Tuesday, July 12, 2005

don’t mention the...
Yet another all-over-the-shop post I’m afraid. Despite my private resolution not to write any more about the terrorist attacks, I find that the subject intrudes upon my thoughts. Blame it on the fact that it sounded as though the Met were giving their Apocalypse Now fantasies full reign over Badger Palais last night. I found myself wondering this morning, as two nippy police boats powered up the Thames, if police recruitment would be easier in the next few months.
London may be “getting on with it”, but unfortunately things keep getting roped off. This morning it was difficult to tell if this was for security reasons (the IBM building), for normal construction purposes (piles of mysterious debris) or for no reason at all apart from amusement (one side of the Jubilee Bridge). Sometimes, like last night, that has an unintentionally beneficial effect. I thoroughly enjoyed my peaceful stroll home from work. Ordinarily, I avoid the grotty Waterloo Bridge (by walking down Fleet St and over the Millennium Bridge or walking through Embankment Gardens and over the Jubilee Bridge) but last night the police – on horses, natch – had helpfully pedestrianised it by roping off the Strand. It was glorious! The sun was shining, people wandered in the middle of the road, music from the “Watch this Space” area outside the National Theatre floated through the air. I could get used to this. (Here ends my Visit London spiel).
Yesterday morning we had an “all-hands meeting” at the PR agency. My feelings are so out of step with the rest of the team that what for them is reassuring and comforting makes my blood boil. Among general backslapping about what a great company this is and how well looked after we are, the senior leads and odious HR toad let us know that counselling is available should we feel traumatised. I vented my anger to TA last night. Talk about insulting those that actually have something to be traumatised about – none of us was hurt, none of us knows anyone who was hurt, none of us was even near any of the bomb sites. We are most definitely not traumatised; some misguided individuals seem to be getting high on vicarious grief, this should not be condoned or normalised. London, zone one, is small enough that everyone can claim a tenuous “I could have been there” connection, but that doesn’t mean we should.
Speaking of being well looked after, I realise that the PR agency is, on a small scale, what TA calls a gravy train. Although I am looking for a new job I will miss the perks of this one and perhaps that is why I’m not looking all that hard. The free fruit, the free chocolate and treats that I smuggle home for TA, the recently discovered magazine table, the option to work from home, the annual trips to the US – if only the work were remotely rewarding.

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