Sounds odd, I know, but bear with me. Officially my year-long leave of absence starts on the 22nd of the month – this is due to the four week period cycle thing INoGITCH runs on, because it’s the European arm of a massive American corporation. That means that right now, even though I’m sitting on my bum, looking out at the garden and trying to stop the cat from filling everything I type with ‘adsfjoiaw;ioj;;;;;;;;’, I’m still on the company clock. Albeit on the at home bit of my part time regime (twelve business days in the office, eight days at home). And once the 22nd comes round, I still won’t have left – the leave of absence means that INoGITCH generously pick up my life and health insurance while I’m away. How cool is that? But yesterday was still technically my last day (while at the same time not being). Which means it doesn’t feel like any other time I’ve left a company. Because I haven’t really…
I had been told that there wasn’t going to be any sort of going away thing organised (normally at INoGITCH, when someone leaves there’s a whip round, a novelty card to sign and a presentation where anyone who likes said leaver – or just wants to get out of working for ten / fifteen minutes, goes and listens to a bit of speechifying and the like) as Kevin (my boss) didn’t think I’d like that kind of thing. Ah, well, fair enough. Devious little shite that he is.
Turned out there had been a whip round, but Kevin doesn’t tell me this until we’re on our way to Tescos after lunch (Where the Eamon – technical guru and Goon Show freak – bought me steak. Which is impressive enough, but even more remarkable when you think that he’s also reserved three copies of the book from Amazon. What a star!) and he announces that we’ve got £70.00 to spend on wine as a leaving present. Hurrah! Given that ASDA’s doing a 25% off all Australian wines thing (and an extra 10% off if you buy more than 6) we managed to stretch it to eighteen bottles! Most of which is sparkling. Mmmm… fizzy wine… (Brief aside: when I was down at the HC-sponsored pre-dinner drinks at the BA Conference, most of the publishing types were on the red, or white wine. ALL the writers were on the champagne. Every man jack, Rankin and McDermid of them. Maybe it’s got something to do with being sat on one’s tod all day in front of a word processor that conjures up this insatiable thirst for fizzy wine?) Then Kevin did the speech thing and a select crowd gathered to wish me well. I’d been there for nearly five years, so it was nice to see a lot of the people I actually worked with, and liked, there. And of course my novelty card was covered with references to fish, cheese and monkeys.
Which was nice ;}#
Hopefully the invites for the launch party are going to arrive soon (Fiona of the Great Publicity is off ill at the moment – possibly an extended hangover from her late night drinking session with Mz McDermid – so I’m not sure if they’ll have been posted) and I’ll pop back into the office to hand some out. Or pass them on to someone like Alex (who’s fault it is that I ended up in INoGITCH in the first place – thank God, as the dotcom company I was working for was already in receivership), who’s keen to feature in book three as a mono-browed purveyor of ultimate filth, and will be acting as a ‘consultant’ for the less wholesome aspects of the novel (i.e. filth).
Anyway, I know some of the guys and galls at work pop in on the blog from time to time, so if they’re reading this I’d like to say thanks again.
It’s actually been fun.