"have you seen Emily, Marian?"
"No, Melinda, I haven't. What's the problem?"
Don't move, Shark. They don't know you're in here.
"I need her Assessment Regulating Staff Excellence form. Where is she?"
Damn, I forgot about that stupid form. Well, I'm not coming out of this cupboard until Melinda has slithered away. What if they want some books, though? Maybe I should lock the door? No, they'd hear me. Just keep still.
"I haven't done this form either. What's it called again?"
"Marian, the notice has been up for months: Assessment Regulating Staff Excellence Grading Individual Teachers. Ring any bells?"
"Oh, yes, Arsegit. I remember now. But I thought the head said that was optional. Didn't she say it was up to each department whether or not to do it?"
"No, that is not what she said. Also, we agreed at the staff meeting to abbreviate it to Askit."
They're coming closer. No need to panic, they can't see me behind these big fat books. I've got Dickens between me and the door, I should be safe behind Bleak House.
"It's so hard to be in a position of authority over your peers. Not everyone has high standards and they resent it when you point that out."
Oh shut up, Melinda. Filling in forms will not make you a better teacher. I haven't done it, and I don't see why I should. I'm going to tell her so. Wait, oh please, no, I'm going to sneeze.
"Aaa ... Choooo!"
"Well, speak of the devil. Who would have thought you'd be cowering in here, Emily?"
"I've left your Arsegit form. I've done it but I've left it at home."
"Oh. Well first thing on Monday will just have to do then."
"Fine, Monday it is. See you."
Shark, you wimped out. And you lied, so now you've got to do the poxy form anyway. Well, let's just hope there's nothing else in my pigeonhole that can blight my weekend. What's this?
"As promised, here are your colleagues' positive comments about you from the team-building exercise that we carried out recently. Enjoy. F Bore.
Oh, yes, this is that icky thing the head made us do a couple of weeks ago. We had to write something twinkly about each other.
Caroline Spat: "Emily Shark speaks her mind." Hmm.
Jennifer Boney: "Emily is honest." Gulp.
Aha - the next one's Mr Gorgeous.
Jon Salvatore: "Emily is brave. And she never hides from the truth."
Wow. Well, he doesn't have to know that I hid in a cupboard and lied about my homework, does he?
More from Emily in a fortnight.