Thursday, 8 January 2015
Horrible Work Organizations: The Whereabouts of HalfArse Houlihan
The following arrived in my inbox this week from a former colleague who, like many, at the ancient and learned institution was treated very badly by HalfArse Houlihan.
I can get you sort of up-to-date about the comings and goings of HalfArse Houlihan. His first wife G once had a baby sitter called Veronica, who she still sees a lot of. Veronica has a son in his mid fifties, who leads a bizarre life. Each morning his mother gives him his breakfast, then out he goes to walk the local streets. He returns home for lunch, then walks the streets again until he returns home for his tea. This obsessive behaviour is repeated every day, that's all he does with his life. He is often seen walking around this area, and knows that I know the Houlihans, so when I bump into him I end-up hearing all about them, even though I have pointed out to him, on more than one occasion, that to me they are just an aberration. As you say he 'retired' in July, although of course he never really did any work, so I suppose in reality he actually retired much earlier. He is now hanging around G again. If she has him back she wants her head looking at. His other second half, Mrs Houlihan 2, finished before him and now lives in Newtown Powys. So the Houlihan generation is now a thing of the past at Wretchington.
Ike recently told me that when HalfArse departed, he left all kinds of problems behind. He departed rapidly because the new dean gave him some work to do and insisted that he did it. A foreign concept indeed. He always tried to appear to be far more knowledgeable than he was, I never thought he was very bright. I assume he had been pontificating to the new dean, who gave him the job of overseeing the building of the new labs in what we knew as 'B' Block. HalfArse was clearly not up to the job, and little was done. The only way he could deal with it was to take time off, with stress. He was off for a considerable time, then left. Ike also told me that one of Houlihans's duties was to look after some of the finances, and so not surprisingly, part of the faculty almost ground to a halt because some of the research groups were not receiving funds that had been allocated to them. Basically it was a mess, he had over three hundred unanswered emails on his computer, all to do with work, from the time before he went off sick. So finally, thank goodness, someone, in the form of the dean caught up with him. I had the misfortune to bump into him and his son a few weeks ago as I departed from W's railway station. I imagine they were on their way to the Great Western. I just looked the other way, and ignored them. According to Ike, DD is now in charge of behavioral sciences. I sometimes bump into N who looks more and more like a tramp. His clothes are shabbier than ever, he always looks as though he needs a shave and his hair wants a good wash. He never speaks, I think he has forgotten me.