Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In Rainbows 

When Death enters a room most people at the very least sit up and take notice - “Uh oh, who's he come for this time?” - but we are Systems Administrators and we don't take no shit from no one.
We've got his browser history on tape and keep copies of his more, let's say, scurrilous emails for a rainy day, which is everyday, just in case. It's a perk of the job.

He's been giving her a load of grief lately – something and nothing over a lost bid in the life assurance sector - but Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, brushes him off with a nonchalant “I know who you drink with, and I know what you say about them behind their backs, so don't push me” shrug and he's on his sorry way.
“Pay no mind. He's just jealous,” she told me this morning, which is every morning. “I'm like one of Creepy Keith's flapjacks. You can't keep me down.”

She's been buzzing all day, high on her first appearance in Ignore, the Company X magazine. She's featured in an article about the Oddshore Resourcing webinar she was recently involved with.
Oddshoring is where a company outsources business processes to inappropriate and unsympathetic third parties. Next time you speak to a customer care representative and you're left with the distinct impression that they don't actually care at all – and why should they? You share no common purpose with this person, apart from not wanting to be stuck on the phone with them - then that's oddshoring.

“Look at this, Tim,” she beamed. In a sidebar below her picture was Stella's message to the business community:

FY2008 has been a fantastic year for tactical initiatives and Company X has made unprecedented strides in the field of key strategic unresponsiveness, benefiting stakeholders locally and globally alike looking forward.
Oddshoring is integral to this process and we will aggressively momentumise into FY2009 and beyond looking forward.
Company X is rigorously realigning the way we do business in existing verticals and future horizontals, transforming transformation by bringing real cost savings to customers, increasing satisfaction and upmarginalising all across the industry.
We are young and accelerating and passionate about help desks and will not be hindered in our ambitious growth objectives looking forward and beyond in FY2009.

“Wow,” I said. “That's really something.”
“I'm tickled pink, Tim. I'm finally making some headway. For myself and for this team. I'm doing this for all of us.”
In Stella's book, good PR is the highest state of grace and nothing beats column inches. Recognition of her indubitable talents within the company has been a long time coming.
“So what do you think? Am I on my way or what?” but before I could answer she was on the phone to her friend Becky to pass on the good news - all “OMG!” this and “Crazy bitch!” that – so I headed back to my desk to contemplate Death and modest victories with a small piece of fruit.

Outside my window a hard rain was falling.
Rain and cherry blossom and the greening fields. Rain and Rex the Security Guard, welly deep in cowshit, rounding up the Gloucestershires for milking.

Rain and beside the sopping datacentre a sea of daffodils bobbing like a thousand happy suns, and beyond that, spray on the bypass, the lorries and cars with their vapour trail tails, then further still, beyond the power pylons and car showrooms, the spire of St. Walburga's shrouded in rain, the hopeful of Preston enclouded, this city of workers, the busy bees and the drowsy bees, the boozy bees and cheesy beers and the messy beards and dozy birds, the big mouthed reps and dreaming consultants, the newspaper sellers and kitchen roof playwrights, the know it alls and done it alls, the mid-morning drinkers and occasional thinkers, the queen bees and could have beens.

Rain and the merciless help desk girls with their tight skirts and skimpy blouses.
Rain and those poor helpless help desk boys with their spinning heads and bewildersome desires -
“I've done some shagging in that car park,” says a veteran of the scene.
“Have you? Who? How?”
“Wife weren't pleased when she found out.”
“Wasn't she? Where? When?”
“Ex-wife, I should say.”

- all of nature bursting and budding, jumping like springy lambs, gagging for a warm new world of sunshine.

“Pay no mind to Death. This is a new dawn, Tim,” said Stella when she finally came off the phone, which was today, Wednesday again, and I probably said something like yes, and that I was pleased for her, genuinely, looking forward.

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