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When I was a Delta

By Chris Blenkarn
(To the tune of ”When I was a lad/ Now I am the ruler of the Queen's Navee• by Gilbert and Sullivan)

As a fifth grade Delta worker, I served my turn
Dispensing light refreshments from a big tea urn
Carried out my lowly tasks, enjoying the odd chat
Returning to my Dome each night, and that was that
Then my life changed course as you will see
When I became a rep. for my community.

My supervisor summoned me, wanted a brief word
I didn't like the sound of this, I'm easily deterred
She spoke of meeting challenges, not being overawed
Floated a suggestion I might like to take on board
It seemed I'd been proposed - which was news to me-
To join the Dome Regeneration comm-itt-ee.

Well I thought I'd best say yes, and that very same night
I embarked on my first meeting and got quite a fright
I couldn't understand a single word the Alphas said
I wished I was at home and watching vids instead
What's a public private partnership? I was all at sea
And as for IT audits, it's all geek to me.

I'd to wade through piles of documents, graphs and flow charts
Considered leaving straightaway for foreign parts
Plus the policies, the strategies, the codes and protocols
I thought, I'll have to nick more parecetemols.
For the Domes there was this vision, they said to me
Entrepreneurship skills would kick-start its economy.

These were unknown waters but I had no choice
Token Deltas generally don't raise their voice
I had a sinking feeling, yet I'm not such a fool
That I refused to write a bid to Space Command's grants pool
When I said I'd take the plunge, the chair thanked me
Remarking it would help build Dome capacity(?????)

As the months flowed on I found my feet
Learned to write a business plan and read a balance sheet
Enrolled on training courses 'till my eyes grew glazed
Spent a weekend having my awareness raised
I'd cast off on my voyage of discovery
Now I could tell a process from a strategy.

To the other grades I was now a skilled resource
But unexpected squalls were blowing us off course
The members all were squabbling over various ills
P'raps I could try out my new conciliation skills?
I proposed we celebrated our diversity
But they tossed my words aside and told me, make some tea.

As a model of cohesion, this really wouldn't do
Every grade was paddling its own canoe
Indulging in a free and frank exchange of views
In words that Federation reps. just should not use
The chair stormed out when they could not agree
When Rontane hears of this, you're overboard, cried he!

The meeting broke up for we'd run aground
But resumed inside a bar where many pints were downed
The Alphas said the Betas were intent on making waves
The Gammas claimed oppressive practice made them slaves
I wasn't really sure where this storm left me
Did it represent a threat or opportunity?

Mass resignations followed which I didn't expect
One wondered, had some aspirations not been met?
But the group must not go under, High Council ruled
So we took on board new members after tempers cooled
They proposed I be chair as a guarantee
That lower grade empowerment's a reality.

From this point on, the tide it turned
A host of new unfathomable words we learned
We put in place new systems, in new tactics did engage
Efficiency, effectiveness they're all the rage
Once fed into the process our findings all would be
Embedded in best practice through the galaxy

Setting baseline measures' the next task to undertake
Performance indicators proved a piece of cake
We carried out appraisals and fresh targets we agreed
Devised a rolling programme for each unmet need
High Council was delighted, and said that we
Demonstrated how to move from Strength to Unity.

So we sailed along on the crest of a wave
A raft of new proposals to the Council gave
They picked one up and ran with it, a pilot scheme
Identifying mutoid skills and bringing them on stream
The president himself so admired me
I became the Council's very first Delta appointee.

I'd found my role in life at last!
I nailed my aspirations firmly to the mast
Attended major conf'rences and shared my expertise
Gained grade 10 accreditation in officialese
I flagged up fresh concerns quite frequently
"You've settled in quite nicely," Bercol said to me.

The moral of this story should be quite clear
If you want to leave the Dome behind, a steady course just steer
Abandon revolution, you're sure to end up dead
Why don't you make a splash in public life instead?
If you swim with the tide, you surely will agree
You could become Supreme Commander after me.

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