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Meet Joe Bloggs

Episode Two: Team Building

Bill's had too much to drink, which is fair enough, it is his leaving do after all.

'How much have we got left in the kitty?' he asks, downing another mouthful of lager shandy with blackcurrant.

'Four quid.'

He looks disappointed. 'Is that all?'

I nod. 'It is just the two of us,' I remind him.

'Do you think anybody else is going to turn up?' he asks hopefully.

'I don't think so. It's been two hours, if they were going to turn up they would have done it by now.'

'True enough,' he mumbles mournfully.

'Another pint?' I offer brightly.

'Sure, why not. Tell you what, leave the blackcurrant out this time.'

Despite my good intentions I feel sorry for the guy. True he's a pompous prick who has spent the last six months of his contract polishing his CV and desperately seeking a next job. To no avail. His tech skills are crap and he's no good with people, animals or inanimate objects ? particularly of the computing kind.

I return with a pint of lager shandy which has been usefully topped up with another double shot of vodka.

'What is this lager they're using?' he asks innocently. 'It must be dynamite on its own.'

I shrug innocently. 'It's whatever they've got on tap.'

'You don't know what it's like,' he whispers fifteen minutes later. He's slurring badly.

'Moving back home, are you?'

He nods disconsolately. 'You've no fucking idea. It's murder at home. The abuse, the scorn, the downright lack of respect?'

Just like work then. 'Teenagers in the house?' I venture politely.

He nods. 'It's not just the girls. It's the wife. Audrey is a highly strung woman.'

'Does she know you're out of work yet?'

He shakes his head in terror. 'No, I've told her I've got a hot prospect in Aberdeen.'

'Where do you live?'


I buy the man another lager and get out before the tears start.

Back at the ranch I meet with Colin, my second in command and the only one I trust enough with the batch of CVs which have been arriving by post, email, courier, carrier pigeon and impassioned voice mail biographies forwarded from the Basingstoke branch of the Samaritans.

'Have you ever met Audrey?'

Colin shakes his head. 'Heard her on the phone once. Frightening. He's got two teenage daughters too, following in their mother's footsteps. How was he?'

'Asking about the French Foreign Legion when I left him.'

'Poor sod. Anyway, I've applied the usual filters to these,' Colin says, handing me the pile of CVs we've been using as coasters for the last week or so.

'No double-barrelled names? No arts graduates? No born-again religionists? Nobody asking market rates?'


'So what have we got left?'

'Just this.'

I take the single sheet and scan the first line. 'She's female.'

'I know.'

'She's twenty-two.'

'I know.'

'She's modelled swimwear.'

'I know.'

'Colin, we can't ask her to come here. Look around you, mate.'

'You don't think she'd fit in?'

I sigh deeply. Perhaps asking Colin to look at the CVs was a mistake after all. 'Fit in? Fit in? Look at Kevin.'

We peer across the office at Kevin. 'Is he still working on his novel?'

'Yes. He's on chapter 97 of the Sperminator. Did you read the chapter with the dog?'


'I can never watch a Rin Tin Tin film again. And what about Phillip and his girlfriend.'

'She was a lovely girl,' Colin muses.

'She was imaginary. The photos were ones he'd downloaded off the internet. The engagement? It never really happened.'

'I know, but she was a lovely idea.'

'And Alison? Do you remember the court case? The injunctions?'

'Yes, but Lucy in accounts was very attractive, we all fancied her a bit.'

'Not enough to camp outside her flat in our knickers for three weeks swearing undying devotion.'

'OK, OK. But Dennis and Josh are pretty normal.'

I shake my head sadly. 'Remember the experiment with pair programming?'

'Yes, but you've got to admit the scars look good on Josh.'

'They do,' I concede. 'But you're not really suggesting we interview this girl, are you?'

'But look at her skill set. Java, J2EE, SQL, JSP and she's dabbled with .NET and ASPX.'

I know I'm going to regret this. I know it's a bad move. But I've had too many lager shandies laced with vodka to stop myself. 'Alright. Get on the phone and arrange an interview.'

Who Is Joe Bloggs?
Episode One - UML?
Episode Three - Recruitment
Episode Four - Team Player

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