Mirth and Woe: The Order of the Boot
"Have you ever been sacked?" people asked me when faced with my special, excellent brand of incompetence.
Yes. Yes, I have, but I've already told you the story about a misguided all-points e-mail, and I've finally come to terms with the fact that I was a spectacular dork at the time, and will probably never recover.
I've seen loads of people get the sack, the most spectacular of whom was an unfortunate young chap who mixed work and drink, and ended up drunkenly planting his illegal mini-cab into a ditch when he was supposed to be at his real job.
Morality is lost on such people, and a bit of churching up would do them no harm at all.
Too much on the other hand…
Jesus Paul, as the name suggests, was not a spectacular dork, because he had Our Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ on his side.
I've seen a number of spectacular sackings in my time, but Jesus Paul's was rather special.
Jesus Paul was taken on by the Dole Office as a temp, and he had to send out letters to people who hadn't turned up to sign on to warn them they wouldn't get any money unless they showed their face pretty sharpish.
He was employed on the strength of having received one of these letters from one of his predecessors, which he waved in the face of some poor unfortunate on the customer desk with the unfortunate words "I could do your job".
In such circumstances, it was the Department's policy to take them at their word, usher them through a side door and give them a desk.
That is how Jesus Paul found his way into the civil service, hidden in a corner where he couldn't do any damage except send out form letters in pre-paid envelopes.
I've known many, many Christians in my time, and even went through a phase of enthusiastic happy-clappy church-going myself. Paul, however, was a breed apart. His was a simple philosophy: The fires of eternal damnation await anybody that did not follow the one true path. And he was more than willing to send you there if he suspected you of straying.
It was only after three weeks that we found out he was including a religious leaflet in each missive, and rounding off his letters with an invitation to accept The Lord Jesus into their lives or face the Wrath of God come the End Time, or a week next Tuesday, whichever came the soonest. Several replies were received on the subject, many suggesting that the Dole Office might consider "Getting to Fuck".
Jesus Paul was removed from letter-writing duties, and demonstrating the kind of official incompetence that resulted in the Battle of the Somme, they put him on the front desk, where Reading's charming Dole Office customers (otherwise known as 'The Scum of the Earth') would be greeted by his long, greasy hair and disturbingly crazed expression. Think Neil from The Young Ones, only on acid.
A typical conversation with a doley scumbag …err… customer would – according to those lucky few who saw him in action - go something like this:
"Where's me fuckin' dole money?"
"Do you have Jesus in your life?"
"Wait… What? Where's me fuckin' dole cheque? I signed on Monday an' I still ain't got nuffin'"
"But are you saved?"
"Jesus Christ, you'll need fuckin' savin' in a minute, mate. Where's me fuckin' money?"
It was at the point that Jesus Paul emerged from behind the plexiglass and let loose some righteous Wrath of God on the heathens, blasphemers and unbelievers that surrounded him.
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
And so on until he was shown the door.
The Army had him.