Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Odanglesex Chronicles: The Away Day (5)

Reema found herself on a table with Hamish Carpenter, Henry Donaldson,Gwilym Roberts, Lucy Marlowe and Neil Balderson. She guessed Neil would be chair - he was the most senior person present and never off-message whatever the message was. He looked like a greyhound waiting to chase the fake hare, but he did not suggest any activity.

"Let's check our roles and stickers," she suggested.They looked around one another and checked. Neil was indeed chair. Gwilym Roberts was facilitator, perhaps on the grounds that idleness made openings for dry wit, so it was best to keep him busy. Henry Donaldson, the longest-serving officer there, was newcomer. Hamish Carpenter was the consultant, a role that Reema hoped might prove a bit subversive. Newcomer Lucy Marlowe was the subject expert and she herself was deputising for her director - not that she could imagine Kenneth Spotlessnob doing that in reality.

Gwilym, now in his facilitator role, went through the stickers and their meaning:

"Henry - red means achieving go-getter." Henry looked gloomy.
"Hamish - yellow means leader and motivator." A hint of a smile escaped Hamish's face.
"Neil - purple means excellence beacon." Neil beamed.
"Reema - green means holistic networker." Reema made a face which Neil frowned at.
"Lucy - yellow means leader and motivator. Two of those, then. We'll be well led." Lucy gave him a cold look.
"And finally, myself - excellence beacon." He tried a bit to hard to avoid expression of tone or face.

"We've not got a strategic visioner. Shouldn't we have one?" Lucy asked. "Neil?" Neil looked momentarily puzzled, then authoritative.

"I'll go and check," he said, sweeping off. After a quick word with Kelly Pattrick he swept back. "Yes, well spotted, Lucy. Check those stickers again, please, Gwilym." The result was the same.

"Why don't we just count one of the yellows or purples as a - what was it for strategic visioner - blue?" asked Hamish. Neil was horrified.

"Those stickers were carefully calibrated against personal profiles, including the results of psychological and aptitude tests!" he insisted. "We'll need to swap someone with another table."

"Slave trading," said Gwilym under his breath to Henry. "My cook for your dancer." Henry looked gloomier. Lucy leapt up and started running round other tables interrupting their discussions. At length she came back followed by Julie Poniatowski, a secondee from Odanglesex Police's Intelligence Unit. Julie bore a blue sticker.

"I'd better go, then," said Hamish. "Nothing personal, except it is personal between Julie and my son, at least it was until...hrmmm...nothing personal." And so it was resolved and the team was ready for its tasks.

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