Monday, June 20, 2011

Billy, don’t be an EO

Not that the civil service is hiring at the moment or anything, but seriously, who would want this job?

Being securely ensconced in paid employment at the moment is providing little consolation to me right now.

The disquiet coincided with the advent of a new boss, to whom I will attach the title of “Hexecutive” a rather apt contraction of “Higher Executive Officer”. The Hexecutive arrived in the Department of Pedantry, fresh from a rather important assignment in another Department, to find herself, in conjunction with our existing HEO, sharing control of our not-so-important unit, which has yet again been restructured.

I, as the least grey of the incumbent EOs, have been targeted by the Hexecutive to be her personal guide through the workings of the unit, given my aptitude for remembering where things are, how things work and general all-round efficiency not yet stifled by twenty years’ stagnation at the top of a pay scale. Not yet.

The Hexecutive has entered the unit with all guns blazing, criticising our work processes – many of which were inherited from other units during the restructuring – and making sweeping changes. As the first to agree that a new outlook is often beneficial, I usually welcome changes, however when changes are made to my work process without my knowledge, it’s not long before steam starts coming out of my ears.

Hexecutive: Govstooge, why have you filed these GQUIFHQF-7700 forms under “Existential Anguish”?
Govstooge: That’s where they’ve always been filed. Look, it says so in Page 988 of the Unit Manual.
Hexecutive: No, they should now be filed under “General Ennui and Despair.”
Govstooge: Oh. Fair enough, but I wasn’t told. Should the PQIOQPROQKOJF-7797727 forms also be filed under “General Ennui and Despair?”
Hexecutive: No, I’ve made a new category for those, they’re now under “Despondency”.
Govstooge: Super (!) And does "Despondency" now replace the categories of "Torpor" and "Languor"?
Don't be silly, why would they?
Fuck knows. I don't know what the hell is going on around here anymore. Call me when you've sorted it out.

The other EOs look at each other over their copies of The Irish Times, Take a Cake and Incontinent Functionary Weekly and thank God or whatever fusty grey deity they pray to that they have, so far, escaped the Hexecutive. Their turn will come, oh yes. Because one day, this turbo-charged HEO is going to have them in her sights, and, thinking, "What exactly do they do?"

There has to be a more efficient way of completing the Pimplex crossword, after all.