Much has been happening in the Department of late. The recruitment freeze and general cutbacks are making their presence felt. Staff morale is lower than normal; some COs are now so inert they can't even muster the energy to log onto Facebook during work hours. They sit, dribbling on their forms, marking time until their tea break.
Staff who have retired/ transferred/ died/ sublimated have not been replaced, and consequently there are a lot of empty desks in the open plan areas. The Personnel unit have attempted to alleviate these lacunae by placing mannequins dressed as civil servants in strategic locations around the building (i.e. the ones clad only in suspenders, PVC knickers and lacy bras have been assigned to all senior managers' offices as "personal assistants").
One retiring EO has written the Department into his will and intends to come back here after death as a stuffed civil servant. It is argued that there will be no discernible impact on his work output.
More cutbacks have been announced. Some of them are devastating. The CO attached to the senior managers' washroom has opted for worksharing, and in the absence of a work partner, senior managers must now either wipe their own arses in the afternoon, or hold it until they get home.
Members of the public have been advised to fill out forms using pencil. This way, once the form has been processed by the Department, the details can be erased and the form can be re-used, therefore cutting down significantly on reprinting costs. A dedicated CO has been fully trained in Eraser Operation for this purpose. A FAS intern has been assigned to lick the forms that have been stained by tea or coffee. He is frequently off sick.
In my own immediate vicinity, Nosher has been put on verbal warning to lose weight, as the Facilities Management Unit can no longer afford to replace his chair every time it collapses under his 20 stone plus frame. The Trappist EO, sickened at the impact on his take home pay of the slashes to the overtime budget, has taken on a second job as a bingo caller.
The worst is yet to come!