Thursday, July 08, 2004

That's so harsh...

Derrick Gibbs, one of the warehouse operatives, is to leave tomorrow. The first anyone in the general office knew about this was when a leaving card was brought round. Gradually the news seeped out that it had been strongly suggested to him that he should leave, as he was no longer able to lift heavy loads in the warehouse (probably the company just wanted to avoid paying any redundancy).

Derrick has been with the company five years. Thin build, rather woebegone face (heavy lines either side of the mouth), black rimmed glasses. He is not exactly popular, but there is a lot of sympathy for him because he is obviously so vulnerable – aged 55, unmarried, talks with a stutter, poor education, rather gullible and credulous. He once asked out one of the young girls on the sales desk (an attractive blonde graduate) and she didn’t know how to respond – eventually she just told him she wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. He later asked out one of the older women in Telesales – who bluntly turned him down.

Half-way through the morning he came up to the general office looking worried. He stopped at Marketing and told us he was leaving, and that he now had to find another job.

When he had gone my assistants, Caron Maryatt and Adrian Taylor, were aghast at the way he had been pushed out of his job. “That’s so harsh” Adrian kept saying. “That’s so harsh!”

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