In the vein of the wildfire erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, our 50 Shades inbox has been alight with confessions from contractors and freelancers. In this post, a male contractor finds his manager’s good looks belie her darker nature. 


I had one Project manager (PM) who was a deceptively sexy older woman. She certainly rocked a pair of tight black trousers, but unfortunately she was as malicious as she was attractive. Her management wasn’t exactly the best either – she was like a slow loris: cute, asleep on the job, and yet capable of emitting deadly venom.

After we had had what could be classed diplomatically as a frank discussion (of her making) about what I was actually meant to be doing, she decided to teach me a lesson by half-inching my laptop.

Part of office procedure was the use of a Kensington lock to secure your laptop to the desk, to presumably prevent theft by colleagues or cleaners.

Contracting scene

To set the scene, I had secured the laptop to the desk as expected. But due to meetings and hot-desking, it was usually a case of moving about with your laptop. So rather than forget my key after a heavy session, I hid the key in between some papers piled around the laptop. Hidden in plain sight.

A mate informed me that when Slow Loris saw the papers on my desk, she went all OCD, started fussing with the papers and then found the key. Got all holier-than-thou and decided to hide the laptop.

I came into the office feeling a little worse-for-wear after another night out, and was perplexed by why my desk now looked empty. I looked around and there was a naughty ‘classroom prank’ vibe. My mates had a ‘teacher is not happy’ look on their faces, in a ‘how funny is this going to be at your expense’ type way.

So she made her entrance when the timing was just right; that is after I decided to sit down and check mails on the phone after drawing frustrating blanks from those at the crime scene.

Laptop protection

Up she rocked, laptop and papers all organised in an OCD symmetrical fashion. Then followed the “You do know…” and “This could…” annoying chat at 9am on a hangover. I said: “That’s great, thanks for protecting the laptop”.

I sat down and then got the “that was too funny” looks from the group. To be fair, it was actually quite funny, but only because Slow Loris was actually being serious.

A few weeks later I was chatting to someone who had worked with her for a while, and told me they heard about the theft. And they then went on to tell me that she herself had actually lost a company laptop in a taxi when out on an office jolly not so long ago!

Sometimes I wonder whether good-looks allow you to get away with murder!

  • Do you have a contracting confession to make? You can contribute anonymously to our 50 Shades series here or by emailing
  • And if you’d also like to contribute to Contractr in a less clandestine way, we’re always looking for the insider’s view. More information on how to get involved here, in The Sunday Times needs you – and so do we
  • The views expressed here are those of the anonymous contributor and do not represent the opinions of Contractr. We reserve the right to edit posts we are sent. If you would like to respond, do so in the comments section below. 

2 Responses to 50 Shades of Contracting #1: Sexy but deadly contractor

  1. Laura Eades says:

    Can’t stand it when people try to assert their authority for no reason other than to flatter their own ego, it’s grim to be on the receiving end of.

  2. Jamie says:

    We’ve all been there at the blunt end of hypocrisy, biting our tongue just dying to let rip. But discretion is the better part of valour, and sometimes it’s better just to nod and smile, knowing that your story will be told in a 50 shades kind of way!

    We here at Contractr salute you, and encourage you to do more of the same, so get involved.

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