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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
When Paul Snipe is sent to a therapist he decides to follow the doctor's advice. The therapist has some bold suggestions. Snipe reluctantly agrees. But what will be the consequences?

Submitted: June 07, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 07, 2017



Dr Goddard held the door open. He waved for the next patient to come in. An overweight bullish man shuffled into his office. He glanced at the word Therapist on the door and sighed. Goddard took a chair and pointed to the chair facing. The man nodded and sat down. The doctor flicked through his printed sheets.

‘You are Paul Snipe?’

‘Yes, that’s right.’

‘Why have you come to see me today?’

‘I’ve not been sleeping recently. Just can’t drift off. I don’t know why.’

‘How long has this been going on?’

‘A couple of months. I thought it would pass. Then I fainted at work. That happened a couple of times so I went to my GP. They sent me to the hospital. After all sorts of tests they couldn’t find anything wrong physically so they sent me here.’

‘Tell me a little bit about your life.’

‘Erm. Just the usual really. I’m married to Karen. No kids. Can’t stand ‘em. I support United. I like action films and rock music. And my favourite food is curry.’

‘And what do you do for a living?’

‘I am manager of an import department for one of the largest freight forwarders in the UK.’

‘Do you enjoy your job?’

‘Yeah. Despite all the stress and the problems I thrive off it.’

‘And you enjoy your role as manager?’

‘Nobody else could do my job. I’m telling you now. I keep everyone in line. I sort out all the crap.’

‘Would you say you’re a strict boss?’

‘I run a tight ship not a shite tip.’ He laughed.

‘Quite.’ said Goddard.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an unreasonable man. It’s just that sometimes, when I’ve got senior management breathing down my neck, I need to crack a few heads together to get things done.’

Goddard said nothing.

‘People might use words like bullying.’ Snipe went on. ‘I get results. The figures speak for themselves. I tell my team, any bullshit and I’ll have them replaced by some Eastern Europeans. That lot know how to work.’

After a long moment of silence the doctor spoke.

‘What about your home life? Given you have what sounds like a stressful working environment do you have the opportunity to unwind and relax outside of work?’

‘Yeah, I suppose so. Apart from when United get beat.’

Goddard raised an eyebrow.

‘Nah, seriously though, I do let my hair down. I go out with the lads, play a bit of golf. I watch the footy. I’m on the darts team of my local pub. Always up for a laugh and a pint.’

‘And your wife?’

‘What about her?’

‘What’s your relationship like with her?’

‘Fine, yeah. She’s a decent bird. You should have seen her when I met her. Bloody stunning she was.’

‘What about the time you spend with her?’

‘Yeah, fine. We get on well enough. She’s a good cook ad always makes sure the house is kept spotless.’

‘Do you help out around the house?’

‘Women’s work, innit?’

Snipe laughed.

‘Only kidding. It’s finding the time, know what I mean? I’m a busy man. I’m at work all day, doc.’

‘Does your wife work?’

‘Yeah, she does. Are you being funny with me?’

Snipe pointed a finger.

‘Mr Snipe, I am here to help. I can help get your life on the right track. If you do as I say and take my advice you will have everything.’

‘What do I need? I’m happy enough.’

‘But you could be so much more. There is a potential in you. I can see it.’

Snipe nodded in agreement.

‘If you listen to me your life will be everything that you deserve.’

‘I’m up for that. I’m not one to back down from a challenge. You just let me know what I need to do.’

‘Here’s my card. If you have any questions or need to speak to me, call me on that number.’

‘I can’t wait to get to work, chief.’

‘Doctor.’ Goddard corrected.

‘Yeah, sorry, doc.’

At their meeting the following week Goddard studied the notes on his clipboard. He glanced up over his glasses at his patient. Snipe grinned, rubbed his hands together, gold bracelet jangling.

‘What have you got for me, doc?’

‘I think we should start with your working life.’

‘How’s that? You’re not gonna tell me to become a bleedin’ social worker, are you?’

‘No, nothing like that. I think you should stay in the same business you’re in now. But you deserve better from your firm. The higher management take you for granted. You practically keep that place going. You’re the one holding it all together. You connect the fat cats in charge to the troops on the ground. For doing all that, for linking the entire operation, you should be getting paid more than you’re on.’

‘You think so?’

‘I think it’s an insult.’

‘So, what do I do?’

‘Simple. Go in and ask for a pay rise. If they value you they will pay it.’

‘You just might have something there, doc.’

Their next meeting, a week later.

‘I asked for a five grand pay rise. I figured that was what I deserved.’

‘At least.’

‘The MD said he appreciated the lengths I go to to get results. He assured me that I was highly thought of and that if I played my cards right there could even be a place on the board for me one day.’


‘But they can’t afford to pay out right now. He apologised and was sound about it. He’s a good bloke, for a City fan.’

‘What did you do?’

‘What could I do? They said no, so I went back to work.’

‘They’re taking advantage. You took the bold step. You spoke up for yourself. And they fobbed you off.’

‘You think so?’

‘Absolutely. They dangled the position on the board. They never promised it. And they sent you back to work.’

‘They said no. Not much more to be done.’

‘I beg to differ.’

‘Go on then, what do I do?’

‘You go on there tomorrow and hand your notice in.’

‘Are you off your head?’

