You always see them in the coffee bars of major airports and railway stations; aged 25-32, suited, well-groomed and prattling away to a senior manager who doesn't even pretend to be listening. "I read that Indonesia's growth is up to double figures," the younger man will say, "I think one of our competitors is getting in there, what do you think?" "Could I have an extra shot in that latte?" the older asks the sales assistant, wishing he could do these trips alone.
The younger man is Business Gimp, and there is one in most companies. Desperate to get on, he believes that impressing and/or enslaving himself to his boss is the best way to achieve success. He puts far too much product in his hair, wears conspicuous suits, and in order to have something to say he reads business magazines and gathers gossip, offering up information that is, in fact usually old and insubstantial. Asked for an opinion he will waffle without committing himself, hedging his bets until it's clear what will be deemed "right". Although his kind do sometimes progress, to the appalled amazement of former colleagues, others fade away, never realising that their boss values ideas rather than kiss-arse endorsement. I'd like to say Business Gimp is his own worst enemy, but in this respect he has some pretty stiff competition, including myself.