Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Laying on of Hands (another random annoyance)

I may have mentioned before that I work with a variety of personalities; some of them strange, and the vast majority of them completely normal. One of the more normal folk is a rather religious lady who sits fairly close who has to put up with my swearing, saying "Jaysis" a lot and general gesticulating and sighing.

I am not a religious person, in spite of the frequency with which I roll my eyes to heaven and take the Lord's name in vain. I am not a churchgoer, although I like to visit old churches when there's no religious service on. I'm not keen on organised religion at all, however I am not a devotee of Richard Dawkins either. (My cynicism towards organised religion mainly stems from studying the stranglehold the Catholic Church had over the affairs of the nation throughout the twentieth century. I wrote a postgraduate thesis on it and related matters a few years back. Where once we were a nation blighted by priests, we are now a nation suffused with retail parks and SUVs.) But, I digress.

This religious colleague is a lovely person, always helpful and with a beatific smile. Even on the more stressful days, the unpleasantness is "offered up". She remembers us all in her prayers. And that's a nice, well-meaning sort of thing.

Here's what gets me though; when talking to me, she has a habit of touching my arm, and sometimes even my shoulders. I'm not happy with that. I'm not very tactile. You could say that my family motto is "noli me tangere" which literally translates from the Latin as "don't touch me" or, in my own parlance, "FUCK OFF". However, reacting like this in front of the rest of the section would be unprofessional. Telling a colleague to fuck off while jumping around dusting myself down, that is. Not random fucking swearing about "where did I put that fucking form" or "there's no fucking paper in the fucking printer again".

There's no other solution for it other than to have a quiet word. And the word won't be "Fuck" either. Shite.

What the hell is it with me lately that attracts them? Is it my new deodorant? Or is my black, sin-stained soul showing?

Funny that it should be, because I sold it for this job.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random annoyances

In the last few days, I've come across a few random annoyances (no, not Russia winning the Eurovision, well done to them; I imagine Moscow will really turn on the blingski for next year) and I want to write about them here:

Random annoyance no. 1 :
A CO colleague from a neighbouring section came to visit me the other day in order to ask me something. She pulled up an adjacent (and vacant - thank fuck!) chair and made herself all nice and cosy beside me. The exchange went something like this:

Colleague: So, Govstooge, why is your section carrying out this work when our section is also doing it?
Govstooge: Because there has to be a certain amount of overlap before your lot take it on fully to minimise error. Then we divest ourselves of it and your section takes it over permanently.
Colleague: But Govstooge, that's a lot of duplication for both of our areas. And Govstooge... (ad infinitum).
Govstooge: I'm sorry, I don't make the decisions. (Name of senior manager) does.
Govstooge (thinks):
For fuck's sake, if you'd taken the time to look up my job title on the staff list you'd see that I'm just an EO. Yes, I know the 'E' stands for 'Executive' but my executive powers are minimal, if not non-existent. I might make more money than you, but not much more, I can guarantee you that. And stop using my fucking name every two seconds. Jesus, that drives me mental!

Yes, I actually do know my own name. I've had it for over thirty years and can now spell it properly and write most of the letters the correct way around on a form. I don't need someone cosying up to me and reminding me of it. Piss off.

Random annoyance no 2:
Having a pint down my (new) local in the afternoon with my dad, who is visiting me, at the weekend. The local is very old-fashioned and is therefore a very nice place to enjoy a few quiet pints. I like it, and I can walk down there and stagger home. There is an old geezer welded to the bar, whom my dad recognises from previous visits to the pub when I have not been with him.

Old Geezer: Oh, hello it's yourself! You're the fella whose daughter bought a house down the street! (points to me) Is that the daughter?
Dad: Yes.
Me (thinks): I fucking hope this doesn't turn out to be some sort of prelude to an arranged marriage. Better suck down this pint bottle of Bulmers fast.
Old Geezer: What number did she buy?
Me (rather aggressively):
SHE bought Number 10! (Not my real house number - I didn't want uninvited guests turning up on my doorstep at closing time.)
At which point the old geezer realises that SHE is present in the room and begins addressing me directly, good Jaysus. Normal conversation (including a discussion about pieces of the True Cross - which may well turn out to be the leg of an old table - in existence in Ireland) ensues. A good day was had by all in the end, but, for feck's sake, please do not repeatedly refer to me in the third person when I'm in the room, or I'll feckin' stab you. And I've lived in Limerick.

