Работал на Русской службе замечательный человек: Геннадий Покрасс, в прошлом — советский мореплаватель. У него была одна забота: чтобы Русская служба служила на совесть. О недостатках на службе он самоотверженно докладывал начальству. Вот один из меморандумов, написанный Покрассом 24 ноября 1990 года.
TO: Managing Director of the World Service Mr J. Tusa
Head of the Russian Service Mr. D. Morton
FROM: Producer Mr. G.Pokrass
May I draw your attention to some points concerning our work conditions and output.
I. About a year ago I wrote a memo to our administration about the possible detrimental effect on our work conditions caused by the reconstruction of the offices. Now there are bigger rooms with more people (8-10 instead of 4-5), exactly what most translation firms seek to avoid.
In spite of the BBC non-smoking policy, some of our people smoke not only in rooms with open doors, but also in the Self-Op studio and Current Affairs room (Mrs. V.Chalidze, Mr. L. Finkelstein, Mr. G. Ben).
Now in room 530 we have only one phone extension for twice as many people. One Friday we counted about 38 calls in several hours. Consequently, the noise and distracting conversations have doubled.
II. We are not properly informed about new Soviet terms and vocabulary, mostly because our books and dictionaries are not kept up to date.
III. The binding force of the BBC rules about recruiting spouses to work in the same Service is not applied equally to everybody, which, I feel, could be one of the reasons for the morale of the Service being at its lowest for a decade.
IV. Recruitment for our Service is a particular concern. Now there are several Producers with speech impediments. For example, Mr. Y. Kolker not only burres [правильно: burrs], but also speaks in a nasal voice. About 9 years ago our colleague's contract was terminated (Mr. F. Maidanek) for the same reasons, which had been noticed by the national newspapers.
Some of our Producers who are or were doing the presentation and narration cannot read fluently without having rehearsed their parts, which is not always possible. Among these people are not only our newcomers (Mr. A. Stupnikov, Mr. Jerry Miller), but also our old guardswoman (Ms. T. Kelim) . More often than not it has been these people who are not always able to understand all nuances and complexities of the Russian language.
V. Time and again our output is crippled by repeating the TASS clichés, which even the majority of Soviet journalists are trying to spurn. VI. I am sure that we at least could reduce our over-expenditure if we used British TV and Radio Programmes adapted for our purposes.
I think that we might improve our output by avoiding frequent repetitions of materials already published in the USSR (I discovered this after recent visits to Moscow). This applies not only to our IMPULSE and SCIENCE KALEIDOSCOPE, but also to some Programmes compiled by Soviet citizens here on business trips or holidays.
/Mr. G. Pokrass/
И что же? Ленивое начальство Би-Би-Си, не желавшее улучшений на Русской службе и не ценившее подвигов Покрасса, собственноручно прикнопило этот исторический документ к доске объявлений в коридоре службы — чем и сделало его (документ) достоянием гласности и истории.
А среди нас — вот позор-то! — нашёлся злой человек, некто Георгий Бен, ответивший доброхоту Покрассу такой вот эпиграммой-пародией, которая тоже была вывешена на доске объявлений (снимаем копию с оригинала):