Thank God it's Friday

30th March 2001 at 01:00
Monday Set off through torrential rain to my desk, now deemed a workstation by management. But my heart, like the rail network, is not currently feeling up to working. Technology has again failed me. The server is down and I am unable to read any emails from my man in Nepal. Why is it that after two score and ten years I finally fall in love with a primary teacher working in Nepal?

Tuesday The stick-thin secretaries gossip and twitter around me about this and that while I attempt to unravel the latest series of edicts from the college's senior management team. It all seems so much simpler in Nepal. No SMTs, no rail crisis and no stick-thin secretaries.

Wednesday As a result of a recent court ruling, I am now, apparently, in loco parentis to all 16-year-old students. Hence the alarm bells ringing when two of the girls on the blacksmithing course fail to return in the afternoon from their work placement. Finally locate them happily fitting a new set of shoes to a large but apparently docile beast of burden in a barn, and wth a thermos flask and sandwiches. Lunch?I thought only management took lunch.

Thursday Horror day. My weekly briefing visit to the SMT, complete with ferocious PA to keep all and sundry at bay. The Government could do a lot worse than employ her to police migrant workers entering the UK. My briefing is interrupted by a request to take an urgent phone call. Nepal calling. The SMT are not amused. But the line is so poor I am unable to hear a thing. Crestfallen, I return to my briefing and the PA's ferocious body language.

Friday A strange peace descends on the office only to be shattered by a voicemail message beginning "Hello, Gorgeous". My hopes are raised, as must those of any human who sights an oasis after being in denial for so long. It is the window-cleaning contractor querying his wages. I log on, more in habit than expectation, to be greeted by legions of emails from Nepal. There is a God and it is Friday.

Pam Pelling is the pseudonym of a senior administrator at an FE college on the Welsh borders

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