I find myself sat on the London bound train scooting off to a Starfleet office based in the big city. Regular readers will know this isn't the first time - but I haven't been there since February this year. You'll also know that I've been summoned to receive "executive help" on, what should be called "the unwinable bid". The new ground for me, is meeting the aforementioned executives.
Now the thing about executives is thier title. I imagine it comes from "ex" as in "no longer" or "previous" and "ecutive" meaning "able to think like a rational human being"*. More often than not, when they aren't thinking about work related subjects, some of them are quite normal, sane and easy going people. Ultimately - and this is the key - they are just people. They could just as easily be sat outside a station playing a guitar as they could be sat behind a desk barking. Once you get "past the title" (and if my definition is correct, that's no biggy) then they're pussy cats.
I put in some hard working hours over the weekend, though not a stupid amount because frankly this particular piece is a damp squib, dead duck and a lame horse all rolled into one. If it were a house, you'd knock it down. If it were a ship, you'd call it Titanic. If it was a bid you'd no-bid it.... But let's see what the "previously able to think like rational humans" make of it first. I'm doing them a dis-service and for that I appologise. But as a Brit and as an employee we all moan about our senior members of an organisation. It's in our DNA.
In the meantime; the train. In previous episodes I've shared some of the excellent conversations that have been overheard but so far this morning - almost utter silence. Very disappointing. I thought that perhaps as we near the big L and a few more commuters appear there might be a titbit to enjoy, but alas no. In fact the train is more empty than I've ever seen it before. You'd think it was a bank holiday, but I'm guessing that the half term brigade are still at home to recover form the joy of spending time in the company of their little ones.
As for listening in to the few passengers that are aboard, little did I realise that it's more likely to be MY conversations being overheard for a change. Almost 8.30am, pulling into Swindon and I've already taken two calls from "Kanga" to whom the words 'arse' and 'elbow' appear to be exactly the same.
It's going to be a very very very long day. Even longer than that. I have but three rays of sunshine in it.
The first is the science of time. To all those people who say "you'll get through it" you should by now have realised that unless you drop dead in the middle of whatever "it" is, that it is impossible to do anything but get through it. This is because that no matter what the situation, time passes and this time tomorrow will be another day. Getting through it is the easy bit. Not kicking the bucket, that takes effort.
The second is a beer with Jack. Hopefully, once we've got through it, he and I will find a boozer for a quick pint before catching our respective trains home.
And the third... Well that's obvious. Walking in through my own front door to the smiling faces of Mrs G and Daughter, neither of whom are executives** and thank heavens for that.
Finally - just before disembarkation this snippet: "Hello? Where we're they? She OK? I'll catch you later."
Bugger that's boring. Time to alight and scurry down the rabbit hole into god knows what.
Actually the executives in question were far from the ogres I'd been lead to believe they might have been. In fact they were both sane and very helpful in digging around and finding a direction for us to go in. Of course, it's only Monday and if we can't live up to the expectation they've set I might have an entirely different opinion, but for now - I take it all back and am counting my blessings to be part of a pragmatic and forward thinking bunch.
Time will be our tutor.
*This definition may not be 100% accurate - but it does kind of fit.
** The flip side to this is that by definition they are therefore still more than able of thinking like rational human beings, which naturally will mean I'm in trouble for not doing something that's on a list that I haven't seen but should have completed a week ago - probably. ;-)
This post originally appeared here: Posterous