Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Nowt as queer as folk

Readers... I have a confession to make. It is now three years since I started to write this blog and I have to admit that these days I find it hard to find something to say about loving to hate London that I haven’t said before. I often ask my friends to help me find my inspiration. Recently I went to a leaving do for some folks I worked with years ago. I ran into an old chum who told me he keeps tabs on me via my blog. I shared with him my predicament. He looked at me and shrugged. “Why don’t you write about the people around you?” He suggested. “Not a bad idea,” I agreed. And, through by beer-induced haze, I started taking mental notes.

Looking back, I now fully appreciate what a fantastic group of people I worked all those years ago and, sadly, how under-appreciated some of them are. Let me start with “Marie” (names changed, naturally). Marie is excellent at her job and has a quiet thoughtfulness about her that means she is probably overlooked in a world where those who shout the loudest get the furthest. Last week she was made redundant when, in reality, she should have been promoted into the jobs “Ann” and “Joan” had secured, not through hard graft and skill, but by knowing who to get pally with to get ahead of the game.

Then take my good friend “Vivian”. Vivian is a smart cookie. She has been through the mill since I’ve known her but has come out the other end stronger, sharper and wittier than ever before. She should be running her own business by now but admits that, by the time she returns home at the end of the day and finally makes it to the weekend, her energy has been zapped in a soulless job she took in the hope it would help her move into something more rewarding. Needless to say, I am working on her.

But what of those at the top of the pile? You may ask. Well, one manager has had their comeuppance and shown the door. Another, Ben, has left now, but still hangs around, no doubt in the hope that he will sniff out an even better position – and failing that, a bit of stuff to keep him entertained.

As for me? Well, I’m glad I escaped – even more so now I can see how much I was held back in such an oppressive workplace. It was only when Vivian pointed out that Ben had got in the way of my attempts to progress my career on more than one occasion that I realised that, perhaps if I had returned one of his looks with something other than disgust, the might have been a little bit less obstructive. The thought makes by blood boil - and my stomach turn.

But, you know what? I have moved on with my life and my career. Yes, I might not have missed out on certain opportunities if I hadn’t worked there for as long as I did but, you know what? I don’t think I have done too badly. As for Marie? And my good friend Viv? Well, call me an old hippie, but I believe in Karma and know that, one day, they will find their niche and be content there. As for those who have made life so difficult for the rest of us? Well, Karma works both ways…

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