Friday, 9 May 2008

Leaving present

My Eco Self has a conversation with a colleague who tells her about how she asked for her leaving gift from a previous job to be donations to Oxfam. “I think it is ridiculous when people buy me extravagant things I don’t need.” Said colleague is married to an investment banker and lives in Hampstead. I consider asking for donations to a climate care charity, as a matter of principle after my suggestion that the company carbon offsets its flights with donations is rejected. Except that working part-time will not allow for many future extravagances, so perhaps I should graciously accept one last unnecessary item, easily auctioned on E-bay if not palatable. My Eco Self considers the likelihood that I will get a leaving present I like. It is low, I think, being of unequalled impeccable taste amidst other black-suited accountants, another reason why perhaps I should abstain from the present. I make some hints to a stylish human resources director, always dressed impeccably in Marc Jacobs with fine gold butterfly-shaped chains offsetting her perfect ivory skin. “I’ve just seen the new Cath Kidston catalogue - and everything in it is so beautiful.” “I especially like the clear umbrella on page nine,” I add. “When I leave I’ll miss your style.” “Aren’t you still working three days a week?” she replies. My Eco Self remembers that working part-time is not strictly an instant escape, despite the mental departure.

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