ROLLERCOASTING: The good news: although I'm technically fired, the person who sacked me has himself been invited to explore new opportunities. Departmental Head Of Intelligence Stephen has now been released into the wild. Upstairs had simply had enough of the "dangerously inaccurate" information he'd been feeding the Policy Directorate. As that dodgy intel came from me and Sandra it feels quite karmic, in a way. Meanwhile, Upstairs have assured me I have a job with the Futures Delivery Taskforce "for as long as it exists". Oh, and the bad news: they're winding up the Futures Delivery Taskforce at the end of this month.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Bloody Sandra's off shortly to join The Gove's think tank anyway. She keeps offering to "put in a word". Please. I can't even begin to deconstruct the levels of humiliation involved. They passed me over to headhunt HER. And she's an IDIOT. She looked up from her Daily Mail this morning: had I seen this story about the new Hindu state secondary school? "God, people do MOAN, don't they? The school says it'll help pupils to realise their spiritual, moral and academic potential in a supportive environment centred on loving service to Lord Krishna ..." Right. And? "So now people are complaining about the Lord Krishna bit, saying it's not Proper Hindu. I bet no one would say that if he was a LABOUR Lord, would they?" She's lost me. "Lord Krishna. Imagine them making the same fuss about Lord Adonis. OR Lord Sugar, he's Jewish ..." I wonder if I should tell her Krishna's a deity, not a peer of the realm. Let me think. No.
SELF-UNEMPLOYED: After work at the pub I'm not letting anyone know I've been terminated. As far as they're concerned I'm "going freelance". "Oh really," says Dave from Empowerment and Rewardment. "What's the market like at the moment for Gifted Talented freelancers?" A snide reference to a paper I put together last week, suggesting we promote Gifted Talented Learners by rebadging them Special Haves. For some reason,
BOSSA NOSTRA: I tell them to stop their sniggering, but they've suddenly fallen silent. I follow their eyes to the centre of the room. Like some comet of ill omen, SCARY PAULA has appeared again. My old boss. Sandra's new boss. Two bosses for the price of one. Summary: really really bossy.
KNOCK KNOCK: "Sandra!" she barks, unclasping a stylish Soviet-era briefcase and looking directly at me. "We need to find a freelance consultant. Someone who has ruthlessly maintained their anonymity for, say, the last year ..." Aha. Knock at the door. I think it may be Lord Opportunity. Inchworm.