27.2.07

Day 103 (week 22): Hiring from below stairs

It’s been like an episode of Upstairs Downstairs today. The details as to BusyBody’s activities have now spread around Chambers. It seems the second junior clerk, let’s call him FanciesHimself whispered it as “top secret” to OldSmoothie. Foolish in the extreme. OldSmoothie then mass emailed about ten people in Chambers with a word for word account of what FanciesHimself had told him. Needless to say, this was then forwarded to the rest of Chambers and is probably still rattling its way around cyber space. To spare you the sordid details, suffice it to say that BusyBody fell for FanciesHimself’s not to subtle charms and for one beautiful evening they were a couple. Come the next morning, for once in his life, FanciesHimself was on the receiving end of the sort of rejection he had inflicted at least once a week to a different girl in his home town of Southend according to his own very colourful accounts. BusyBody apparently made it clear in no uncertain terms as to why things would be going no further. This has put FanciesHimself into unknown territory and it seems that he’s actually claiming to be quite hurt. According to OldSmoothie, this meant that he had to go on a weekend bender just to “get his mind straight”. The Head Clerk, his boss, apparently told him that he was going to pretend that it didn’t even happen as to do otherwise would be just too much to contemplate. The Head of Chambers is also officially turning a blind eye for similar reasons.

There was a flurry of emails around Chambers following OldSmoothie’s revelations. One sums up what many were saying: “If you hire from below stairs, you can only expect below stairs behaviour.” Reminded me of Alan Clark’s wife who once said “If you bed people of below stairs class, they will go to the papers.” Basically reference to BusyBody’s working class background. Whilst a scholarship to a South London day school had led her to cover up her South London drawl, it has noticeably returned in recent weeks as she has become increasingly stressed. Some people had already started mimicking her accent and this has now turned into a full-on gameshow complete with clerk story to boot. The reality is that even in the twenty-first century, ten years after Tony Blair’s “New Labour, New Britain” rubbish, there are dinosaurs still surviving in many barristers’ Chambers.

Worst of all today was that I noticed that TopFirst was getting stuck in on the insults. Until now he seems to have risen above such behaviour but when I overheard him sharing the story with another member of Chambers I was not only surprised but also relieved to discover that like everyone else, he has a weakness. Like a shark with the smell of a fellow pupil’s blood in the water, his instincts took over and for the first time he showed that even he can be reckless. More importantly, he gave away in that simple conversation just quite how much he wants a tenancy in Chambers.

All I have to do now is to work out how I can ultimately turn this against him.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. The good old English class system. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

To the whole thread: Yea right!