Have you ever met one of those people who sits at the staff meetings and starts off by saying, can I be frank?

No, please tell us some fibs.

Actually, on second thoughts, leave the candour, just dump some deceit on us.

Be frank? Are you crazy, this is a staff meeting, we are here to upstage each other and shove the knife up your guts, not be frank, why would anyone be frank today, seeing we have lying through our teeth since the previous meeting…

 And his first cousin, who never kicks off his input without prefacing it with, in my honest opinion… and you want to strangle him because a) what have you been doing all this time, being dishonest and b) the very fact that you have to state it means you are all set to pull out the stiletto and be nasty and mean and fling cheap shots to win cheap points and pretend you are being brave and bold, while all you are being is a little disgusting hypocrite.

The other one is that creepy crawly who will say, I don’t want to be personal, so please, everyone, there is nothing personal… oh, please spare us the sanctimony and soda water, of course you are being personal, anyone who says he is not being personal is confirming it in spades that he is being just that. Otherwise, he would not need to say it. The fact is he is being so personal that before he plunges the dagger into the ‘adversary colleague’ he is salving his pathetic little conscience by making the announcement. There are no exceptions, let’s be straight here, in those who are not going to be personal because they say it.

You should also be very very careful of the ones who say, I am sorry I have to say this… you are not sorry, sunshine, you are besides yourself with glee, you are so excited you are going to shaft someone you can hardly contain yourself, you are less sorry than Brutus before he shafted Caesar. If you are sorry, don’t say it, logic points to that… the very fact that you apologise means you have all intentions of causing trouble. And that sorry bit is your route into the conversation. People who are sorry, they put things right, they don’t go for the jugular. 

So, my favourite is always the person who says, it has come to my notice and then pulls out some sicko evidence against a colleague and proceeds to wipe the floor with him. No, it did not come to your notice, you horrible little man, you went hunting for it, you used your snitches and you cockroached yourself in dark little corners till you could put together your killer file so don’t you give us this drivel about it flitting to your notice.