Thursday, August 2, 2007

Eulogy for the P-PARS Lottery

And so we say farewell, sweet payroll system,
As you ascend with grace to software heaven.
Thousands wail, and thousands more assist ‘em,
The cortege moving slowly to Glasnevin.

You were beloved by many civil servants,
And stoutly and defiantly defended.
The minute’s silence, held with strict observance,
Was practically unanimously attended.

Here a hundred thousand, there a million,
You dished your favours out quite willy-nilly,
And every Doctor Joe and Staff Nurse Gillian
Denies the P-PARS Lottery was silly.

The H.S.E., proactive and inventive
Devised this scheme with governmental data.
Was there ever such a strong incentive
To join the staff at James’s or the Mater?

The wage-slips were distributed fortnightly,
As patients watched in ever-mounting wonder.
Prayers would be intoned with eyes shut tightly,
Before the flimsy slips were ripped asunder.

A feeling of excitement was injected,
From top consultants to the young beginners.
In theatre, great wounds lay unprotected
As surgeons checked to see if they were winners.

And then there’d come a roar from Radiology,
And everyone would think it was a crackpot.
But then the nurse would come with an apology –
“Dr. Ahmed Singh’s just won the jackpot.”

Sometimes there would not be one big winner,
Despite the imprecations to Jehovah.
But nails were chewed and hairlines got much thinner,
Every time a jackpot was rolled over.

The end was very swift and without warning,
There was no time for grief, or bedside dramas,
And flags will fly half-mast today in mourning
On many yachts now moored in the Bahamas.

And so the Last Post sounds above your coffin,
The sense of loss will be profoundly bruising,
Until of course, some other I.T. boffin
Comes up with something equally amusing.

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