Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Worst Case Scenario

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Worst Case Scenario

Article excerpt

Byline: FREDA GARDINER

PA to the executive director for the Learning and Skills Council for Staffordshire, remembers when her former boss forgot more than his toothbrush

I now work as PA to the executive director for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for Staffordshire.

However, the incident I am going to tell you about relates to my previous role as PA to the chief executive at Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council (TEC), back in 1998. We worked well together and made a good team. As a manager, he was always quick to say "thank you" and very supportive of my career. That year, we spent considerable time arranging a visit with the Sri Lanka Trade Mission. There were many delegates from all over the country, and my manager led the Trade Mission for the UK. As Staffordshire is probably most famous for its ceramics, part of our preparations was to commission a set of presentational china plates inscribed for the event.

A couple of days before my manager was due to leave, I picked up the set of plates from the factory and took them back to the office. We checked them carefully and were very pleased with the finished result. I checked that they were properly packed, then my manager took them home with him to pack with the rest of his luggage.

I double checked all the details of his travel and accommodation and breathed a sigh of relief when he boarded the plane on the Friday before the Trade Mission was due to start. The past few weeks had been even busier than normal because of preparations for the event and I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Feeling suitably refreshed I breezed into the office on Monday morning. My ebullient mood soon changed, however, when I checked the fax machine. There was a fax from my manager. He had forgotten to take the plates with him. …

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