Saturday, 13 April 2013

Justin Time Associates

Justin rang me the other day and asked if I would give him a mention. He's always keen to raise the profile of his management development business, though most of his work comes via word-of-mouth.

He was in Frankfurt at the same time as Caroline, and met her on the top floor of the Bullenmarkt Bar and Bistro near the financial district. The bar was arranged on class lines. The hoi polloi were allowed past the bouncers into the ground floor bar; the middle classes into the expensive bistro on the first floor; and the european elite - footballers, bankers, and businesspeople - into the invitation only functions on the top floor.

Sid had obtained an invitation for Caroline because he knew Von Wolfswinkle was in town, along with the rest of his ECB committee. They were deliberating the merits of Eurobonds. Justin was actually called in to try and prevent the committee members falling out publicly. There was a slight divergence of opinion between representatives from northern and southern Europe over the principle of sharing debt.

Justin's big thing is emotional intelligence. The theory is that some people, often those most successful in their respective spheres, lack empathy. Problems are caused when they misunderstand the messages given out by others. Justin said that trying to teach emotional intelligence to the ECB committee was like trying to teach chess to two year olds. He did some personality profiling on the members to get them to have some insight. He was so shocked by Von Wolfswinkle's score on the questionnaire that he had to fiddle the figures to avoid embarrassing him in front of Ireland and Italy.

The committee members were all on the top floor, relaxing with canapes and champagne after a hard day's eurobonding. Justin saw Caroline fiddling with her phone and introduced himself, claiming to have done some work for Monsaint when Melody was still the chief exec. Caroline said she was hoping to meet Von Wolfswinkle because his bank had helped with Monsaint's expansion programme in the nineties. Justin grabbed another glass of champagne and squeezed Caroline in between two blond interns who were hanging on VW's every word.

'Herbie, can I introduce my very dear friend, Caroline Fanshaw. I did some work on her team last year. Superstars, every one of them.' Caroline smiled at his brazen lie.They exchanged small talk, and VW insisted he must take her out to dinner one night if she was new to the city. Introductions made, VW headed off after the blond interns who had been gaining political insights from a tall grey-haired man.

'Wow, you were a great hit with Herbie,' said Justin. 'Did you see him stare at your boobs?' Caroline chided Justin for being so personal, but she was wearing a long blue dress, cut low at the front, allowing a glimpse of unnecessarily expensive underwear. The new clothes had been bought with the card provided by Sid for any expenses incurred whilst in Frankfurt.

'Just be careful,' said Justin. 'That man has serious issues. He's not a happy camper-van man.'

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Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.