Friday 11 June: 8.30am back in the (Titanic) room! Well, four of us are: Geek Lad, Young Thruster and Posh Boy are up on the split screen. “What the hell are you boys doing?” I bark. “Friday is a Team P office day!”
Posh Boy says his “lived experience” (yuck) has put him off coming in: “The office feels lifeless, half-empty, no buzz. Nobody cares when you come and go.” (Nobody! I do!)
Posh Girl grimaces at me, then starts quoting from The Inner Ring by some bloke called CS Lewis.
“He talked of the ‘inner ring’, as the exclusive group – different for every person – to which people want to belong… Between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local ring and the terror of being left outside.”
“What’s that got to do with the price of fish?” I ask. “Don’t be dim,” she says. “The hidden pull of the office is joining a band of comrades each day in common endeavour. The fewer the folk at their desks, the weaker the gravitational field, leaving little chance to advance into the rings you wish to join. If those with the keys to your advancement are unlikely to be there, what’s the point?”
She has a point… I think.