Goodbye and hello

26 Nov

THE Lady Marchioness of Puddledock and Attleborough has cleared her desk, filled her Waitrose carrier bags, and is standing with a blank face as evening clouds gather in grim northern skies. She looks a bit stunned. But people who have just been made redundant after a lifetime of service usually are a bit stunned.

The Lady Marchioness is the last one to go. Like the other sub-editors who have emptied their desks, said their goodbyes, and clumped down the back stairs with their em rules under their arms, she has opted for an unofficial scheme that could be called morally-determined compulsory voluntary redundancy.

Simply put, this is where the more senior journalists, to avoid compulsory redundancy being thrust upon their younger colleagues – most of whom have financial and family commitments – reassess their lives and throw themselves off the roof. In a manner of speaking.

Mind you, when I say she is the last to go, what I mean is she’s the last for now.

So we’ve bought her a nice bottle of wine, an ambitious bunch of flowers, and a box of treats for her posh dogs.

“I shall spend my time walking the dogs and shopping in Harvey Nichols, where I shall boost the local economy of Leeds as it has never been boosted before,” says the Lady Marchioness as the Editor shakes her hand. “But my first job,” she continues, “is to frame the certificate of life membership I have just received from the National Union of Journalists, for it fills me with pride to know that I have achieved at least one worthwhile thing during my years of employment at the Nitherley Observer and Bugle.”

The Editor gives a short speech, at the end of which we all clap. Then the Lady Marchioness, still looking stunned, gathers her bags and walks out of the door, leaving an empty desk in an office that’s full of empty desks.

“Right,” says the Editor, breaking an awkward silence. “I’ve got an after-dinner speech tonight. Anyone know any good jokes?”

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2 Responses to “Goodbye and hello”

  1. golfmadchick December 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Great read. I can bond with the Lady Marchioness of Puddledock and Attleborough having experienced the same myself this year. The only difference being instead of the editor leaving for his after-dinner speech, he’s clearing his desk as is the rest of the newsroom. Sad times!

    • theporkchop December 5, 2011 at 9:25 am #

      Sad times indeed. But it’s good to see that there is life beyond the newsroom. Cheers.

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