Oliver is a cross-referencer. That’s what he does. Draws connections, collates information, makes indexes. It’s a hazardous occupation because Oliver can’t turn it off. He can’t help himself. He’s always cross-referencing the habits and proclivities of his old girlfriends and his new ones, or their namesakes in history or works of literature. He cross -references the names of his co-workers with figures from myth and popular culture, which once lead to a bit of an incident with Kim from Finance because of The Jungle Book and the Kardashians. He knows it’s sort of impolite, but it’s how he sees things, how he plots a chart to navigate the world, and he has an extraordinarily good memory for faces. And anyway, no one calls him Oliver except his Mum. They call him Ox, as in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary (ha!), but Yasmin, his latest paramour calls him Roget, which he loves, because it reminds him of Federer, who Oliver thinks is sportily debonair.

So, is it a habit or a compulsion? Oliver is not sure, but he knows this. It wasn’t truly a problem till the day he met his new boss, Attila.



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