What's wrong with me at all? I can't take too much of a proper noun, and I can't abide the misuse of pronouns. Is there a middle ground?

(Answers on a postcard to SHE who Must be Obeyed c/o The Pub, Main Street, Ballyfuck.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi ...

... sang Celine Dion some 20 years back. The Eurovision has come a long way since then. (As for Celine Dion, je partirais sans elle, tout de suite! Run away!) I have to say though, when the opening bars of the Te Deum by Charpentier filled my living room at 8 this evening, I still felt that tingle of anticipation.

Even though it's changed drastically, almost beyond recognition (I mean, 43 countries over 3 nights? And no more "un point, deux points" voting as it would drag on for a week), I still love it and tonight was once again an audiovisual feast.

Tonight we had:
  • A man with a horse's arse opening the show. That was the worst birth defect I have ever seen. His hind legs weren't even working.
  • A terrifying Swedish singer. The song wasn't bad, but she scared the shit out of me! I was afraid all the plastic surgery would melt under the stage lights and leave her standing in a pool of silicon for the other acts to slip in or get stuck to.
  • PIRATES! YARRR! Singing, dancing Latvian pirates. And they got through. Huzzah.
  • A health and safety matter arising from a burning Bulgarian turntable.
  • Flat caps, as worn by Denmark and Macedonia. All they needed was a pint of warm ale and a whippet by their sides and you could call it the Yorkshire-vision song contest. Eyup!
  • And the interval act. Dancing zombies. Again - Huzzah.
Yes, it was another night of silliness and dodgy costumes. But it had pirates and zombies, so that's a big thumbs up to the evening from me.

As for my favourite to win, I think Finland are good, but no doubt one of the Eastern European folk will get the prize.

Don't know if I can sleep tonight. Cheese before bed was a baaad idea.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Piff paff poff!

I was going to write on this last night, but the double bill of Desperate Housewives got in the way (And I missed the last half of the second episode due to falling asleep so have to catch the repeat at the weekend, God dammit!).

Dustin's bid for Eurovison glory was, as you all know by now, quashed last night. And booed at. Philistines. I would go as far as to say that Europe has lost its sense of humour, but having watched the spectacle in its entirety, I'm inclined to think that yes, Europe has a sense of humour. It's just very, very different to ours.

Last night I saw:
  • A quartet of knitting Bosnian brides and an ugly git popping out of a linen basket.
  • Some Slovenian Sex Slaves.
  • Insane Estonians dancing around pictures of cake while looking like "Stalin on speed" (credit goes to a friend for this reference).
  • Four Norwegian babe clones.
  • A Polish singer who Marty Whelan described as having "the whitest teeth in the contest". Yes, because her skin was fucking orange! Whose teeth wouldn't look whiter against a background of Tango? (Probably the best singer of the lot, though.)
  • More mental metallers from Finland, who got my vote. We need another Lordi.
  • A Russian bloke who looked in pain as he sang kneeling on the ground. Someone give him some morphine for Saturday. I think he got through.
  • Lots and lots of near-exposed bottoms and boobies.
You would think that a farting turkey would have a good chance in amongst that silly lot, wouldn't you? Irlande Douze Points is a great, catchy dance number which really made an improvement on the John Waters-penned drivel that passed (probably out of his colon) for an entry last year. For fuck's sake, who puts the word "archipelagic" into a song? Pretentious twat.

Maybe it's time for us to bow out along with Italy and Denmark? We still top the stats in terms of most Eurovisions won. Even with our silliest entry in history, we are not silly enough to beat the knitting needles and the blokes with angel wings (Azerbaijan I think).

I'm still going to watch the rest of the contest though, so there will be more commentary to follow.

In the meantime, here's a link to a clip of my favourite (after My Lovely Horse, and of course, Irlande Douze Points) silly Eurovision entry.

Edit: Don't know where I got the idea that Denmark had bowed out. They're in this year's final...!

The Real Uncivil Servant

An historic day in the Dail today.

If I wore a hat, I would take it off to this man:

After An Taoiseach's use of "Unparliamentary Language" in today's Leader's Questions, I have to reconsider my self-awarded title of Uncivil Servant.

