Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Though I know I should be preparing for a meeting, I have decided instead to write about some of my history. Many many years ago, I worked in the civil service at a 'prestigious central London location' as a Facilities Assistant. When I had just started, I was introduced to the in-house chippy (not the cod variety, but the chisel one) who was called Jim. The first thing he said to me was:

"There's no bum roll in the bog."

He then shut himself away in his dungeon, or workshop, which was - appropriately enough - deep in the bowels of the building. After that, I had precious little to do with him, thankfully. Which probably says quite a bit about the amount of work he actually did.

I didn't really do that much work myself, if truth be told, and got into the habit of:

1) Taking a mid morning breakfast at the local cafe, and

2) Popping out at lunchtime for a pint of Guinness or 6

This was in the company of the two in-house sparks (not the avant-garde rock band variety, but the flex and stepladder one) called Gordon and Brian. Gordon was a jack the lad, a cheeky chancer who had made it out as far as St. Albans from his origins in Bow or somewhere similar. He was running every kind of scam known to man, especially as everyone knew that the writing was on the wall for this particular jolly, having come under the eye of a bean counter in Whitehall and earmarked for closure. Anyway, one day we were approaching our 4th pint and our 3rd hour of lunch, when Gordon told me a little story about Jim. For me, it kind of sums up man's mean spirited nature.

Jim was getting rid of an old coffee table as he had no further use for it. However, he wasn't about to simply throw it in a skip. Oh no. In order that nobody could get a free ride, he was going to saw the legs off the table before chucking it out. Nobody's fool, old Jim.

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