Unofficial punishments at a company training centre

by Felicity Sangster

This story is set in 1991 when I was 24 and had decided to leave banking and work in the catering industry. The name of the company and other pieces of identifying information have been altered.

*         *          *

“Well, how often did you get your backside warmed, sissy?”

Madeleine had not lost her little sisterly talent to provoke and annoy.

“Whatever in the world are you talking about?”

“You know absolutely fine, Flick. There you are blushing away pretending not to know what happened in the gym at Stanhill.”

Of course she was right.  Super annoying as ever.

Stanhill was the training centre for Aiglon Hospitality’s UK operation. About twenty years ago, the American company launched a number of themed restaurants in the UK, and I got onto the training programme with the idea of becoming a manager in one of the forty Vermont Farmhouse restaurants which they were setting up in Hampshire, Surrey and Middlesex. It made a change from mis-selling pensions for a high street bank and I suppose the whole Aiglon experience was positive for me.

The company’s training programme was well-regarded in the hospitality business and I was pleased to get on it. It was a busy nine months, starting with the eight week residential course; the so-called ‘Boot Camp’.

It was pretty intensive but well done, and I made a lot of friends there who I still keep up with. Beth, from Boston, was huge fun and my room mate for the first couple of weeks. It was Beth who drew me into my first experience of whacking. I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

The first time I met her, I was blown away by how American-breezy Beth was; full on from the word go.

“Hi there, I am Beth and I am regarded as the baddest trainee on this little old course.”

My “Nice to meet you, I am Felicity,” sounded just so anaemic by comparison.

It did not take long for her to get me to loosen up, but she remained outrageous and still is, bless her.

Beth had done four weeks at Stanhill when I arrived, and was open about showing me the ropes, although she always told me not to do as she did as she was so subversive.

In fact, she had huge strengths. She rarely got worried and was good with people. Her reports, which were a key part of the training, were generally positive but interspersed with the dreaded ‘Adverse Comment’, all of which referred to ‘lack of attention to details’.

“It’s company speak for slapdash,” she cheerily admitted.

And that is how, on the third day of my training, I came to be sitting in the gym changing room as Beth and I glumly waited for us to be summoned in for the start of ‘The Unofficial’.

Although the course was run by professional training staff, much of the routine work was handled by people who had graduated from the course in the last year or two. These were known as ‘The Seniors’.

When Beth got warned she was going to get another Adverse Comment from a Senior, she asked if it could be waived in return for ‘An Unofficial’. The Senior in question grimaced a bit at the suggestion, but said that she would discuss it with the other Seniors, the so-called Whacking Committee.

I learned how the ‘Unofficials’ worked some months after I had graduated from Boot Camp. Some of the seniors did not want to have anything to do with the punishments, but about half a dozen Seniors were amenable and they became the ‘Whacking Committee’ who worked out if a trainee could opt out of having a permanent black mark on her record. If so, they would manage the punishment.

When I eventually joined that august body, I saw that people took a lot of trouble over it. If a slippering would have been too much for a trainee, then she was told and generally the decision stood. It was odd to see a girl plead for a spanking and be rebuffed, but there was always good reason.

In addition to the ones we thought could not handle it, there were the others who had had a couple of spankings and were happy enough to take some more. They were almost always turned down. If two whackings had not done the trick then another would not work either. The common jokes in those cases were about flogging dead horses or two strikes and you are out of the gym. Sometimes things were bit more vulgar; one girl was, not unfairly, regarded as having an arse of iron. The Whacking Committee gave up on her after the second session which had been strenuous but totally ineffectual.

Beth had asked me to be a witness.

“I need someone to be with me to ensure fair play. You don’t have to do anything other than stand there, keep your trap shut and pass me a Kleenex when it is all over.”

Beth was such an engaging character, I would have done just about anything for her, so that is how we ended up changing into our track-suits and running  in the direction of the gym the following Saturday after lunch.

*          *          *

At The Gym

“Oh, you are here too?” I asked in a superfluous way as I saw Jenny and her friend, Imogen, sitting glumly on a slatted bench staring at the rows of lockers.

“Getting an assignment in on time has proved too tricky for dear Jen.” Imogen’s tone lacked sympathy; she clearly had other plans for her  afternoon.

Conversation seemed inappropriate, even for Beth who quipped her way though most things.

After about ten minutes, the door opened and Nicola, the Principal Senior, came in and got down to business in her usual brisk way.

“Well, Jen, do you still want to go through with this?”

Jen lifted her gaze from the floor and nodded.

“Beth, what about you?”

Beth looked up and smiled broadly.

“Yes, better to get it over with.”

“We are still getting things ready, but in a few minutes someone will come for you.  Hmmm, who to go first?”

There was a brief pause.

“Beth, you are second.”

Beth shrugged.

“For those of you who are new to this, when the first pair are taken through, the witness should place herself just past the stool. The recipient will go to the stool, drop her trousers and grab the bar, bending right over until the last stroke has been applied and I tell her that she can get up. Then you both leave but wait back here so that you can go and recover a bit. I will check  you over and then you will be free to go. Any questions?”

Nobody spoke.

“Okay, I will be back soon. Remember, you can back out at any time.”

Jen got up and started pacing back and forward, deep in thought. She was a slim, rather willowy girl. Beth had a far fuller figure, which gave her the appearance of being more resilient.

After a couple of minutes, Imogen looked up.

“Is this some kind of special torture? Slowing things up so the tension builds?”

I took her point. My heart was pounding and my imagination was going into overdrive. The waiting was quite awful.

