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Open Features: A D-I-Y Marriage - Part 1

Brian Lockett introduces a most orderly busineesman, Cyril Snaps. But there is one thing holding back Cyril's career advancement.

Brian's well-told tale will appear in daily episodes over the next two weeks. You are in for an entertaining ride, and a stunningly unexpected conclusion.

Cyril Snaps smirked at his reflection in the washroom mirror.

Distinguished, he thought. Confident, reliable, professional. These were the sorts of adjective that came into his head as he turned it from side to side. At fifty-three there were reassuring signs of the image he felt he had successfully projected for many years. The mousy hair was thinning now and required careful grooming, but the moustache was neat, full and symmetrical. He smiled, keeping his lips closed. There was nothing wrong with his teeth from a functional point of view, but gum shrinkage had made his dentures more obvious than he would have liked. The skin was smooth rather than glowing and the mild blue eyes didn’t have the piercing quality he had tried to cultivate in his youth.

He took off his glasses, then put them back on. Their lack of rims gave him an academic, intellectual look, he thought.

He straightened his back and resolved to keep it that way until after the interview.

“Just a formality, really,” Stenson, the chairman, had said. “You know all the directors, so you’ll feel amongst friends. How long have you been with us now, remind me again.”

“Seventeen years, mostly as chief accountant,” said Cyril, “I must say - I’ll be honest with you, Arthur - I thought I would have been invited to join the board before now. I think I can say without being accused of blowing my own trumpet that I have always given value for money.”

“There has never been any doubt about that. It’s just that, well, they’re a pretty conservative lot and … ”

“I don’t have the right background, do I? I’m not Eton or Harrow or Oxbridge. I have no titled relatives.”

“Things have changed,” Stenson interrupted. “Quality, professionalism - they’re the things that count now.”

Yes, thought Cyril, as he straightened his jacket and made for the door. And ideas. That’s what he had. Ideas for turning the company round The directors had the connections, true, but connections counted for nothing in the present economic climate. But ideas, on the other hand …. ideas that worked ….

He walked quickly along the corridor into the ante-room and smiled at Glenys as she rose from her desk to greet him

“Punctual as always, Cyril,” she laughed. “Go straight in. They’re waiting for you.”

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