Tuesday 1st May – Met up with friend and ex-colleague this morning. For 20 years we stood side by side in the metaphorical trenches of IT Incident Management – For a number of reasons, March 2014 was the last time we were comrades in arms.

I’ve no intention of elaborating on those reasons, other than to say the shell shock of undertaking the role, along with my wife’s illness, drove me to a mental abyss. A chasm of isolation and diminished self worth where I wrongly deemed myself completely unemployable…….. The mind a dangerous foe if allowed to wander, or even wonder!

Incidentally, I’m not comparing my situation to real shell shock or experiences in the non-metaphorical trenches. My residence more a ditch of despair, not the more mentally challenging trench of torment – Escape from the latter that bit harder due to greater depth.

The last sentence isn’t the advocacy of a counsellor – It’s an epiphany that manifested from the depths of my neurological corridors a few seconds ago. My attempt at increasing the literary calibre of the narrative – A result of not wanting to utilise the vague description ‘my mental angst doesn’t bear the severity of some’.

That being said, I suppose a ditch could be of greater depth than a trench so it’s a god awful adage on my part…… At ease, reader!


My troubles weren’t helped by working shifts for decades in the IT field. Roles where I didn’t playing to my strengths – However when you’re prone to blabber on about ditches of despair being easier bedfellows than trenches of torment, feeding four mouths would have been a significantly more difficult challenge.

As a consequence of existential distractions for both parties, I’ve not met up with this long-standing friend, whose name I won’t reveal because he’s a very secretive chap…… If your interested, though, his internet banking password is ‘GregorianChant3’ (after his favourite album) and his first pet was ‘Tortilla the hamster’***.

*** In reality, I’ve no idea of my buddy’s internet banking details, As such, even if you find out who he is, it’s important to know they are both fictional……. I apologise unreservedly to my mucker if by some bizarre coincidence his internet banking password is ‘GregorianChant3’, and his first pet was a hamster called ‘Tortilla’……. I’d also amend your security details as soon as possible!

As I said, I worked with my colleague for around two years. He taught me everything I needed to know about procrastination, stage lights and naming my pets after Mexican snacks.

I was his shift deputy for a time, a period of my work life where the synergy of team members made it a joy to attend work. The four members of the team were a band of brothers – Displaying a bond similar to the McGann acting siblings, only without one of us appearing in BBC TV’s ‘Call The Midwife’……. And not actually being brothers, or scousers.

We all brought very different skills to the table. The shift manager (who I met this morning) provided a wealth of knowledge about Volvo cars. Whereas, I contributed the invaluable ability to whistle so melodically I could converse with chaffinches.

Another had been to public school where he majored in ‘Patronisation & Watching Pebble Mill at One’. Our other colleague the previously unknown wherewithal to belch while simultaneously emitting words with three syllables or more.

Admittedly, our skillset’s were quite specific. However we worked with the comfort of knowing if a conference call requiring input relating Volvo camshafts, chaffinch interaction, Pebble Mill atone trivia or just a chuffing big belch, we were the ‘go to’ support team!

Disclaimer – This is a predominantly fictional monologue. Any reference to unprofessional work conduct is untrue……. Apart from the belching, which was flipping disgusting!