The good, the bad & the back-stabbing

Former French President François Hollande, recently describing Emmanuel Macron as a “spineless frog,” is scathing of his performance in office. Well, what a way to describe his one-time protégé who was supposed to help HIM secure a second term! Instead he regards Macron’s own rise to power as an outright act of betrayal.

Well, this made me think about other embarrassing ‘mistakes’ at work.

During my gap year, I was a trainee in a company and, on my first day, asked to make tea for visiting Japanese businessmen. In the kitchen I boiled up water as you do, but added it to the tea leaves left in the pot by someone else and innocently stirred up the contents. (Stop sniggering at the back there! OK, spoilt rotten by the parents!)

Anyway, I can’t imagine how yucky that stewed tea must have tasted. So, yes, pretty yucky. In fact, it couldn’t have got much more yucky than that (as Gregg Wallace might say). Strangely, all the Japanese businessmen declared how much they’d enjoyed their ‘English’ tea – such a change, they said, from their usual green variety.

And what about other holiday jobs? An acquaintance, working as a nanny in France, added some of her own dirty clothes to the family’s laundry. When the machine cycle finished, she was aghast to see her red shirt had turned her boss’s exquisite white lingerie shocking pink. In desperation, she tried to bleach it back to white, using neat bleach. The lingerie fell apart in her hands.

Working in retail is also rife with mistakes. One bloke’s holiday job was as a ‘floater’ in a large department store, assigned to random areas to assist customers. Once in the baby goods section, he asked a well-built lady: “When are you due?” Fortunately (for him) she smiled back: “Just looking for a gift.”

Recall your greatest blunder, then? Apart from unforeseen accidents, some mistakes at work involve poor risk management, incompetent management or simply poor hiring decisions.

So, over to you, François Hollande, what’s your LATEST monumental mistake, eh?

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.


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