The boss did not look happy. 

– We’re not happy, Sid.

Sid’s performance was negative. The flows were negative. The team was negative. 

– I need some time, Bella. It will turn around.

The boss sat still as a cat, her pale eyes staring.

– We’ve given you time.

What would he tell his wife? What would he tell his kids? What would he tell his biking mates?

– Performance can’t just be turned on, Bella. Markets don’t work like that.

The boss shook her mouse. Her screen turned on.

– These are the facts, Sid. Your performance is negative. Your flows are negative. Your team is negative.

Sid nodded.

– But the valuations of our stocks are as depressed as I’ve ever seen, Bella.

The boss sighed through her nose.

– My clients don’t pay for your depressed valuations, Sid. They pay for performance. And you’re not performing.

Sid nodded again.

– Yes, but when the market recognises the value, the performance will turn around. It needs more time, Bella. 

The boss shook her head.

– No, Sid. No more time. You’ll clear your desk by six.

Sid shook his head.

– No, Bella, wait. With the greatest respect, you can’t. 

The boss stood up and held out her hand, her pale eyes glinting.

– Hand over your security card, Sid.

Sid stood up. He bent over and spat in the boss’s upturned hand.

– I never liked you. No one likes you. 

The boss walked to the open door.

– Security!



  • What do you imagine to be the sequence of events that brought Sid & Bella to this point?
  • What prior conversations between Sid & Bella could have averted this breakdown?
  • What advice would you give to a colleague who seems set to play the role of Sid or Bella?