Holly’s Inbox: Scandal in the City
No, it's definitely not right.
Holly Denham, Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
You're not lost again, are you?
Jason Granger, Reception Manager, LHS Hotels, London, W1V 6TT
No, although I'm not saying it won't happen again. I can't get used to this building - it's huge and 40 floors exactly the same is just silly.
Has the office merger finished yet?
No, we've still got more DK staff coming, grrrrr.
Change is good, Holly, we accept change. Deep breaths, remember - mice and cheese.
Stop saying mice and cheese, it's not helpful, got to go.
Wait, tell me what's so suspicious???
Thank you for attending today's meeting, we will keep you updated with any developments.
Head of Facilities, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
They're keeping me updated with any developments.
So what's so suspicious?
They are, management, HR, the Head of Facilities, the whole lot.
So it's a conspiracy?
Involving everyone in the bank?
The Bank's Front of House Services operate best with the team laid out as below.
Holly and Trisha on the main hall ground floor desk, meeting all staff, clients and anyone entering the building, with the security staff obviously by the main door. Once you've checked any clients arriving at DK Huerst for meetings, keep them sitting in the waiting room area opposite you until Claire is ready to greet them upstairs. I don't want Claire's smaller reception area there becoming so full that clients aren't able to sit down.
30th Floor Hospitality Suite: Claire
Ground Floor Main Entrance: Trisha & Holly
We will be employing another receptionist shortly to sit with Claire on the hospitality floor, and of course Marie Lopez will be coming over from the old DK building to merge with us in the coming weeks. She will operate as a lone switchboard operator in the basement.
Wouldn't be in her shoes.
Patricia Gillot, Senior Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
Marie Lopez, sitting down there in the basement all on her tod, with no sunlight.
I think she's in the basement at the moment anyway.
She won't complain then. They should go in, smack her over the head, drag her out and wake her up downstairs pretending nothing's happened. Hey, why is that man staring at you?
That man in the corner. Keeps looking at you over his paper?
No idea. I don't like his eyes though.
Very shifty, and alarmingly bushy.
Would you go to bed with a man like that?
If he shaved them and didn't stare at me like that.
What about if he stared at you like this....
HOW DID YOU DO THAT?
Don't know, look I can make em disappear an all.
TRISHA, that's revolting.
It's a conspiracy because they gave you a verbal warning??
No, it's a conspiracy because they didn't give me a verbal warning.
It's a double bluff?? Is that what you think?
I've just heard they've brought the CEO into it all now. Should be meeting him this week so I think this is just the calm before the storm, could be about to be sacked.
There's definitely something fishy going on.
A fishy storm you think!?
Are you taking the pee, Jason?
No. What happened at your works do on Friday?
I met the catering manager, the one Toby knows, the one I thought I'd hate.
But you ended up liking her.
You think you're so smart (but yes, she's nice).
Really enjoyed meeting you on Friday.
Hope I didn't embarrass myself too much - I remember cornering you for quite some time and declaring my undying love for your apple strudels.
I've been going back through your old school books and remembered how good you always were at Art. They're running all kinds of exciting evening courses these days, some very near you in Maida Vale, what do you think?
These art courses. Your father is making some extra cash out here selling paintings to the locals. Every penny helps.
I know it does, Mum, but Dad's very good.
Well, you just need a bit of positive thinking.
I don't want to paint, Mum
What about if you become pregnant? What with your chap not doing so well these days with his credit house thing, you need to start saving.
He's in banking, Mum just like James was.
I know he is and we're told these bankers are so smart but they gave mortgages to people in caravans and these people had no jobs, no careers or any kind of way of paying the money back, then everyone's so surprised when it went wrong. I could have told them.
Mum, I'm really busy here, can I go now?
Of course, can I just ask one thing?
Are you pregnant?
Are you engaged yet?
OK, well there's no pressure. You take your time, darling, I'll send Dad your love. And have a think about another career path. You can't be a receptionist all your life, can you?
We have discovered some discrepancies with the scheduler. Items like champagne and wine which were booked in by one of the reception team onto the system, weren't actually ordered by anyone. When you have a moment will you give me a call and let me know how you think this could have happened?
They think I've been fiddling the company.
Are you sure?
Think so, this will be interesting.
By the way, I’m leaving Marco – well I’m not leaving him, I could never do that to him, but I’m going to get him to leave me! Problem solved!
He never will, he’s in love with you. Sorry Jason, but you’ve just got to be strong and tell him honestly…
Hmmm rubbish, I just need a plan -
I need the boardroom. I emailed through to the Bookings email, but they said no. Can you sort this for me please? I'm meeting the Dutch Prime Minister this afternoon.
William Duncan, VP Corporate Finance, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
Are you really?
No, not really, but I do want the boardroom.
