Thursday, 20 October 2011


I suppose you could say that City's showing the other night was adequate, though I did feel Bobby's joy with him at the end.

A win, as the wise ones on 5Live were pointing out, was what mattered. And a win we got. A last gasp, lovely, final minute win from the man of the moment - Kun. May God bless his boots. So now the Champions League march is (just about) still on, and off we go to the Sty on Sunday. I wouldn't like to call the result of that one at this stage, but I do think it will be a close one. One goal either way or a low scoring draw is my considered view.

I have thought long and hard over the years about the notion of adequacy. Especially in relation to my own stumbling progress through life. Some years ago, I was made redundant from my job at the House of Mouse, after over 10 years in their employ. This wasn't one of those cost saving chops, but was rather a calculated re-structure to form a group from which I was to be forever excluded. I think I know the reasons for it happening, and they were eminently practical and in no way personal. Yet this doesn't change the feelings of inadequacy the episode left me with.

The story goes that I was responsible for managing (among other things) the engineering maintenance for the company's London HQ. I have never been any sort of engineer, but in reality that shouldn't matter too much. My boss, if anything, was less knowledgeable than I was, and certainly knew a damned sight less than I did about (for example) voice telecoms, where my expertise used to be, but no longer remains, valuable and current. His lack of knowledge did not matter because it was his leadership - the formation and development of his team of subject matter experts - which carried the day.

However that may be, I remember a visit from a senior IT manager from Burbank just before the redundancy was announced. There were concerns that the data suite housing the servers was vulnerable to failure. Indeed, the chillers for this room would fail on a regular basis, and the back-up systems in place were far from resilient. Many was the time I received a late night phone call saying that these systems had failed, and that the temperatures were fast approaching critical levels, though at no time (with the exception of a major local power failure) was there any unplanned interruption to the servers. I knew then that money would have solved the problem, but was not allowed to spend what was needed.

That being said, time is money, and the IT man wanted to know what we were going to do about it. No servers meant no email and no money counting, and this was a serious business. I fear that I may have slightly exposed my lack of technical knowledge at a meeting with him, where I remember being fixated on his very large, very white USA teeth, which actually impeded his ability to speak clearly, and tried to sketch a schematic of the UPS set-up for the server room on a piece of paper. That was where it all began, I think. I was edged out of the door in the nicest possible way and have gone on to other things since.

And yet, there is a persistent sense of failure, a bad smell following it all which has lingered in the air, and there are occasions when I mull over it with a red cheeked shame. I was, after all, not good enough; was weighed in the balance and found wanting. Despite the fact that my manager has since suffered the same fate as I did, this feeling sometimes imbues me with a sense of anger towards him (though it is certain that White Teeth Man played a significant role in the decision) for telling me I was out the door. There is no doubt that my self-confidence - fragile flower that it is - took a severe knock from it. But I'm over it now. Honest.


EP said...

Fuck 'em. "There is no failure only feedback". If you really wanted to learn about UPS's I'm sure you would, so struggle to see it as a question of adequacy.

Myeral said...

You're right on that point, but it was the general feeling of failure as a result of being 'redundant', and for no external reasons such as financial, which - I suppose - hurt. A sensation of worthlessness, the like of which I'm sure you've never experienced :-)