3 Mar 2010
The End of Days
Many people believe that the world will end fairly soon. There are a number of ways in which it is believed to happen.
Firstly, we could keep using Earth as our collective bitch, abusing her sweet ass until she gives up the ghost and then tips us all into a nightmarish maelstrom of ecological disaster that will throw the survivors back to the stone age.
Secondly, a rogue state (North Korea - I'm looking at you) goes 'ah, fuck it' and pushes the big shiny red button that delivers hell on toast.
Thirdly, bankers decide that they will take the combined economic output of the planet and put it all on red. When the ball of inevitability lands on black they will act surprised before downing another bottle of Hennessy, wiping the swan grease from their jowls and paying themselves a huge bonus. The rest of the world collapses into a fight for the last packet of Pringles which, due to inflation, now costs Thirteen Billion Pounds.
Finally, Jesus does actually come back and, to be fair, he's going to be pretty pissed off.
I have a different theory. I believe civilisation as we know it will cripple itself through over bureaucracy. We will come to a shuddering halt, unable to actually get anything done.
Forms are the bane of my existence. Everything I do in my life is dictated by a fucking form that I have to fill out. For every hour I teach I must spend around 20 minutes filling out paper work. That adds up over a week to be seven hours.
Seven soul-crushingly dull hours of writing neatly in little boxes so I can report on this or file that or access whatever.
To give you some idea of the amount of paper work that is involved. I have to, on a regular basis, complete:
Behaviour incident forms,
Continuing Professional Development Tracking Sheet,
Key Stage 3 Departmental Tracking,
Key Stage 3 School Central Tracking,
Key Stage 4 Departmental Tracking,
Key Stage 4 Follow Up Tracking,
ITT (Initial Teacher Training) Mentor Sheets,
NQT Observation Sheets,
NQT Evidence Tracking Sheets,
Teaching and Learning Audit,
Year 10 Pupil Mentoring Minutes,
Year 11 Pupil Mentoring Minutes,
Year 9 Choices Recommendation Forms,
Are these forms simple to complete? No, of course they sodding well aren't.
And that's just for your regular, run of the mill teacher. Woe betide anyone who wants to take a pupil off site!
However, it isn't just limited to my job. Oh no. The endless amount of forms consumes my life like Amy Winehouse consumes class-A drugs. From registering at the doctors to getting a fucking Tesco clubcard I have to spill my details in increasingly complex ways.
As such this is how I predict the 'End of Days' will actually happen:
Deep in the bowels of hell - just off the A33, near Basingstoke:
Beelzebub: At last, the forces of Heaven cannot stop me now!
Minion: Oh, master. What hast thou created?
Beelzebub: The most devilish (if I do say so myself) of bureaucratic nightmares! A change of address form for the DVLA - mwahahahahahahah...ha.
Three weeks later:
Jesus: For fuck's sake - why has it been returned this time?
Angel: I'll just check the supporting notes. Have you filled out the former address?
Angel: Have you put your mother's maiden name down.
Angel: In section 14 box Q did you cross reference the registration with the post code using the Fibonacci sequence.
Jesus: I thought I had to use Pi for that?
Angel: No, I think that's section 14 box R.
Jesus: I thought I only completed that if I'd had the car before 1987 or if I had ever been convicted of using a goat to lure killer whales onto the beach?
Angel: Er...hang on, I'm not sure if...
Gabriel: Er...chaps, has anyone checked on Earth recently?
Jesus: Fuck off Gabriel you wanker, I'm busy - did I sign in all five hundred and eight places?
Angel: I'm sure we checked that before...
Gabriel: I only ask because there are four tall lads on horses at the gates and they want a word. Apparently it's Armageddon?
Jesus: What? Oh, shithouse!
Angel: Ah! Got it - we didn't attach a colour photo of you in the car smoking a pipe and wearing a dearstalker.
So there we go. It's not mankind's obsession with power or resources that will lead to our end. It'll be the fact that we can't seem to function as a society without block capitals, a black or blue ballpoint pen (NOT felt tip) and a series of small boxes on a page.
And that is a crying shame.
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