Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas in the Department

Well, it all passed off peacefully. I'm really disappointed that the annual reviews I conducted with the Clerical Officers were uneventful. Apart from me feeling awkward reviewing one person who has been working longer than I've been alive - bloody hell!

And the Christmas party went very well, a rather nice feed at a swanky dining emporium (my choice!), no embarrassing incidents to report unfortunately.

It's too quiet. What's the betting that the merde will really hit the fan in 2008?

I don't care. I don't have to work till next week, and now, I'm off to get pissed.

Merry Christmas!! (My humbugs are well and truly eaten at this point).

The Birth of PMDS

‘Twas December, and Bertie Augustus did issue a decree that there would be a Census taken, and all the people would have to go to Dublin to be registered, because the CSO had exploded in a freak accident and all the census forms were destroyed.

So the senior civil servants travelled the short distance to the Department of the Taoiseach, to register themselves. Among them was one who was heavy with cakes, having eaten too many at the staff Christmas party.

This man, once he had signed his form, felt a rumbling in his stomach and thought: “Oh shit, I think I need to do a poo.” But the toilets at the Department were all full, with politicians regurgitating the excesses of the celebrations of their pay rises. So this poor burdened bureaucrat was forced to check into the nearest five-star hotel (on expenses, of course) where he could relieve himself of his heavy load.

Grunting and straining on the diamond encrusted marble jacks in his suite, the senior civil servant gave birth to a monstrosity. It was a pile of shit so large, that he had to run into the corridor shouting “come and look” to one and all. And come they did; porters, chambermaids, barmen, drunk politicians; one and all came to admire the magnificent creation. Three fuckin’ eejits walking past the hotel saw the stink waves emanating from the windows of the penthouse suite, and they followed the smell, and they too came to have a look. The fuckin’ eejits brought gifts of toilet paper, air freshener and a plunger.

The senior civil servant, breathless from his exertions, announced to the crowd “Behold my magnificent creation. I have decided that it will be of benefit to all civil servants. From now on every Christmas, all civil servants will have to endure the process I have just completed. In a metaphorical sense of course. Not all people have my capacity for cakes and gut-busting turds. No, I have decided that all civil servants will be subjected to pointless forms and chats with their bosses at this time of year. It will be just as excruciating and painful as what I have just done. I will call it PMDS - short for Pretty Meaningless Dreadful Shit."

And so, PMDS began. And people learnt to take it seriously, as it's linked to our pay awards. God Damn us every one!!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Aren’t we lucky that Ireland doesn’t have nuclear weapons (At least, not that we know of – I think myself that Mary Harney is a suspect device.). Bertie’s lapses of memory recently in the Mahon Tribunal call to mind Ronald Reagan’s term of office as US President; a man with Alzheimer’s Disease whose finger was poised above that little red button that could make the whole world go BOOM BANG A BANG. Imagine if Bertie had the same capacity… “eeh, whaddya mean I started World War Three, I have no recollection of that fact, in factah, yeee’re tryin’ to stitch me up…”

The day Bertie turns up for work with no trousers on and proceeds to piss himself in front of everyone in Leinster House is the one I’m looking forward to. It’d certainly liven up Oireachtas Report.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Annual Review

Things I'd like to write about people in their Annual Review...

(This has been stolen from Impact trade union's magazine, "The Record" of December 2005)

"Upward Feedback me Arse"

Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

I would not allow this employee to breed.

This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won’t-be.

Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

When she opens her mouth, it seem that it is only to change feet.

This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

He set low personal standards and constantly fails to achieve them.

This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

This employee should go far and the sooner he starts, the better.

Got a full six pack, but lacks the plastic thingy that holds it all together.

A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

He doesn’t have ulcers but he’s a carrier.

I would like to go hunting with him sometime.

He’s been working with glue to much.

He would argue with a signpost.

He brings a lot of joy when he leaves the room.

When his I.Q. reaches 50 he should sell.

If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he’s the other one.

A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.

A prime candidate for natural de-selection.

Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.

Gates are down, lights are flashing , but the train isn’t coming.

He’s got two brain cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it.

If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.

If you gave him a penny for his thoughts you’d get change.

If you stand close enough to him, you’ll hear the ocean.

It’s hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.

One neutron short of a synapse.

Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled.

Takes him two hours to watch 60-minutes.

The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

Got into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t looking.

And my own personal favourite:

"Someone peed in his mother."


It's the countdown to Christmas! 8 days to go! WooHoo!

Yeah, right.

C*ntdown more like it.

I have to get all the annual reviews for my COs done by the end of this week, god damn it fucking bastard shite.

I'm sure the reviews will turn up some funny stories, so watch this space.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Monument to the Unknown EO

I was in a shop today, winding up the Christmas shopping, and I noticed a handwritten sign by the counter, clearly stating the returns policy. At the bottom was a line saying:

"This does not in any way affect your statuary rights".

Thank fuck for that. I was always terrified that if I needed to return something to a shop, that I would forever lose my entitlement to have a statue of myself commissioned.

