The English love a challenge…

Posted on November 21, 2011


In a country where construction companies can quote you £100,000 for a new bus shelter and 5 years later it is still half finished at a cost of £1.2 million, the population are developing a fascination with the ‘project’. Personally, I have always felt that we enjoy the work and delays more than the end-product but it wasn’t until recently that I had it confirmed.

Contrary to popular belief, the most ambitious and fruitless project in the UK is not the hopeless black-hole of buying Glasgow the title of European City of Culture in the hope that people will start being more cultured or at least wear a coat.

Nor is it the determined attitude of the Olympic committee to turn East London into an award-winning, world class Olympic pleasure destination by covering the council flats in papier-mâché and painting all the poor people a quirky shade of pink. Although they deserve special recognition for using the same construction company responsible for the bus shelter, there is a project that has been going for even longer.

That project is me. My fiancé recently informed me that she was pleased with the progress she had made with me and was confident that I was now the finished product she had envisioned from the start. So far, so good. But I’ve heard this before.

It was over a decade ago that the first project manager took me on and the project has gone from rubble to ruin in that time. As she handed the project over to the next optimistic young hopeful, she seemed pleased with her efforts and almost sad that after laying the tricky foundations, someone else would be able to come in and finish me off effortlessly.

5 years later, with the project long overdue and well over budget, I was picked up by the optimistic girl who has now declared the project complete.

I have a theory. I have long ago given up on any form of self-improvement. Fortunately, like a good project manager, she hasn’t let a lack of results spoil her outlook. But soon she will have to sign a contract. And in that moment, she will either have to acknowledge a few irregularities and run off with the money or be content for her expectations to return to Earth.

Look, I drew a graph…

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