‘Tell them that you are leaving unless they give you the pay increase you deserve.’

‘And if they refuse?’

‘How can they? If they value you as highly as they say then they will meet your demands.’

It was just after ten o’clock the next morning when Snipe called Goddard on his mobile phone. The doctor picked up after the third time of trying.

‘Good morning, this is Dr Goddard.’

‘What are you doing to me, doc?’

‘Ah, Mr Snipe, how are you?’

‘I’m out of a job. That’s how I am! I should never have listened to you.’

‘What happened?’

‘I went to see the MD. I explained that unless he gave me the pay rise I was leaving. He said the company would not be held to ransom. If that was how I felt then I should leave immediately.’


‘What am I gonna do?’

‘Mr Snipe, this is an opportunity. It was clearly time for you to move on. These are interesting times. We will get you the job you deserve. I see great things ahead.’

‘Yeah. You’re right. I was too good for them anyway.’


Over the next few weeks Dr Goddard coached Snipe as he applied for various management positions. The doctor’s training was intense. He focused on role play and confidence building. At one point Snipe laughed.

‘At this rate, doc, you’ll have me believing I can do anything.’

‘And so you can. Confidence is everything. If you don’t have that you are nothing. Go into the interview and show them exactly who you are. Interrupt, correct and contradict. Let them see just who they are dealing with. The first thing you ask is how much they are going to pay you.’


‘It shows you are driven and ambitious. If you are concerned about making money for yourself then you will make money for the company. You are a no nonsense straight talker. Don’t be afraid to let people see who you are.’

‘I could get to like you, doc.’

Dr Goddard smiled.

Despite their hard work and a succession of interviews Snipe struggled to find work. The weeks turned into months. When Snipe felt down he would call Goddard for support.

‘I dunno what these people want. I give it my best short. I play a blinder but I still can’t get the bleedin’ job. They probably give it to some illegal immigrant.’

‘Don’t lose heart. Keep positive. You have to believe. You will get there.’

‘It’s alright for you sitting there in your cosy office.’

‘I can assure you that I have had my share of obstacles. I have been through some very dark days. But I came through it.’

‘I had no idea.’

‘As Winston Churchill said, if you’re going through hell, keep going.’

‘So we keep on?’

‘Damn right we do. Have you heard of SWSWSWN?’


‘It’s a technique sales people use. Some will, some won’t, so what, next. They don’t get hung up on this particular sale. If they make one sale in ten calls then they have to go through the refusals to reach the sale. You may not get the next job or the one after that. So what? Next. Move on.’

‘I hear you, doc.’


After three months Snip was at a low. His stocky frame had turned flabby as his eating and drinking has slid out of control. His once gelled hair was now long and untidy. The confidence and swagger he had once had had been replaced by bitterness and anger. He spent his sessions with Goddard slumped forward, head in hands.

‘What am I going to do?’ he sobbed.

‘I understand how you feel. How are things at home?’

‘Awful. Me and Karen argue all the time. She looks at me in disgust. We argue over nothing. I usually break down. Then comes the pity. I don’t want any bird’s pity. I’d rather the disgust.’

‘I have a suggestion. If you hear me out I will explain.

‘Let’s hear it. I’m desperate.’

‘It may do you good if, erm, how shall I put this, if you sought physical comfort elsewhere.’

‘I aint cheating on my wife.’

‘I’m not suggesting an affair. However, a one night stand or a trip to a massage parlour may help. It would give your confidence a boost. It would give you the comfort and the reassurance you need.’

Snipe said nothing.

‘You need the attention and coming from a stranger, with no strings or pressure, it will help. Indeed, is it so very different from the work we are doing here? Laying yourself open the way one only can with a stranger. Let yourself go with someone who does not judge. Surely it has to be worth a try.’

‘Okay. Alright.’ He jabbed a thick finger. ‘As a one off. I’ll give it a go. It won’t mean anything though.’

‘Of course not.’

Dr Goddard suggested a discreet massage parlour a couple of miles away. One evening while Karen was out with friends Snipe went a long to the parlour. He reluctantly slept with one of the women. He had to admit that he did actually feel better. Now that he’d got that out of his system perhaps he could get his life back on track.

The next evening Snipe phoned Goddard.

‘Good evening, how can I help?’

‘Doc, it’s all gone tits up. Everything is ruined.’

‘How so?’

‘Karen knows about the knocking shop. I don’t know how but she was sent photos of me and that woman. She’s left me. My life’s over, doc. I’m finished.’

‘I see.’

‘I mean, how did Karen even get those pictures?’

‘It was me.’ said Goddard.


‘You don’t remember me do you, Paul?’


‘Back then I was plain old Stuart Goddard. We were at school together. You were a nasty piece of work. You bullied half the school but gave me a particularly bad time. You made my life hell. My childhood was a misery thanks to you.’


‘After I tried to take my life my parents arranged for me to move schools. The therapy I received was what made me go into this line of business. And then you walked into my office asking for my help.’

‘You bastard. I’ll get you for this. I’ll come round there-’

‘Today was my last day at that surgery. Of course I can’t divulge my new premises.’

‘You won’t get away with this.’

‘I already have. Oh, and Paul?’


‘I’d get help if I were you. You’ve got issues.’

Stuart Goddard hung up.

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