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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Friday, September 30, 2005

The editor gets a word in

Lady Bracknell's asleep - one too many sherries at lunch, if you ask me. So this gives me - her lowly editor - a rare opportunity to write a new entry myself. (She'll never know: this whole computing lark is a complete mystery to her. Don't believe anything the old bat says to the contrary.)

Anyway, when I'm not being enslaved to her ladyship, I chair the staff disability network of a large public sector employer. I've been doing it a long time, and I've picked up a bit of a reputation somewhere along the way for knowing quite a lot about disability-related stuff. Which is fair enough. If my members have questions, it's part of my job to help them to find the answers. Should theoretically only be about employment-related issues, but I shot myself in the foot years ago on that one by expanding my own role to include sending round interesting or amusing news stories of a much more general disability-related nature.

Quite often, I'll be sitting innocently at my desk, minding my own business (Messrs Marmite and Dude can stop laughing right now), when I get an email query from a network member. And, you know, it's nice when people have faith in you, but some of my members have drawn the completely erroneous conclusion that I know everything.

Let me show you what I mean. Here are a few recent queries:

  • "Can you provide me with detailed information about all aspects of access for visually impaired people to football, cricket and rugby?" (No, but I can introduce you to my good friend, Google.)
  • "I've just got my blue badge and Motability have told me that I don't have to pay toll fees when I drive through Dartford tunnel: how do I go about getting this discount?" (Well, Motability seem to know all about this. Have you thought of asking them? I don't drive and, even if I did, I live in Liverpool.)
  • "How high should a disabled toilet be? I went into a pub at the weekend and, when I saw the toilet, I reckoned it would be too high for a wheelchair user." (How do you expect me to know this? Am I a builder? Anyway, you're not a wheelchair user: so what makes you think you can tell just by looking that a toilet seat is too high? Aren't you the same person who asked me whether DDA II applied to voluntary work and then, 24 hours later, after I'd done the necessary research, remembered to tell me that what you were doing wasn't actually voluntary work at all, it was paid employment?)

And that's just ten days' worth. But here's my favourite of all time. (And, remember: I live in Liverpool. The person who sent this question to me lives in Halifax.)

  • "I can't drive to work any more, so I'll have to get the bus. Assuming I can get a discount because I'm disabled, how much will my bus fare to work be every day?"


Blogger marmiteboy said...

I'm still laughing....;-)

8:31 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

I don't know. You paint an entirely honest and realistic picture of yourself beavering away diligently at your desk, and what do your mates do?

8:33 pm  
Blogger R said...

Lady B's editor does not by any chance have anything to do with a certain northwesterly arts forum of the gimpified variety, does she?

That'd be funny. Cause my mate Gemma works there too.

Incidentally, these word verification thingies are getting harder and harder. Not so good for this processing-disordered autist.

12:40 am  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I remember a lady once coming to the office to ask if there was a retirement age for wives. I said "sorry?" and she said she was sixty-five and did she have to put up with her old man's "attentions" any more now she was retired, surely there was a law?

I passed her onto our legal eagles.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell apologises to Ms Becca for the difficulties inherent in the word verification thingies, but believes it is necessary to retain them in order to prevent spam.

When her ladyship's editor mentions a large public sector organisation, she is actually referring to a Government Department. Although she will not be further drawn on its identity.

9:27 pm  

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