Malcolm Philips was a reluctant bureaucrat. When it was suggested that he give up selling ice-cream and go to work for the council, he protested that it would be full of jobsworths, skivers and crawlers. Truth to tell, however, he quickly fitted in among what his boss described as all the other ‘sods and buggers’ at County Hall.
The 1960s and 1970s were the halcyon days of local government when rules and regulations multiplied at the expense of common sense and no-one was entirely sure what the person in the next office actually did … or even what purpose their own job served. In these Confessions, Malcolm tells all: his surreptitious visits to the girls in the typing pool, the ingenious fiddles, the arrival of flower power in the computer room, the goings-on in the roof-space after the Christmas party, and the mysterious expenses, such as ‘repairs to elephant’.
Some of the ‘sods and buggers’ you’ll meet in this book include Archie, a master of foul language and never without a Player’s No. 6; Vince, who had the power to disrupt machinery just by looking at it, and the Lord of the Stationery Cupboard who refused to issue a new pencil unless the old one had been worn down to a stub.
As for Malcolm, he thrived, quickly progressing from his early faux pas in commandeering a chair with arms (only for staff on a higher grade) to being allowed to use the rubber stamp with the chief’s signature on it. What more could a young man desire?