Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How supportive is your employer?

And so another day begins in the Jermyn Street headquarters of PR consultancy, Wagging Tong’s. Self-appointed High Priestess of Spin, Amanda Tong is already on her third chai tea latte. Over the rims of her trademark starshaped specs she spies account manager, Debbie…

"Ah, Debbie, have you got a sec, hun?"


"You’re okay, don’t need the—"

"I was just going to the photocopier."

"You weren’t dashing to the...?"

"Nope, I was definitely going to the photocopier."

"Well, I just wanted to say you have our full support with your ‘thing’ – you know – your funny ‘tummy thing’."

"Thanks, that’s really good of—"

"Aw, you are such a trooper, you really are – a little pooper trooper."

"I’m sorry?"

"Anywaaaay. I had a word with HR about this bug you’ve got—"

"Ulcerative colitis. It’s not a bug."

"I know, shaaaame. Well HR have had a little look at the loos for you and I think you’ll be thrilled with what they’ve done. They really went to town; there’s enough toilet roll to see you through a nuclear winter, air fresheners – I think you can even get Wi-Fi in there now. And I had a word with Keith from building services about getting a window put in so you can release a bit of that trapped wind, but structurally it’s a no can do, I’m afraid. But as luck would have it, it turns out Keith is a member of the TA, and he’s managed to get his hands on a couple of gasmasks. How about that?"


"I know, isn’t he a star?"

"I’ve got an idea; maybe just to be on the safe side I should take a caged canary into the toilets with me?"

Amanda Tong takes off her starshaped glasses and squints, deep in thought.

"Yes, yes, I can see where you’re coming from. I suppose it would be good for you to have a bit of company in there."