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Fall from Grace (standard:humor, 1063 words)
Author: EarlAdded: Mar 28 2001Views/Reads: 3676/2149Story 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 

“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 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 

I opened my mouth in a vain effort to remonstrate, but was cut short. 

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