Sorry, Will, but that room is already taken for that slot. Would you like us to find you a similar-sized room?
Are you going to help me work out what's going on here or not?
I will if you give me more information, I'm trying to read between the lines, but there aren't enough of them.
Had another call from HR, they just kept asking me loads of strange questions.
Maybe they're recruiting for MI5??
Found a mouse today.
Did you, Frank? I'm sorry to hear that.
He was sitting on top of my bin watching me so I hit him with a saucepan, flattened him.
Thank you for letting me know, Frank.
About to put the lot for the board room in the lift now.
No, no, it's occupied. Hold on to them, Holly, while I find us another room.
Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
How is it occupied?
I don't know, but it is and when I asked to speak to the host, someone came to the door and told me they were holding a séance for the late president George Washington.
Did he now?
He said if I had any respect for the dead at all to leave them in peace. I didn't even know he'd died.
Thank you for your kind email, you were very funny on Friday, very entertaining.
Did you manage to get home alright?
Catering Manager, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
To Tanya Mason
Yes thanks, Tanya, I did get home OK. Hope I didn't embarrass myself too much!
No you didn't at all, you were very complimentary on my cooking, although I did try and point out that I was the Catering Manager and not a Chef, but you weren't having it.
But a good time had by all.
Sorry about that.
We should just make a drunken assault on the West End next time - let me know when you're free and I'll be there.
Regarding yesterday's total mess when I specifically booked the boardroom.
Can you ensure you book the room I reserve; I thought that was what you did down there???????
I want the correct room next time. I'm sure it's not difficult to follow simple instructions or have I missed something here??
Natasha Springer, Head of Commodities Trading, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
I did book the boardroom for you yesterday. However, another important meeting over-ran.
I'm really sorry to have to put you in this situation, Natasha. I will ensure you never go through this again.
You got me in trouble just now by using the wrong room when I told you it was booked. Please try and make our lives easier on reception by sticking to the rules.
Sorry about that – I’ll remember in future. Promise.
So remind me again why you won't have dinner with me?
You're an incredible womaniser and I am married.
Neither statements are true. I am single, totally honest and completely in love with you, and you have a boyfriend, who's never around, always in France and one day will probably stay there.
Do you know anything about women at all??
For attendance on Friday, 7th March at 11am, Meeting Room 23.
DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
This is beginning to be a nightmare, I've another meeting tomorrow? What's that about now????
Don't know, maybe this is when they sack you?
Anyone know what time we left the club?
Aisha was a good girl, she cares about her job at HLS. She went home before either of you and got here early this morning. Tell her, Jason, how early I was for work today.
Receptionist, LHS Hotels, London W1V 6TT
Aisha, firstly you're working for LHS not HLS. Secondly, from you erratic behaviour, I think you probably have not been to bed yet.
Shame on you!
Little me races to get here early, all spick and span, to have you pick on me. Well, I never!
See what I have to put with, Holly?
Having discovered that Dutch musical taste doesn't stretch to thrash-metal played by strippers on cellos, I have spent the remainder of our tour budget on plane tickets for Tatiana, Tina and Therese to bring Sextalica to the Norwegians. Also found a monkey who pretends to play bass. Adds to the spectacle.
Let's hope the Scandis have more class.
If you're going to write something from Charlie's email address, couldn't you write something a little less ridiculous?
I'm just writing exactly what he wants me to write, I really am. I couldn't make this up.
So I'll deal with this lot, you've got to call her back. It's about your granny and your mum didn't sound very happy, so good luck.
Would have been fun. Better than going for this meeting with HR, I'm really nervous.
Stand your ground and if they start laying into you for anything just take notes or something.
I suppose if things go wrong I could always get a job somewhere where they actually let you talk to the person sitting next to you????
Not sure I'd want you with your bad breath in my earhole all day.
I do not have bad breath!!!
Stop trying to make me feel more nervous. By the way, have you seen what our star guest has been up to now?
You mean grumpy jaws by the last couch?
She's moved every magazine and newspaper to another part of the reception in less than ten minutes.
Right, I'm off.
Hold on, let me have a fag first. I'll straighten up them mags on the way back, and growl at her when I pass.
OK, but quick and it won't count unless she turns her head, then I better leave because I can't be late.
I'm sorry I got so angry with you. I understand you didn't realise, but I think sometimes you encourage her.
That's unfair, you really can't blame me for this. Is she OK? Where is she?
She's asleep upstairs.
The home won't take her back as they say she's too difficult to manage, that’s the fourth time she’s run away so we've organised an ensuite room upstairs. It'll be like her own little flat.
Good. She'll be much happier with you. I thought you'd put her address on a card in her pocket or something?
I put addresses everywhere, on her walking stick, her sunglasses. She's taken them all off. I even stitched an address into your granny's handkerchief but she threw it away. She told me ‘I’m not Paddington Bear!’
