The Best Laid Plans

“Excuse me,” I said to the latest man with ladders to arrive in the new office, “do you know what this vent is for…can it be turned off?”

It was the small square vent directly above my prized new desk space. I had been told that it was no longer in use when I was hatching my Machiavellian HOH seating plan, but it seemed to have come to life.

“It’s an extraction fan for next door,” said the man, “it’s got to be permanently switched on. Building regulations.”

“…It’s just that it’s making a really annoying rumbling noise”, I said feebly.

“Aye, kind of goes right through you, doesn’t it? It’s really loud from where I am”, came the reply.

The man was 12 feet away from my desk, on top of his ladders. Worryingly, he was enthusiastically exposing an additional hole in the ceiling.

I gulped as I realised that my colleagues, who had been denied the nice window seats because of my desire to flee from amplified traffic noise coming through open windows, were now going to have their brains drilled by a rumbling air vent as the consolation prize.

As I looked at the latest shower of plaster dust on the carpet, the man descended his ladders and tucked them under his arm.

“We’ll soon have this air conditioning working again!” he said cheerily.

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