During the times of the month when the working day could potentially stretch out deep into the evening there's little more effective at making sure I leave in good time than pre-buying a cinema ticket for one of the two nice cinemas (as opposed to the shit one which hardly ever has anything good on at it) within five minutes' walk of the office. Anything which demands I stay later than the start time of the film then has to be prepared to refund the cost of the ticket. It's never gone as far as that but it's a useful insurance to have, and as the end of the working day can be from any time after 15:30 for most of the rest of the month it's also a useful method for occasionally cutting back on the amount of flex I generate.
There seem to be some vaguely frayed tempers about at work at the moment, particularly dangerous in those people who don't have the outlets others have (such as griping about things on a blog or on Twitter) and who don't seem to realise that if you're going to mutter about someone behind their back that it's vital to ensure that you're well out of earshot rather than merely not directly in their line of sight, especially when the incipient resulting slanging match would have taken place directly above my head, both geographically and figuratively. Though I keep saying it I'll definitely have to start using the whiteboard behind me to write down everything that people are asking for at the end of the month, perhaps as a table so that the number of people asking for each thing can be clearly indicated to help explain to people why their teeny little gripe is so far down the priority list.
At least this evening's have-to-be-out-of-the-office-by-18:00 ticket ensured that a slightly trying day did not go on too long. I popped to the Filmhouse to see the thing with hope's film in along with nine other shorts of varying types, almost all of which were substantially better than a lot of the stuff of which the collections of shorts displayed during the film festival are comprised. The downside came after the films when the loudmouthed and disinterested-sounding bloke chairing the panel discussion mentioned structure, rules and the little boxes into which the industry slots the various roles represented by the panel a little bit too noticeably. In situations like this where the films were mostly made by students and apprentices such people should be carefully restrained to stop them infesting n00bs with their restrictive worldview. Fortunately the people answering the questions were still able to do so naturally and normally, something their highly professional "name" counterparts are often unable to do during similar Q&A things during festival-time. I also speaked briefly with one of the film-makers. Nice to meet you again, albeit briefly again.