smarmy diplomatic smile. I heard him continue, “Mr Blodek, delighted to meet you again.. About your next trip to London.....my wife and I would be thrilled to see you .........” How could anyone be so chameleon like? “Yes of course, the restaurant in Godalming is keen to greet one of their countrymen, Czech cuisine is really taking off in the UK......” Give him a good audience and the Minister was in his element, pressing the flesh, being the centre of attention in a field of admiring faces, turning on the charm. On the previous night in the hotel bar he had entertained a fair proportion of the British business community with tales of previous visits to Eastern Europe, and how this had endowed him with the ability to pronounce most Slavonic alphabets to a reasonable extent. He freely admitted that although he fully understood the modifying actions on individual letters of the various accents and knew how to make a reasonable shot at pronouncing them, he didn’t understand a word of any of it beyond the usual “Thank You”, “Yes”, “No” and “Beer please”. Typical of his arrogance! The Minister was not an easy man to work for, very few of his personal aides ever lasted beyond a few months before either resigning or getting sacked. Not that he cared at all, he had all of the pressures of state to worry about. It was said that being the world’s most belligerent person was something he had enjoyed ever since the senior school at Eton. “You’ve got to keep the lower classes on their toes, a good flogging always reminds them of their place in life,” his father, Major General Hubert Jennings, was once heard to say. I knew that whether or not I made the deadline would make little difference. To get the push in some public show of disgrace would really make the Minister’s day, and put a bullet over the heads of everyone else on his staff. The five minutes expired some ten seconds before I managed to press the bit of paper into the Minister’s hand. “èampon s provitamínem, normální vlasy pro kazdodenní pouzití,” it said. “ Just about made it, sir, I think.....” “Too late, Smith, you’re fired. Get the first flight back to the UK tomorrow morning, and clear your desk before I return to London,” he snapped. I opened my mouth in a vain effort to remonstrate, but was cut short. Click here to read the rest of this story (49 more lines)
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