It was part of the Regional Manager`s duty to inspect the First Leisure managers` company cars on a regular basis – so the managers` coaxed, bribed and threatened their assistants into action, in the hope receiving the “Best on Car Park Award”.
On this occasion the managers decided that this should be a black tie event, and so begins the story of the lady from head office – and the very windy day.
Not only was it windy, it was also very cold, but this did not prevent the beautiful secretary Dorota from travelling Head Office with me to help with the inspection – and to present the “Best on Car Park Award”.
Unfortunately the evening dress she was wearing was adequate for the office, but something of a free spirit in the wilds of outer Leicestershire.
With the transport and managers all lined up – the inspection began – Dave Cahill from The Dome Birmingham, Tony Walker from The Pink Coconut and Molly Magoos Derby, Hillary Lockwood from Seventh Heaven Donaster and Matthew Clements from Shanghai Sams Peterborough each stood by their cars.
While Marie Burton from The Travellers at Griffydam (who did not have a company car) stood beside…….. a horse.
Amid a flurry of skirts and waving arms Dorota set about her duty, but because she could not find anything obviously wrong with the cars – decided that the horse should receive the award.
“Oh no,” said the Tony Walker. “You should first examine the car engines. Then decide.”
“Oh no,” said the other managers who had not had their engines steam cleaned for free by a customer. “Give it to the horse.”
But Dorota was having none of it.
“Bonnets up everyone,” she announced, fighting strong gusts of wind and a rising skirt.
Clearly Tony Walker was the winner, despite calls for his disqualification due to inside knowledge, and for Dorota to inspect the horse`s teeth.
Tony won the “Best on Car Park Award”, amid a chorus of the others – and the event was over.
But few will remember Tony`s victory.
Although everyone will remember the huge gust of wind that lifted Dorota`s dress up to her waist, and absolutely refused her frantic efforts to retrieve it.
I never had any volunteers to help with company car inspections from hereon.