"Why does it always have to be so difficult with you guys?" the new Boss asks.
"What do you mean?" the PFY says.
"Difficult. Why is it that whenever we have some suggestion and take it to you, you spend all your time thinking of reasons why you can't do it – or why we shouldn't do it – or something like that. Why can't you JUST ONCE say 'sure' and do what we bloody ask?"
"I have to say that it's easier to say 'yes' to a project when we know exactly what it is – as opposed to some vague idea with no actual meat on it," the PFY adds.
"Meaning what?" the Boss asks.
"Meaning someone will rock in here and say something like they want us to 'make the website better'," said the PFY.
"Or the internet," I say. "They want us to make the internet better."
"IS THAT SO BLOODY HARD?!" the Boss snaps.
"I got this," I say to the PFY, having noted that the linoleum knife that was on the PFY's desk moments earlier is now no longer there.
And the PFY has one of his hands hidden behind his back.
"What does 'better' mean?" I ask kindly.
"I don't know – FASTER!"
"But faster costs money. We tell you we can make it faster but it will cost money – then you ask us why we we're not using 'technology' instead."
"Or you suggest that maybe we should be using 'the cloud' for this – because the cloud IS the internet, and maybe if we thought outside the box, like you do, the solution would be staring us in the face," the PFY adds.
"We might ask you how 'the cloud' and 'technology' would make this happen, at which point you'd remind us that you don't want to be 'burdened down with the nuts and bolts of the solution' – and how you're a 'big picture' person."
"Then you'll mention something off-topic, like how we need to get this sorted before 'the internet of things' really kicks off, we'll ask you what the hell you're slavering on about, and you'll stalk off to the see the director, HR or both, claiming that we don't treat you with the respect you deserve."
The Boss stalks off and the world turns.
"Snap!" the PFY says, as the Boss, the Director and some slimy toe rag from HR (who's no doubt taken a break from making some single-income people redundant) enter Mission Control.
"Look, I think things may have got a little confused here," the Director starts. "I'm sure it's a misunderstanding and REALLY, all we want to do is get to the bottom of this because we're all on the same side here."
"I couldn't agree more – although there is a division between us and you in that whilst you might be technology suggesters, we're ultimately going to end up being technology implementers."
"Yes, well I suppose it could be said that you play for another team, but..."
"How dare you!" the PFY says.
"I don't think name calling and innuendo is constructive," I say, oozing helpfulness.
But really, REALLY, I can't be bothered creating some non-existent offence out of this situation so that the PFY and I can stomp off to "consult our independent employment advisors" as is permitted in the terms of our contract in response to a situation where the employer has "created a toxic workplace environment."
Really, I just want a Friday pint.
I want a Friday, 11am pint.
Then I want a Friday 11:15am pint, a Friday 11:33am pint, a midday pint, a 12:45pm pint, a 2pm pint, a second wind 2:30pm pint, a 3:30 pint, a pre-flattened 6pm pint which was poured for me at 5pm (before I wandered off after paying but forgetting to take the pint with me), a 7pm pint, a curry (with a kingfisher on the side), a one-for-the-road pint, a tube ride to eight stops past my station, a tube ride seven stops in the other direction past my station, another tube ride (this time only one stop past my station), ANOTHER tube ride (this one taking me all the way back to central London because I was getting overconfident about cracking that staying-awake thing), then a cab ride home.
I want to wake up on a Saturday morning with NO memory of this pointless bloody Friday morning "technical" conversation – WHICH, IF I DON'T END IT SOON will extend into a Friday afternoon "technical" conversation – with NO chance of EVER being relevant ... and then inevitably a ritual killing.
If I can just make it the seven minutes until our local opens.
Just seven minutes.
"It's 10:53," I say to the PFY.
He nods, and I can see a tiny bit of tension leave him.
"How is that relevant?" the HR person asks.
"We've got an appointment in five minutes," I say, factoring in the three-minute mosey down the fire stairs to the pub. It's only a two-minute walk but I could fill in one minute by setting my desk on fire. Only that would mean the pub would be packed, which would mean an 11:27am pint, a 12:15, a 1:07pm pint, and lots of queuing.
And nobody wants that, least of all a HR person with linoleum knife injuries.
The pint maths alone have burned a minute so there's only six minutes to go. I realise that the HR person said something like "What meeting?" a minute ago but words like that don't even have an interrupt level when it comes to pint maths, so he's just been staring at me for a minute wondering if I've had a stroke.
"Oh, it's 'technical shit'," I say, "about 'the cloud' and 'the internet of things'. You wouldn't understand."
"We're going to make the internet better," the PFY adds.
"Faster," I add.
"Stronger," the PFY murmurs, looking off into the distance in an unfocussed manner.
Then I remember the fugue state episode from Breaking Bad that the PFY was talking about this morning and wander blankly behind the PFY to the door, ignoring the HR guy with a tiny slash in the pant leg of his expensive shiny suit.