I work in a ‘business centre’. Men in suits bustle about and young women wear bluetooth headsets to take calls while they are making coffee for the men in suits. The building is managed by a small, skinny man called Lionel. Lionel loves his job about as much as I hate mine. He finds himself unable to pass by one of his tenants without imparting some ‘vital’ piece of information about the management of the building. I usually come into the building via the back door and dart up the stairs while he isn’t looking, but he never fails to catch me at some point during the day. I know that he is only trying to connect in some way, but I really would rather not discuss our Christmas office arrangements when I am trying to enjoy the last few days of the summer.
Lionel also wears a suit which is far too large for him. He has the look of a man who has lost a great deal of weight overnight – a little like The Incredible Hulk in reverse. It is possible that he is without the time (in his busy management role) to update his wardrobe. Either that, or he is an escaped lunatic masquerading as the building manager – the real (portly) Lionel being trussed up in the generator room.
Lionel also has an unfortunate tendency to ignore the Susans when he enters the office (after a cursory knock when he is already in the room). He strides past their desks in his flappy suit and heads straight for me – proudly regaling me with his latest update on letter rates or fire drills. I have not as much as feigned interest in any of these things, but that doesn’t seem to daunt him. I really must make an effort to give out more unmistakably negative signals.