Friday, April 14, 2006

An unlikely hero

Now, most of us have vaguely useful, but relatively dull jobs. It's difficult to reach out to our dreams of an exciting future, but one man has managed it. He's come in for a lot of stick in the press, but I think that he's oddly magnificent.

Step forward Sir Alan McIlwraith, KBE, DSO. A veteran of Kosovo and Afghanistan, knighted by Prince Charles, and who is invited to charity events because of his record. Who sits at his desk in a call centre with a name badge saying Sir Alan McIlwraith, dignified and proud.

Or step forward Alan McIlwraith, who works in a call centre, sorting out computer problems, and who sometimes turned up in his army uniform, complete with medals. The uniform and medals that he got in a charity shop, that is. Because this individual has never seen any action whatsoever.

But I think he's cool.

He has a dull job which probably involves him constantly asking people whether they have tried rebooting. It's not terribly exciting or fulfilling. He has several ways of dealing with this.

He can put up with it, never wanting something better.

Or he can seek refuge in drugs, or alcohol, or gambling.

Or he can take to religion.

Or he can build another life where he is respected, thought of as brave, is even pictured in a society magazine, all for the price of a few charity shop buys.

Come on, you have to admire a guy who writes his own Wikipedia entry (now sadly deleted), which includes the wonderful observation

“A hero that the UK and Nato can look to in times of trouble”.

As for the people who were taken in, it wasn't for financial gain, and how superficial must they be, to be giving out invitations to charity events, and taking pictures, because they think somebody has a title and a few medals?

Go for it, Alan, is what I say!


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »

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