7 Days of Office Hell: Day 2

My 2016 novel Raven and Skull is now available as an audiobook.  The Kindle and Paperback versions have also been slightly revised with updated covers and lightly polished content. And, in celebration of the book being made available as an audiobook, I’m organising an audiobook giveaway this week with more details below.

The reason why I wrote Raven and Skull is because I have worked in an office and I know that working in an office can be hell. I’ll even be honest enough to admit that there have been times I have been the source of that hellishness.

For example, there was the time I worked in an office with a dodgy reputation for paying bills on time. The owner of the business believed this was sensible practice: take as long as possible to pay a bill and the interest accrued on those unpaid monies went to him rather than to those who helped him. Admittedly this meant he gained pennies whilst the companies he worked with lost hundreds of pounds – but he thought it was acceptable business.

Which meant that, instead of doing our work in the office, we spent most of the time answering calls to irate suppliers who wondered where their money was. And it was a form of hell. It wasn’t my fault that the bills hadn’t been paid: the owner refused to sign cheques until he’d seen a court order. It wasn’t the fault of the credit control people chasing their payment: they were employed to demand outstanding monies.

But it meant I did one of the most horrific things I’ve ever done in my life. I answered the phone in a snarky mood. I found myself talking to an irate credit control lady who was demanding to know why her company hadn’t been paid and what I was going to do about it.

She said, “I’m not trying to cast assnertions against your company-“

I cut her off by saying, “No. You wouldn’t be trying to cast assnertions, because there are no such things as assnertions. I think the word you’re hunting for, and failing to correctly grasp, is aspersions.”

As soon as I’d said the words I realised I was a despicable human being. We’re all entitled to make mistakes with pronunciation. We’re all capable of getting words wrong. And here I was, snarkily mocking someone for making a simple mistake.

“Aspersions,” the woman repeated. She sounded small and I felt as though I’d just punched a puppy.

I promised her I’d look into the outstanding monies and get the oversight rectified as soon as possible. And I vowed, from that day forth, I’d never say anything embarrassing, hurtful or stupid ever again.

Come back here tomorrow and you can see how well that worked out for me.

The theme of this novel is that office work is a living hell. So, to be in with a chance of winning a free copy of the Raven and Skull audiobook, simply tell me: what’s your most embarrassing story from working in an office?

Email: me@ashleylister.co.uk and I’ll be selecting a random winner by Sunday 8th August 2021.

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