His Ruller of the Worldship
As mentioned in previous blogs, I had been in the security industry for twenty years plus.
So, every now and then I thought I’d say something about my time and experiences in that particular world, these instances have nothing whatsoever to do with the sameday courier industry, but you might find them amusing.
I had been working at this government run building, at which point in time they called themselves the Dept. of Work & Pensions. I wasn’t directly employed by the gov., although I was required to sign a very diluted version of the Official Secrets Act.
The building that I worked at, located in Birmingham, was not your run of the mill Job Centre, oh no! This was a place where the needy and desperate were refferred. If, for example, a person had been suspended from their usual source of benefit, for whatever reason, they were sent over to the office where I worked, or they might be what we called NFAs, people of No Fixed Abode, usually alcaholics and drug addicts, they would receive a daily pay-out. And provided they all got some dosh, it was a happy ever after situation, until the next time that is. And you can imagine what happened if people didn’t get some jolly old state money, anyway that I will save for another day.
I remained in this employment, with two TUPE situations, for the best part of eight years. Now, as you can imagine, this three story building needed a small army of cleaners. I got on well with about 90% of the cleaners, and had some interesting experiences with some of them. What I liked about the cleaners, was that they were down to earth. They had nothing to prove to anybody, and had no airs and graces, they were what they were. Just my sort of people, what you see is, largely, what you get.
Anyway, there I was one afternoon, sorting the post in our office, when one of the cleaners stuck a toenail inside the threshold. He hadn’t been there very long and I didn’t know his name. Truth be told, I had barely noticed him, he kept himself very much to himself, a nose down arese up sort of geezer, who seemed somewhat timid. But on this particular instance he stood just inside the office door looking at me with great big Bambi caught in the head-light eyes.
I returned his gaze, wondering what he wanted. He made a millimeter by millimeter progress into the office, when finally he broke his silence. “Can I tell you something?” Oh no. What’s he going to say? “Yeah, of course you can.” As I hadn’t shouted at him, beat up on him or cussed him, he became emboldended, and took a whole step into the office, Bambi was in retreat.
“They’re going to make me supervisor!” A hesitant smile hit his face. “Oh, that’s good.” He now took two big steps inside. His smile touched the top of the world engulfing his whole face. “Yeah. They will have to do as I tell ‘em. I’ll be firm but fare, so long as they do their work, and do as they are told, I’ll be firm but fare.” “Oh, that’s good.” “Yeah, I don’t mind telling you because you’re security. I’ll be fair but firm, so long as they do their work and do as they are told. I’ll be fair but firm. I’m going to make some changes. They must do their work. I’ll be fair but firm”.
Bambi had by now been entirely banished to some previous life. His whole frame seemed to swell to the point where my poor old office could barely contain him. To be honest, I didn’t think that the cleaners needed a supervisor, but, obviously, someone somewhere did. My new found best mate continued outpouring his plans, aims and ambitions. Oh God, he’s going to change the whole world. I could see it coming, Napolen, Wellington, Ceaser and Alexander the Great had no claim on this geezer. I didn’t know if the world, let alone the poor old office cleaners were ready for him. Finally he retreated, with echos of, I’ll be firm but fare, still reverbrating from the office walls.
Anyway, the day dawned, and the great they, made him supervisor. He unleashed his new regime upon the cleaners, and within twenty minuets had succeded in upsetting every single one of them. After twenty five minutes, there was a queue of cleaners fighting to get out of the door, screeming and shouting down there mobile phones. After thirty minutes, he was gone! That’s it, he was out the door, gone! Never, ever to be seen again.
He had united all the cleaners in a single and binding cause, either he goes or we go. The great they, had no alternative, faced with this popular rebellion by all the cleaners, poor old he, had to go.
I can’t help but feel a little bit guilty about this, as it wasn’t too difficult to predict the outcome, I feel that I should have advised him to reign in his enthusiasm, but I didn’t. I don’t know if he would have listened to me anyway.
I sometimes wonder about him, and whatever became of him, and how he managed to cope with this great defeat. I mean, where do you go from where he was – his ruler of the worldship one minuet to out the door the next? How do you cope with such a complete disaster like that? Several pints of local brew wouldn’t go amiss, I suppose.