A reader sent us this sorry tale.
IT Contractors Trying Too Hard
Here are a few words of warning to those IT contractors who may try too hard to get renewed.
I was working for a company I quite liked and it was coming up to renewal time. In general, I‘d say I the team all got on well and had similar interests. I liked everybody there, so I decided to do something to try to help their decision-making with regards to my renewal.
I decided to invite the whole team for a night-out on my birthday at a weekly stand-up comedy club in Brighton which I went to regularly.
Over the years it had been a really good night-out and there were often some quite big names there. Most of the team seemed keen on the idea so I sorted the tickets and looked forward to it.
Contractors Big Night Out
The night arrived. Everybody turned-up and met in the bar anticipating the night‘s entertainment.
As the gig was getting underway we went to take our seats and, to my surprise, they allocated us a table right alongside the stage – in touching distance of the acts.
As we sat down the places at the table filled-up leaving just one space nearest the stage vacant – it was virtually on the stage, in fact.
That vacancy was for my boss who was still at the bar getting a round of drinks in.
Now, my boss (let‘s call him Colin – ‘cos that‘s his name!) walked to his seat carrying the drinks.
The compere had started and Colin, being the last to sit down right adjacent the stage, immediately drew attention to himself.
The compere made of Colin‘s lateness which he seemed to enjoy.
Nice Bloke My Boss
Now, Colin is a bloody nice bloke, but he is rather the sort of person that a comedian would just love to have sitting in the front row.
Colin reckons he‘s a bit of a comic himself and is well ‘up for‘ taking part in a little ‘audience participation‘.
It was at this point – with my boss sitting in the most prominent seat in the house, next to a compere I‘d seen totally humiliate individuals in the audience on numerous occasions – that I started to feel that the evening had the potential to go quite wrong.
I bit my lip and watched.
Colin was indeed ‘up for‘ a little ‘audience participation‘. The compere directed a gentle joke towards him and he decided to engage the compere in conversation.
Oh Dear, I thought. Oh dear, oh dear.
Comedy Critic – Sorry Tale
The compere asked Colin what he did for a living. ‘No, no, don‘t do it Colin‘, I thought, but alas, he did. He replied ‘A Comedy Critic’
The compere‘s face revealed a special look of discovery as his eyes focused on my boss. It was like he‘d found his meal ticket for the evening.
The compere was obviously thinking ‘Ooh, a comedian are we‘? And that was it, Colin had started an irreversible process and I knew where it would lead.
Colin appeared blissfully unaware of what the evening now had in store for him and in fun proceeded to interject the comperes‘ routine with his own attempts at humour.
Some of them were quite entertaining in an amateur kind of way, but the responses from the professional on stage were becoming increasingly focused towards making Colin the butt of the evening‘s jokes.
My hands sweated as I pondered the ‘prize‘ that I knew Colin was certain to win.
Each week the club awarded a prize to the member of the audience who‘d made the biggest ‘contribution‘ to audience participation and who had deserved being the most humiliated target of the various act‘s stand-up routines.
The prize is ‘W*nker of the week‘.
And yes, Colin achieved this great accolade.
At the end of the night a certificate with his name on it was presented to him and his photograph was taken holding the certificate for publication in ‘What‘s on‘ magazine.
It was a photograph emblazoned by the title ‘W*nker of the week‘ and it was duly published to thousands of readers in the South East.
Colin seemed to take it all quite well, but as it was me who invited everybody, and I was a regular at the club, I was worried that he may have thought that I‘d had some involvement in securing his glorious achievement.
Needed Contract Renewed
Well, I did get a contract renewal, but things didn‘t go terribly well after that and me and my employer parted company six months or so after.
As I left for the last time, Colin, out of the blue, made a comment about stand-up comedy.
So I was right, he did think I‘d fixed it for him to be W*nker of the week.
Well, it wasn‘t true. He‘d won it on merit.
So, if you are going to go that extra mile to help get renewed just remember my sorry tale and be careful.
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