When I worked in RTE we had a great perk.
People used to assume that we got free television licences, but we didn’t. Being caught without one was actually a sackable offence, along with hitting the boss or getting someone pregnant.
People used to assume that I had free access to the Late Late Show. Frankly, if it had been compulsory to attend that, I would have been sacked immediately.
So what was this fantastic perk that we got?
A free RTE Guide!
I will be honest and say that I was never a great fan of the Guide. It was useless for lighting fires with as the damned paper was impossible to burn. They also printed it on very smooth shiny paper, so it was useless for wiping your arse with; it just shifted the shit around, as it were.
In the mid nineties, finances got a bit tight. It was around the time they spent around a third of a million upgrading the toilets on the executive floor, so sacrifices had to be made. The Guide was one of them. They cancelled our perk.
I was devastated. It wasn’t so much a case of losing the Guide as fury that my one and only perk had been removed.
A few weeks ago, a large envelope arrived at the house. Inside was an invite to the Pensioner’s Dinner and an RTE Guide.
Wow! It was just like old times.
Since then, every week a Guide pops through the letterbox.
So my perk has returned, even though I no longer work there.
Is this by way of an apology for removing it in the nineties? Are they trying to tell me how much they miss me? Do they want me back?
Life is full of surprised and delights.
But it’s still printed on non-flammable slidey paper.