The Power of the Clipboard

There was something different about the refurbishment work at the bus station.

Normally it was a ghost works. A cursory digger driver sat in the cab playing Candy Crush. Four men in day-glo orange stood around watching one man in a day-glo orange lay a paving slab. A barren wasteland of abandoned work from 3pm onwards. 

Inspiration for the Council’s workmen supervision strategy.

From the top floor of Sainsbury’s car park Noodles and I will daily count the diggers and the buses. The buses invariably move on and are harder to keep track of. The diggers are always stationary. 

I was beginning to wonder if the Council had actually roped in the Shoemaker’s elves to do the work when no one was watching. Cos it sure as hell wasn’t happening when anybody was.

But yesterday was different. Yesterday the bus station was a hive of high-vis activity. 

The workforce was suddenly in double figures and actually doing stuff. A young lad tried to manoeuvre a piece of Perspex into a bus shelter frame. The slabs were being laid without the need for supervised supervision. There was even a damn great crane. With a man in it. Working!

And then it all made sense. A group of suits, including the woman from the Council who blatantly lied about the effect the buses would have on our lives as residents whilst the stops were relocated to our street for 3 months. All in yet more high-vis. Each clutching a clipboard.

Ah, the power of the clipboard. 

And today? A grand total of 7 workmen: two actually working, two watching the work, two on a fag break and one fetching the coffees. 


Moral of the story: if you want stuff done then wander round looking officious with a clipboard. Hard hat and high-vis jacket optional.



2 thoughts on “The Power of the Clipboard”

  1. I once worked on a project for a pipeline burrowing under a roadway…a foreman and three workers on the burrowing equipment….eleven environmental monitors: archaeologists, biologists, geologists, hydrologists, Native Americans, Cal OSHA, roads dept., and various other inspectors…!!

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