16 Dec 2003

The Prat in a Hat

“I’m thinking warm thoughts. I’m thinking feelings. I’m thinking ‘Red Hat’.” Bernard was wearing a Santa hat with pig-tails, “I want YOU to think good thoughts. I want you to express the way that you feel.”

He’s been on a course and I think he has taken Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats a bit too literally, because he has been switching hats like Worzel Gumidge with an identity crisis. His annual ‘drains up’ takes place every year prior to the Christmas do and it allows us all to indulge in the same old lip service. It is supposed to make us reflect on our achievements during the year so we can learn, and move on.

We were surrounded by crayons and a large roll of brown paper and he invited us to create a ‘rich picture’ to describe our achievements during the year. “What have been the highlights for you as an individual.”

I pondered for a while. Time was running out so I drew a computer.

“Ahhh. Interesting.” Bernard did an on-the-spot analysis: “You see technology as our greatest success.”

Not really. My highlight of the year was getting Tony’s cast-off 17 inch monitor to replace my crummy 12 incher.

When Bernard uttered the phrase “What has NOT gone well this year?” we could hardly contain ourselves. Rolf Harris would have been proud of our sprawling stream of consciousness where we criticised everything from communication to the canteen.

Bernard was taken a back by our apparent unhappiness. “Well, I did want to have real, red hat, drains up.”

“And you got a colonic irrigation.” Tony quipped.

Bernard made him wear the black hat for the rest of the meeting.