Later, we learned that the delay was for a good reason. Hazel had never wielded the slipper before and was getting some instruction from Nicola.

I was feeling increasingly tense. Beth gave an appearance of calm, but I doubt she was.

Suddenly the door opened and Nicola appeared with her characteristically businesslike and authoritative air. She pointed to Jen and Imogen and gestured for them to follow her.

Imogen gave Beth a quizzical look as she left the room.

After what seemed like an eternity, we heard the sound of the stool being moved, a few voices and then the first sound; a sharp ‘thwapp’.

I nearly jumped off the bench, and then looked at Beth who smiled and cupped her ear with her hand, as if to eavesdrop.

The second stroke was delivered, about five seconds after the first.

The third was accompanied by a yell from Jen.

The next two seemed louder and Jen was clearly struggling.

“Owwwwww! Ohhhh! Ohhhh God! Oh!”

Beth looked at me and shrugged. Was there a hint of a smile? Jen gave the appearance being rather haughty at times.

There was short silence and we were expecting the last stroke, the traditional final ‘sizzler’ to land, but that did not happen immediately.

We strained to hear something, but could only make out a few softly spoken words from Nicola.

Then we could clearly hear the sound of some quiet, but persistent, sobbing.

There was a short delay and we could hear some voices as the sobbing subsided.

THWAPPPP!

“OH NO!”

Jen tried to retain her dignity as she walked gingerly back into the changing room. She was obviously shaken up.

Imogen’s previously impassive expression had changed to one of concern.

“Oh God, that was awful, oh bloody hell.”

Nobody else said anything as Jen paced up and down the room, muttering to herself.

Nicola entered.

“You two, come and wait outside. I want to have a few words with Jen. Imogen can go now.”

Beth and I waited outside and never got to hear what was said.

A few minutes later, Nicola re-emerged.

“Still want to go through with this, Beth?”

Beth nodded.

“Alright, let’s get this over with.”

Beth slipped her track suit bottoms down and bent fully over the stool, holding on to a wooden stretcher bar.

She was wearing thin white running shorts which were now really tightly stretched. Beth had a fuller figure and, for a minute, I was worried that the garment might split.

Nicola took me by the elbow and placed me slightly in front of Beth.

“Don’t move from there until I tell you to.”

Once Beth had settled down, Nicola walked round behind her and carefully surveyed the target area.

She moved from one side to the other, concentrating hard. It reminded me of an art critic studying a piece of sculpture for the first time, or a judge at a dog show weighing up the features of a potential prize winner.

“Move your legs a little further apart to give you more stability.”

Beth shuffled a bit until Nicola was satisfied.

“Wanting out of this, Beth?”

“Not at all.” The response was a bit muffled, but clear enough.

Nicola moved back and nodded to Hazel.

I stood transfixed as Hazel weighted up the situation, took aim and then delivered a loose wristy stroke.

WHAPPP!

Beth flinched a bit, but made no sound as the sound of the slipper seemed to bounce off the walls.

Two more strokes followed, with an interval of about five seconds, which actually seemed longer.

My heart was thumping and I felt perspiration dampen my brow as I surveyed the scene.

Beth seemed to be staring intently at the floor, concentrating hard on keeping it all together.

All eyes turned to Hazel, who seemed frozen. Nicola nodded at her, frowning.

Hazel moved forward and delivered another full blow.

THWAPPPPPP!

And another.

THWACCCCK!

This seemed harder than the others and the report echoed round the gym.

Finally, Beth’s silence was broken as she rocked forward a bit and let out a loud: “Ooooh.”

Nicola put her hand up to indicate a pause.

“Just one to go. Just stay completely still now.”

Beth was breathing deeply and her brow was pretty sweaty. I felt for her; she had taken a lot pretty bravely.

After a few moments, Beth seemed to wiggle a bit and then got back into the same stationary position that she had started off in.

Less than ten minutes had elapsed since Beth had draped herself over that stool, but it had seemed much longer. There seemed to be a new drama every few seconds.

Nicola looked intently at Beth and signalled to Hazel to wait. The tension in the room was palpable, and even the Seniors looked taut.

Eventually Nicola gave the nod to Hazel who started her walk-in and, with a sweeping arc-like motion, delivered a resounding whack, right across the centre of Beth’s shorts.

“OWWWW! OOOHH! BLOODY HELL!”

When we got back to the changing room, Jen rushed over and hugged Beth, who smiled, reciprocated and said nothing.

Moments later Nicola entered the room.

“Okay, I am glad we got through that without too much drama. You both took it very well considering.”

She then delved into a bag and produced four ice collars which are usually used to chill wine.

“It thought it might be an idea to use these to help reduce any bruising. It is up to you whether you want to give it a try. Drop them off in my room when you are finished with them.”

Nicola left, leaving the three of us looking at each other.

Beth took one of the collars and gingerly slid it down the back of her shorts.

Jen tried to sit on both of them, but that did not really work.

After a while we worked out what to do. Jen stood to my left and Beth to my right. Both of them had dropped their shorts and were holding a cold sleeve against one buttock. I had one in each hand and was pressing it gently against both girls.

After a while, our hands got cold and we swapped round.

“Everyone having a good time?” Beth asked.

A huge amount of giggling followed and we still laugh about it when we meet up.

It was the last time either got spanked at Stanhill, but my involvement with the Seniors had a long way to go, but that is another story.

The End

© Felicity Sangster 2019

I would welcome any feedback, which can be sent to:

flicksangster@yahoo.com