Last night I was at a drinks thing with a friend who used to be in the Navy. One of his former colleagues who is still serving was there. I had not met him before but soon wished I had not met him at all. He had just been promoted to Commander and I think he had mis-read the rank as 'Commandant'. On being told my other half was in the Army, he launched straight into a sneering attack on people who were 'squillions of ranks below me.. and do you realise that if he worked on one of my projects he would have to call me Sir.. haw haw'. I tried to be good humoured about his attitude and asked polite questions about his job including how he kept in touch with the issues faced by the grass roots. He burst out laughing and said "Oh, p*ss off, why would I want to do that?!". How charming - what an inspirational leader he must be. He blithered on about his power and importance and then I asked him when he had last seen active service. He did not have a straight answer but joked about having 'lower ranks' to 'that sort of thing'. Finally, on hearing where my chap was posted at the moment, he said 'Oh I know the top guy over there.. do you realise that if I wanted to, I could phone up tomorrow and get your chap's leave cancelled?! haw haw'. In the end, I laughed and told him how interesting it had been to discover the breathtaking arrogance of the so called cream of the 'senior' service. I hope that he is just bad apple. Phew - had to get that off my chest after having to restrain myself when I really wanted to stick my heel through his smug face.