Friday, 14 May 2010

Deja Vu and Raging Hypocrisy

Back to work and The Boss is still hanging around in the office. I wish he'd bugger off to Westminster and annoy the London staff for a change. Thanks to the election, he's been here constantly for the last month, using my computer and causing havoc. 

When I switch it on today, up comes a notification - 79 print jobs pending. He just can't seem to grasp that we connect to the Parliamentary system by remote access, stupid man. All you have to do is accept that there's often a delay between issuing a command and its implementation, but no - that's beyond his comprehension. He just keeps on clicking away - swearing furiously - until the system crashes, at which point he stomps off, leaving me to sort it out. And his is one of the brains we rely on to run the country!

Then Mr Dougan phones to demand an "emergency" appointment at today's constituency surgery. As he's moved, and is no longer one of Andrew's constituents, Greg has to refuse, and tell him to see his own MP instead. Greg didn't mention that, even if that wasn't the case, Mr D is a dangerous loony that we don't want anything more to do with.

As a result, surgery is blissfully nutter-free and, when The Boss goes off for a meeting at the Council as soon as its finished, it looks as if the rest of the day is going to be quite peaceful.

Famous last words. I am just getting all my notes together and straightening the chairs when who should walk in but Mr Dougan!

"Where's your boss?" he says. "No more bloody excuses - I need to see him. Now."

"He isn't here," I say. "Surgery has finished and, anyway, you aren't a constituent any longer - so you need to see your own MP. As my colleague has already explained."

Rational argument is sometimes grossly overrated, and ineffective. When Mr D finally accepts that The Boss isn't in the building, he gets me by the throat and backs me against the wall - again. That's the third time he's done it this year.

I just have to stand very still, look calm and try to talk him down - not easy when you can hardly breathe - until Greg finally appears to see where I've got to, surprises Mr D and causes him to loosen his grip. I run out of the room and through the security doors, closely followed by Greg. We only just get the doors closed before Mr D starts banging on the glass and shouting.

Greg and I stagger upstairs to the office and both collapse at our desks. I don't know which of us is the more freaked out - but Greg's voice has definitely gone up a couple of octaves. Eventually I phone The Boss to tell him what Mr D has done, to which Andrew says,

"You must have said something to upset him."

Greg looks as if he's going to have an apoplectic fit when I report this back. He doesn't look any better when news comes through that the MP Stephen Timms has been stabbed during his constituency surgery this afternoon. Stephen's such a nice guy! I can't imagine him upsetting anyone. There but for the grace of God and all that.

It takes me ages to get home from work, as I have to walk sideways to make sure that Mr Dougan isn't sneaking up on me from behind. When I finally arrive, I try to explain to Max about what happened, but he interrupted to tell me all about a "bunk bed emergency" he had at work, and so I never get to finish my story.

I make myself a cup of very strong tea and am looking forward to watching the end of the Channel 4 News to find out how the great Con-Dem romance is going, when the phone starts ringing. It's Greg.

"Have you heard what that idiot Harriet Harman is saying about the Timms attack?" he says.

"No," I say. "What?"

"That MPs run terrible risks and that something has to be done to make them safer!"


"Yes, but what about us?" says Greg. He's really shrieking now. "It's ten years since a caseworker was killed by a constituent, but no-one did anything about that! We run the gauntlet of these loonies every day, get threatened, get assaulted, but that's all okay - because we're just the little people. Molly, we're dispensable!"

"It's worse than that, Greg," I say. "It's our fault we upset the nutters in the first place - according to The Boss."

There is a noise as if Greg is being strangled, and then the phone goes dead. I call him every half hour for the next two hours, but don't get any reply until eventually he sends me a text:

"Molly, I am so filled with hatred that I am dangerous. I am therefore getting drunk enough to post dog poo through the letterboxes of every mad constituent I can find on my way home from the pub. I may save the biggest piece for The Boss's house."

I've been trying to phone him ever since then, but he still won't answer.  Now it's nearly midnight and God knows what he's done. There have to be easier jobs than this.


  1. Is this true?

  2. I can't help feeling this is more than fictional - is it? (it's VERY funny).

  3. Constituents, mad, bad and dangerous to know.

    Do you get to wear kevlar? Carry pepper spray?

  4. Thanks for the feedback to all of you - much appreciated, and please keep it coming. In answer to your questions, though, and to paraphrase "Yes, Minister," I couldn't possibly comment!