Result Time


The big day arrives. I have a Wednesday appointment at 3:30 p.m. with Mr Harker to hear his post-operative opinion about the cancer. If the radiotherapy has worked, the cancer will be gone; if it has not worked, I would have to face the “Potentially horrific” consequences I had been warned about. Continue reading

Emergency Cord


By the time my bed is wheeled back to the room, I have been away for over three hours and Michelle is looking worried. It was supposed to be a minor operation, but the pain is far worse than the other operations. I settle down and ebb in and out of sleep with bandaging strapped under my nose. When I wake up properly, it is late afternoon and I’m feeling sick. The nurses try to get me to eat something but it is no good. My stats are regularly taken and the results are well below normal. Different coloured pills are brought in for me. A decision has to be taken and the nurse does not want to risk sending me home, so I’m in for the night. I talk with Michelle for a while and she has to get back for the kids, who have been with their grandparents all day. I am feeling too unwell for company anyway so it is best if Michelle goes back to reassure the kids I’m okay. Continue reading

Taking The Pain


In the anaesthetic area outside the operating theatre, I chat with the nurse and anaesthetist for a few minutes until he prepares the drugs and begins to load me up. This is a much gentler anaesthetic than before and I look up at the clock above the door to the operating theatre. It’s coming up to 11 a.m. as the drugs hit the back of my throat. I cough and drift away. Continue reading

Getting Used To Out Of The Ordinary


The time has come for another operation to my head. This is operation number five. The others have taken a lot out of me. For the first one, I was standing tall. Now I am on my knees. But I’m up for this. I have never shied away from anything. Continue reading

Attempting Normality


I hear a familiar voice through the haze. It’s Michelle and she has a hand on my shoulder and says it’s time to get ready to go to The Royal Marsden Hospital. My latest appointment is the monthly clinic I attend to check on my progress. Sluggish, I get up. In the bathroom, I stand in the shower and try to wash away the tiredness. It doesn’t work. I walk to the tube station and am on automatic all the way to the hospital. Continue reading

Starting Over

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After a month off work, I stepped into the central London offices of StockThorn. The lawyers there seemed to lack sociopathic tendencies so I hoped it would be a better place to work. I settled into this firm and got to know the lawyers in the department. The partner I worked for was a straight-talking man called Bartley. He was always smartly dressed in his pin stripe suite, complete with braces, curly hair and a warm, friendly manner. He was ready to chat and regularly stopped by my room to “Shoot the breeze,” as he would say. My boss was a technically sound lawyer and we often sat down to work on transactions together without any of this ‘Pulling rank even though I don’t have a fucking clue’ routine. It was a breath of fresh air and I was happy. Continue reading

The Voice Of Reason

Post126 CopyDuring the continued late nights in the deserted office and the early morning taxis home through the near empty, shadowy streets of London, I formed a plan. I ran it by my wife, Michelle, for a sense check. Late at night, when only Swithers and I were in the office, I would go into his room and punch his face in. Simple, but effective. In my sleep-deprived state, I was pretty happy with that. Michelle told me it was a stupid idea, so I thought about it some more. She was right, I would lose my job. After a few more late nights, I told her about my new, improved plan. I would wait for Swithers outside the office one night, put on a balaclava and then cosh the fucker’s knees in. Taaa-Daaarrrrrr!! Now that was much more sophisticated and I had a decent chance of not getting caught. Michelle said I should get another job and resign. Continue reading



I was told to prepare a talk for some clients and set to work on the presentation slides. Swithers reviewed my work and, without any acknowledgement, used it verbatim to give his presentation. I was allowed to sit at the back of the room but ordered not to speak. Swithers added his condescending slant to the talk. It was entertaining as I watched the reaction of clients who shot each other silent grimaces and grins. If Swithers had anything about him, which he did not, he would have been embarrassed. Continue reading

Too Much Pressure


Swithers handed me a transactional contract to draft from a term sheet on a Monday morning and ordered it to be completed and on his desk by midday Thursday at the latest. I placed it on his desk at 11.59 a.m. on the Thursday and heard no more for nearly a week until he called me into his room to talk down at me. Continue reading

Collateral Damage


My cards were well and truly marked at Jemunt. I was given a few matters, did the work quick and it languished on the partners’ desks while I had nothing to do. For a whole week, I billed zero hours instead of the expected target hours. I knew this would wind them up, but I was not going to lie and bill clients for work I had not done. After dirty looks from the partners, I was given more work. Whenever I gave my completed work to a partner for checking before it was sent to a client, I was met with hostility. Continue reading