Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Outside View - Part the Second

 A visit to the Department of Pedantry by Doctor Constantin Constantinopodopoulous of the Department of Psychiatry and Public Service, University of Chipping Sodbury - Part Two. 

I looked around at the remaining civil servants. One CO was still happily working away with her stapler collating what forms remained. The other CO was entering the details from the forms on a database. 

The three EOs were in various states of wakefulness. One, a morbidly obese  middle-aged man who appeared to be wedged immovably into his chair was dozing peacefully over his daily paper, seemingly oblivious to the earlier commotion. A half-eaten scone  was on the desk beside him. Another middle aged male was dealing with a query from a member of the public, which was causing him difficulty, as several times he had to put the caller on hold and ask the remaining HEO for advice. A certain desperation about him indicated that he wanted to transfer the call to the HEO, but the HEO was not taking the bait, as she was engaged in a serious conversation with the third and final EO. This last EO, the one who had wiped up the blood earlier, was the youngest of the three, and she was also the only one not to smell vaguely of decomposing cabbage and old biscuits. A steaming mug of industrial-strength coffee on her desk wafted pleasing aromas around the room -  aromas far more pleasing than the smell of stale axillary sweat emanating from the corpulent, sleeping colleague.

In spite of a readily available caffeinated beverage, the EO appeared to be in a state of anxiety caused by the presence of the HEO, who was firing questions at her in staccato bursts: "What is the ETA of this project?" "Do we have quantifiable returns on that circular?" "I need eight copies of your Role Profile Form for a comedy workshop I'm doing after work." "Did you have a nice weekend?" This last question seemed to baffle the EO, and she replied tentatively, "Err. Yes. Did you?" The HEO replied "Oh I did. I went out for dinner to the Hackballscross Hilton and I had a lovely meal of quail's legs washed down with a bottle of obscenely expensive wine. And the famous composer Phillip Window-Glass was at the next table, how lovely... " Rollling her eyes, the EO directed the conversation back onto work related matters, obviously regretting the polite enquiry as to how the HEO's weekend went.When the HEO left the room with a gait that suggested a large pole had been inserted firmly in her rectum, the EO issued forth a sweary tirade on how her job had become harder since the arrival of the HEO, especially as the other two EOs just seemed to be marking time by generally doing "fuck all."

It would seem that the more useless you are in a civil service job, the less tasks are asked of you. If a civil servant is in any way competent at their job, more and more work gets thrown at them. I took my leave from the unit, taking care not to slip on the drool left behind on the floor as various staff went to their tea breaks.

The only solution I can envisage for this Department's problems is the detonation of a large neutron bomb in the offices, wiping it off the face of the earth. Who would miss it? It is truly a silly place.

No comments: