Understanding uncle sorts it out

THE RILKOFF FILES

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 10:30 09/06/2012

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Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough. Tough as. They weren't before. They are now. That's the way economies are. High then low. You just have to ride it out. Anyway, Uncle, as a middle manager, I find the financial crisis particularly tough. With my budget slashed to zero I haven't been able to give anyone a raise. It's been devastating. My staff have dropped even their meagre show of friendship and now openly mock my poor underarm hygiene. I guess I am not looking for advice. Just someone to listen. I feel so lonely.

Yours, Miserable Management

Dear Mr Management,

Understand it is quite normal for you to be feeling isolated. But this has nothing to do with the downturn. Remember back to school, when you used to laugh along with the other kids, not really knowing what you were laughing at.

Remember how your teacher used to give you diligence awards because at least you tried to keep up with everyone else. Times are tough, sure, but you are right where you were always going to be.

* Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough. So tough I've had to go back to having just one good shirt and one good pair of pants. Trouble is, my wife thinks visiting her mum is enough reason for me to wear my good stuff, whereas I want to save them for funerals and other serious occasions like watching the rugby. Should we get a divorce?

Yours, Good Question

Dear Mr Question,

Understand you have put up with more than you should ever have to in this relationship. You didn't get married to be tortured like this. Of course you should get a divorce. Fortunately, the two-year waiting period is waived for morons.

* Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough. Really tough. Or so they say. But you know, back in my day, when streets were made of snow and broken glass and shoes weren't invented, we didn't have half of what everyone has now. We had to work hard, bloody hard, just to buy a hat. I once went without meat for six years while I saved up for my first raincoat. Those were tough times. Not like now. My question is, when will the young people realise how good they have it?

Yours, Bothered Boomer

Dear Mr Boomer,

Understand you are quite right to feel this new generation are a soft and molly coddled bunch unwilling to take any responsibility for their own situation.

But frankly, you are just as irritating for harping on about a past that wasn't half as bad as you like to recall when you're drunk. Do us all a favour and just shut up. And by the way, how good do you have it that there's no capital gains tax on those rental properties of yours?

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* Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough, mate. Real tough. Tough as. Tough. Tough. Tough.

The other day I went in for my raise and my boss goes all Mother Hubbard on me. Goes like, hey, the cupboard is bare. I'm cool with that. You got to adapt to the situation. So I crossed him off my birthday party list. I'd never liked him anyway and what's the point now, right? The thing is, that was easy as to do. Easy. Easy. Easy. But is there an easy way to stop him sitting next to me in the cafe?

Yours, Awkward Situation

Dear Mr Situation,

Understand your boss does not want to sit next to you any more than you want him to be there. However, his most recent performance report highlighted his general disconnect between himself and the people he is supposed to lead.

Awkward and ridiculous as it may be, sitting down with you at lunch is his stab at fixing that. And anyway, you should be thankful. From the way you write I can only guess you breathe through your mouth and smell like luncheon sausage.

* Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough. I can't think straight for worrying about Greece falling apart. I'm hardly sleeping at night for the 25 per cent unemployment in Spain and the Chinese property bubble is giving me hives.

It's going to burst, Uncle. It's gonna blow and then we're all in the doodoo and I just know people are going to turn on me. They're going to hate me even though I speak with flat vowels just like they do. How do I stay in their good books when the books are shot? Help. Please.

Yours, Worried Man

Dear Mr Man

Understand this, Mr Key, this is not the place to be seeking such advice. And cut out the flat-vowel action. You're our leader, not Rachel Hunter.

* Dear Uncle Understanding,

Times are tough all right. Seems I can't turn the television on without having to listen to someone drone on about budget deficits, austerity measures, depressed labour markets and shrinking output.

Why can't we just skip all this and cut straight to the frenzy of a Right-wing political takeover? Then we can get what we all want - the ultimate proletarian distraction: World War III.

Yours, Bored to Death

Dear Mr Death,

Understand your superficial historical knowledge, combined with your equally superficial understanding of irony, is embarrassing. I suggest you stop wearing that op-shop cardigan, put down the fruit tea and get to work paying off that student loan. Unlike your wit, it won't be interest-free forever.

- Taranaki Daily News

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