I write this on my blog: There’s this guy at work. I hate him. He’s lazy. He’s obese. He takes credit for work he doesn’t do. But for some reason the boss loves him, and today he got promoted over me. I hope he gets knocked down on the way to work. By a massive truck. And then run over by another car for good measure.
The next day he’s dead.
I go into the office and Karen’s at her desk crying. I ask what’s wrong, but she just shakes her head. Kevin fills me in: He got run over on the way to work. A bus apparently. Sounds like he went into the road without looking, though how he missed a bus I don’t know.
I say, maybe he was pushed. Karen sobs a bit more. I go on, by accident, I mean. Maybe there was some pushing and shoving in the queue at the stop.
Later that day my boss calls me into his office. He offers me a chair. I sit. I figure he wants me to fill in for Tony. He says, I’m sure you’ve heard about the accident.
I nod, I can hardly believe it.
Mike nods too, I know. And to think I was promoting him this time yesterday. Anyway, you spent a lot of time with him. You trained him and everything. Could you get some flowers sent to his parents or something?
I say, sure, no problem. I didn’t need to sit down for him to ask that. Anything else?
Mike makes to say something, but doesn’t. Then he says: No, that’s all for now. Thanks.
That night I write this on my blog: So that guy I told you about. He’s dead. A bus, not a truck. I should be happy, I know. It’s what I wanted, but I should’ve said this too: And once he’s dead, I hope the boss sees sense and gives me the promotion.
The next day I get the promotion. I go into work and Mike calls me into his office. I sit down. He leans forward and clasps his hands together, I probably should’ve told you this yesterday, or at least mentioned it, but what with Tony’s death and the feelings in the office, I, well, we need someone to take Tony’s job. And since you were second on the shortlist, well, would you be open to taking on his role? It’s kind of crucial we have someone doing it, what with the Headway Project and everything. It’s just temporary. We’ll have to re-advertise later, make sure everything’s by the book, but what do you think?
I say, yes, of course, definitely, thank him and shake his hand. Back in the office I try not to smile. That night I write another blog post: My boss says the position’s just temporary, but I know he doesn’t mean it, and he’ll tell me so tomorrow.
The next day Mike calls me in to his office again. He says, I put in a good word for you with George and it looks like your promotion’s going to be permanent. George says he doesn’t want to go through the whole interview process again so soon after Tony’s promotion. He says to think of it like Tony turned the post down, no matter how awful that sounds. So, congratulations. Onwards and upwards and all that.
That night I write: The job’s mine. Permanently. I’ve got everything I wanted. And to think at the start of the week I wanted someone dead. Just goes to show, you never can tell, can you?
The next day when I get to work, Kevin says: Mike’s looking for you.
– Yeah. Something to do with Headway or something.
I go straight to Mike’s office and knock. He calls, come in, and when I go in, says, have a seat. I sit. He says, ready to make a start?
– Well, we’ve got some things to go through before we get to the nitty-gritty. What do you know about the Headway Project?
Not much, I say.
– How about blogs? Know a lot about them?
I clasp my hands together.
– You have one, don’t you?
– Doesn’t everyone?
– I suppose. What’s your about?
– Nothing much.
– No, not really.
Mike leans across to his monitor and turns it so it’s facing me. He reads: I hope he gets knocked down on the way to work. Who’s he? Who’s this guy at work?
I squeeze my hands together some more, and then shrug. I give in: Tony, of course. Look, I was mad.
Mike says, yes, you are.
That night I write on my blog. I can’t help myself. I say: I can’t believe it. I’ve lost my promotion. I had to go to the police station to make a statement. I’ve been suspended pending some kind of investigation – their words, not mine. How did my boss find out about my blog? Can’t he see it was just a joke?
The next day I wait for a call saying, don’t worry, we realise you were only joking. Come back. We need you for the Headway Project.
I get nothing.