Date: 2nd September 2021
“Mr Gerrard and Mr Mclaughlin”
Our very own Donald Stewart explores the nature of Jon Mclaughlin’s latest omission from the Scotland squad.
“Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Gerrard have been called into the office.
The manager, Mr. Clarke, has heard of a disturbance on the floor which needs investigating.
We are in the Ibrox, and Govan branch of Toys are the Weans and in the world of competitive salesmanship, Mr. Gerrard has a reputation for being one of the best at selling to the yummy mummies whilst Mr. McLaughlin nails it at the gaming counter with the young X box and Playstationers.
Picture the scene…
Mr. McLaughlin with the backside hanging out of his trousers has no idea why he is there. All he has done is his job. he thinks that Mr. Gerrard is past his best and should not be telling him how to do his.
Mr. Gerrard does not think that Mr. McLaughlin is quite as good as the guy who used to do the gaming counter, Mr. MacGregor. Mr. MacGregor is off because of the COVID so Mr. McLaughlin is taking full advantage. The fact is though, that Mr. McLaughlin is not hitting the same heights and targets as MacGregor and is not known yet as a safe pair of hands in the branch…
Tension is high…
The manager clears his throat before starting.
“Right, you two. We both know why we are here. We have what is called, a little issue between you two. I want to know what it is.”
They both look at each other, neither willing to say anything until Mr. McLaughlin realises that if Mr. Gerrard says something first his chance will be gone so he tumbles straight into it with a finger pointing at Mr. Gerrard.
“He does not rate me, Mr. Clarke.”
Mr. Gerrard shakes his head. He responds, “Not true. I just think it is too early to judge.”
Mr. McLaughlin explodes, “I have been here since June 2020!”
Mr. Gerrard looks directly at him. “What about the pandemic? How many shifts did you do during the lockdowns? Not many? Was it an unlucky 13?”
Mr. McLaughlin turns to Mr. Clarke, the manager. “I was at Tynecastle, came here from the Sunderland branch, after being in the national finals for selling and that is why I was asked to come here so I think I have done a sight more than 13 shifts to be judged on.”
Mr. Gerrard does not miss a beat and replies, “That is all very well but, Mr. Clarke, as you well know, the customers we face week in, and week out are different gravy. They expect higher standards and if we want to remain the top store, we need to have top performers. I just think Mr. McLaughlin might be better suited at the likes of the Tynecastle store where there is much less by way of expectation. And what have they ever won in Sunderland?”
At that Mr. Clarke thinks he needs to intervene. “Right,” He begins. “You two need tae wrap it. It is beginning to affect things. Seriously, I am in charge here and you twos arenae. I want things tae work and whilst ah dinnae gie a monkeys over the yer wee scrap wi the Parkhead branch, regional figures are due out Sunday. Yous had a decent result with the international tables during the week
but dinnae let it get tae yer heids. We have the weight of the whole nation oan wur shoulders here at this branch and you two need ate cut it oot.”
He rises from his chair and then Mr. McLaughlin does too. Mr. Clarke was hoping to tower over both of them but suddenly realises that at six foot, two Mr. McLaughlin has the advantage.
“Sit doon son.” He instructs him. Mr. McLaughlin does so.
“Right, away out and sort this thing out before it gets out of hand and not a word tae anybody about it. I mean it. I don’t want this to be gossip I shall read about in the weekly newsletter.”
He indicates the door for both of them to show that the meeting is over. Without having resolved anything the meeting is at an end.
On the shop floor, everyone has been talking about it. They are all trying not to be seen looking at the door of the office as both Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Gerrard exit. Some say later that Mr. Gerrard was walking to taller of the two, some others that Mr. McLaughlin seemed more pleased with the outcome, but once again Mr. Clarke has brought darkness into the light being sought.
Thinking, my job is done, Mr. Clarke sits down to consider his new contract from head office and smile at his success.
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that there has ever been a branch of The Toys are the Weans at Ibrox, Govan, Parkhead, Tynecastle or Sunderland, or anywhere for that matter, therefore this is clearly a work of fiction.
The fact is that during the week, in announcing his squad, Steve Clarke said that Jon McLaughlin of Rangers was unavailable for selection due to a little problem at Rangers. He did not elaborate, leaving us wondering what his little problem might be. Of course, it does not take long for little problems to become bigger problems and we hope that Jon gets help before that happens… I don’t think Mr. Gerrard has made comment as he is isolating form the COVID problem and that is big enough for anybody…”
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