Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Project: Evil - Another Friday Meeting part 2

‘Well, the catering is going to be handled by a contract caterer,’ he said, noting that the Head of Catering had woken up – traditionally nobody complained about the food in case they ended up providing the raw materials for the next day’s menu.
‘Why weren’t we asked to bid?’ the Head of Catering barked.  This was Brian’s worst nightmare, well, second worst – putting the bullet-proof vest on back to front was a bit of a recurring bad dream he’d taken to having.
‘Well, we need daily catering for up to five thousand uninhabitants, four hundred permanent staff, fifteen crocodiles and a maximum of one Secret Agent held prisoner in an over-elaborate gaol equipped with a laser,’ answered Brian, wincing as he realised he hadn’t factored in the cost of an irrelevant and largely pointless laser.  He regained his composure.  ‘Your canteen struggles to provide sandwiches for the Friday brunch, feeding a maximum of ten people,’ he said, wondering how he would be billed on the menu the following day.
‘Twelve,’ replied the Head of Catering.  ‘You’re forgetting the two sacrificial henchmen we invite, just to slay.’
‘You cater for them?’ challenged Daw, seeing an opportunity to reduce organisational waste.
‘Well, you know, the last meal, it’s kind of traditional,’ blustered the Head of Catering as two henchmen bolted out through the door.
‘Sandwiches, as a last meal?  Are you mad or criminally cruel?’ asked Daw, while scanning the Head of Catering’s personnel file.  ‘Forget that question, according to this, you’re both,’ he said.  This obviously strengthened the Head of Catering’s resolve.
‘So, how come a Johnny Come Lately Project Manager thinks he can make decisions about catering on a major project like this?’ he demanded.  Brian reached up to his tie and felt something loosen; unfortunately it was his bowels.  O’Feld leaned forward, an indication for everyone to shut up.
‘Because he’s a top notch catering manager who could run rings around you day or night,’ he said, adding, ‘if a little unhygienically, given the smell he’s putting out.
‘You know?’ asked a surprised Brian.
‘I think everyone does,’ answered O’Feld, ‘the smell of your shit is very distinctive,’ he said, looking around.
‘I mean't about my qualifications,’ said Brian.  O’Feld just waved a hand at him.
‘You were pitched to me by Daw as the perfect candidate.  He always lies, which is policy to be fair, so I had you checked out.  Who’s got the catering contract?’
‘Dodgy and Flaky,’ stammered Brian, his nerves at breaking point.
‘A two man Band, to cater for – what did you say – five thousand uninhabitants?’ asked the Head of Catering, scathingly,  Public Sector Man raised his hand, an exceedingly brave or foolish thing to do in these meetings when emotions were running high.
‘They’re also managing a critical part of the security operation, so it’s not as wasteful as it sounds,’ he ventured.  Brian wasn’t sure, but he felt he’s been dropped into the shit that was currently dribbling down his inside leg.
‘Oh, feed five thousand plus and manage security.  Two men?’ asked the head of Catering, conjuring up a menu that included parts of Brian.  He decided to break with his own tradition and eat in the canteen the following day.  O’Feld raised a hand.
‘It’s an uninhabited island and the Secret Service are likely to send at most one octogenarian agent.  What could possibly go wrong?  Good work Brian.  Any more sub-contractors we should know about?’
‘Well, as we’ve already heard, Dodgy and Flaky are managing a part of the security plan, so they are sub-sub-contracting an entire kebab house to assist,’ he said, hurrying on as O’Feld waved his hand at him.  ‘And I’ve sub-contracted the project communications as well,’ he said.  Daw looked up suddenly.
‘We don’t communicate on any projects, its policy,’ he said.  Brian swallowed hard before replying.
‘And none of your projects have ever succeeded, either,’ he said, noting O’Feld nodding approvingly.  Daw wasn’t going to be deflected that easily, not where policy was concerned.
‘But we don’t tell anyone anything.  To do so would be complete and utter madness, the act of a deranged person.’  O’Feld shrugged, he kind of understood the concept of the secrecy thing, but couldn’t for the life of him recognise any reason why they’d come to that decision.  Brian saw his opportunity to avoid further scrutiny.
‘I’ve engaged Slippy Doggy Doo as Project Communications Lead,’ he said.
‘The dyslexic rapper?’ asked O’Feld.  How do you expect anyone to understand a word he says?’ he asked.  Brian was offended.
‘I don’t,’ he answered, ‘but we get over the issues of not communicating anything and tick the diversity box, not that anyone here cares about that,’ he said.  O’Feld looked satisfied, he’d stayed for one report, couldn’t find any fault with it so decided to wrap the meeting up.
‘Good work team, now go and slay those two cowardly henchmen,’ he said, adding with sadistic glee, ‘and let them know their sandwiches are being returned t the canteen before they die.’ Brian surmised that the meeting was at an end.


The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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