Start at the bottom: Neil Start goes for an old-fashioned waterborne fundraiser

Tuesday: With fun run fever in the air, I start planning the Goldfish Action Group rip-off. There is no such thing as a new fundraising idea.

I have to call it a marketing event, of course, because of the ongoing turf war with Clare, head of policy, and current target of whispering campaign in the charity as to her future - or lack of it.

But what to do? Chairman David is keen to get supporters to follow his example and do a sponsored swim underwater in tanks with goldfish. Of limited appeal, I suspect - all that scaly skin. Then there's the goldfish.

Diana, head of finance, suggests a London-to-Brighton electric car rally. I fear the link with fish welfare is too tenuous. Julie, officially the cleaner but resident Mrs Overall and seemingly now present at all senior management team meetings, with obligatory feather duster in hand, reminisces about swimming marathons of youth in unheated lidos. Swimming relay race agreed as the basic idea: 'GAG Gala'. I spend the rest of the day trying to find a weekend free from major sporting fixtures or other charity events. Fear 23 to 24 December might be of limited appeal.

Thursday: First meeting with recruitment consultant re new marketing assistant post. Jacinta from Jobs in Charity brings 20 CVs of people clearly on their books for years because they're unemployable. I suggest she does a bit of headhunting. She blanches. We compromise on advertising.

Friday: Unexpected office reorganisation. Clare to be moved from her prime position in our subterranean open-plan suite next to glass windows looking over the Thames river bed to an ill-lit corner near the gents' toilets and emergency sump pump. She makes a great fuss, but David refuses to budge. Clare dissolves into tears, hisses "constructive dismissal" and walks out. David gives me a conspiratorial wink and a smirk that make me wonder if he might be the secret sender of the inflatable goldfish and assorted other love tokens that keep appearing in my bed and desk drawer.

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