On having a difficult week: Hillary & me

On having a difficult week: Hillary & me

We all have them, don’t we?

Difficult weeks.

Weeks in which nothing seems to go right … weeks in which one small thing blows up into something massive, weeks in which one small thing then turns into several huge things, weeks in which you end up feeling that you were solely put on this planet in order to deal with people who are depriving villages the world over of their idiot.

I’ve had one of those weeks, pretty much solely to do with all the admin associated with leaving my employer in a couple of weeks’ time. Firstly, I discovered that a colleague who has also left the organisation, but a couple of weeks ahead of me, was participating in what he described as “some really useful [employer funded] outplacement sessions”, where he received help with his CV plus tips on job hunting and interview techniques. Hurrah, I thought, that will be useful. But, when I enquired, I was told that said service was not available to me, due to being in a different division of the organisation. Given that said organisation is currently promoting a “One Firm” campaign wherein services and employee benefits are indeed available to all, irrespective of business unit, this didn’t sit well with me, so I challenged the “Not Available To You” feedback and a full and frank exchange of views ensued.

Days passed, the world turned, willows wept … and I received an attachment outlining the details of the three months (hurrah!) of outplacement support to which I am now, apparently, entitled.

Just as my blood pressure had returned to an acceptable level from this particular episode, I received a phone call from the data monkeys who monitor holiday take up and deployment. Now, I normally receive 25 days leave per year; but said monkeys claimed that, in 2008, my holiday usage had run as follows:

Allowance: 25 days
Taken: 25 days
Also taken: 17 days

Totalling: 42 days

(I wish! When would I have had the time, or even the inclination, to take 42 days of holiday, given that I was also away from home on business for just over 100 nights in 2008?).

We then commenced 2009, with a new allocation of 25 days, except that my tally looked like this:

Allowance: 25 days
Less: 17 days from 2008
Totalling: 8 days apparently “available”

Oblivious to any of this, I had proceeded to have the audacity to take 13 days of holiday so far this year, meaning that I now apparently “owe” the company 5 days, for which they were proposing to charge me, i.e. deduct the cost of said days from my final leaving salary.

Further full and frank exchanges ensued, which resulted in them “writing off” what was unhelpfully dubbed, in Monkey Speak, the “2008 data anomaly” and us then (more Monkey Speak) “re-balancing” the 2009 schedule. Just as I was thinking that I had escaped without quite losing the will to live, it transpired that they had somehow managed to merge my holiday record with that of someone with a completely different name – hence the cock-ups (or whatever phrase of a similar meaning is used in Monkey Speak: “Irretrievable Data Error” or some such, I expect).

Perhaps all of this is a Higher Power’s way of assisting me to separate from the company and forcing me to not mourn the organisation following our abrupt divorce?

But we continue. And mentioning people who’ve had a bad week, what are our thoughts on this Hillary Clinton “Don’t Mention My Husband!!!” debacle? Here’s a link to the YouTube footage, from which I both conclude and observe that:

– Mrs Clinton is a charm-free individual when caught off-guard and not in receipt of a script;
– She has obviously been asked to be a mouthpiece for Bill’s views a few too many times in the past and this was the one question which tipped her over and into the abyss;
– Surely the US’s Secretary of State ought to be able to cope with unexpected questions with a little more grace? She is meant to be the face of the USA overseas and, as such, a little more gifted in the diplomatic arts.
– That is one horrible outfit – so HRC was obviously lacking the stylist as well as the speechwriter on the day in question.

Like I said: a bad week.

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