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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Talking Balls
I know the feeling
Apparently we are part-way through the Six Nations. I know, I could have lived without that particular nugget of information too, but there you go. Thing is I have more interest in the toilet habits of our binmen than I do in rugby. So it may surprise you that I used to work for the Welsh Rugby Union before I cleaned up my act and went into journalism.
In fact, until I worked at the WRU I was an enormous rugby fan, but therein lies the problem. Working for the WRU didn't cement my love of rugby - it shat all over it. Shat all over it with a capital splashback.
Looking back at my years at the WRU is like shoving my hand into a basket of vipers. And, fuck me, was that place one big sack of snakes. In all my life I have never met such a bunch of bitter, recalcitrant, childish, sexist and backward-looking individuals. It's no fucking wonder that Welsh rugby remains a mystery because even after working there I still have no idea how the place even clawed together enough nous to unlock the doors of a morning. 
In fact, it was an education in how to cold-shoulder good management practice. As a woman I wasn't allowed into committee meetings even though I was meant to report on them - only the minute-taking female secretary was granted access - and several committee men even refused to deal with me. One nameless 18th Century grumbleshit would come into my office, ask to speak to a man and, if none was available, would walk out again. And perhaps the less said about very senior members of the WRU, the better. Suffice it to say that in my years there, one very big management name only ever addressed me via my tits and was known for his casual and daily harassment of other female members of staff. Yup, an all round Great Guy.
The Admin department was equally as incompetent. The dept's manager would hoard information as if it was his own lifeblood being pissed against a wall. Problem was that my dept had to manage press enquiries which, of course, meant having information. Well, fuckadoodledo, if that wasn't in the admin manager's plans. Seriously, we sat two desks away from the guy and we'd have to phone journalists to find out what he was up to. It was like working at the fucking Kremlin except it was colder, greyer and even more miserable. 
Course, the guys on the General Committee were the biggest nightmare. You knew when the new kit had arrived at the WRU because there'd be committee men climbing out of the woodwork just to fill their own car boots with the stuff. It's was like sales day at Harrods but with more girly grasping, which was impressive for a herd of fifty-somethings from the arse end of Bynea. The same scrambling went on for tickets too. Seriously, I reckon these guys had enlarged pockets sewn into their blazers for the sole purpose of stuffing them with stubs.
You can see how, by the time I left, my enjoyment of rugby looked as if it had been fed through a scrum. And yeah, there were a few great people there but over time they were equally worn down too. I even recall the head of one department - a guy who had the intelligence, business nous and enough charisma to run a small country - sitting at a desk with his head in his hands because the ineptitude of the ruling idiots had dragged him to the brink.
So, no, I shan't be watching the Six Nations. I'm working hard to blank that part of my culture from my memory. And I've got a funny feeling that thanks to the WRU as I knew it, I'm probably not the only one.



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