15 February 2010

Table for One

Amongst strangers and casual acquaintances who do not know me well one should never underestimate the dazzling effects of an Oxbridge degree1 and a blue chip employer (even a bank). In consequence I cannot claim to be an entirely low status individual.

Fifteen Moai by anoldent
But no man is a hero to his family and in the Botogol family it is taken for granted that although I sit at the head of the table, I occupy the bottom of the pecking order.

Well, second bottom, I'd claim; above the cat, for while the cat has free access to the garden and all the food it can eat, they don't trap me in a small box to travel in the car. Not normally, anyway.

However the ability to lord it over the cat, while reassuring in the privacy of my home, does not wholly compensate for my lack of status and no doubt my deference at home does not help me to command the respect that my casual acquaintances assume is mine at work.

For I am not at the apex of Project Phoenix, and Project Phoenix, is not the most prestigious project in the bank.

Even so: I was still disappointed last week when, covering for a sick secretary2, I made a rare trip to the C-Suite on the 27th floor, to photocopy and deliver a deck of handouts to the Project Phoenix Supreme Oversight Governance Committee, where I distributed biscuits3 and helped them dial into the audio call.

I was little hurt that my appearance in this modest guise evidently lacked sufficient incongruity to even raise a smile.

"My deck is stapled at the bottom", complained the Senior Business Sponsor of Workstream Three, with just a hint of menace.

I had done it wrong

"Can I get you anything else?" I asked the Overall Programme Controller.

"No, Alfred, that's fine just close the door as you leave" he said in the Voice.

I was glad it was Friday, with all the senior brass occupied in the Governance Group I could sneak off home early and beat the cat.


1 long forgotten in the real world but still occupying a mantelpiece on my cv,
2 Off for two weeks; hiring a temp takes three weeks
3 Yes, the meeting attendees really are that senior


Fellow pet owner said...

It's when you are the one who picks up after the dog that you know you have finally made it to the bottom of the social heap :-) Stick with the cat.

M4GD said...

You see this is what happens when you forget your bowler hat!!
I was thinking since you’re a grad of Oxbridge, then why not add a bit of creativity i.e. May be you wanna try an Elvis Presley impersonation next time your secretary is out and you need to step in. If nothing else my dear ‘you’ll have the right voice!’ As for the pecking order at home, the Wise Owl says: my child keep the peace and be sure to befriend the cat - provided it’s de- clawed and neutered;-)!!
Good day and yes it is a comment -if it looks like one and quacks like one!

I, Like The View said...


I was going to write something really insightful, but now I'm humming a Bay City Rollers' tune (or is it Slade?)

Botogol said...

Bye bye baby ? Shangri La ?
Wanna be with you. ?

I, Like The View said...

not sure. . .

. . .I could sing it to you (but then you probably still wouldn't get it!)