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  • Last year I was made redundant from my job with the council. Or maybe that should be The Council.

    They had a redundancy scheme, and because lots of us were being made redundant this included Special Support.

    So a bunch of us losers collected in the Council Chamber, where no doubt our special status had been voted through by the well-fed Tories of the Shire, and listened to a pep talk about how many other opportunities there were out there for us, if only we could manage to forget what losers we were.

    A well-meaning woman (with whom I had worked, briefly, on a project) was droning on and on about some courses that were available for free, specially for losers like us, including project management, computer skills... at this point I nearly fell asleep but luckily I didn't because then she said:

    "There's even a chainsaw course!"

    At which I sat up.

    Visions flashed through my mind of returning to County Hall, brandishing a chainsaw, and running amok in the corridors.

    I went up to the well-meaning lady (who failed to recognise me in my loser-guise) after the talk finally finished and enquired about the chainsaw course.

    She looked at me doubtfully.

    "You have to explain why you want to go on it," she said.

    "Because I want a Complete Change of Direction," I said.

    I went on the course, and now I know how to dismantle, clean, sharpen and, of course, wield a chainsaw. Luckily I've never felt the need to run amok with it.

    Not yet.

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