"Don't f*#^k it up!" That was it; his parting words of wisdom. The he left the building for a few days of power points and free drinks. And so it's left to me to take care of things while the proprietor is drowning in a sea of false niceties and wafer thin 'friendships'.
That's not hard, of course, it's been done many times before; conferences, events, functions, Friday golf - I've always got it under control. That's what I do - I've never failed. But even then, they still keep me locked up.
There's a running joke on The Country that host Jamie Mackay never lets me out of the studio. It's true to a degree, but that's my job, that's what I'm there for - to take care of the behind-the-scenes stuff, the detritus that flies under the radar.
To tell you the truth, I'm more than happy with the arrangement. I have, on occasion, almost felt a minor twinge of pity for The Host, who would like nothing more than to bore himself to sleep on a Saturday night watching Coronation Street in his slippers with a cup of tea (replete with a sigh of milk) after 18 holes of mediocre weekend hackery. But the poor chap is often the victim of yet another invite to some event or function in the middle of nowhere where he has to laugh at jokes that aren't funny and talk to people he doesn't like.
I'm too blunt for that kind of rubbish. That joke's not funny... that conversation's boring... you're in danger of receiving an uppercut for simply being in my vicinity... that's the way I am with limited experience in that social sphere.
See why they don't let me out?
One of my weekly contributors on The Country Early Edition was in town last week and received an invite to our corporate box at Forsyth Barr Stadium to watch a Highlanders game. Now, of course, I've never seen the inside of the box - actually, that's a wee white lie; I weaselled my way into a test match one time but drank so much I don't really remember it. "Never again" was the directive from management.
Anyway, said correspondent inquired as to my whereabouts and was told by some sales monkey, "the gimp's still in his chains". Charming. Actually, a rare bout of humour from someone of that ilk. Another client asked me come to his site at Fieldays this year at Mystery Creek - we both laughed heartily at that one!
So my lot is to remain in chains in the studio six days a week - I get the Sabbath off. The advantage of being here so often and at weird times of the day is I get to observe the internal machinations of the workforce which is, at times, intriguing.
For example, the other day I wandered into the men's bathroom and found a cooking pot from the kitchen in the hand basin. I raised the issue at an interminably boring staff meeting but haven't been able to flush out the culprit yet. The men's commode is actually a source of endless fascination; it's the scene of an infamous incident many years ago where one staff member had a few too many sherberts and ended up decorating the entire facility with his own waste.
A recent visitor to the office took back news to his Auckland colleagues that said bathroom has a sign above the toilet that says "Please Flush After Use". The Radio Sport Breakfast hosts continue to ask me whether that's actually true or not, such is their wonderment at people having to be issued such a reminder. It's true.
Plus I've also stumbled across a layout of plans to knock out a wall in the office I share with online Editor Hanoi Jane, thereby making it part of a big 'open-plan' operation. Such nonsense has been scientifically proven to be a massive time-waster and the primary reason for a decrease in productivity. Such a thought is abhorrent.
Remember, I'm the loner, the one they don't let out. When the time comes I will attach myself to that wall in protest; the Gimp in Chains will have his day!