Wayne Flask

Author Translator Music Writer Public Annoyance

L-Istejjer tar-Richie – 01. Some Velvet Morning (kont.)

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Stammering worse than a public works jackhammer in a January morning, every morpheme she utters sinks her deeper into her own muck. Ammetti, Martine, diżastru totali. A mess of incompetence – put together rather nicely, ikolli ngħid.

M’għandix aptit interviews, riklami u iktar minuti f’meetings mal-HR biex insibu lil xi ħadd to replace Martine. She’s only been working here a year and a half. Celestial visions of her ass aside, she comes in quite handy: in addition to Engeeela the red-nosed goat, she’s been assigned to the krema sitting at the very top of the shite heap. There’s the Travers brothers, fickle pieces of shit whose return from the States coincided with an explosion of property prices in Malta – they spend most of the day jidgħulha fuq il-mobile, aqqanna this u aqqanna that, followed by the odd email complaining about some invoice or other (“you’re skinning me aqqanna”).

She also handles Calmif, dawk iż-żewġ wankers li fetħu jewellery u semmewha skont kunjomhom. Oqgħod tihom l-ideat fuq il-branding u logos u strategies u daċ-ċuċati kollha – b’isem bħal dak forsi tintefa tbigħ il-liftijiet, mela aqqanna d-diamond rings? Xorta, they made shitloads of money after bombarding Prole TV (Xarabank and that grisly Sunday noon show) with advertising for five years. Good thing, the commission from that badly executed orġja ta’ riklamar landed straight into my sales. It-targets tiegħi lħaqthom. Top lads, Anthony Callus u Vince Mifsud (wieħed anoressiku, the other one qisu ċilindru tal-gass with a polo shirt).

And, cherry on the cake, she’s got l-assoċjazzjoni intergalattika tal-boloh t’Alla, grupp ta’ nażisti qsajrin with the IQ of a hardboiled egg who meet up every week to do jack shit and brag about it. They call themselves Malta Business Leaders Network (MBLN – like some Arabic TV channel). To spice up her life even further, poor Martine, I handed her a cluster(fuck) of smaller accounts: hams mis-South, għandha xi hairdresser u xi wellbeing salon (LOL! qed narah il-wellbeing fis-South), some tyre importer u xi minimarket.

“Richard and I will be discussing disciplinary action…”

Richard, that’s my name. I’ve no idea x’kienu qed jgħidu dat-tnejn s’issa, lost as I am in my trip down memory lane, thinking about the day Vince Mifsud crashed his brand new Audi into a roundabout after a party at the OPM. Did he call an ambulance? A tow truck? The police? No, he phoned Richie Woods, his fucking advertising agent.

There’s talk of disciplinary action from El Primo. U ħallina Bert! Disciplinary action? Karti u rapporti u paperwork u aktar biki at my desk? Ħallina, boss (LOL! Boss! Can’t tell his arse from his elbow… jew bil-kontra?). Any disciplinary action here to be taken strictly with my permission. Ma tagħmlu xejn! Mingħajr il-Woods ma tagħmlu xejn! It’s time to intervene. Knight in fucking shining armour driving a French coupè. Martine, here I come to the half-arsed rescue.

“With all due respect, Albert,” I address him by his first name, instead of the usual Sur Fenech Sullivan, biex nuri kemm jien ta’ ġewwa u li I can influence the little idiot.

Albert ma tantx ħa gost biha din. Fuck him. The best is yet to come. “I think we’re exaggerating it a bit here. It’s true Martine has been slightly (LOL!) negligent here. However I wish to point out this advert was seen by another four pairs of eyes in this very building, and that includes James.” James. James. Sikkina ddur fil-ferita ta’ Bertu. Studio manager, an old friend minn ta’ Albert. Does fuck all and paid very well for it. Kieku allaħaresqatt kellu tletin sena inqas milli għandu he’d be an MCAST reject. Squeeze Albert about James not having done something (or having actually done it) u tarah jiħmar. James huwa żball jiswa l-flus, Bert.

I’m not finished yet, ara tiftaħ ħalqek. “As for today’s ‘wrong advert’,” making it a point to twirl my fingers in the air, “with all due respect, didn’t she approve it yesterday? I checked the media schedule this morning (LOL! żabbabt!) and Martine followed the instructions to the letter.” Tajt ħarsa patronising ħafna lil Martine, who is looking just like the icecaps atop the K2. “Angela, with all due respect (oħra. I really don’t carry all this respect for anyone, bar myself), is being l a pain. She’s phoned me up a thousand times in the last few weeks. It doesn’t look like her act is in order either, she doesn’t know what’s going on inside her own department and the situation with her father…”

Albert, the little prick, qabeż fin-nofs eżatt x’ħin ridtu jaqbeż jien. “Yes you might be right about that Rich. But let’s not go there,” qal with an air of resignation. 1-0 Richard. Back of the fucking net. “Rich, I want Martine off this account as from now,” qal, tapping his fingers on the table. “I’m going to let you decide whether she should face disciplinary action or not. I’m fed up of Angela’s phonecalls and I imagine so are you…”

“Dażgur.”

“So, get Martine off the account immediately,” his tone going ballistic again.

“With all due respect (x’vizzju għandi ngħidha din!) Bert, it’s my decision whether she stays on the account or not. I’ll think about it, but it’s entirely within my remit…”

Hell freezes over. Kieku sab pistola kien jisparali żgur. Then reġa’ beda jgħajjat. “And I don’t want to see any more tenders going out with the wrong prices! X’jiġifieri Marianese joħroġ irħas minna? I found out about it yesterday at lunch” Bertie kien qed iwerżaq issa, and I’m not sure what the fuck he’s on about this time. “We lost half a million because of the prices you gave them,” he barked at Martine, punching the table. Midget tantrum.

“I didn’t work on t…” she started to plead.

It’s no use. Little Bertu got out of his chair and, grabbing his poofy little briefcase, is out of the door before you can say ‘fuck’.

KILL! KILL! FASTER! KILL! KILL! KILL!

Dort fuq Martine. “Well, I’ve nothing to add to this. You should thank me for still having a job,” I tell her, staring down the barrel of her eyes. Qomt, taptaptilha waħda on her shoulder u ħrabt ‘l isfel, pleased as punch in a pinball machine. Not only have I got one of our finest with her morale buried next to Jimmy Hoffa, I also managed to piss off El Primo. He’ll be so incensed li naħseb se jixraq fih il-lobster.

Not bad for a day’s work! Let’s pay little Jamesie a visit now. Ma nafx why shit stirring isn’t an Olympic sport.

(ikompli)