Resounding Irony

In response to Oh, The Irony | Daily Post

“It was a resounding victory”, Terrance declared.

For Victoria, who was right next to him at the large meeting table, this announcement was overly loud. And she gazed up at his face from an awkward position and narrowed her eyes in resentment at his choice of words. To bellow the phrase, ‘resounding victory’, was yet another dumb way of him asserting his male ego. Victoria and Terrance were now technically equals, but the old guard including Terrance, Bill and Roger, couldn’t really accept a woman as an equal. Victoria swallowed and breathed deeply – at some point surely her careful and methodical approach would outweigh Terrance’s hollow bombast.

“It was a resounding victory”, Terrence said.

Roger, sitting to Victoria’s right, sat further out from the table than anyone else. It was as if his feeling of distance and exclusion were taking physical form – he was always standing in corners, hovering behind groups of people, just out of comfortable distance from conversations. A few words would be thrown his way, but quickly the effort was too much and he would simply be ignored. Roger sensed a bravado in the words ‘resounding’ and ‘victory’, but he felt unable to connect to them. The world was changing quickly and he couldn’t keep up. He stared down at the familiar logo branded on the carpet – lost in a profound nostalgia.

“It was a resounding victory”, Terrence announced rashly.

Paul had spent the last couple of weeks mopping up the loose ends of Terrace and Bill’s last misadventure. If it wasn’t for him, it could have been a PR disaster. Typical that he would try to gloss over it with such brinkmanship. Paul wanted to make eye contact with Victoria, but she had fixed her attention on Terrance, no-doubt in disbelief. Paul knew that anything good that had been initiated in the last months had originated on Victoria’s desk. From Terrace’s desk, a constant shit storm of misconceived trite had rained down on everyone else, crippling productivity. Paul stared straight ahead – trying not to give way to the welter of rage.

“It was a resounding victory”, Benson muttered.

Purposefully leaving a gap after Paul, Bill had set himself at the head of the table. Terrance’s statement lacked bollocks as far as he could see. His old friend was loosing his way and forgetting the key principles of good business. You had to seize opportunities! So what, the last campaign didn’t look good statistically. So what? So said that cunt Paul. What did he know? It was people like Paul and Victoria who were bleeding the spirit out of this place. No wonder consumers were confused. Bill inflated himself in his chair and shuffled rudely – let anyone dare say anything negative.

“It was a resounding victory”, Mr Benson joked.

Debbie laughed out loud, momentarily, turning it in to a splutter when no one else laughed. Surely he wasn’t serious? Sure, Terrance was out of touch, but he wasn’t dumb. He knew it wasn’t a success. Debbie glanced from one person to another but couldn’t get a handle on the mood.

TB: “It was a resounding victory”

Graham focused hard on the minutes of the meeting, trying to capture every detail after he’d been told his last minutes were not up to standard. Graham knew he was the junior member of staff here, he knew he was young and impressionable. This self-consciousness distracted him from being able to really engage in meetings. And the task of minute-taking made everything seem even more abstract; he lost a sense of the semantics and just ended up recording words. He hated the feeling of suddenly catching himself daydreaming. That kept happening.

“It was resounding victory”, I said.

I’d meant to say it with a great panache, but I’d faulted a little at the point of delivery. It hardly felt like I could carry the room on enthusiasm alone. As the words hung in the air I looked round that table to see who I could count on, though I avoided looking at Victoria who I could sense staring at me from the moment I’d said it. And Bill’s blotching red face was pissing me off. When would he grow up? I might be a dinosaur in some of these people’s eyes, but at least I accepted it. I’d even made a confession to Debbie about my misgivings about our last campaign. Now she repaid me by giggling. I could be angry, but in fact I felt like joining her. Somehow the sudden futility of the words seemed liberating, like their failure lifted a lid on all the feelings bubbling below the skin of this group. The humility of it, now that was resounding.

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