A conversation between team leaders

[Office team leader Derrick stops by the cubicle of team leader Colin for a quick chat.]

Derrick: “The way you never overwork your team is commendable, it really is.”

Colin: “Why, thank you.”

D: “Yes, I would be surprised if any team member of yours ever worked past five o’clock or started before nine.”

C: “Well, I try to maintain the outlook that we’re all entitled to a life outside of work. No need for our day jobs to dictate who we are.”

D: “Quite right. And, of course, mandatory hour-long lunch breaks. While everyone else eats and goes to the bathroom in under twenty-five minutes, getting back to work and getting the job done, you and your team are practically napping after a four-course buffet.”

C: “Well, I think there may be some embellishments there. Nothing wrong with taking what’s entitled to you.”

D: “Yes, quite…it’s simply that I doubt any of your team would be quick to go the extra mile, if it were so required.”

C: “On the contrary! It’s my belief that if you treat your staff agreeably and show that you respect their right to a life then you’ll find them far more responsive and giving when the company’s under pressure.”

D: “Well, I’d like to see that some time – going the extra mile or even just a few additional inches.”

C: [coughs] “Arsehole.” [coughs]

D: “I’m sorry. What was that?”

C: “I said ‘it ain’t half cold’. Someone should go look at the thermostat.”

D: “I’ll have one of my team look at it right away. I’m sure their lunchbreak has long ended. Tally-ho!”

C: “Bye, Derrick.”

D: “See you!”

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How I Imagine Los Angeles to be…

HOW I IMAGINE LOS ANGELES TO BE…

[Interior: a smart, soulless coffee shop. The espresso machine blasts over the din of numerous conversations.]

Important-Looking Suited Man 1: Phew!

Important-Looking Suited Man 2: Man, I’m so busy right now. I must have answered 150 e-mails already and they haven’t even brought my bagel over yet.

ISM 1: I know exactly what you mean. It’s just “hey, could I ask what you think about this?” or “would you like to get involved in our design project?”. Man, so many e-mails…

ISM 2: And phone calls!

ISM 1: And phone calls! Right –

[ISM 2 sticks his index finger out to show ISM1]

ISM 2: Hold on. Got a call.

***

ISM 2: OK.

ISM 1: Busy, huh?

ISM 2: So many projects…

[The bagel arrives from an unknown source. Both ISM 1 and 2 are too terribly busy to notice.]

ISM 2: Did you get the new app yet?

ISM 1: Which one?

ISM 2: You know. The newest, totally hot one.

ISM 1: Oh, that one! Yeah…ahem…sure. I got it. Use it every day.

ISM 2: Piece of crap, ain’t it?

ISM 1: Oh…oh yeah! A big steaming pile!

***

ISM 2: Look at that guy over there.

[ISM 2’s glance gestures toward a similarly-suited man ordering from the cashier.]

ISM 1: Yeah…

ISM 2: Look at me! I’m so important!

ISM 1: Look! I can dress sharp. I must be well-connected.

[The man walks past them and sits at a table away from them. He pulls out his laptop and starts typing.]

ISM 2: Asshole.

ISM 1: Yeah! People are so self-important in this town. Who cares?

ISM 2: Who cares how many new business links you’ve nailed this week?

[A thin man dressed in drab colors but with a truthful smile approaches the two suited men.]

Thin Man Dressed in Drab Colors: Excuse me, gents. Do you have the time, please?

ISM 2: Huh?

ISM 1: Yeah. What?

TMDDC: The time. Do you have it, please?

ISM 2: Did we call a meeting here today, Bob?

ISM 1: Not to my knowledge, Bob. Hold on, I’ll check my online calendar…

Nope.

ISM 2: What project are you on? Do want us to get involved, or something?

TMDDC: Excuse me?

ISM 1: Who are you working for?

TMDDC: What do you mean? I don’t have a project. I’m not working for anybody.

ISM 2: Freeloader. I thought as much.

TMDDC: I just want the damn time.

ISM 2: Bob, let’s get back to work.

ISM 1: Yes. Let’s. We’ve wasted quite enough time.

TMDDC: Can you tell me the time, please?

Do you have the time?

ISM 1 and 2: La, la, la, la, la, la , la, la, la

[ISM 1 and 2 keep their fingers in their ears until the drably-dressed man goes away.]

ISM 2: Oh! There’s my bagel. Let’s get some coffee.

ISM 1: We’re in a coffee shop.

ISM 2: Haven’t you read? The cafe down the street is trending now. This place is old hat. It’s for poor people.

ISM 1: Fuck me! Let’s get out of here before it’s too late! Let me just update my status.

ISM 2: Why bother? Didn’t you get the new app?

[A little part of ISM 1 dies from shame.]