What's next, Brian? Coming into work in a Burberry tracksuit reeking of Lynx and carrying a plastic Londis bag full of flagons of Linden Village? Is this incident about to set a new, even lower standard for our elected representatives? And what of the rest of the cabinet? Will Mary Harney release all the farts she has been holding in and completely obliterate all life in the Dail chamber, and possibly the chamber itself? And will the Opposition join in? Will Enda Kenny come in wearing shit-splattered wellies?

Or maybe it's just that this expletive-ridden blog has found its way into the corridors of power.

Hmm. I like the second one, but the probability of its being true is negligible, I'm afraid.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Mondays suck.

I had a great weekend. Lots of booze and lots of fun.

And, was it good to be back in work today?


Feck it, I was fine when I got up this morning. I was even singing (badly) in the shower. And I had breakfast as well. That's not like me.

It was only when I entered the grounds of the Department and gazed up at the unimposing edifice before me that the total despair set in.

I spent the morning scowling over a tower of forms. Then, while on my 45 minute tea break, I spent a large proportion of that time scowling at random folk who have annoyed me in the past. Later, I gave myself a headache from repeatedly rolling my eyes when an overly loquacious colleague caught me on the phone. I did most of today's work on some sort of autopilot (I was halfway home by the time I realised I had arsed some of it up and will have to do it again tomorrow). My boss didn't come near me all day. He must have sensed the aura of complete nihilism in my general vicinity.

At 4 pm I nearly ripped the main gate off its hinges trying to get out. There was a bottle of ice-cold Tyskie waiting for me at home.

The drugs aren't working, Ted. But at least I know I'm not alone in this.

Would you promote this person?

Huzzah! Another shot at the AO for me!

This time, I'm going to actually do the practice questions. I ballsed it up last time around.

Down time

It's been almost a week since I wrote anything. Fact is, I've been enjoying the weather too much ("sickie", anyone?) and, in the last two or three days when it started pissing again, I've been getting pissed. Mainly to forget about what's coming up in the next couple of weeks.

The interim reviews. Oh, fuck.

The thing is, with all the new minions reporting to me since earlier this year, it's going to take me a whole week to get through these poxy meetings. Not to mention the fact that I inherited a few extra people as a result of another EO leaving.

Some of the meetings might be fun this time around, however, as I might like to get revenge on some of these additional staff for an incident on the other EO's last day, which went something like this:

EO: Well, I'm off. It was lovely working with you all. (Goes to door)
CO: (Stands on desk) O Captain my Captain!
CO 2: (Stands on desk) O Captain my Captain! Please don't leave us!
EO: Err...
CO: Yes, please don't go. Our new EO is a bitch.
CO 2: Yes, she swears at us.
(At this point the HEO intervenes saying that people standing on desks is a breach of health and safety law and he ushers the EO out the door, while simultaneously restraining Govstooge from harming herself and others, as she is now foaming at the mouth and flailing her arms relentlessly. The HEO receives several bite marks to his forearms and has to leave early to go to the doctor.)
CO: Fuck, anyway.

The rest of the interim reviews won't be fun. Especially since I am now medicated to keep all that involuntary movement under control. It's just going to be a lot of sedate form-filling and box-ticking and running around trying to find an office vacated by an AP on a well-timed sickie so I can at least hold the review meetings in private.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How do they do it?

Oh Jaysus.

I am so sick of fucking forms. I am short staffed at the moment (I think it's something to do with the weather - wish I'd fucking thought of that), and so I've had to pick up some of the slack.

I don't know how the clerical staff do it. Processing form after form day in day out. Fucking hell. I think I'll go easy on them at the upcoming interim review (Then I'll balance it out by going medieval on their asses for calling in "sick" at a moment's notice. Heh heh heh. ), because I know if I had to do it all day every day I'd go fucking mental.

I can just see myself, having strangled a senior manager with his tie and tied it around my own head as a headband, leaping the desks in the open-plan areas throwing ninja death forms at everyone in my path. The carpet would be soaked in copious amounts of blood from the papercuts I would inflict mercilessly on my co-workers. My ululating battle-cry would echo throughout the building and those left alive would not emerge from beneath their desks until it is time for my tea break.

