Tuesday, April 26

Excerpt: Charlie Broker

Does the weather have any variation in this goddamn country?! Jesus, if I wanted cold and wet, I’d be an Eskimo.

Look, I’m in a bad mood, I’ve got a hangover, it’s goddamn pissing it down, so if you’ve got any sense at all you’ll stay out of my way. I usually work alone. No prizes for guessing why. Got that?

I slump into the office. And yes, it is possible. It’s my preferred way of walking, especially when I had one over the eight the night before. Yeah, I’m late. So what? I’m not the best they’ve got, and don’t I know it, but I get the job done an I’m not afraid of gun-toting maniacs, because, frankly, I usually have a bigger gun.

‘Hey, Broker, yet your ass over here.’

So this is the day the boss decides to wake up and take a passing interest in anything other than the stereotypical tea and doughnuts. Just my luck, innit?

‘Hey, boss,’ I say, leaning against the door-jamb for effect. Well, I’m the most stylish one in the office, you gotta admit. Plus I don’t trust myself to stand up straight, and at least this way I’ll have an excuse when I fall over. ‘Sup?’

He glares at me from across his desk, swirling the dregs of his tea round in his mug. He looks a bit like a bull terrier. I never really noticed it till now. I never really cared till now. And I don’t even care now.


‘You’d better start talking. I don’t like people who turn up late.’

‘Since when did you care? I can’t bloody teleport. Ever heard of a traffic jam?’ I’m crossing the barrier, I know, but I really don’t give a damn. I’ve just about had enough of this goddamn office with all the same goddamn people in it doing the same goddamn things. It makes me want to shoot someone. Which is not the best mood for me to be in when being interviewed by my boss.

‘No one likes a smart-ass, Broker. Least of all me.’

‘Save me the lecture. I’ve heard it all before.’

He grunts. At least he has the decency to admit he’s lectured the whole office within an inch of its life on several occasions before. ‘You got anything for me?’

‘It’s only day one. I’m working on it, okay?’

‘Well, you’d better work faster. I’ve just about had enough of you.’

‘Sure you have. It’s pretty much a mutual feeling right now.’

He glowers. It’s another stalemate. Although technically I won. Now he’s gonna grumble something about standards and soothe his wounded pride in a large doughnut.

‘The standards were so much higher in my day. You’d’ve been out on your ear, Broker,’ he mutters, reaching for a doughnut.

Jesus, he is just so predictable.
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