Dorothy: Well, here we are, Matthew. This is the first time our employees have been given sight of their annual appraisals and had the opportunity to comment on them. You’ve seen my assessment of you and I’d like to hear your response. What have you to say?
Matthew: Plenty. First I want to know what happened to the corresponding documents in respect of earlier years.
Dorothy: They’ve all been destroyed, in order to give us a fresh start.
Matthew: I think you mean they’ve been scrapped to cover possible embarrassment. What did you say about me for the rest of the time I’ve worked under you?
Dorothy: That’s no longer relevant.
Matthew: I’ll bet it isn’t. My guess is you’ve said some nasty things, probably so you could keep me in this department instead of encouraging my transfer to some spot where I wouldn’t be treated like a galley slave.
Dorothy: I can’t believe I heard that, Matthew. If all the galley slaves had worked the way you do, the vessels wouldn’t have moved from their starting points.
Matthew: What’s wrong with the way I work?
Dorothy: It’s more a question of the way you don’t work. Let me be frank here. We expect our staff members to show at least a little get up and go. Now, ever since you came under my wing, it’s been obvious to me that even though your bar of ambition is set at rock bottom, you have persistently failed to clear it. You don’t seem inclined to make use of your education, so why did you go to university?
Matthew: No problem explaining that. It was a way of not going to work for another three years.
Dorothy: That’s exactly what I mean. You were unemployed for some time and now that you have a job, you appear to be intent on doing as little as possible.
Matthew: If that were true, it would be understandable. I mean, if you’re never going to be satisfied with my work, then the less I do, the better. That limits your scope for criticism, right?
Dorothy: That’s an original idea. Maybe the first one you’ve had since joining us. However, your attitude doesn’t do much for our productivity. It’s my opinion that you’re just coasting.
Matthew: What do you mean by that?
Dorothy: That you’re trying to get through life with as little effort as possible.
Matthew: It’s another point that would be easy to comprehend, if you were right.
Dorothy: Why would it be easy?
Matthew: Look, Dot –
Dorothy: It’s Dorothy, and don’t forget that.
Matthew: Okay. What I mean is if I were coasting, I would simply be anticipating events.
Dorothy: How do you make that out?
Matthew: It’s plain enough. We all know that the advance of technology is going to put nearly everybody in this dump out of work in the next three or four years. I’m merely getting used to doing next to nothing before we’re all in that position, you included. Listen, Dot –
Dorothy: It’s Dorothy. How many more times?
Matthew: Okay, Dorothy. I have a delicate constitution. I’m used to the finer things in life. A touch of elegance is what I need and what do I get here? Just look around this place and what do you see? I’ll tell you. A bunch of weirdos. Grubby, smelly, bearded and stubble-faced types with hair halfway down their backs, ‘Builder’ stamped across their foreheads and muscles in their spit – and the men are no better.
Dorothy: Well, maybe you shouldn’t work in a perfume factory. Anyway, you won’t be doing it after today. You’re fired.
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