Monday, September 26, 2011

Fiddling the fudge factor

On Saturday afternoon I took a 19-seater plane from Wellington to Timaru. It made flying seem so easy. I didn't have to arrive at the airport three hours early, take my shoes and belt off or have all my deodorant confiscated. In fact, to my surprise, there was no security at all. Wellington looked stunning from the plane but then it clouded over so I couldn't see much, but we flew right over Temuka - and the cemetery where my grandparents are buried - as we came in. It was noisier and more jerky than a 737 but a pleasant enough flight and so much more convenient than flying to Christchurch, to say nothing of international air travel.

That evening we went to Woodbury for my uncle's 70th birthday and to watch the All Blacks take on France. There was a big crowd, big enough to make watching the rugby a less than enjoyable experience for me. There was considerable variety in how much people cared about the game, from life-or-death All Blacks fanaticism to "it would be quite nice if France won, actually." When it became obvious that the men in black would win comfortably I sidled off to the next room which acted as a chill-out lounge.

Yesterday Mum, Dad and I drove to Moeraki, or close to there, stopping off at Oamaru with its quite spectactular stone buildings, Kakanui for a tasty lunch, and Timaru to drop in on family. Last night we watched a cracking rugby game between Argentina and Scotland (getting excited about rugby, whatever next?), Argentina scoring a late converted try, the only try of the game, to sneak home 13-12. So far (to my mind) there has been an inverse relationship between try-scoring and excitement. The game was played in the driving rain of Wellington; a wonderful advert for the city.

I'm grateful for these three days off work. Things got a little awkward last week. My boss seems to have it in for me regarding our draconian clear-desk policy. Sometimes I'll arrive in the morning to find everything, however innocuous, has been whisked off my desk by my boss, into a locked cabinet somewhere. It's annoying and embarrassing having to ask him for it back every time, particularly as my next-door colleague leaves more (and more sensitive) paperwork on his desk than I ever do and nobody bats an eyelid. I've now set up a daily alert in Outlook to remind me to lock everything away before I leave for the day, otherwise I'll keep forgetting: at that time of day all I think about is going home. As far as my actually work is concerned, it gets more bizarre by the week. If things don't add up, I'm required to introduce a fudge factor, and if I have to change something so that the fudge factor no longer works, I'm then required to fiddle the fudge factor. Before long I've lost track of what's real and what's imaginary.

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