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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Does anyone have a favourite woodcock?

I shall hang you on doodads no longer: this is an outline sketch of the salient events of Mary's last day in work.

The staff had organised a pot-luck brunch for Mary (which gave the caretaking and cleaning staff the opportunity to join in) and a lot of goodies were provided. People popped in from all over the place, including escapees like Jimmy Huddersfield, Tilly Floss and Onabushkan Flo. It was all very warm and convivial and pleasant. Warner Baxter popped in to say cheerio to Mary. And he waited, and everyone else waited, and Mary waited...

T.Aldous made a big fuss and got everybody into the staff room who wasn't needed to cover the front line in the library. Everybody got in, awaiting the presentation of gifts and card. T.Aldous returned, said thank you, took a photo and disappeared.

Eventually it started to dawn on people that that was that and they slowly drifted away.

Just after lunch T.Aldous made it known that everybody was to go upstairs to the Lending Library as he wanted to present Mary with the thanks of the Library Service and a parting gift. Now, this was well meant but... It would have been OK in a branch library, where the customers know the individual staff very well and are grateful for the opportunity to say thank you and good luck to departing people. But not often in our biggest library, where service tends to be a bit more of the production line methodology. And especially not as it's been a quarter of a century since Mary worked on the front line. The customers looked on bemused as T.Aldous did his spiel and Mary tried not to be embarassed.

The gift was a nice bouquet of flowers in a box. Which isn't the gift we've all chipped in for. And Mary's not had her card yet. We're hoping that both are being saved for the evening meal that's been organised for next week.

As I said the other day: well-meaning, but really not quite right.

Then Mary attended her last Policy Team Meeting, where they discussed the latest budget cuts.


Gadjo Dilo said...

Poor Mary, sounds like quite a let down after all her years of service. Do you remember the classic Bob Newheart retirement party sketch? "After 35 years I get given this crummy watch, that works out at about 25 cents a year.... ". We've got woodcocks in the fields here us, though some people say they're partridges.

Barlinnie said...

I was curious, so over I came, a brief 5 minutes away fae the apron strings of the wife and the reading of the DeFarge woman's blog.

I like what I see. As eloquent as tea and toast on a Sunday morn.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Gadjo: yes, it was a bit like that, sadly.

Woodcocks or partridges would be nice to have round here.

Hello and welcome Jimmy!

martine said...

I am founder member of the International Goat Protection League and we're coming for you:-)
thanks for sharing

Madame DeFarge said...

It sounds like an inherently predictable farce. I hope she has a fun time at the meal next week. We have more of a fuss here when people move sections but we have virtually nobody old enough to retire.

The Topiary Cow said...

The smartest chick in the office, when she quit, organized her OWN going-away party at a restaurant near work, reserved the room, and invited all the people she liked.

This was smart and the only way, apparently, to make sure some bureaucrat doesn't ruin it.

Just hope he didn't abscond with the gift money.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Hello and welcome Martine! Promises, promises!

Madame: she probably will!

Ms Cow: as you say, smart!