Celtic Illumination, part 394, I campaigned for the other guy, but I voted for you!
I suppose most situations I had been faced with, throughout my life, were basically to test me, to test my resolve. To make sure that when I was ready to take the throne of Ireland I would be a forthright, decent and honest human being. Is there anybody in this world that sees a politician’s lips move and doesn’t think, ‘They are lying.’ And the pretence with which people approach most subjects amazes me. I was used to individuals in the armed forces ridiculing Irish people, but I had come to become proud of our forthrightness. And before any of you start coughing and asking about the politicians in Northern Ireland, they are not people. Even the stupid knuckle draggers in Northern Ireland speak their mind, or what’s left of their minds, after the glue sniffing and Buckfast sessions.
The double top secret cabal, who were organising my training, had placed me in some very interesting situations where I had become used to proper debate. Where it was how you presented the facts, how you structured your argument that decided if you would win your side of the dispute and always to be truthful. But no matter how good you were or how good you thought you were, there would always be some other form of life that would come in and cut the legs from underneath you. Those of you with your finger on the pulse will know that I am referring to Delia. She was an amazing woman, and I don’t mean that in a nice way, tigers are nice, but you wouldn’t get in a cage with one. I had seen her scream and shout at social workers where she would have planned the whole thing in her head. She would know exactly what she was about to do and say and nothing could stop her.
She surrounded herself with religious icons, which should be a warning to anyone. It’s like they say, faith healers don’t work in hospitals in the same way as psychics don’t win the lottery. I’ve seen her reduce team leaders to tears with a simple growl and I’ve lost count of the number of people with learning disabilities who wanted to kill her. It all indicated a very evil and nasty person and what did she look like I hear many of you ask? Describe her to me; paint a picture in words of the beast that was Delia. Well; sorry I can’t, don’t get me wrong, my mastery of the English language and my skills on the old Qwerty keyboard would allow me to hammer out a description so accurate that none of you would sleep for a week. My legal counsel tells me that I should not, because this blog does not have an X rating, yet, and exorcisms don’t come cheaply these days. However what I can tell you is that Delia used to like informing people that she looked like Krusty the Clown, a character from the popular television programme, ‘The Simpsons.’ This actually allows a certain amount of legal distance between the claim and my perception of her as I have never watched one episode of The Simpsons, ever, and I have no intention of starting now.
So, if you are all sitting comfortably, let’s begin. I was being given my monthly assessment by Delia. There was just the pair of us in her office and she was moving through the form as she had done month after month beforehand. She had just recommended me to be considered as the next CEO for the Liverpool branch of NWCS, which would have made me her equal. At that moment I was her deputy, the senior service manager, not just in Manchester but in Liverpool as well. She told me that she knew I was unhappy in Manchester that the journey was too much for me. I don’t think I had ever said such a thing to anybody, not even myself. There wasn’t much you could do going to work in the morning, apart from trying to stay awake, so if any part of the journey was difficult it would be the return trip in the evening. But my air force training had put me in good stead for that one. I had my very own diversionary airfield all lined up.
Well; it wasn’t so much a diversionary airfield as a medical centre. One of the good old boys from Warrenpoint was working in an area of Manchester that I had to pass by every evening. It was dangerous going anywhere near him as, being a good old boy, he loved single malt whisky and the odd spliff, which of course we would never indulge in, not with him being a doctor and me the next King of Ireland. I’m not even going to tell you his name or give any indication of where his practise is, not because I don’t want to embarrass him but because he promised to give me any medication I wanted, or needed, under the, “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man,” rule, which in Warrenpoint we hold very dear to our hearts. Oh, and by the way Adrian, I need another tin of those medicinal cigarettes, as the cough is really bad this week, not to mention the stress. And before any of you have a flashback to, ‘Celtic Illumination, part 53, Smoking a spliff at the Queens house,’ no, that was not him, that was Finbar, who is a doctor in Belfast. Sorry, I digress, it was strange hearing that I wasn’t happy working in Manchester and if the truth be told, I wasn’t. But only because there weren’t enough hours in the day and the people I had to work with were stage two cretins, at best.
And anyway I couldn’t leave Adrian alone; his wife was a psychiatrist and loved having little chats with me. I think she knew, or at least sensed, my regal background and prepared for my, ‘Outing,’ so to speak, as she was always taking notes when we spoke. So to hear this from Delia was indeed a bit strange but she continued. She knew that there were vacancies in Liverpool for service managers, so she suggested that I go and have a quiet word with Garry and find myself a nice cushy position in Liverpool. Truthfully I had been looking for a new job as I really was not impressed with Delia and her tactics. I could also see that I probably could do more for people with learning disabilities from a more senior position, but being deputy director of operations in Manchester was not it. I could see that I was going to have to find a position in either a much larger company or with a government body.
I soon found myself outside the Liverpool office with Garry who was as usual sucking away on a nicotine stick and checking his tattoos in the reflection in the double glass doors. For some time I had been letting off steam to Garry, mainly about Delia, but this day he seemed to forget anything I had ever said. I didn’t expect any dirty tactics from Garry. He was your bog standard, working class, tattooed, Liverpool football club supporter, who shaved his head every morning and then cultivated his goatee beard, making him look like Ming the fecking merciless. Despite the fact that I was his deputy, Garry told me that he had already advertised the three service manager positions and couldn’t very well step back and declare that there were now only two. A lot of people were interested in putting themselves forward for these positions. I was offended.
The team leaders in Liverpool, who had put themselves forward for consideration for service manager, were all friends of mine, even the ones who didn’t like me, and I didn’t want to scupper any of their chances. But I had worked well for the people the company supported; it was even Garry who after my initial interview for NWCS had told me that I was a fecking star. The only choice I had, according to Garry, was that I put myself forward for consideration along with the team leaders, and he would choose the best three on the day. In response I may have used one or two swear words and in the correct order too. I already was a service manager, in fact I was the senior service manager and if he wasn’t able to make such a decision I would take it to the directors.
I think it would be safe to say that Garry and I fell out, our friendship floundered. It was a tricky situation because I knew that I was leaving Manchester. It wasn’t a feeling I had in my water, no, it was something much more definite than that. Delia had already chosen my replacement. She had told me that I was to interview her daughter and give her my job. Her daughter would be the only candidate for the position of deputy director of operations but I wasn’t to make it too obvious. As I drove back to Manchester I knew my only option was to get Delia to use her friendship with the owners of the company to get me a position in Liverpool. Knowing how much she wanted to give her daughter my job I didn’t think that there would be a problem. She was on me, like a seagull on a warm chip, when I got in to the office. “How did you get on?” she asked. I told her what had happened between Garry and myself and what I thought she could do to smooth the situation out for me. She assured me that she, ‘Would have a word.’ ‘Great,’ I said, as I left her office. ‘I don’t think any of us could live it down if I failed in an interview against a bunch of team leaders.’ I checked for a smile and do you know what, I really do think that I discovered why people are terrified of clowns, as in response to my quip; I got a glimpse of what pure evil looks like.