Goodmans Hotel (Chapter 8, page 1 of 6)


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Having warned me of the trend towards buying in computer services from specialist companies, Peter expected me to resist any attempt to close down my unit should one of the younger more forward looking partners, or even one of the old codgers who had been tipped off about the trend by a friend at his club or on the golf course, suggest it.

He knew nothing of Goodmans Villa or Andrew's ideas for a gay hotel. That I might want to relinquish the income and status of my position in the firm to set up a small business had probably not crossed his mind. The happiness brought me by Tom's return helped my decision. Giving up Lindler & Haliburton for Andrew's world of small independent gay businesses would surely show that there was not some other social group who were 'more my sort of people', prove the depth of my commitment and strengthen the bond between us.

A software supplier I regularly dealt with was also in the business of running computer facilities for other City institutions. I told my contact there that one of the younger Lindler & Haliburton partners was rumoured to be thinking about contracting out the work of my unit. This was untrue, but he passed the rumour on to his colleagues, and before long they began lobbying several of the partners to be allowed to bid for the work. Peter need never know that his warnings had helped contrive my exit from the firm.

In return for my co-operation in the process that would bring about my redundancy - and for anyone to take over the work without my help would have been extremely difficult - I was promised a substantial 'severance' payment and a huge bonus based on anticipated cost savings over the first five years of the change. The partners may have genuinely believed that the savings dangled before them by the company hoping to take over the work were realistic, or in the increasingly bitter internal politics at Lindler & Haliburton, Peter's enemies may simply have thought it worth paying a substantial sum in order to be rid of me, one of his main supporters. Had he been present he might have prevented the change, but since he was in exile, other than harrying me by telephone and e-mail to put forward the arguments for keeping the IT Unit as it was, there was little he could do. I pretended more and more to be disillusioned because, after all my work over the years, the partners wanted to call in outsiders to replace me and my carefully selected team. Misleading Peter in this way might be disloyal, but he had had my past hard work and support by way of repayment for the help he had given my career. The time had come for the account to be closed.

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