Friday, 17 May 2013

Cooee, Mr Shifter *

First task of the day was to mail a copy of my CV over to 30%. Recent discussions with colleagues have highlighted a vacancy at the Neat & Tidy Piano Movers which appears to be a very close match to my skills. 30% has therefore put my CV forward via the Neat & Tidy Employee referral programme to take on the role as Shifter Junior...

... If TP ever reads this in the future, I wonder if any of these cryptic, cultural references will stand the test of time or just seem peculiar. Let us hope that You Tube and Wikipedia still exist in the years ahead.

Having done that I settled down to half listen** to the Review call that would determine whether the latest solution could be priced and presented to the client. It went as well as expected and the Lead PM just needs to close out a couple of actions before he can pause, take a deep breath and gallop headlong in to the next phase of the Engagement.

The rest of the day was fairly relaxed up until the point where I had a call with another very experienced Solutioner about my role in the Musical about the Department Store. I thought I was auditioning for the role of understudy to Mrs Slocombe's Pussy but it appears that, for one week only, I will be in the spotlight performing as the Mr Grace.*** We chatted about the ins and outs of the production and it became apparent that I was required to spend much of next week in and around The Capital ...

... That is the last thing one wants to hear at half past three on a Friday afternoon as Dante's expense approval system is a disorganised fuck up that involved e-mails, pdf files and databases and once that obstacle course is completed there is the joy that is their Hotel and Travel booking system. If one then adds in the fact that there are budgetary constraints it will come as no surprise that it took several e-mails, phone calls, estimate revisions and a brief liaison with a Senior Sales Director before I could get confirmation that I was actually allowed to travel.

Is it any wonder that I am looking for alternative employment?

This evening 30% and I travelled over to Warwick to see Julian Clary in his Position Vacant, Apply Within tour. Hmmm! What can I say? Clary is a master of camp comedy and biting comments and there were brief moments of his genius but overall the show was piss-poor. The first half was short at under forty minutes in length, if the two songs were excluded, and the material was a little thin. The second half involved Clary selecting seven male members**** from the audience and performing a selection process with the aim of finding him a new husband. The show culminated with a wedding ceremony and diverse alarums. It wasn't very good. Clary was reliant on willing members of the audience to get laughs and the sequence of seven interviews and practical tests soon became repetitive. It was lazy comedy, reliant on the audience laughing at paying punters rather than Clary's talent with acerbic put down and narrative. I'm being generous with a 3 / 10.

Sorry Julian, but no warm hand on your exit this evening.
* I have to admit that I am probably not doing very well if I need a footnote for the title. Apologies to anyone who is a) under the age of 40 and b) doesn't hail from the British Isles as the relevance of this title will be totally lost on you. I suppose I had better attempt to explain, "Cooee, Mr Shifter" is a line from one of the most famous PG Tips Chimps series of commercials. The line is actually performed by the delightful Irene Handl and was dubbed over cleverly edited advert which showed two chimps attempting to move a piano down a flight of stairs. The punchline was, of course ...

Shifter Junior:      Dad, Do you know the piano is on my foot?

Mr Shifter:            You hum it Son, and Ill play it

** Why would I pay full attention? I disengage from the deal today and move on to yet another interim assignment.
*** I'm not even going to attempt to explain Are You Being Served? to the Junior and International readership ... sorry, look it up.
**** Was that a euphemism ?

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