Feck it, it's going to be lovely again tomorrow. I think I'll call in sick. It might just save their lives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I work with some very weird people, as regular readers will by now have guessed.

However, the vast, vast majority of my section colleagues are completely normal, sociable, decent people, with whom I enjoy working very much indeed. (And no, none of them are reading this. If you are, GET BACK TO WORK! NOW! )

I was astounded, and hugely amused, by something one of my normal (ladylike) colleagues said today. Becoming increasingly irritated by the incessant commentary by another colleague on various non-work related matters as she attempted to concentrate on her work, she turned to him and said: "If you don't shut up, I will say two words to you, one has to do with sex and the other with travel."

What a novel way of saying "Fuck off!"

It's a pity she is not on leave for the next three working days, then she could have said "See you next Tuesday".

I suppose it's good to know that my swearing in the office isn't being seen as "Leading by example".

Still on the subject...

... of vomiting, that is. Not piercings.

Those ads for Erin "Chunky Soup" really freak me out, especially as this is a euphemism for vomit that I've been using for some time now.

I've no intention of trying the product as I really don't want my food to remind me of puke.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Achilles Heel

A random canteen conversation revealed my Achilles heel to some COs today.

It was a perfectly normal conversation about Goths and other teenage trends. Until it turned to the subject of piercings.


Fuck it, there's nothing that nauseates me more than the thought of piercings. I have never even had my ears pierced. The very idea of poking metal through my earlobe gives me the willies. (I can cope with big fuck-off needles at the dentist though, oddly enough.)

One friend likes to get revenge on me if I'm being obnoxious by shouting "PIERCED NIPPLES!" at me to make me shut up.

People with tongue piercings make me want to yak. Bleargh.

So now the COs have ammunition to use against me if I piss them off. Feck anyway.

Mind you, all I have to do is shout something like "CANTEEN SAUSAGES", "ROLE PROFILE FORM" or "DEAD PEOPLE" back at them.

Yes, it's a new game we've invented. Actually, I've invented it. I'm the boss, and can do whatever the hell I want.

Nausea Tennis, I'll call it.

The Cultural Divide

I like the Statcounter thing I installed on this blog about a month ago. It provides me with excellent real-time statistics on the hits I receive. It gives fascinating insights into the random search terms Googled by people all over the world to lead them to me (bwahhahahahahahaha!). Most, however, are looking for the sort of things I don't provide, and their visit only lasts a nanosecond.

Most interesting are the differences between hits I receive from IP addresses in Asia/ Africa and those coming from Europe.

For instance, many people using Google from European domains search for things such as "Promotion to EO", "HEO Irish Civil Service", "PMDS", "Civil Service Shit" and "Civil Service Sucks". Now, I can provide insights on all of these. Particularly the last two. Oh, and someone once searched for "women peeing and crapping". Yes I am a woman, and I do use the toilet, but I don't have a live toiletcam in my ensuite. At least, not that I know of.

Visitors from Asia and Africa on the other hand, have searched for - almost daily, and from different countries each time - "boss fuck servant", "servant fuck boss" , "my servant fucked me". Sorry lads. No can do. I am a civil servant who wants to tell my colleagues and my boss to fuck off from time to time, but I'm not branching out into the master /servant porno stuff. But if any of you work for the civil service in your own countries, I'd be interested to know what kind of crap you put up with.

The visitor who had me rolling on the floor laughing was the person who googled "I had garlic last night now I stink at work". They were from the UK. Again, I could offer them nothing, other than a realisation that it helps to keep clerical staff at bay.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Sometimes the clerical staff just don't appreciate the type of person it takes to rise to the level of manager in the civil service. Following yet another of my canteen diatribes one of the throng who reports to me had the temerity to suggest that I complain a lot. The exchange went something like this:

Clerical Officer: For someone with authority, you complain a lot.
Govstooge: What the hell do you mean? Do you not know that it's a requirement of the job? If I don't voice at least ten complaints every day, I could get demoted? Or my head could explode with all the pressure of repressed emotions? Don't you realise what a terrible existence the average EO ekes out?
Clerical Officer: Oh, I see now. Thanks for clearing that up. I think I'll withdraw from the current EO competition that I did the exam for last week.
Govstooge: Yes. Save yourself. Redemption is at hand. I, on the other hand, am lost forever.