Tuesday, 18 May 2010

She's Lost Control

On this the anniversary of the prosaic death of Ian Curtis (there is no good reason for mentioning this, but I feel it has to be done) I attended an HR briefing about mediation. It was held in a 4 star hotel in Victoria, and after a quick game of Pictionary (we won, btw) took the form of (I think I'm correct in saying) 'active theatre'. Jolly good it was too, though it is hard to deflect the criticism that it must have cost a fucking bomb, and as we are all too painfully aware in these Osborne and Cable times, that is not really excusable. Ah well, it's a false economy we're living in, as Jim said the other night, and it won't be long before we crash and burn. Can't say I didn't warn ya, but let's make hay while the sun shines.

We were presented with a scenario in which Lucy and Ben were squabbling over something or other (if you must know - Ben had been promoted, Lucy had the hump over it, and nobody - least of all Simon the boss - was paying the slightest bit of attention to her feelings) when Simon the boss came in and only succeeded in making everything worse with his cack-handed and overbearing managerial skills. Our task was to guide the scene towards a more satisfactory conclusion by - ostensibly - just butting in and making suggestions as to how Simon should really have handled it. The show was one constant heckle, re-written as it went along - at the prompting of us 30 or so dweebs.

And the actors were really rather superb, I have to say, displaying an admirable (and always humorous) ability to think on their feet. Simon, in particular, raised several hearty laughs with his in-character responses. Mine was a front row seat, so I could almost have touched the cast, and when I was able to drag my mind away from salacious thoughts about Lucy, I really enjoyed my quick interjections (no, no, titter ye not!) and was notably proud that one of my nuggets ended up verbatim leaving Simon's mouth. Shakespeare's got nothing on me.

Needless to say, we killed any faint hope of dramatic tension in the story by the end - I suppose that really wasn't the point of it after all - and I was somewhat disappointed if truth be told. Unfortunately, the ice-breaking sessions had left me paired with a humourless Scottish woman of large proportion (an earlier exercise had asked about the pressures which can cause strife in the workplace, and her best effort was to bemoan the inability to purchase a bottle of ink for her fountain pen. WTF???!!!) and I tried to make a lame-ish gag about writing an Eastenders style ending to the play (long lost brother, etc.) which fell like Jesus' seed upon the barren earth.

Inside my radio head, the pictures were forming.


Michael said...

Think of the 'efficiency savings' they could make by just locking you and the Scottish woman in a room for the afternoon.

Plus, by the sound of things, her removal really wouldn't affect the quality of frontline services.

Myeral said...

Not sure I like the sound of that...