There Are No Monsters Here

"Come in. Sit down. Let's have some lovely hush so we can get fings started. This is a seminar, not a fucking social club, so easy on the chatter there Tonto. Now, I'm going to... You at the back there! Yes you, you fucking gormless squint-eyed twat! You with the fistful of sausage roll! You've got a choice, son: you can either quit nattering to your new best chum and pay attention, or you can fuck right off. Yes I'm talking to you, fucknuts. What's it to be? No, it's not a rhetorical question, what's your answer? Right, good, well in that case, put down the pastry, eyes front and shut the fuck up.

"As you will have seen - those of you who aren't completely numb from the neck up - this weekend is called 'The Customer Journey - A Guide for the Public Sector'. Not my title - dreamt up by some wanker on free times my salary with his own parking space. Before we start we'd better make sure that we're all in the right place. It usually happens - it doesn't matter how many signs I plaster all over the fucking venue, there's usually some nonce who's wandered into the wrong place. Nobody? What about the greaseball down at the front here? Yeah you - the ginger virgin with the bum fluff moustache and the 'wacky' tie. Does your mother know you're out? I fink the model railway geeks are next door. No? You want to stick around, copper top? Fair enough.

"Ok then, let's crack on. For the next two days I'm going to be teaching you all about 'customer service'. Aren't you lucky?

"They say that the customer is always right. Let's get that horseshit out of the way to start with. Just look at yourselves. You're all customers, off and on, and frankly I wouldn't trust most of you to dress yourselves without a team of paramedics standing by. You there, the flat chested tart with the bad teeth. Oh for fuck's sake, yes you - I'm pointing at you. Stand up and turn to the rest of the audience. Now take a good look at her, people. This is a typical a member of the public. Would you really trust this poor cow to handle anything more complex than eating soup? Of course not, clearly she's a fucking moron. And yet if you were working... All right love. You can sit down now. You've had your fifteen seconds of fame. This isn't the bloody X Factor. Jesus!

"As I was saying, if you were working in the private sector you'd have to kowtow to the great British public, irregardless of how stupid and retarded... Somefing funny? You're smirking, did I say somefing funny? Yes you are, I know what a fucking smirk looks like.... What's that? Oh, is that right? No such word, is there? Okay Mr Dictionary, what should it be? That's what I said... Yes I did... Regardless, irregardless, what's the fucking difference? Fair enough, you've made your point, now get out. Go on, I'm not joking - take your shit-stained raincoat and your tatty briefcase and fuck off...




"And close the door behind you, fucking retard... Right, do we have any other literary critics in the room? Anybody got a problem with the way I speak. Anybody? No? Fine, perhaps I can carry on then?

"As I was saying, private sector workers have to bend over and take it from every harebrained halfwit that comes their way. They don't have the choice of replying to moronic enquiries with a stinging rebuke, or an acid insult, or my personal favourite: the playful but firm tap on the chin. But you, ladies and gentlemen... Are you playing with yourself, mate? Then sit still, for Christ's Sake... You, lads and ladettes, are lucky lucky lucky bastards. You all come from different walks of life - tax inspectors, doctor's receptionists, road menders, the filth. This butterball down here is probably a traffic warden, judging by the slimy look he has about him, but you all... What's that, son? Are you really? Fascinating. Fing is, I don't actually give a toss, so keep it to yourself, yeah? Listen, we break for lunch soon - you just concentrate on that. Mmmm, lovely pies. Somefing to look forward to, innit? Fat cunt.

"Ok, so you all have one fing in common - you don't have to give a shit about anyone. The public might look to you to provide help and information, but the brutal truth is that we are only here to keep these bastards away from fings what don't concern them.

"Understand this - it's them and us, and you're one of us now. You're the foot soldiers of the state - the latest recruits to swell the ranks in the age-old war between the ruling executive and the people they have been 'chosen' to govern. It's not a vocation for the faint-hearted. Day upon day, week after week, they will come at you with their complaints and their demands and their desperate, sickening, pathetic excuses. Don't fall for it. Don't be tempted to be nice - they won't fank you for it. Our motto - remember this - is 'fuck 'em'.

"Over the next two days... Oh what the hell is it now? Oh, you do, do you? Ladies and gentlemen, for the benefit of anyone who failed to catch what this frumpy bitch just said, she reckons my attitude is 'disgraceful'. I bet she's a librarian. Are you a fucking librarian, love? It's the cardigan that gives it away. Speak up, darling. If you're going to heckle me it helps if people can hear what you're saying, you fucking amateur. Oh, a social worker! I see... Yes, yes, very good. Proper little Mary Poppins, I'm sure, but listen love, out here in the real world... Oh all right, you're off, are you? Bye bye then! No no no, you don't have to get the last word in. Just go. Yes, and you. Don't get your arse caught in the etcetera etcetera.

"Well, there you go. There's always one. Pity - that gobful of abuse she dished out before she went was very promising.

"So anyway, over these next two days we'll be teaching you some of the best strategies for dealing with the public. From basic excuses to full frontal abuse. You'll be learning about the various technologies you can use to misdirect emails and phone calls, and how to generate standardised bullshit responses. You will also learn about the correct use of bureaucracy as a tool for obstruction. You will master the smug and insincere apology that never, ever hints at genuine regret.

"Occasionally, ladies and gentlemen, somebody might fuck up. Somebody might drop a bollock. Somebody might get caught with their hand in the till. That person might be someone you know. It might be you. It happens, you're only human. Some of you are barely fucking human, but it's no matter. This weekend you will learn that a brief display of contrition usually sorts it out. Maybe even some small act of penance, but it blows over very quickly and fings rapidly go back to normal.

"But, most importantly of all, you will learn how to do this... You see? You see what I'm doing?

"You, the dickhead with the neck boil and the piss stain down your trousers - what am I doing? Yep, that's right, I'm smiling. Give yourself a biscuit. This, my fledgling bureaucrats, is the most powerful weapon you can ever deploy. It's not a real smile. A real smile would not nearly be so devastating. This is an official smile, a professional smile. This is a government-issue smile which says 'Hey, we're going to get through this encounter in a calm and pleasant matter, but I am in charge so don't push it, or I will seriously fuck you up.'

"Yes, boys and girls, you will learn all these things before we send you out into the world... But right now we'll break for coffee. Before you go, on your chairs you should have found a feedback form about this weekend. For the cretins amongst you it's easily identified by the words 'Feedback Form' at the top of it. We put it on there in big letters to make it easier for you. I would urge everybody to fill it in, or at least those of you cunts who haven't already made a paper hat out of it. Not that we give a flying fuck what you think, but it does help us to weed out the trouble makers.

"Back here in fifteen minutes everyone..."

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