Back….to the Future

“You don’t know what you’re doing”. The chant of disgruntled fans to a seemingly clueless manager as yet another match drifts toward its inevitable conclusion. It’s also the cry that’s being circling the inside of my skull for the past six hours and 23 minutes. Not that I am having difficulties, on the contrary I am having the easiest working day I’ve had in a long time, precisely because I don’t know what I’m doing.

I’m “on the bench”, that lovely euphemistic term my company uses to describe those of us still employed but no longer productive for the company. I’ve just finished a four month spell on site at a London based client, and am now sitting in our Glasgow office. Why? Because I’m required to, despite the fact that there is no work for me to do, and, there’s been no management in to have a word, give me any idea as to what is happening as regards new placements or even just have a general chit chat about what’s bugging me.

There are five people in here in the same situation as me, some have been here six months, some a little less. One lucky survivor won the lottery today, and was rewarded with a six week gig in Paisley. Thankfully not me, been there, bought the stab vest. He’s been literally doing nothing since early December. I’m approaching the end of day one and it’s already doing my Swede. Going postal could be an option, though on the principle of a tree falling in a forest with no one there to hear it, would anyone notice if I did. We’re the sole tenant in an office building on a god forsaken business park on the edge of nowhere (or Bellshill as it says on the map). It’s windswept, bleak and it’s only highlight is a branch of ‘Make Your Own’ sandwich shop. Where you pay for the privilege of making your own sandwich…..hang on! Isn’t the point of buying from a shop being able to avoid doing the work? Shouldn’t it cost less? On this principle, I avoid the self service checkouts in supermarkets, or at least, until they discount me for the fact they need to employ fewer checkout “girls”.

The worst of it is, I could still be at work in that glamorous London location, living 4 nights a week in a swanky Kensington pad, my Marks and Spencer microwave meals paid for by expenses…..but….I chose to put family first. Four months of being away through the week has done nothing for my wife’s business, my kids behaviour or my credit card balance, so, it’s back to the Scottish arm of the business, and given how reliant we were on RBS and banks in general, it’s time to sit around and do nothing other than try to look busy. Not that there’s anyone around who’s overly bothered! I recognise hardly anyone, the nature of my work means I spend more time on client sites than I do in our own offices, so I feel like a stranger. Internet comes under a usage policy that blocks anything remotely interesting and restricts the rest, not that the PC I’m using has a network connection anyway! So, enough of this asinine woe is me stuff, time to be less personal and more topical and hopefully more interesting just on the off chance a single solitary surfer happens to stop by….Christ alone knows what you could have been looking for to bring you here….but, as Frank used to say, that’s life.

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