Phew! Now where's my chisel?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Other Departments

I walked past another Department today. I had to smile at the effort put into their exterior Christmas decorations. In fact, I wish I'd taken a picture on my mobile phone and uploaded it here.
It was a many-hued, glittering festive delight.

It was the entire contents of someone's stomach, plastered (no - hurled!), Pollock-fashion, across their plate glass double front doors.

It summed up the true spirit of the Irish Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

7 weird facts about Govstooge

Right, been tagged by Galwaywegian ... here are my weird facts...

1. I'm one of those annoying "flexitarian" people... I call myself a vegetarian but I still eat meat occasionally when the mood takes me. I also like working on flexi-time.

2. Despite having a proud association with Galway, I am no longer permitted to drink Buckfast, as it makes me utterly mental. Even more than usual. Strictly a pints woman now.

3. I actually really like my job... shock!! horror!! (Well, most of the time anyway... even on those days when I want to impale some of the clerical officers on the crudely fashioned chevaux-de-frise I have constructed beneath my office window.)

4. I scored three out of five in this year's PMDS. Huzzah! (Why my boss felt the need to apologise for the rating I don't know...).

5. I have spent almost two years of my life on the dole. And another five years in university. I'm now a civil servant. Go figure.

6. I am single, and very, very proud indeed. Although reading Bridget Jones' Diary struck a chord...

7. I'm a depressive, but writing this shite keeps me sane. I hope.

As for tagging seven others, I'm sorry, I'm just too fucking lazy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Great Quote...

General Sir Walter Walker (Exponent of right-wing politics in 1970s Britain) said in 1981:

"Britain has invented a new missile. It's called the civil servant - it doesn't work and it can't be fired."

God, wouldn't it be great if you really could use civil servants as missiles. There are several COs in my section who fit this description, and there's nothing I'd like better than to shove a nuclear warhead up their holes and launch them in the direction of... oooh I dunno ... Washington DC? But they'd probably fizzle out somewhere over Borris-in-Ossory, the useless bastards.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Things that scare me at work

Jesus, sometimes you hear horror stories about workplaces. Rampant bullying, exploding kettles, collapsing furniture, etc. Although these things are not currently a problem, other, more surreal and bizarre things are.

There are many things about my workplace that scare me. Christ, some of them give me nightmares.

Here we go...

(1. ) One clerical officer's insatiable appetite for all things sweet or chewy. I am scared to go near this person in case one of my limbs accidentally comes into contact with their jaws. This person has an enormous arse and is also a Workplace Shitter.

(2.) The desk nearest to mine, a veritable midden of old forms, even older fruit pastilles, and - probably - rodents. Not even the person at (1) above will go near it when scavenging for food.

(3.) The occupant of the above desk, and their occasional attempts at "camaraderie" - basically handing out sweet treats to everyone - I am scared by this not only by the lack of hygiene of this person - but also because I am the boss, I'm terrified that the proffered chocolate has been deliberately laced with laxative, or rodent wee.

(4.) PMDS... oh God, oh God, it's that time of the year again when I must wander the corridors in vain with an appraisal form in one hand and a CO trailing behind me looking for a free room where I can conduct their Annual Review. I have to get all serious and discuss Key Performance Indicators (bleugh) and Critical Success Factors (Yawn). Then I have to give them a rating of 1 to 5. For Fuck's sake. It's like being a judge at a bad talent show in a community centre.

(5.) The coffee in the canteen. Once a reasonably palatable beverage, now tastes like it's been made with what's swept from the floor each evening, and maybe some rodent droppings from (2) above.

(6.) And of course, I live in mortal dread of falling asleep while my HEO is talking to me. An expert at using 100 words where 3 will do, my HEO is a tautological, verbose, circumlocutionary manager (sorry, I ate the thesaurus). I could catch a 5-minute cat nap, and still not miss anything. Does the HEO not notice my eyes glazing over, and a thin rope of drool exuding from the corner of my mouth? I can't help it.

I have to invest in some ProPlus. I have to get my caffeine somehow - see (5) above, and of course, if I take enough of them, I won't fall asleep, to be visited in my dreams by the evils listed above...

... but I may go insane. Maybe that's already happened though.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bah Humbug! (One of a series of many)

More Christmas moans...

Some of the staff in our section have decided to take the piss out of my constant grumbling and moaning (as a result of having to organise this years Christmas "do").

They are trying to suggest the person who organises the hooley should also put up the Christmas decorations in the section. We are six days into December and people are beginning to wonder when the 1980s tinsel and plastic holly and other civil service standard-issue decorations are going up to lend a bit of festive cheer to our magnolia and plywood workplace.

There is a lot of whispering in the section about this, and when my name came up today, in a whisper conveniently loud enough for me to hear, another CO said, "No, Govstooge is no use, she's too short."

There. A plausible reason for me to get out of doing the shitty job. For I am, indeed, a shortarse. And even standing on our flimsy chipboard desks, with a few extra forms for good measure, I will not reach the ceiling. I am five feet of aesthetic redundancy.

