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Bert

In a busy office in the centre of the city, people rushed around and chatted and argued and laughed like any other office. Coffee machines dispensed cups of boiling liquids and emails plopped onto peoples screens like drops of rain before a storm.

Most of the floors on this building were open-plan with a few small offices for each Director.

Level Four was much like the rest of the building in this respect. The Director for Level Four stared at the Management Accounts he had just been handed with a stern face. He was over-spending and needed to make some cuts. He did not want to stop the spend on his flagship projects which had given him kudos with the Board, even if some of them weren't going exactly to plan. So he took out the files on his staff and started to review their jobs, his new attractive PA was very competent too, his golfing pal the Finance Manager could not go, his 'boys' (the sales team) were always there for a laugh and a beer on a Friday night and brought in lots of income. His business consultant cost a lot of money admittedly, but without him he would not know what to do next. His Admin team were hard workers and would work through the night when required to get a bid out to win new business and they were afraid of him, he felt he had control of that team. Suddenly, he noticed a name on the staff list he had not seen before 'Bert'.

Bert it appeared had worked for the company for 12 years and transfered to his department 2 years ago. His title was Clerk and his file was very unremarkable. He looked at Bert's salary. If the truth be told he did not really understand what Bert did. Perfect, he thought, Bert had to go.

The Director called Bert to his office (which confused Bert because the Director had never spoken to him and Bert wasn't even sure where his office was).

He told Bert that although he could see he had never had any complaints against him and that he had taken no sick days in 12 years, he had to make savings and he did not need a clerk in his department. Bert had nothing to offer him.

Bert nodded silently and left the office. He packed his few possessions and left the building, mostly unnoticed.

Two weeks later....

The Director was called to the Desk of his Finance Manager who told him that he could not print off the accounts that were needed for the Board Meeting at 12.00 noon that day. He explained that the system had an error that often occured without notice. The Director demanded he contact the software supplier and have it fixed immediately. The Finance Manager explained that it was a problem with their hardware and that it had happened before and he did not know how to fix it - Bert had always done that for him.

The Director shook his fist and his face turned red and he said "I don't care how you do it I want those reports on my desk by 12.00 noon today!" He then set off to see his Business Consultant. "I need the strategy we talked through last week turned into fancy diagrams for my presentation to the Board today." he explained. The Business Consultant informed him that he did not do 'fancy diagrams' just theorise on strategy, a guy named Bert had always done them for him, as a favour.

The Director was now near the end of his tether and marched past the Admin girls making them jump. "I want 15 copies of these on my desk by 12.00 noon today!" he shouted. The girls turned towards him, their fingers, hair and noses covered in black toner. They explained that the machine needed new toner and they had never replaced it before. Bert had always done that.

The Director pulled at what remained of his grey hair as he passed his Sales Team, they were complaining about the lack of customer leads coming through. Bert had always done the cold-calling. He had hundreds of contacts and was well-known in the industry.

Drained and worried the Director slumped in his chair and called for his attractive PA. She appeared seductively at the door. "I need a cup of tea" he cried with his head in his hands. After 5 minutes she returned and placed the cup in front of him stroking his head. There you go she sighed. He smiled and sat up and took a large gulp. He then spat the tea across his desk. "This is disgusting! he cried. Why did you not make it like you normally do?" She walked to the door, gave him a sweet smile and purred "I never make tea, Bert always did that for me."

Find out who your Bert is and hold on to them at all cost!

 


We don't know what we have until it is gone!

 

Author: Alison Brown


 


 

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