We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Deck of Cards

I'm pretty much out of the loop on the gossip in the Town Hall these days. Changes in my working patterns mean that I no longer catch the nine-to-five trains and so have lost contact with most of the commuting old guard and haven't established relations with the new ones. It's made worse by the retirement the year before last of the council's matchmaker-in-chief, who had a wonderful facility for getting his head round the implications of the doings of People Who Have Meetings and then engineering useful encounters between People What Do Things.

I'm set to thinking of these things by my encountering a long-forgotten pirate photocopy that had been doing the rounds a long, long time ago.


One day, a councillor was walking through the Town Hall when he spotted a worker playing cards at their desk. Taking the worker to task, the councillor asked for an explanation. "And it had better be good or you're down the road!"

And the worker said:

"When I see the ace I think of this brand spanking new unitary council. One big cock-up.

"When I see the two, I think of the dual nature of the councillor's role. On the one hand they are managing the council's organisation. On the other hand, they represent the users of the council's services. Two-faced bastards.

"And when I see the three, I think of the government, the councillors and the public. All kicking the shit out of us.

"When I see the four, I think of the Riders of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Plague and the Planning Office.

"When I see the five, I think of the number of weeks you're told you have to wait for an urgent repair.

"When I see the six, I think of the number of weeks you actually have to wait for an urgent repair.

"The seven reminds me of the Council's departments. Well, seven of them anyway.

"When I see the eight, I think of an octopus. My doctor says it's the strain of working for Helminthdale Council.

"When I see the nine, I think of the average number of Assistant Directors in each department. After the cuts.

"When I see the ten, I think of the Departmental Heads' Team: one goalie short of a team.

"When I see the Knave, I think of the Town Clerk.

"When I see the Queen, I'm reminded that it's been a bit quiet in the switchboard lately.

"And when I see the King, I am reminded of that one great figure who influences all our lives. The man who brings the trolley of meat pies round the building.

"So you see, my pack of cards is my organisational flow chart, my aide-memoire and my public administration bible."

And the councillor said: "I'm sorry, were you saying something?"

1 comment:

Pat said...

Tee hee!