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The Rise and Fall Of "A Safe Pair Of Hands"

Acting Deputy Assistant Administrative Assistant Lobelia Cattermole has become the latest casualty in the DHRS 2020 Calendar of Romance misprint saga, losing her position only days after being appointed. The 66-year-old from Moor Crichel was immediately relieved of all responsibilities following an internal inquiry that has established "beyond any reasonable proof" that she might "in some way have been slightly implicated in, if not solely or even largely responsible for, the embarrassing error and, at the very least, part of a sequence of events and a chain of command which failed to prevent it's wider dissemination". Asked whether this was a sin of omission or commission, a spokesperson for the DHRA said she was unable to say pending "an extended session with a good dictionary".

A visibly disappointed Mrs Cattermole. Friends say much of the life has gone out of her since her unceremonious dismissal.

Mrs Cattermole took up her position on 20th December following an administrative shake-up in the wake of the DHRA General Election in December. Mrs Endersley-Kindersley's triumph engendered a new confidence and determination in the Establishment Party and one of her first acts as PM [Photocopying Monitor] was to redistribute staff. The experienced Mrs Mayhew-Archer-Cymabline-Crawford was promoted to Labelling Administrator creating a vacuum in the ranks fo the Deputy Assistant Administrative Assistants team and though eyebrows were raised at Mrs Cattermole's precocious preferment, she was generally considered a "safe-pair of hands" after overseeing the reorganisation the DHRA's 3" sellotape procurement systems in 1989. In retrospect, says insider and promotion rival Mrs Dotty Snitch, her advancement was "too much too soon", particularly at a critical time. "The run-up to Christmas was particularly challenging this year - what with the fig shortage and loose dates available in bewildering varieties - whilst the deadline for Mrs Threadbone's think piece was looming. Mrs Threadbone is a notoriously late finisher and I suppose Lobelia just wasn't up to the job. Normally Mrs Threadbone has the experienced hand of Enrique de los Chicos Perdidos to help her bring it off, but this year he was at an Ethics of Gender Reassignment Workshop in Chickerell. In short, it was the perfect storm".

The DHRA has declined to comment further on Mrs Cattermoles fall from grace and will, we understand, be issuing no further statements until a suitable replacement has been found. Volunteers for the vacant position are said to be thin on the ground.

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