I can't tell you about a lot of it because of my self-denying ordnance against discussing personnel issues. I will say that it's a toss-up which is the more mind-bogglingly inept: the intervention by the manager who has retired or the intervention by the manager still on the payroll.
And there's no point in mithering on about the communication issues or the responsibility issues or the resources issues or the staffing issues because they've been kicked around the park quite a bit lately and I've every intention of doing so again at some length during the course of this week given what's going on.
No more than six times I have sat back in my chair and asked myself what the fuck I imagine I'm trying to achieve by any of the work I'm trying to force myself to do.
No more than three times have Noreen and I stared into the abyss that is the end of the financial year and all that entails and consoled each other with the words: "never mind, there's only thee and me cares about any of this until the auditors come round and sets them all off into a panic."
T.Aldous has only told us that he's the only person who takes the paper clips off the waste paper oh, what, about twenty times. Members of Policy Team have only wandered out, stared over to his office and said to us: "why doesn't somebody do something about him?" five times.
Leaving the office I was between trains so decided to get the bus into Manchester. Foolish. The drunk who pinned the youths to their seats and gave them a twenty minute monologue was a treat. I was impressed that somebody's still selling spirits in brown paper bags. It started off innocently enough:
"It's a real ticket you know. It's not just a piece of white paper. The driver knows it's a real ticket. I'm not going to jail for the World Cup, no matter what they do, so I'm going to plead not guilty at the magistrates'. I'm good for forty quid you know. No, sixty. But he'll tell you straight, it could be a hundred. I'm not going to jail for the World Cup..."His Parthian shot as the lads got off the bus was:
"Watch yourself boys! I've got it on good authority that the Tories are coming back in on 28th May!"He should have been the star turn. He wasn't. If there's anything worse than a driver's mate travelling on the bus platform it's another bloody driver travelling on the bus platform. Especially when he spends quarter of an hour telling the driver about his laser eye surgery. In a very loud voice. Step by step by step. He only told the driver, and the rest of us, three times that the really scary bit is when you see the needle approaching your eye as they give you the anaesthetic. And the bit about watching the scalpel pierce the veil was well worth the repetition. After a mile of this I was ready to jump out of the window. We all breathed such a huge sigh of relief when it came to his stop and he pissed off out of our lives.
"I'll be seeing you again Fonteyn!"Walking across town to try and catch the bus home I was accosted by an elderly chap offering passers-by religious tracts.
"Jesus loves you my boy!" he yelled.I promise you, he really did then start singing "Jesus wants me as a sunbeam."
I missed my bus. I could wait another half an hour for the next one and then another three-quarters for it to get me home. Or I could wait another fifty minutes for a train which should take ten, fifteen minutes tops. Sod it, I got a taxi. Sigh. In Manchester these days you have to give taxi drivers directions. Made the harder when the driver's got his earpiece in and he's having a long, interminably long conversation with his mate with no stops for breath. We overshot my house by ten houses because he was so intent on his conversation and trying to speed over the speed humps he couldn't here me saying: "you can stop here please."
I don't know why people need mind-altering drugs. If you live right and work in the public sector you can have your consciousness smashed to bits without popping a single pill.