After the job interview and after posting earlier today, I called HarryPotter to tell him the good news. I asked him to meet me at the café to celebrate, but he suggested that a Pub celebration was a better idea.
As I walked over to meet him at the specified location, I got a phone call. It was Boobs, who needed me to come into the office immediately. I asked what this was about but she refused to say.
Just at this point I saw HarryPotter rounding the corner, so I grabbed him and asked what was going on. He said Boobs was in a bit of a frenzy this morning, but she’d said nothing to him. We raced back to the office. I was so nervous everything had gone tits up.
Back at MNM we found Boobs, MrHeadOffice (the same guy that sacked me), Goatee and GoateeBrother. I was gobsmacked, and HarryPotter went mental. He lunged at Goatee saying, ‘How dare you show your face…’
I thought he was going to hit Goatee square in the jaw, but Boobs jumped in and pulled him back. (For such skinny thing in stilettos, she’s quite strong and stealthy.) She pushed HarryPotter away and said, ‘This has nothing to do with you.’ Then she motioned for the rest of us to go into the conference room.
I was following everyone in when Goatee pulled me back and whispered in my ear, ‘Don’t say a word. Let [GoateeBrother] do all the talking.’ Then he ushered me into the conference room where they shut the door.
Something big was brewing. After MrHeadOffice was settled, he said, ‘I would like to apologise on behalf of [MNM] and [Head Office] for any inconvenience we have caused in the last few days.’
There was a throat clearing by GoateeBrother.
MrHeadOffice added, ‘Or any undo stress. By way of an apology, we would like to offer you back pay for your time at [MNM] as well as an extra settlement for unfair dismissal.’
I looked at Goatee; I looked at Boobs; I looked at GoateeBrother. I wanted to respond, but I didn’t want to cock this up.
MrHeadOffice continued, ‘I’ve gone over this with your legal representative. However, we’ll have to ask that you sign an agreement stating that you will not make any claims for further remuneration or awards.’
I asked if I could speak privately with my legal council – who I could only assume was GoateeBrother. MrHeadOffice said ‘Yes’ and everyone filed out the room leaving GoateeBrother and I alone.
As soon as the door was shut, I asked, ‘What the fuck is going on?’
I’ll break down what GoateeBrother told me:
*GoateeBrother is a corporate lawyer. (Who knew? Not me.)
*On Friday Goatee rang his brother, who provided Goatee with advice on what type of documents to look for and how to go forward.
*After we found everything Friday night/Saturday morning, Goatee and his brother went down to London, where they presented the evidence to Home Office AND to the Met.
*Goatee has a friend who’s pretty high up at the Met.
*The Met started to investigate, and found NFEditor and her brother trying to board a flight to Spain.
*Goatee couldn’t answer my calls because he didn’t want to jeopardise the situation.
*Boobs actually suspected NFEditor, and had been leading the MNM investigation towards that direction.
*Boobs truly fired for my own safety. Just so I wouldn’t accidently incriminate myself any further.
*All this time, wheels have been in motion.
I felt like Bridget Jones in The Edge of Reason where Mr. Darcy saves Bridget from Thai prison. (Except that’s fiction, and I’m not facing a life sentence in a backwater hell hole.)
Oh, fuck. I forgot to mention the biggest part. MNM (or actually Home Office) will award me £20K. Can you believe it! Yeah, I know, how could I forget that? But it just doesn’t quite seem real. I don’t quite think that part has sunk in yet.
£10K back pay, which will have tax and all that taken out, and an extra £10K as a settlement for unfair dismissal.
GoateeBrother said that if we take it to court I could probably get a lot more, but that was up to me. Going to court could take quite a while, and MNM/Home Office could go under before a settlement is made, meaning that I wouldn’t get anything. He recommended that I take it.
Of course, I’d take it.
But before I let everyone else back into the conference room, I asked about Inter2. He also slogged for six months without being paid. Shouldn’t he get back wages as well? GoateeBrother said that MNM would be awarding Intern2 separately.
I said I was okay with all this, and asked that everyone come back into the conference room. I happily signed the paperwork, and that was that. I’d just ‘settled out of court’, and as of this morning I didn’t even know that I was anywhere near court.
MrHeadOffice asked where I wanted my cheque sent. I didn’t know. Money issues had suddenly been resolved. My job didn’t start for several months. Did I still want to go to London, or would I stay here? I had to go down to London to meet everyone at the agency, but I could just come back up to Glasgow after. I thought for a moment and told them to send it to my mother’s house. Even if I was in Glasgow, she could deposit the money for me. I really did have a lot to decide.
While I was in the conference room, the Police had arrived. They were going through the office – I assume they were looking for further evidence. Intern2 had also arrived, and he went into the conference room as I left. A police officer asked if I would please not leave the building, because I needed to be interviewed.
HarryPotter and I sat back at my old desk. I told him everything. I was shaking with excitement. I had money, a great job, and I wasn’t a great big sucker. Goatee wasn’t the world’s biggest piece of scum. He was actually my knight in shining baldness. This was the best day of my life.
HarryPotter wasn’t so enthused. He physically looked dejected. I asked him to be happy for me. I said that this was good. He shrugged and ran his fingers through his hair, then said, ‘Of course this is good. I didn’t say it wasn’t.’
Eventually, Intern2 came out of the conference room and the Police turned it into an interview room. I spent the rest of the afternoon giving statements and answering questions. They questioned me for two hours. Exactly what I did for MNM. Anything I noticed about things being off. All the questions were so detailed, and so much of the last six months have run together, that I found their questions difficult to answer. I so wish I could have just said, ‘Go look on my blog. I’m sure I wrote it all down there,’ but that wouldn’t be a very good idea.
Although, despite the questioning, the Police were nice. They didn’t grill me, and they offered me lunch, coffee and water during the investigation.
I was so tired when I was finished, but Intern2, who also spent the afternoon being questioned (we all were), suggested we go out to celebrate. HarryPotter was still in a strop and Goatee said he had matters to clear-up, so Intern2 and I went to the pub on our own.
We talked and drank and planned what to do with our money. Or, more accurately, I listened to Intern2 decide what to do with his money. Between his PhD and working for free for the last six months, Intern2 is deep in debt. This money will help him clear that — a little. I, on the other hand, have no idea what I’m going to do.
I can afford to stay in Glasgow, but with whom? HarryPotter? But he’s acting like a right child, and will his behaviour continue? Goatee has saved my bacon, and he’s looking immensely attractive at the moment I might enjoy cozying up with him, especially if I don’t have to rely on him financially. I could be Goatee’s partner, but still be independent. Or, I could just stay in Glasgow on my own. I don’t need anyone. Although, I really don’t want to leave HarryPotter’s little Ibrox flat. I love it there. Or, well, I love being near someone who lives in that little Ibrox flat.
I was exhausted and even though Intern2 wanted to go on partying until dawn, I called it a night.
Got home to find HarryPotter sitting on the sofa with Roger shooting zombie Nazis. I flopped down on the bean bag. Roger asked immediately, ‘So, what are you going to do with that kind of cash?’
I said I ‘didn’t know’, and he said I should travel. Honestly, I’m too tired to think about any of this. It’s been a long crazy day.