Just as I thought it was safe to creep back into the office, nursing my post-Christmas overdraft and wobbly mid-winter tummy, who should appear but Martin Tallow.
Surely some other organisation should have head-hunted this HR genius by now? A humble leisure and fitness company like ours isn’t a big enough arena for him. Plus, he has so many bright ideas, it’s hard to get any work done.
“Tracy,” he says. “Just the person I wanted to see! Come on, let’s hear them! Don’t be shy!”
I flump my handbag onto the desk. “Hear what?” I ask, thinking he might finally have cracked up – he’s always been on the intense side. Martin tosses his head back and laughs gaily. (Crikey, what can have happened to him over the festive season?) “As if you didn’t know! Your New Year resolutions, of course!”
They are: get back into size 14 jeans and stop sniping at hubby of an evening. Therefore, top secret. “I can’t possibly say,” I insist. “It’s personal. A work/life balance thing.”
Martin looks crest-fallen. I have a feeling that he has no life to balance with work, and this makes him feel insecure. “Oh,” he says. “Never mind. I’ll tell you mine. I’m going to be a Wellbeing buddy.” He smiles brilliantly.
“What does that involve?” I ask, knowing this will be bad news.
“New scheme,” says Martin. “The whole company is going to reach optimum fitness by Easter. Then, anyone who takes more than three days off in one go will have their sick pay cut. We’ll instantly know they are malingering. Genius, isn’t it?”
“Yup,” I say, hiding a packet of chocolate digestives in my drawer. “Whatever will you think of next?”
He smiles again. “Then you’re up for it! Fantastic. Our very first Wellbeing Buddee.”
He hands me a form to fill in. Another one. “I am honoured to be your guide to perfect health.”
Looks like the size 14 jeans will be seeing some more action, but hubby won’t be seeing my sunny side for some time.