Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Reggie Perrin where are you?

Can't really call the boss an idiot when you're self-employed without the doctor taking an interest in the conversation and writing worried notes on your chart. So after two and a half years as a wage slave, I've had a day of days when I should very much like to say something to the boss about his/her policies and the way they're mishandled, and (more to the point) how my colleagues... and worse... me!... get to be on the receiving end of bastard members of the public venting off about the boss's policies and how they're mishandled. It ain't fair. Sniff! Sniff!

Yes, I had a bad day today and if I had been on a public counter instead of a telephone, I would have cheerfully hospitalised the sarcastic little bollix that I had to deal with on a call this morning. But such is the pact I've made with the devil that I must stay in a completely unrewarding job, defending policies in which I don't believe.

No, I won't be sending back the pay cheques in protest. And that irritates me too.

On the positive side, the too-big-for-the-washing-machine duvet got a hand-washed pounding tonight. But I'm still mad as hell.

Welcome to the world, Willie. Personal loans to repay. Direct Debits to service each month.

I watched an episode of "The fall and rise of Reginald Perrin" a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten how completely anarchic it was. I also hadn't been inside that corporate world the character of Reggie Perrin inhabits when I watched it as a youngster the first time around and when he sporadically tells people they're bastards and gets away with it and fantasises about what bastards they are, it really strikes a chord. What fun.

And the funniest is that as the story progresses his honesty in calling all the twits out means that they begin to think he has some secret to middle-management that they don't, that he is really a guru whose ideas should be followed. Ultimately, he does the famous strip on the shingle beach and swims as far out to sea as possible, only to be washed up unknown in another part of the country where he begins to rebuild his life. Then he rises again, becoming the boss of his own business empire with all his former antagonists now working for him and which sells absolutely useless objects (for example the bottomless ashtray, or the rungless ladder) and which makes a fortune.

The program pokes fun at the whole British business world of the 1970s, the time in which it was made, and is full of lovely sterotypes: the fierce but dim managing director; the ditzy secretary; the ass-kissing middle-management staff. But the character of Reggie is just wonderful.

As soon as my debts are re-paid, I plan a less extreme Reginald Perrin exit from the job that I'm in now. I've had the arse chewed off me by one irate customer too many. The bosses can go fuck themselves and their policies. I want to be a customer again and be the one to do the biting.

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