Category Archives: Office Life


Last night I went to an Awards Dinner, so today I rang in sick.

Only a person who doesn’t drink could get away with that. Our company got nominated for an award, I was (to my surprise) one of the staff asked to go along to fill our allotted table of ten and I woke up this morning with stomach pains. I still got up at the right time, then thought “nah, I can’t” and went back to bed.

There was a champagne reception for an hour when we arrived, four bottles of wine on our table when we sat down to dinner and the bar was still open when I left at 12.30, and if I’d had even one drink I’d have forced myself into work this morning even if it meant throwing up on the bus driver. Nobody wants to be the bloke who misses work because he was drinking at a do the night before, it’s the career-development equivalent of photo-copying your bum.

Whereas when the guy who drank water all night rings in sick, muttering about the warm feta cheese starter (I really don’t know why I ate it, I can’t stand stuff like that) then everyone says “aw, poor him, he must be feeling really terrible”.

I’ve slept most of the day and when I woke up the pain was pretty much gone. So I was given chicken soup.

All women are born knowing of the restorative properties of chicken soup. Miss Ugg the cavegirl

knew it. Ma Walton knew it. Mrs Tin knows it.

So I was force-fed loving offered chicken soup. Now I have stomach pains again.

I have discovered that long gigantic belches help to relieve the pain. I have also discovered that I am not to do that again.

It’s going to be a long evening.

Claiming Seniority

A group called The Book People regularly leave a selection of books into our office. These vary in their catchment age – for example, this month’s includes a box-set of all of the Beatrix Potter books, while also including a book called “Can’t Be Arsed”, a list of 101 things not to bother doing before you die (No 28 is “Get a Tattoo”, by the way). The books are cheaper than in the shops, you tick the one you want and a couple of weeks later it is delivered.

This month they offer this book:

Which it could be argued is fair enough, perhaps some of us would like to teach our granny how to email or how to accidentally order 2500 boxes of paper online (I’ve done that, they asked how much paper I wanted, which was a box of 5 reams at 500 sheets per ream, so I put in 2500 and would still be paying for them today were it not for the fact that the company had to ring me to tell me that they didn’t have that number of boxes in all their stores put together).

Anyway, this post comes about because of this part of the cover:

It seems that I am a senior.

Not only that, but I’ve been one for over four years now. Had I not been clutching tightly to my Zimmer frame when I read this I’d have fallen down in shock.

I do not regard myself as a senior. I am not reading retirement home brochures, buying boxes of denture cream (2500 at a time, if I do it online) or bemoaning the fact that pop music these days is shite, even though it is.

I have never been on a cruise. I do not like Tony Bennett. I do not own a cardigan.

The fact that I’ve had to pause this rant for a sit-down and a nice cup of tea is due to the fact thatI like tea. And sitting down.

I still see myself as young, vibrant and (Grannymar will back me up on this) hot.

Apparently I’m not, and it’s not just me. Stephen Fry, Sharon Stone and Donny Osmond (four days older than me, sadly I actually know that) are all seniors. While Gillian Anderson isn’t , David Duchovny is (sorry Mulder, but the truth is out there). The list is endless, and astonishing. Antonio Banderas. Enya. Eddie Murphy. Meg Ryan. All four members of U2, even Larry Mullen. Michael J Fox, who still looks younger than any of my children. Heather Locklear.
Linford Christie. Every bit of him.

I wrote about Madonna a few days ago. According to the authors of this book she too is a senior.

I wouldn’t like to be the one who tells her.

Beautiful Stranger

The content of the daily free newspaper handed out on street corners and outside train stations in our city consists purely of horoscopes, that evening’s TV schedules and a load of celebrity gossip.

On Thursday it showed a photo of Madonna in what I believe is called a basque and one of the girls in the office poured scorn on “the old woman in the leotard”.

“You mean the old woman who’s the same age as me?” I asked.

“Er, well, yes, but, er, like, you look much younger,” she said, digging frantically upwards.