Where did they find her?
Sitting in a bar, surrounded by men of course, smiling away.
Will you give her a hug from me when she wakes?
I’ve set her up with my old computer, she’ll be online soon, so expect some emails.
Just had my meeting with all the bosses. Call me Jason. Quickly.
It’s Jason, Jason, Jason (I got your repeated bubbling message). Tell me then??
I went to the HR meeting...
You were given a warning?
Don't tell me you were sacked on the spot?
You were dressed up like a French nun and made to parade around their office with a bucket on your head?
While Richard played “Knees up Mother Brown”
On a ukulele, dressed as Officer Dibble...
From Top Cat?
OK, you can stop guessing... They're discussing a supervisory position for me....
NO? Doing what?
As DK Huerst Front of House Manager of the whole bank....
You have got to be joking! Why you?
Because they are looking for someone “organised, client focussed, professional and, above all, mature”. While they were telling me I was stifling a fit of giggles while trying not to pee myself.
Always the lady. Do they really mean this?
Yes they do and you shouldn't be so surprised!
(Having said that, imagine, me in charge of a team????)
Also, they're employing another receptionist next week I think.
So you would be in charge of Trisha?
Yes, and I know ; that's not so good.
She's been there for twenty years, you've been there for just a year??
I realise this, Jason.
And she's your friend, you sit next to her every day. Poor Trisha
Stop it, don't make me feel bad. It hasn't happened yet anyway.
She will kill you.
No, she won't
She will drag you out in front of the whole bank and drown you in the fountain.
She won't, because I lied to her. I told her I'd been given a verbal warning.
You will have to tell her the truth at some stage.
But will I?
Yes, Holly, you will. Unless you think you could somehow manage Trisha without her actually knowing you're in charge of her?
Is that possible?
No, Holly, it isn't.
You have to tell her the truth.
Also, I’ve been thinking about how I can split up with Marco, without hurting him.
That’s definitely not possible.
It is with:
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Can’t think of hurting them – so want THEM to break up with YOU?
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Be smelly, the smellier the better. Make sure when he walks in that room that he wishes he had died – cheat if you have to, cat food is particularly repellent; keep an open sachet in your pocket
Be physically repulsive, from rotting teeth to a new horrifying taste in clothes. Put fake sweat patches under the arms, let your hair grow long and out of shape, don’t shave anywhere
Develop a taste for the unusual. Leave whips, chains and strange looking sexual contraptions everywhere. Begin wearing a dog lead at home and sometimes bark during sex
Take up the violin
Giggle nervously when he’s around, stutter shake and dribble. Be waiting for him by the door, grinning. Keep tabs on him, ask where he is all the time, even when he’s with you. Explain it’s just because you love him so much
Be horrible to live with, wait until he’s in the bathroom before you run in there and use the toilet. Eat everything that doesn’t agree with your digestive system, burp, fart, leave your pants on the floor
Use the last of the household products without replacing them
Develop a hacking cough and put a spittoon by your bed
Take up the clarinet
Play with matches a lot
Buy an air horn and press it regularly, buy bangers and explode them in the garden every Sunday afternoon
Find religion; begin quoting from the Bible during arguments. When you win an argument, pummel the air and scream 10 points for the Grrrrangers (or your surname)
Whenever he talks, slap your knees to an imaginary drum beat, wear your trousers up high to reveal odd socks, wear your pants on top of your trousers
Always wear odd socks
Exercise. Buy an exercise bike, work out at home, in spandex, in front of him, while he’s on the phone, watch him closely
Admire everyone else, tell him you wished you could only be as sexy as they are. Tell him every day you’re so lucky to be with him. Get caught sniffing his underwear
Say ‘lovin it’ and ‘defo’ in every sentence.
Creep up on him and explode balloons behind his head regularly, then lie on the floor belly laughing afterwards
Accumulate a list of the oldest jokes ever, begin telling them when you’re at dinner parties. Repeat one in particular all the time
Leave black muck stains around the bath rim. Get caught sniffing his shoes
Walk dirt through the house
Puke in bed at night and pee yourself in the morning
Pick your teeth with your toe-nail clippings
Freshen your socks by stretching them over the cold drinks cans in the fridge
Paint his portrait once a week, badly, and insist on hanging it in the gallery you’ve created in the hall, just of him
Get caught putting pins in a doll, keep petrol in canisters under the bed. When someone comes on the TV you like, pinch your nipples and growl
Rearrange everything in the cupboards in alphabetical order, and put labels on everything in the fridge which you’ve bought with MINE written on them
Spend the evenings polishing the doorknobs and scream in pain when he uses them without gloves. Sit around the house in rubber shorts.
And the Lord said “secrets are the undoing of the soul’
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