I drew my shoulders back and checked my hair in the highly polished brass plaque on the door that said “B.J. Bogher – Regional Manager”. I took a deep breath and knocked assertively.

“Come in” thundered the voice through the solid oak door.

I took an even deeper breath and strode in, trying my best to radiate confidence.

“What do you want, P.G.?” Mr Bogher never called anyone by their name – always just initials – no one knew why.

“Mr Bogher Sir, I need a few days off in the first week of October.”

“What the hell for?” he wanted to know. I knew this question was coming and I was fully prepared for this.

“Well Sir, I have to go to my Aunt Mavis’ funeral.” I answered, adopting a suitably sombre tone.

Bogher slowly swivelled around to consult a large white year-planner on the wall behind him. He swivelled back and glared at me, “Didn’t you go to your Aunt Mavis’ funeral a month ago?”

I didn’t know this question was coming and I definitely wasn’t prepared for it. I had forgotten that I had used this excuse to get two days off for the drag racing last month. Now I had to think fast.

“Er … that’s right, Sir,” I said, trying to act as if it was the most normal thing on earth to attend the same funeral a second time.

He wasn’t buying it that easily. “Well, come on then. Why would you want to bury the old girl twice?” Fortunately my stalling tactic had bought me just enough time to regain my composure and get my story sorted.

“Well Sir, it would seem that there needed to be some further investigation into the cause of her death, so the Coroner had her dug up again.” I could see that I had piqued Bogher’s interest. “We are getting the body back in two weeks’ time and then we will have to bury her again.” Offering just that and no more, I stood looking at the desk in front of him.

“Well, come on man. Don’t just stand there. What did they suspect?” Now I knew I had him fascinated and it was now time to take this story into overdrive.

“It all happened the day after Aunt Mavis’ insurance policy paid out, Sir. It would appear that Uncle Robert went down to the courthouse and got married to that blond bimbo from the strip club – you know the one with the long legs and the big, er…”

“Yes, yes, get on with it – I don’t have all day!” Bogher boomed impatiently.

Well Sir, it appears that Uncle Robert and his new bride then went down to Harley Heaven and bought a brand new Wide Glide – he bought it cash, would you believe?” I was on a roll now. “He then went and had all his hair shaved off and he got himself a leather jacket with “Rob the Rattlesnake” embroidered on the back.”

The boss was starting to look impatient, so it was time to wrap it up. “The last anyone saw of them, they were heading out of town in the direction of the coast.”

Bogher slumped back in his chair and massaged his temples. He always did this to try and convey the impression that he was in deep thought – but all he managed to do was give the impression that you were giving him a migraine. After a moment’s pause he grumbled, “Yeah, OK. Now get back to work!”

I retreated gratefully out of the office, giving a little nod of deference as I backed through the doorway.

Back in the corridor, I stopped and cracked an ear-to-ear smile of satisfaction. I was grateful for the time off, but I was really delighted with myself that the old boy had bought my story. While I don’t like to lie to the Boss, I have found through experience that it is the best option. Imagine if I went in there and told him the real reason, “Mr Bogher Sir, I’d like to take a couple of days off to go to the SANNL Model Car Show.”

“Hells bells, P.G. Why don’t you grow up and stop playing with toy cars? Now get back to your desk, you bonehead!”

That’s why it’s better to fabricate a good story. Bosses have no compassion and no sense of fun, so if you want leave to do something enjoyable, they are sure to reject it. If old Bogher thought for a moment that I would enjoy Aunt Mavis’ funeral, I bet you he would have said no!

I was just relishing my small victory over the establishment when I was shocked back into reality by a hollering, “Hey P.G. Get back in here!” My heart sank. Surely he couldn’t have changed his mind. Surely he couldn’t have seen through my story.

I gingerly peered around the doorway. “Get in here!” As I stepped back in, Bogher motioned to oak shelves running along the right hand side wall. They were laden with books that I imagined included works such as “Victimising your Employees for Fun and Profit” and “Tyranny for Dummies”. Here and there, the rows of books were divided by the odd sculpture, carriage clock or cigar box.

He continued, “So when you’re at this funeral and you happen to find a nice model of my Jaguar for sale, you be sure to buy it for my bookshelf, you hear!”

Until next time…

Keep the stories interesting!

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