Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Typical Civil Service Day Part Three

The third and final part in my series. Parts 1 and 2 go back for some time.

Returning to the Department having made a quick visit to a nearby clothes shop and changed my top, I park slightly closer to the building than previously and make my merry way back to work. I check my email and realise that there is a meeting I have to go to this afternoon. I had forgotten all about it due to the events of this morning.

I grab a notebook and run to the boardroom. Except that's the wrong room, as it is already occupied by a group of Senior Managers smoking pot, dancing nude and sacrificing goats. I eventually find where I'm supposed to be and try to slip in unnoticed, but fail miserably. The meeting is already in session and I find the only available seat, the one nearest the meeting chairperson, and the only one making a very irritating fart noise every time its occupant makes any movement. The meeting has been scheduled to resolve several issues affecting many sections, not just ours, but at the end we are all more clueless than before. A motion is passed to have another meeting about the same thing two weeks from now. We file out and I go to splash some cold water on my face in the bathrooms attached to the area where the senior managers have their offices. These bathrooms don't stink of poo and there is a man in uniform standing to attention with a towel. He demands my ID, and on seeing it, notes that I am but a mere EO and he tells me to fuck off back to the plebs' jacks.

It is now 3.30 and my day is almost over. Or so I think. My HEO-clone corners me at long last and throws a long list of things to do at me. I quickly realise that I can't toss any of the work over on the COs as they aren't trained to do so (That sort of thing normally doesn't matter in the civil service, but this, of course, has to be different). Bollocks anyway. I go for coffee with some colleagues before tackling the work. It is 4.20 when we return to the section. I sit and look at the pile of work and decide that it can wait until tomorrow. I try to look busy while surfing the internet for ten minutes before I shut down the computer and leave.

4.30, I drive out of the main gate. Into fucking God-awful traffic. Twenty minutes later, I have only travelled twelve feet. I am sitting in my car listening to death metal when I hear a tap on the window and there is one of the COs grinning in at me. "I'm sorry I forgot to ask you earlier. But I looked out the window just now and saw you were still here. Can I have tomorrow off?" The CO thrusts a leave application form in the window at me. I stare open-mouthed at them for a few seconds before shouting "FUCK OFF, I'm off the clock!"

I wish I could drive off dramatically, leaving the CO to eat my dust, but I can only cringe as I watch them standing on the footpath looking miserable/ murderous - I haven't decided which - after me.

That was the best day I've had in ages. Can't wait to do it all again tomorrow.

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