2017? Already?

Eight days into the new year, and I haven’t added to this blog since before Christmas. What a slob. Do I have an excuse and, come to think of it, do I have anything to say anyway?

Well, yes and no, to both questions.

After a brief respite in the days between Christmas and New Year when management was largely absent (and so the place largely worked) The Unpleasantness got even more so.

Whenever a manager was absent, part of my job used to be to double-check colleagues’ work and authorise updates to databases. This also allowed me (without going through six levels of managerial approval) to discreetly correct, for example, any number of annoying little spelling and grammatical errors that had crept in over the years.

It was a minor responsibility, enabling small but satisfying victories over corporate stupidity, and I can no longer do it. Because one of the managers took time out from the permanent civil war with other managers to nominate the task to a younger fellow TROLI (Tabloid Reader of Limited Intelligence). So, now I cannot do my job at the most basic level without having every comma authorised by a management drone clone who is – frankly – illiterate. As a consequence, in the last week work has become a very, very slow and frustrating process, and will become even more so as the year goes on.

Under normal circumstances I would grit my teeth, get through the day, then come home to saner surroundings. Unfortunately, for reasons I cannot go into here, my former place of refuge from a lunatic world has also become an asylum of absolutely the wrong kind.

When all else failed, I used to be able to retreat to a back room and read a book quietly, or just go to bed. At present, I cannot even do that until my fellow lunatics decide to stop crashing around and turn off a battery of phones, laptops and other distractions which they take everywhere – and I mean everywhere.

And as if the insults to my intelligence and mental maladies were not enough, a painful old physical problem decided to return over Christmas. Tests ordered by the only doctor I could see in December were inconclusive, I can’t get to see my own doctor, the pain is getting worse and, while I am hobbling around like a pensioner, I am also determined not to resort to painkillers or take time off work before I have worked out strategies to sidestep the latest side-effects of micro-mismanagement.

All in all then, not a great start to the year. Yet again, I suppose I will get through it by adopting Francis Bacon’s attitude, i.e. that the only way to survive life is to regard very, very nearly everything as totally unimportant. And to that I would add “and to regard very, very nearly everyone and everything you must deal with as a bit of a joke”.

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