“Seriously?” joined in GoldenEyes. “After all her botox, she still looks older than him?”

We eventually let her off the hook, but only after it was established that Madonna is not an old woman and that I still find her attractive, leotard or no leotard (I realise that there are two ways of looking at that last sentence).

I have written before about my Ghost Writer who haunts me, though in a good way, ensuring that my life is filled with enough unbelievable co-incidences and odd events to help pad out a blog. It has to be due to his intervention that at 14.34, less than an hour after the above conversation, I noticed that this was in my inbox:



Needless to say I opened it:


Madonna is asking me out.

She is asking me to go to a concert in May where she may well wear the basque, the leotard or for all I know a dress in the shape of a box-kite.

She seems to be inviting 10,000 chaperones. Perhaps I have a reputation I know nothing about.

I think we could really hit it off, but the relationship would be doomed from the start because of the media’s wish to compress couples’ names, like Brangelina for example.

Madonna and Tinman. They’d have a field day.

Damp Course

Last week, as you all know, was not one of my better weeks and I was too pissed off to write about being pissed on, but my disposition is now sunny enough to write about rain.

I realise that since I live in Ireland the rest of this sentence is not a real surprise, but last Thursday morning it rained.

And what rain it was. It fell downwards, it blew sideways, it may even have rained upwards for a while. It lasted for only five minutes or so, but they were the five minutes during which I walked from my bus stop across the river to my office.

I had an umbrella, but an umbrella is simply a hat with a handle, it protects your head but little else. My shoes, trousers and for some reason the hair on the back of my neck (I may have been slapped by an unintentionally flying fish as I crossed the bridge) were all soaked by the time I arrived at work.

I sat down at my computer. It was not a pleasant experience. My trousers were cold and damp, and I could feel my legs rapidly becoming the same.

I was in danger of drowning by osmosis.

Then I had this idea:

I typed standing up for an hour, by which time my trousers were dry and I could once again let them touch my delicate skin.

It’s the kind of thing you can only get away with if you work in a room with just one other person, a girl who has known you for over seven years now and is already well aware that you are nuts.

I’m really proud of myself, though. It surely is the ultimate example of thinking outside the box.

Free At Last

I’m on holiday!!!!

My week of 13-hour days is over. I didn’t mind doing it because of the circumstances that caused it, indeed sometimes I even felt a great buzz while I was doing it, but there is no doubt that something like that does take its toll.

This was most clearly evident in the morning that I got up at 4.20 because I couldn’t sleep. I then, of course, wrote a post that I hope that you found enjoyable, or at least coherent. I genuinely cannot remember one word of what I wrote and have decided never to read it, I am going to leave it there as an example of what happens when some idiot gets out of a warm bed (even if he can’t sleep, the important word there is ‘warm’) in the middle of the night to sit in a freezing kitchen and spout gibberish at the universe.

Anyway, I’m off now until January 2nd. There will be blogging, there will be reading, there will be TV watching. Or there may just be ten days of coma-like sleeping, which will be just as good.

My only remaining problem is present shopping, which I have done very little. I did do some of it online, and it was while I was doing this that I looked at the City Deals website of which I am a member, which daily offers large discounts, for one day only, on a wide and unrelated range of products and services.

So, for just fourteen euro and ninety-five cent (at current rates about a nickel, or two pence) I bought two 25kg bags of rock salt for keeping my driveway clear of ice.

As the teenage daughter of a friend of ours said recently (and we have all taken to saying ever since), “what the festive f**k?”.

I didn’t really picture just how much 50kg of salt was going to be. I could now de-ice the main runway at Heathrow and still have enough salt over to put on a bag of chips on the way home.

If not only Lot’s wife but his family, his household pets and the entire football team that he supported (Sodom United, you don’t want to let them get in behind your defence) had been turned into pillars he still wouldn’t have had as much salt as I have now.

It is worth it, though, if only on the principle that if you bring an umbrella to work it will not rain.

I reckon we’re in for mild winters here for a least the next fifty years.

Long Week

There may not be a lot of posting here for the next couple of days.

