Here’s one I didn’t publish at the time for fairly obvious reasons. I’ve no recollection now, five years later, whether whatever it was did pan out as I predicted, partly because my memories of 2008 mainly comprise the banking crisis. I am making this post public in 2013, but backdating it to its original date in March 2008.
Schadenfreude, or taking pleasure in others’ pain, isn’t pretty, but by god it can feel good.
It was inappropriate of me to snigger at the end of last week when the system that went live last month fell over. It was wrong of me to be amused that the patronising assurances we’d been fed for months that it could never happen here were embarrassingly and publicly falsified. It was nasty of me to find it funny when the centrifugal force of the spin doctoring failed to deliver on the promises that any problems would be treated as a Type 1 incident.
Oh dearie me, dearie me, dearie me. It was wrongest of all for me not to give a flying f*** if the system as a whole ends up pulled as a result of going belly up last week.
You see, I can be a judgemental and vindictive cow, and I find professional sloppiness unnecessary and disgusting. I have spent months feeling uncomfortable, watching corners being cut, political games being played, a lack of progress being spun into news of progress and a sense of “them” and “us” being created. I also have a strong sense of cause and effect. I believe in consequences. So it was grimly satisfying to know that the clucking and squawking last week was the sound of a whole flock of headless chickens coming home to roost.
We’ll be knee deep in chicken-shit next week, but by god it’s going to be worth it.
I’ve recently shifted offices, and the building where I now work houses the man with the most annoying laugh I have ever heard in real life. I am sure there is a cartoon character somewhere that would beat him and I know a kookaburra could do it, but in terms of your actual people, he’s easily at county level and should be taking national trials. He also makes astonishingly inappropriate remarks, frequently involving buggery. The other day he was explaining his approach to dealing with noisy, disobedient or dangerous dogs and I realised I could cause him trouble any time I wanted by grassing him up to the RSPA. He explained it away with the comment “that’s growing up on a farm for you”, to which I replied “more than that Dai, it’s growing up on a Welsh farm”. I am, as my grandmother used to warn me, so sharp I’ll cut myself.
We bumped into each other by the loos today, and we started talking about the holiday he’ll be taking in three weeks time. Then he told me that he’d taken his son to school the other morning and found he’d driven himself straight home afterwards. He said “that’s wrong, isn’t it?” and I thought, yes, it is.
Once, many years ago, my then partner was a nervous breakdown about to happen and I got a phonecall from a colleague which started “it’s alright, but….” The “but…” involved A&E and a cardio clinic. The thing was, he hadn’t had a heart attack; he’d been so obsessively focussed on his work on a completely impossible project, that he’d brought on a combination of hyperventilation and palpitations so severe he thought he was having a heart attack. Hence his visit to A&E, his overnight stay in hospital, the barrage of tests and wall of monitors. The attacks didn’t go away immediately, and they scared him enough, and slowed him down enough, to stop him working for 4 or 5 months. What fun that was.
So I told this rather personal story to Dai, and his face changed. If it were a cliché I were fond of, I’d say the mask slipped for a moment or two. Then a colleague came up and started talking to him and the mask clicked back, but before they went off Dai said “thanks for the meeting, that was useful”. His laugh rattled out across the office about 20 minutes later.
I ought to update you on the Mr Red saga. You may remember that I had a disagreement earlier this summer with my boss. His middle initials are J.F.D.I. but I like to have a Plan A, a Plan B and if necessary a Plan C. So much so, in fact, that a previous boss once said “Ms Behn IS Plan B”.
The long and the short of the story was that I had grave misgivings about the fact we were failing to plan because of course that meant we were planning to fail. In the end I realised it was a doctrinal difference, gave in gracefully, and we agreed a five pound bet.
I paid up yesterday because the bugger was right and we didn’t need any more planning than we had already done, and we drank it at the team’s disbandment do. Nothing alarming, just another go round on the merry-go-round.
In other news, a local Blues Club has chosen our wee village Hall as a venue, and while I am far too lazy to seek out the Blues, I am more than happy to partake if they are on my door-step.
In the immortal words of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band:
Can Blue Men sing the Whites
or are they Hypo-Crites?
(Scroll down to Line 19 for a sample).