Plus, is there not a health and safety issue? As a manager, I am responsible for health and safety measures in the office. I would not be setting a good example teetering on the edge of the desk with sellotape in my mouth and tinsel in my hand, stretching in vain to make contact with the ceiling, while veering dangerously towards the open window. So I'm sitting back and sipping my coffee, while watching the tall people do all the hard work. Delegation, I'll call it.

And I could write that CO up for being discriminatory towards persons of restricted growth too. If I'm feeling generous enough for the season that's in it, I might well do that. It's Annual Review time in the coming weeks. Heh heh heh.

On foot of that, maybe I will help with the decorations to a lesser extent - I can hang a sprig of mistletoe off the back of my top, so people can kiss my arse.

Watch this space.

Ho ho fuckin' ho.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Shut the fuck up!

As a former employee of a sales office in the private sector (less forms, but with a permanently-on-the-rag nazi for a manager), I continue to be surprised by the things that people in our office get away with during work hours.

Strange things, like lunatic dancing in the aisles while wearing various items of stationery for decoration, pretending to hide in the artificial plants and jumping out at people from behind them, spending 50 minutes for tea in the canteen... ooh wait, I'm guilty of that one. But you know what I mean, silly things that wouldn't be tolerated by private sector companies.

What bafffles me, however, are the constant personal phone calls by some clerical officers (Not mine, so I can't pull them up... bah!) during work hours. Some of these calls are made to their houses which are pretty close by... to check whether the washing machine is on the spin cycle yet, to talk to the DOG, to shout (yes, shout) abuse at their husbands. Others ring their teenage children at school, to see if they ate their lunch yet, did they enjoy it, what their teacher (who is probably standing at the front of the classroom, fuming) is wearing, what do they want for dinner when they go home, etc. Other personal calls include ringing Revenue on behalf of grown-up children sorting out their tax credits and enquiring about items for sale in the local rag.

And these people are LOUD. PPS numbers, credit card numbers, recipes, shopping lists, the carryover of last night's argument, all circulating over the general hum of the office. I know more intimate details about their lives than I do about some of my own family or friends.

I don't care about the cost - either fiscal or in terms of productivity - to the office of all these phone calls. But I do care about having to listen to the details of Rover's impacted anal glands while I sip my morning coffee at my desk. I have already destroyed several forms due to involuntarily spitting coffee all over them on hearing the latest instalment in the "my husband is impotent" saga.

Short of compiling a new telephone usage policy for the office, which would be time consuming, boring and no-one would read or pay attention to it, maybe a volume control device installed on these people would help? I am thinking, of course, of a large tennis ball shoved into their mouths. Simple and cost effective.

It might cause drooling on the forms, though.

More Christmas Rant

Jesus, I'm fucking haemhorraging money this month. And I'm not talking about the heinous Christmas shopping mentioned in my previous post. No, I'm talking about all the other shite that's going on at work. People leaving and having babies, buying new cars, losing a stone off their arses, all these things have to be marked with a scrawl on a card and a ten euro note extracted from everyone. Fair dues, these are big life events (But where was my fucking card when I bought my house... huh? HUH?) and should be acknowledged in some fashion.

The big thing for me this month is having to cough up a load of extra cash towards the Christmas do (which I am organising, by the way) because I'm a fucking supervisor. This exalted status - despite the fact that there are clerical officers who make more money than I do - means I must pay more so that the clerical officers can have a cheap night out, at the expense of me and my fellow managers of various grades. This is a token of our appreciation for the hard work the clerical officers have done during the past year. Which is, also, fair enough. They do a good job. My main whinge here is that some of the other managers earn twice what I earn, and they have to pay the same. My tentative suggestion at the meeting that our contribution be made proportional to our earnings was met with stony silence. Quelle surprise.

Oh God, roll on March 1st and my 2.5% pay increase. I don't think my current pay packet can stand up to all this abuse. I might have to risk the whole lot on a horse. Tips, anyone?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Oooh Sheeet!

Just realised... it's fuckin' December! And not a scrap of Christmas shopping done!! Many of my friends and family are already done with theirs, and I have yet to start!

Every year I do this, despite the subtle reminders all around me for the past two months. A hardware shop close to where I live has had their front festooned in Christmas tat since October 9th!

To compound matters, I utterly detest town centres in the approach to Christmas, all that queueing and elbowing and trying to find the last parking space in the multi storey - when I only went in there in the first place because the sign outside said "Spaces" and when I am in, there are several fucking jeeps taking up three spaces each. Grrr! It makes me wonder why I left the house without some Semtex and an Uzi. It was much simpler when the fat bloke in the red suit did all the hard work.

So now, I have to order everything online, and pray that it arrives on time. Alternatively I can browse the shopping centre and retail park adjacent to the Department while on my lunch break, when they aren't too mobbed with people doing a fairly convincing impression of the zombies in Dawn of the Dead.

Bah humbug!!

Back on Form

I'm a lot better now, having gotten rid of all the impurities and foul phlegm from my system.

I'm just mad to get at all those forms.

Bring 'em on!!!

(Delirium brought to you by a few days' sick absence - uncertified, of course.)