Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Typical Civil Service Day - Part 1

This is my attempt to convey what a typical day is like for me (Actual contents may vary from description on packet).

I arrive at the Department, park my car in some far-flung recess of the car park, because I haven't bothered to come in before 9.30 and all the best spaces have been taken by my large-bottomed colleagues. It takes me five minutes to get from the car park to the double automatic doors, which groan lugubriously as they admit me. I have my daily fight with the time clock, where it refuses to register my identity card and bleeps loudly, attracting the attention of at least ten of the twenty or so civil servants who are propping up the walls in the immediate vicinity. Maybe the reason the evil machine fails to recognise it is because the picture on my identity card no longer looks like me - although it is only a little over a year old, it looks about five years younger. The Department is a parallel universe in which people age more rapidly than normal.

I go to the toilet, cursing myself for not arriving earlier, before the assault on my olfactory nerves caused by the arseholes of fifty women who have used the toilets since the Department opened at 8 this morning. Fucking rank.

Some gagging, some stairs and about fifteen sets of moaning and groaning double doors later, I arrive in the part of the building where I work. The sight that greets me is not pleasant. Before I even enter my section, I see my HEO leaving the AP's office. "Fucking great", I think, "they are talking about me already". The HEO is leaving the AP's office by walking backwards. It is like watching a film about royalty, in which the subjects of the monarch are not permitted to show their backs to the royal personage. This toadying makes me gag some more.

Suddenly, the HEO backs into the path of... wait for it... a Senior Manager! Much confusion ensues. Paper is flying everywhere. HEO looks panic-stricken. The ultimate outrage has been committed. A middle manager has been the cause of a senior manager dropping the printout of his Joke of the Day emails. Also, the HEO's back has been presented to the senior manager. This is a serious breach of HEO protocol.

Before anyone can say anything, though, and as I watch, dumbfounded, stopped in my tracks by the exciting events unfolding before my very eyes, the top of the HEO's head flips open, and a very small brain jumps out. Evidently the breach of protocol was too much for it. The brain bounces down the corridor for about ten feet, stops and then returns to the now motionless body which previously housed it. The brain manages to extract the HEO's identity card from his belt loop, and having secured it, it bounces merrily back towards the exit, on its way to God knows where, but making sure to swipe out properly first. The consummate bureaucratic cerebrum.

What happened to the body?

It got a promotion, of course!

In Part 2: I have to fill out some forms, and I go for tea.

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