My friend GoldenEyes is still out sick and I have huge amounts to do this week. It’s so bad that I’m actually getting the hated train for the week as there is one that can get me in at seven, whereas the earliest bus I can get (in a capital city, in the 21st Century), will only get me in at a quarter to eight.

The problem with getting a train at six is that I’ve to get up at 5.08, and there are two problems with that. One is that, like this morning, you wake up at 3.30 in anticipation, as I did, and end up getting up at 4.20, and writing posts at 4.45.

The other is that you can only get eight hours sleep if you go to bed at 9.08 in the evening, and since I’m getting home at 9.30 this is not easy without reverse time-travel, which is preposterous, or the spell that Hermione Granger did where she could be in two places at once.

I’d try that, but knowing my luck both places I’d end up in would be at work.

Heads Up

My posts for the next three days will be short and sweet (rather like their author) as I have to study for the exam I face on Friday afternoon in the First Aid Course I am taking at work.

Among the things that I have learned during the course is a list of situations when it is pointless to carry out CPR. One of these (and it actually had this printed on the PowerPoint screen) is “decapitation”.

You learn something new every day.

Just To Say Hello

To those of you who get notified by email whenever I post something new and who rush here eagerly to see what new feats of genius I have achieved, or even to those of you who arrive here by accident trying to hire a new binman, I apologise for the fact that this post is just to tell you that there won’t be a post, that it’s 8pm and I’m still at work and won’t be home before ten.

I’d like to say here that my bosses are not evil slavedrivers, and not just because the Managing Director knows I have this blog, and indeed occasionally reads it. I’m here late because the normal beginning-of-month pressure has been squeezed just a bit tighter by the fact that I’m off next week so I have to be finished by Friday, and tighter yet because on Friday I’m going to be at a first-aid course, so effectively I’ve only tomorrow left.

The alternative would be to chicken out of the course, but it’s something that I really want to do, so its worthwhile putting the extra time tonight.

Back here again (hopefully for longer) tomorrow.

A Moving Post

This week’s Six Word Saturday is

Work Is Looking A Lot Brighter

This week we moved office. That’s not strictly true, our company is still based where we have been for the past five-and-a-half years, but our continued expansion means that we have taken two floors in another building about a hundred yards away, and my department (all two of us) were among the ones who got to move.

We’ve spent the last five-and-a-half years in the coldest part of our office, with a door to our right, a window behind us and the air-conditioning positioned so that the cold (always cold) air bounced off the wall beside me and into my face.

Polar bears, penquins and icebergs on their way south to attack White Star Liners refused to stop there.

Bob Cratchit, sitting with his half-gloves on, spent one morning working there and rushed sobbing back to Scrooge begging for his old job back.

But now we’ve moved. We even have a little room of our own on the fourth floor, full of warmth, natural light and a really nice plant (well ok, we bought the plant).

There is an outdoor balcony the whole way around our floor and already I have forced myself (I’m afraid of heights) to walk all the way around it, which to be honest was the hardest work I did all week.

And where previously this was our view (if we turned and looked out of the window behind us):

This is it now:

See, even the weather is better in the new office.

(For more Six Word Saturday posts, go here:)

Scene Unseen

At work today I noticed that the screensaver on GoldenEyes’s computer was of a road stretching away towards a beautiful forest. “That’s a lovely picture,” I said.
“You’ve seen it before,” she said.
“Oh no I haven’t,” I replied, panto-like.
“You have,” she answered (they don’t have panto in the country she comes from). “I told you I took it from a car and you said ’well, that’s obvious, you can just see the top of the window at the top of the screen’.”
I looked harder and saw that indeed I could. “Well, that proves it, I didn’t notice that even now.”
“But we had this conversation,” she insisted.
“Well I remember absolutely nothing about any of it,” I replied.
“Well then one of us is going mad,” she said.
You have to remember that she knows practically everything about me, so we looked at one another for a few seconds and then both grinned.
“I’m going to lose here, aren’t I,” I sighed.