Dispense and Indispensability

Seth Godwynn
Seth, ever the professional, writes a blog article while having a stroke or dropping mescaline into his eyeballs, or having rats chewing away at the inside of his skull. Who knows? In any case, Seth gives us his insight into what happens when he adopts the same model of behaviour in his daily life that global governments adopt in theirs.

It’s been a long held contention of mine that the greatest guarantor of both success and popularity in this most curious of worlds has little to do with one’s personality or character, and everything to do with the skill of making oneself indispensable.

In the old boys club I call my place of employ, I am primarily a wordsmith by trade, but how does that set me apart from my similarly capable counterparts? Why should I not be replaced by any of the hordes that would eagerly claim my lofty seat as their own. It’s just not enough to simply write more and better than anyone else, though I make no small boast in this area nonetheless.

The trick I always found guarantees effectiveness is to carefully trawl through my various niche talents—those rarely utilised and seldom required skills that I can perform adequately well, but just about better than most on average—and find a way to shoehorn these into everyone else’s daily endeavours.

Having tinkered with programming languages at a tender age, I found that once you get a feel for how a computer thinks, communicating with it is just a case of finding the right words. That’s something that can be ascertained in seconds with a carefully worded search parameter.

It all began simply enough—web based content was proving unwieldy and tricky to fashion for my equally downtrodden cohorts, who preferred to focus their finite energies on providing quality content, in order to meet the ever changing demands of the public’s expectations. I can do better than this, I thought to myself, and began pouring through Javascript tutorials for pointers. In what seemed like the blinking of an ever-staring eye, the burdensome task of putting together web content was simplified to the point of near full automation, and it was soon thereafter incorporated into the regular workflow of the entire department.

Artist's impression of how Seth might imagine his own face in the mirror.

What I’d written was far from perfect, but it was close enough to adequate that it would get the job done. And the fact that it wasn’t quite perfect meant that it would go belly-up with sufficient frequency to keep my name in everybody’s heads. I’d always be the first person they think of when matters turned awry, and they needed themselves a rescue. Jolly good show, Gottie! I imagined they’d always say, as I fixed up the pickles I’d caused them in the merest jiffies.

It wasn’t long before I began to delve into other automations to much reduce the non-productive workloads of my office-bound counterparts. I wrote Javascript routines that would pre-prepare typeset documents for foreign language conversion, shaving days off a task that needn’t take so much as an hour. I wrote Applescript routines which would fully automate the optimization and compilation of web based content for delivery, a task only necessary in the first place because I was the one that designed it that way.

Old man Stollie, a delightfully stout chap as wide as he is tall and sporting a polished, hairless scalp you could see your face in, was always in my corner on these matters. He used to say that if a job was worth doing, it was worth getting Gottie in on the caper! And how more-or-less right he essentially was.

Finding that unique talent to save a day that nobody knew needed saving, can sometimes be a talent in itself. Other times, they practically walk up and introduce themselves with a tip of the hat and a hearty, What ho!

This never happens.

Take the somewhat exclusive kindergarten my daughter is enrolled at as an example. I knew straight off the mark, heading into the first quarter, that I needed to find an ‘in’ with the other families. How else would I get the pick of the best ones for invites to weekend aways and evening distractions? It’s again an area where my personality and character was equipped with insufficient pickle to cut any kind of mustard.

My first step was to join the Dadmoot—a collaboration of dedicated fathers, eager to maximise the school experience by organising camps, picnics, fates and other enchantments for all the little darlings and their families. This afforded me an inside view, so to speak, and first pickings on the many inconveniences I could uniquely commandeer.

If you do your job right, this is how people will imagine their picnics ending up without you there to support them.

At the very first event we organised, I spent much time with my trusty EOS getting pictures of the children as they happily played together, which I later made available for everyone to enjoy. Well wouldn’t you know it, it earned old Gottie the reputation as the go-to chap for all such future occasions. I’ve even gotten not a small number of paid commissions supplemented by a bang-up supper to boot! Their little darlings won’t play nice for just any old photographer, but they’re putty in my hands ever since I hung them upside down by their ankles and dragged them through muddy puddles, much to their mothers’ despair.

After that, the ins just kept on coming. Somebody has to make a video about the school? Fear not, Gottie has it in the bag, so long as the bag is free of muddy little darlings on such occasions. Somebody has to typeset a leaflet for an upcoming event and have it ready by supper time? Gottie’s on the case—how does 4 o’clock sound? The opportunities really are endless, as are the invites to exclusive member-only jaunts.

Of course, I had to find something special to curry favour with the mothers too, as they often tended to have more say in their husbands’ affairs than their husbands did. On more than one occurrence have I seen them dotted about the periphery, sharpening their claws with a hawkish eye surveying hither and dither. They’re the sort that could strip the skin off a gentile’s back from 100 yards, no less.

Here, I discovered my finely-honed knack from the old country of brining and curing meaty comestibles, made me a popular invitee at any gathering. I first won them over at a summer fate, where I assisted at the refreshments tent. I presented a delectable accompaniment to the intoxicating beverages we were permitted to sell on the school yard, in the form of smoke-finished chicken ham. The breast had been brined for two days, and cooked at a low temperature in olive oil and garlic. The final piece de resistance was a theatrical performance of carefully layering slices in a makeshift smoker born of an old cardboard Amazon box, injecting apple tree smoke for just a few minutes, and the result was a nuanced extravaganza of balanced flavours that kept them tripping over themselves on the way back for more.

Later came the roast beefs, the freshly cured hams and hand-stuffed sausages, among some even more exotic findings. All were winners in their own rights.

It’s important to know who your friends are, but just as important they know who you are!

Why, this very noon, my dear compatriot Jack sent me a telecommunication. ‘What ho, Gottie old fruit,” he began, as cheerfully as I hoped he might continue. ‘Bit of a rummy morning wouldn’t you know, the balliest of trifles. Same old same old, I dare say, the bulletins just aren’t jumping off the shelves as we hoped! Then, one might say, it rather caught me stonk in the sniffer like a wayward dinner bun at luncheon, why not ask old Gottie! He’s a corker of a fellow, always willing to grease the old elbow wax to help a chappie out in his hour of dismay. So be a sport and pen a new blogsphere piece would you! Tally pip!

Indispensable as always!

I wonder what I shall write about…

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