Hot Coffee And Biscuits

I was unable to attend my former boss’s retiral soirée in person due to being temporarily based away from home, so I penned a monologue based on my recollection of her career (with a bit of help from her professional bio on the MarSco blog) and recorded it to be played at her ‘do’.

I’m not sure what she’ll make of it as I never quite knew whether she saw me as Shakespeare’s Foolish Wit or his Witless Fool🤣, but here it is anyway – best read in a faux northern English accent à la the master monologist, Stanley Holloway (and you can listen to it, below)…

Hot Coffee And Biscuits
aka The Tale of a WISE Young Lass

I’ll tell of a quine name of Carey
That hails from Scotland’s north-east
Who’s now leaving her place of employment
Where she’d worked as its Science High Priest.

You see, Carey’d toiled hard in her progress
Towards top of the management class
But how did she manage to get there
From being nowt but a bright-eyed young lass?

Well, she’d joined up at MarLab in Torry
As a technician and worked hard through t’day
Whilst she studied to call hersel ‘Bachelor’
In a scientifical sort of a way.

But that weren’t enough for young Carey
(She aimed a bit higher, you see)
So she researched some molecular gubbins
For a brand-spanking-new PhD.

Some time later when her world became corporate,
And with insight and great self-reliance,
She Mastered the Business of Admin
And became MarLab’s first Head of Science

Her first task was to fit out an office
(‘Cos that were her new stamping ground)
Where she served up hot coffee and biscuits
To her colleagues as they gathered around.

Then MarLab became Marine Scotland (BOOOO!)
And her title were taken away
And though lesser folk might have begrudged it
Carey never let that thought hold sway!

So a new team, called SciOps, was assembled
But she worried a little, perchance some
Folk would conflate it with That’s Life
With her as the new Esther Rantzen!

’Twould be Gavin play the role of Paul Heiney.
Maybe Rob as Chris Searle? Oh you betcha!
Then if Iain or Chris played Glyn Worsnip
That left Phil as the new Cyril Fletcher!

And although her new team was all fellas
It were Carey was cream of the crop
Though for some it were really unusual
For ‘woman to be on the top!

But that never fazed our Carey
And she handled it all with great poise
‘Cos she knew the truth of the matter:
They were nowt but a bunch of daft boys!

She held court at once-weekly meetings
For which she were rightly renowned
Where she served up hot coffee and biscuits
To her minions as they gathered around.

Then she asked them all leading questions
About what they’d achieved in the week
And they sat (though some nattered annoyingly)
As each waited for his turn to speak

She’d indulge them in light-hearted banter
And distractions from t’business at hand
Though sometimes she’d shout “Best of order!”
“Let’s stick to the agenda as planned!”

Now, it’s already been said there was coffee
And biscuits and, sometimes, some cake
And once in a while we’d assemble
To scoff traybakes we’d all tried to make.

And at one of those meetings it so ’appened
That she had a right Carry On
Where she settled a row about baking
With a wee spot of Tiffin at Dawn!

But later poor SciOps got splintered
When restructuring got out of hand
And though Carey kept some of her people
Others left for the Abode of the Damned!

And now it is Carey that’s leaving
Which has come as wee bit surprise.
(And Marine Scotland has got a new problem,
How to STEM the loss of the WISE!)

So ’tis now we bid farewell to Carey;
“Au revoir”, but never “Adieu”,
And we hope that she finds her retirement
Enrichissant and très, très heureux!”

But what of that bright-eyed young lassie
Now she leaves for pastures new found?
Well, she’ll serve up hot coffee and biscuits
To her friends as they gather around.

Carey having posed for a SciOps Coffee Club poster.

Postscript: the Abode of the Damned that is referred to above was a bizarre short-lived managerial bodge enacted by Marine Scotland’s then Director to save face for another senior manager who had screwed up badly on a staff management issue. It was through commenting publicly on the risible nature of the bodge that I was subsequently brought before HR (another Abode of the Damned!). HR was represented by one of life’s spiritually and morally empty aparatchiks and one that had never before faced an irate Cumbrian, so that never got them very far – and ‘no’, I don’t think they liked me either 🤣🤣🤣.