Monday, February 2, 2009


So I was in one of those bloody enormous retail park stores this afternoon after work. I was wandering around the big DIY outlet to see if I could pick up a bargain on housey stuff, like energy saving lightbulbs and shit.

A man walked up to me and asked me, "S'cuse me love, could you tell me where I can get two inch socket screws?"

I did a fairly reasonable "Uhuurgh?" grunt in the style of Tim the Tool Man from that dodgy 90s sitcom Home Improvement. This didn't confer any sense of authority on me at all whatsoever.

"Sorry, I thought you worked here!", said the man.

"Whut?" Ok, maybe if I was wearing bright coloured overalls, yes, that's a plausible mistake to make.

"Well, you've got a badge on," he continued, pointing to where it was, indeed, still hanging off my waistband. And went to search for a real member of staff.

Fucksticks. I've got to stop doing that, wandering out of work on autopilot, clocking out and then going about my business. It's not so bad being mistaken for an employee. But because it says the name of the Department I work for on it, it's obvious that I'm a civil servant. A civil servant with an evil grin, captured forever on a piece of rectangular plastic.

And the media / employers' groups haven't been kind to us of late. IBEC and their likes portray us as fat leeches, sucking all the good out of the public finances. Similarities have been drawn in recent weeks between us and the Jews in Weimar Germany.

So imagine, an identifiable civil servant, wandering around a DIY store unawares. There's chainsaws in there, you know. And axes. And pointy things.


Think I'd better remember to remove it in future.

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