Do not bend


I suspect that at least 50% of what comes through my letter box goes straight in the bin without me even reading it. Along with time travel and teleportation, in my spare time I’m working on ideas to detect and divert directly to the bin leaflets advertising takeaway pizza, never to be repeated broadband/telephony deals and insurance quotes (addressed “to the householder”). Though I rather enjoy those quirky and unintentionally amusing catalogues that come through the door, selling unique accessories for the home, the elderly and the disabled. I mean, who wouldn’t want a plastic cake cutter/knife exactly in the shape of a cake portion – so you can just press it through the cake (though you may destroy the cake trying to get it out). Who wouldn’t want a plastic tube in which to store your supermarket bags under the sink?

As it turns out, the postman delivered something quite welcome, albeit slightly bent in a stiff “do not bend” envelope. Last week I was notified that I’d successfully passed all my modules in the CQI certificate in quality and here was my certificate (for the certificate – as it were). I had forgotten because there is such a long time between sitting exams, submission of assignments and getting the confirmed results. Lots of students have received their GCSE and A-level results for multiple subjects over the past couple of weeks, so my single extra qualification seemed somewhat lame. After listening to others talk about results, I piped up “I got my result last week too”. After a palpable silence, this was followed by a marked period of feigned, but respectful interest (I guess Quality never made it on the A-level syllabus (that could open up a can of worms)). At my age, I’ll settle for any interest I can get.

I’m sure I should be prouder of my achievement, of course I should. It took quite a bit of time and effort. But, I think I’m more relieved it’s all over. Anti-climax after exams is normal (as it seems is the lack of interest in Quality, though Robert Pirsig’s combined quality/philosophy novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a popular read). But it’s as well to remind myself of how I’d have felt if I hadn’t passed. Now that would be a stuffer. The truth is qualifications are just travelling companions. They’re not an end in themselves, they’re something you collect en route and use to get where you want to be. Poetry in motion…hand me the box of tissues….