How We Hate HR (Alphabetic 25)

“Customer feedback is very important to us,” purred the Human Resources manager. Dave was pleased to hear it, but would have been content to read about it in their mission statement. “Email is such a wonderful invention isn’t it? Far better than real human interaction – and so quick!” Gripping the arms of his chair Dave had a good idea about where this was going.

In his inbox that morning had been an invitation to drop in for a chat about the email he’d sent yesterday about the abysmal fuckheads in Human Resources. Just knowing that they were responsible for hiring and then failing to fire the people who daily inflamed his life with idiocy would have been reason enough for complaint but yesterday had been special.

Kuntedge – the HR manager had see fit to send an email out to all staff urging them to enrol for the mandatory diversity training. Like a mug, Dave had, against his better judgement, first opened the email, despaired at the literacy contained within it and compounded it by clicking on the link to the course information. Maybe it was the organisation’s shoddy IT, maybe it was Kuntedge’s inability to use even that nineteenth century version of a computer but it froze and then crashed Dave’s computer, eradicating hours of work. No, autosave had been disabled at the dictate of the HR security twat so there wasn’t even that saving grace. On finally being able to log back in Dave had sent an email suggesting that Kuntedge put himself on a basic word processing course instead of wasting everyone’s time with diversity training.

Perhaps his tone had been a little sharp, his comparison of HR’s general competence to lobotomised squirrels hunting for nuts in a carpark too oblique and the “cheers” sign-off against company policy. Quickly he realised something had soured when no one would meet his eye in the morning. Rallying his jaded tolerance for stupidity he read their response, sighed at the grammar and mounted the stairs.

Rarely were HR visited by choice; their domain was open only to bewildered penitents and managers desperate to get a clear answer. Smiling, like a power-crazed dog too stupid to know how stupid he really is stood Kuntedge, nodding and waving him into his office. The man’s spiel was fluid and worthless, like the excreta of dysentery. Until the final sentence, Dave managed to screen out the jargon and broken logic.

“Verificationism: we’d like to aggressively pursue a policy of accuracy and we feel that you and the IT section might be able to support that. What we need is a system, perhaps a chart on the wall that will help us find mistakes and correct them before they go out into “the population” (as we call them).”

X-rated language flowed through Dave’s mind, boggling at the HR manager’s general ignorance. “You could always use the spellchecker,” he suggested in as calm a voice as he could. Zeal, the kind you only see in the eyes of the incomprehending, lit up Kuntedge’s pupils and he leaned back in his chair, left hand rotating as he summoned words.
“And that’s just what we’d expect from our IT colleagues, but we need something concrete, something visual – not just a computerised replacement for people.”
“Button,” Dave spat out, “it’s a button on your screen – always has been; how can you not know that?”
“Couldn’t have done it without you Dave – I’ll be sending an email round about the new workgroup – we’ll find a solution, don’t you worry.”


Slightly Broken: Putting the Pieces Together

I’ve always hated jigsaws. Except when I enjoy them of course. Contrariness seems to be the way of things this week. The last couple of counselling sessions and a great deal of my mind time has been spent on reconstructing the timeline which I only have a sense of – a sense which rather frustratingly tends towards the imaginary. Or at least the fictionalised.

Why I Hate Jigsaws
Initially there’s that sense of anticipation when you tear off the cellophane (assuming it’s not that awful modern crap that you need an engineering degree to deal with) and there’s the picture it is your task to compile from cunningly shuffled, but integral pieces. Then you tip them all out and realise you hadn’t read the bit where it says that it’s a 1000 piece not just the 500 that you were quite up for. It then dawns on you, as you separate the tesselates into the edges, colours or however you choose to systematise your pre-jigsaw compilation, that there don’t appear to be any fucking edges and the colours are not those glowing tones of memory. Further, the picture on the box is swiftly revealed to be a pre-production lie and you note the asterisked message that “colours and contents may vary from those shown”. What it turns out that you have is a collection of maybe 6 different partially complete jigsaws dumped into a familiar box and cunningly resealed by some bastard who thought they were being helpful.

Why I Hate My Memory
Well, much the same reasons as above for jigsaws obviously, otherwise the metaphor would be kinda pointless. It doesn’t address everything though. It doesn’t quite capture that there are whole chunks of events that I mis-remember, and have no guide, no pieces other than what is clearly a terribly fallible memory to help me fill it. In some respects I have helped myself out by keeping a kind of diary while I was in Sixth Form. Without that I’d be properly doomed. That said, a diary is in itself a sanitised version of our pasts. We write what we want to – we choose to edit, censor and withhold. There is no way to figure out what is missing. Like a fucking genius I’ve avoided writing about some aspects of what happened to me – especially the events that came before Amsterdam. And what I’m craving/fearing is the complete chronology that explains what happened when and gives me the chance to splice my feelings and memories onto. Otherwise it’s just a big bag of shattered memories waiting to cut me at random.
Despite my occasional reticence in the diary, my habits of archiving everything are paying off quite well. I have letters from the motherfucker, scraps of notes and cards; bits and bobs, and a father who’s willing to help identify dates. As a result I’m doing fairly well. I’m tying lots of other events in as well – I guess the ages 15-18 are pretty critical in developmental terms anyway. For me it’s not only when my period of abuse finally ended, but it’s also when I had my first girlfriend, first consensual sexual encounters (with girls and boys), A-Levels and other things.

I’ll let you know how I get on…