Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who's the Boss?

This power thing is going to my head.

Earlier today, I very nearly submitted a PMDS report on one of my staff that went thusly:

"This employee single handedly destroyed a stack of completed KRAP13 forms simply by farting on them. We then had to resend them and endure countless abusive phone calls from members of the public demanding to know why they had to go to the trouble of signing their names all over again and why the government employs such useless twats."

"A large cork inserted firmly in this employee's anus should prevent further damages."

Just before I signed off on it, I realised what I'd written, deleted it and wrote something very, very boring instead.

Feck, maybe I should have submitted it. Nobody reads those reports anyway.

The Minor Functionary and the Case of Tinea Pedis

I have athlete's foot. Meaning my feet itch like buggery and smell like Taleggio cheese. Gone off. Bleargh.

I've no idea how I got it. I mean, ATHLETE's foot. I'm a civil fucking servant, for chrissakes. What a misnomer.

It's like Sonia O'Sullivan developing a giant arse. Which is a common affliction among us sedentary government employees (I have yet to get this, but I'm less than two years on the job, in all fairness).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The secret lives of EOs

I was at work at 8 a.m. yesterday. 8 FUCKING A.M.! People are starting to think I live in the Department. Now there's a scary thought. I might actually be found out.

It is actually possible to live in the Department. There are dozens of toilets, you could crap in a different one every day for a month. There are showers on site, even hair dryers. You could fill yourself up in the canteen by day and sleep under your desk at night. For entertainment you could play DVDs on your PC.

There are certain practicalities, however, that must be looked into. For instance, how would you wash and dry your clothes? You would have to wash them in the sinks, and hang them out the windows to dry, or hang them from the walls of the cube farms. You would have be careful, co workers finding bras and socks hanging from the walls would soon realise that there is a hobo EO in their midst. Plus, given the minimal amount of space we mere mortals who share an open-plan office are allocated, it would be hard to keep all the necessities of life hidden from prying eyes, things like irons, home gym equipment, film DVDs, empty beer cans, unwashed socks and dildoes (!).

Bollocks, I can't even have mates over.

Time to move I think!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What are HEOs for, exactly?

They make €45,000 approx. a year, minimum.

They make a simple job appear as complicated as quantum physics. In Sanskrit.

They flap about the section leaving in their wake confusion, frustration and swearing.

They spatter their EOs and clerical staff in verbal diarrhoea.

That sounds like fun.

When's the next promotion competition?

(*HEO = Higher Executive Officer - Basically, an Executive Officer who has taken more drugs than the others. Amphetamines, in this case. )

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Interim Review

I had my interim review with my HEO last week. I had to sit with him in a room for quite some time to discuss my progress. So far I'm coping OK with having to do some work during the past few weeks, and I'm squaring up nicely for the challenges ahead. Some problems were highlighted, like my complete laxity in relation to the management of my own staff. Seemingly I'm not shouting at them enough, or kicking them up the arse sufficiently well to motivate them.

This was my first interim review as an EO, as I have only been doing this for a year. However, I decided at the annual review stage six months ago that I hated these things. The reason being - I have more private sector experience than I do public sector experience. The only time you would sit in a room with your boss would be if they were tearing strips off you - and even though this hasn't happened to me as a civil servant, I still cower when I have to go through these things. And I breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over, relief that my dignity remained undented, that my skin was still intact, and that I did not at any time feel an urge to stab my HEO in the eye with a letter opener.

Another reason why I hate them is, as a manager myself, I have to review my staff's performance. They're all there a lot longer than I have been. What I need is a team of fresh-faced 18 year old clerical officers that I can intimidate and terrify by screaming at them and waving my hands about in a menacing fashion. That approach won't wash with the ones I've got now, they're far too experienced at these things. Feck.

The interim and annual reviews are a form of structured performance appraisal, and one of the fun things you can do is give your boss some "upward feedback" about how you feel you are being managed. So you can tell your boss that they suck and they have to listen.

It will be interesting to see what my lot have to say to me at their own reviews in the coming days.

MEMO TO SELF: Bring a big plank with six inch rusty nails sticking out of it to work this week.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Leaving Cert

And so thousands of students have begun the ordeal that is the Leaving Cert today. And in three weeks’ time, all will be forgotten: the soliloquies of Shakespeare’s doomed lovers, the stages of the Krebs cycle, the formula for the standard error of the mean, the process of oxbow lake formation. All gone, forever, to be replaced with more meaningful stuff that people can actually use in life. Like the price of a pint, how to walk in a straight line and Klingon.

The fact that I still remember the above things after twelve years should not be astonishing, given that I studied like a bastard for months on end in order to get that university place I wanted.

And when I got it (by adding up my Points scores like a member of Weight Watchers gone mad) I propelled myself with glee around the main school entrance (no online facilities in those days, kids), waving my piece of paper in all available faces, singing and generally being annoying. For I had won a place on an Arts degree course in one of the finest universities in the land, an idyll with an ivy-covered quadrangle, an honour that would bestow upon me the adoration of thousands, a high-powered career among literary giants, a giant fucking house and, most importantly of all, an ability to make my farts always smell like marshmallows.

Did it fucking arse.