The problem with this social work lark is although I’m getting stuck in to solid gold do-gooding on a daily basis, the confidential nature of it all means it ain’t worth shit for blogging. I go out, I do good, I come home, I write essays, I use every drop of energy and I’ve got on non-blogging activities and meanwhile this place gets neglected and cobwebbed and dusty and forgotten, going all potty and Miss Havisham and playing bridge with Buster Keaton.
However, despite it being the deadline season I remain an unstoppable juggernaut of goodness, like a comet of justice blazing through a sky of tyranny, like a hyperbolic metaphor crashing through a blog I more or less forgot about. My efforts of late, aside from trying to divert young offenders into less law-breaking pursuits, have been around office-based environmentalism. Although the team is good at the child protection stuff and the trying to turn young people’s lives around stuff, when it comes to environmentalism they’re like your average Texan oilman. There’s no recycling for cans or bottles, there’s no composting of food waste, there’s stacks of unnecessary printing, there’s bundles of plastic cups heading from water coolers to landfills, there’s Alaskas being trashed for their natural resources and all kinds of anti-Gore endeavouring. Leave it to me.
We’re in Butterfly territory here, gang. A little change here, a touch of smugness there and bit by bit they’ll come round. So far I’ve started low-key; generally my favourite level of key. I’ve been getting to work by bus and mostly walking home, reducing my carbon footprint to that of a one legged micro-infant oil mutant. I took a mug and a water bottle to work to save the plastic wasted on water cooler and coffee machine cups. I’ve been buying course books second hand, saving paper, trees and money. I’ve taken in pencils made from recycled newspaper, saving wood and preventing people from reading back issues of the Daily Mail. I’ve been using an electronic to-do list to cut down on the colossal waste of virgin-papered Post Its. I’ve been turning off the lights in the bathroom like you would at home, and I’ve created an underground railroad of recyclable items, sneaking out bottles and cans in a way that simultaneously saves resources and trivialises the horrors of slavery.
You’ll be wondering if all this subtle leading by example has had any effect on the workforce. I hope it doesn’t off as false modesty if I say it’s had no effect whatsoever. It’s not false modesty. It’s not even genuine modesty; it’s genuine failure. The other day I took a bundle of information sheets back to the admin office so they could reuse them. I handed them to the admin guy. We bantered, we laughed, I made a gag about Al Gore, he tore them in half and put them in the bin. I lowered my head in submission to Alpha and slowly backed out of the room.
It’s time to drop low key and move up a gear, ramping up my efforts to eleven to step up to the plate. By which I mean we’re about to see the return of the almighty vengeance of Mr Albert Gore. And this time it’s personal. I mean Personnel. I’m specifically targeting the HR department.
Photo credit: The Zero