Mirth and Woe: Circle jerk
Back in my days as a Civil Service layabout, the hardest job we had was the huge efforts we went to in order to avoid actual work.
Huge schemes were invented involving trips "to the archive" for a three-hour smoke-break, or going to Tesco for ice cream as part of a team-building exercise.
Any work that came down from on high was skilfully shrugged off by the old hands and landed in the lap of the new bugs, who, in turn would resort to top-quality shirking by giving it all to the lowest of the low: the casual staff.
The lower levels of Her Majesty's Civil Service is run entirely on casual staff, as the establish staff know full well they'd be out of a job come Friday if they're caught staring out of the window without a good excuse.
It goes without saying that I earned every last penny of my massive £4,048 per year salary.
It would only be a matter of time before the shit hit the fan and the staff were expected to put in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.
So, when the dire news came through that the envelope-stuffing machine that was supposed to send out thousands of dole cheques to the low-life of our beautiful Thames Valley town had packed up, there was much panic in the tea room, and several people shredded the entire contents of their desks, just to be on the safe side.
This was, we were told, serious business.
If the doleys didn't get their cheques, every single off licence in a ten mile radius would go to the wall, with riots, anarchy, dogs and cats living together, the whole nine yards.
We learned this from the matronly office manager - owner of a frightening basoom and a face like Nora Batty's arse - who made it clear that nobody could leave until the envelopes were manually stuffed and given over to the care of the Royal Mail.
Or, as she put it: "We're all going to sit in a big circle and do an enormous hand job until the postman comes."
I sat next to the luscious, pouting Judy, but alas, nothing came of it. She was more interested in stuffing envelopes.