Wednesday 26 October 2011


As you know, I'm a happy-go-lucky kind of guy; I'm not the kind of person to take things too seriously, to over-think and over-analyse every last detail of everything in my life.  There aren't too many things that really get on my nerves and cause me to react angrily.  Oh no.  Almost nothing at all.  Why, I can watch TV all night, just letting it wash all over me without saying a single word, except perhaps to chuckle gently at the laughsome delights in front of me.

I'm pretty relaxed about work too.  Clearly.

....well, okay.  Lots of things annoy, irritate and exasperate me.  All the time.  Some many most of them tiny.  Even with that in mind, and also acknowledging the fact that I also have a tendency to be sanctimonious and self-righteous, I did see something in the office that made my blood boil.

It's like this: we have an email that gets sent around the department each week.  It's a summary from each area of what's going on and what's coming up.  It's become a long and pointless chore, and I doubt that many people read it, but the original idea was to highlight where people have done a good job and to give them a bit of a shout out in an otherwise largely thankless job.  I write the bit for my team, and I try to keep it as light and as little about the tedious realities of work as possible.  I'm also a firm believer that it's important to mention the guys in my team as often as possible.... pulling their names out of the text by using both BOLD and UNDERLINE.  It's not much, and to be honest my main aim is to make them smile, but it's something, right?  This week was a corker, featuring song-titles by AC/DC, a joke about size ten stilettos and cross-dressing, and a gag about the weapon of the zombie apocalypse shrinking his android tablet into an android phone in the wash.  I know, show-stoppingly good, right?

Anyway.  For reasons unknown, I read some of the other entries in the email this week.  I didn't get far down before my blood was boiling.  The update for one of our biggest projects - a multi-million pounder - was trumpeting how well everything was going and that it was essentially a massive success.  Good news, right?  Time for a few shout-outs to the people who have worked long and hard to make this difficult and troublesome project a success, right?  Right?


There was one thank you: a long paean to our new interim IT director, saying how amazingly supportive he has been and what an all-round inspiration...blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.  The programme manager - who I learned last week was being groomed for a leadership role - has made the decision to use this forum to cravenly arse-kiss his boss rather than to thank the people who have worked long hours and weekends to dig this programme out of the shit and put it into our stores.  You might say that this isn't such a big deal and that it's in an email that no one really reads anyway and who cares..... but it really bothered me.  What made me feel a little better is that I've decided this guy's nickname is Tooms.

You know, from the X-Files.

Eugene Victor Tooms...was a mutant capable of stretching and contorting his body into positions physically impossible for a normal human. This gave him access to his victims through small openings such as ventilation shafts, chimneys, and toilets. Every thirty years, Tooms came out of hibernation, killing five people to obtain their livers for sustenance. It is possible that Tooms was over one-hundred years old when Mulder and Scully encountered him; he was linked to similar murder sprees in 1963 and 1933, as well as a single murder in 1903

So, it doesn't say anything about being a crawling, craven arse-licker, but otherwise it seems to fit*

* Actually it's a shortening of "Tombstones", but I want you to know that I'm mocking him childishly for so much more than his teeth.

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