The last one, he thinks. But at least we’re getting the numbers down. And the iron laws of arithmetic don’t apply.
A pair of red shoes enter.
The owner strides in, pulls out a leather armchair, scrapes it along the carpet.
She sits down and crosses her legs. Without any preamble, she begins.”I’m being bullied by my colleagues.”
Another day, another whinger. But the standard spiel has worked for decades. How can it fail now?
“You know we have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying in the Liberal Party.”
“I know that. If I don’t speak out no-one will.”
At least we’re not keeping a list. That’s for the number crunchers: proud men one and all.
“You can always take action.” His voice is a comfortable purr.
“I wish to make a complaint. I have names, several actually. I’ve diarised dates and times. I even have texts. This behaviour would not be tolerated in the private sector. You’d get your arse sued.”
This isn’t the private sector. Toughen up, princess.
“I’ll take down all the details.” Comfort, consult and stay complicit.
“What happens next?” Her voice is insistent.
“We’ll let you know in due course.”
Her legs uncross, cross again and the shoe taps the desk.
“You don’t really have a complaints process do you?”
“Bullying only happens in the state branches. Once you get to the Federal level it disappears.”
“That’s how you have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying in the Liberal Party. We’re done here.”
The red shoes skip and disappear into the distance.