Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The End of the Affair

So. Deadline's passed. And no, I didn't enjoy the whooshing sound it made as it flew past, because I met it. Is nice! And I can once again engage with colleagues with my witty banter - as opposed to the complaining, swearing and sighing I've been treating them to recently.

The only question is - what to do next? I've cleared the piles of paper off my desk and found lots of things I'd forgotten about: an unchewed biro, a mini Toffee Crisp, a very old form and an out of date voucher for €2 off a six pack of Guinness (Yes, can't believe that one! That I actually let it go out of date!).

I have to invent a new project for myself to do now. Yes, there will always be day-to-day stuff to take care of, but I need something that I can work on over a number of weeks. I miss the big project you see. It gave me a genuine excuse to scowl at the HEO who was approaching with extra shite work for me to do; work that they could have done themselves but wanted to delegate for the sake of delegating. Now my desk is clear, I'm once again a target for this shite work.

So I've made a list of things I could be potentially getting on with:

Organise Christmas "do" - non-runner as another colleague is taking care of that. Phew.

Safety Inspection - already covered by the HEO as they get to walk around with a clipboard.

Draft my Job Spec and procedures for use by whatever lucky sod gets my job if I get a transfer. I will title it "So, you want to be an EO. Fool."

New section Floor Plan - deciding who goes where in a maniacal game of office chess. Generally a HEO job though because they get the best location for themselves in this way (By this I mean somewhere no-one else can see their screen, which has YouTube on it at least 80% of the time).

Do complicated statistical pie-charts, flow charts and bar graphs on Excel. Only they're not statistics. They're song lyrics, or random nonsense. Like the ones here. I've yet to think of my own ones and when I do, I'll post them. The thing is, they look like work. And they're funny.

Make a head-start on staff appraisals for the Annual Reviews in December. Head wrecking, yet strangely guilt free.

Write a novel. Looks like work from a distance. Only with swearing and sex and stuff. WooYay.

Take the easiest option and just upend the waste paper bin on my desk all over again and sit there scowling.

I reckon I've got plenty of stuff there to keep myself amused.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tesco Value Santa

On a late-night booze-fuelled web surfing mission, I have just stumbled on this.

A burglary suspect was arrested in the Tesco Express store in the Pemberton area of Wigan, Greater Manchester. Stuck. Up a chimney. In the nudie.

Jaysus. Since when did Tesco have chimneys? And the bit about "clothes came off as a result of his struggle" is, I'm sorry, bollocks.

I'd say he was a perv who simply wanted to frolic in the altogether past the frozen fish, cavort clothesless in the cheese aisle and wind up with a nice new pair of Y Fronts from Florence and Fred.

(I'll refrain from making awful "sack" jokes just this once.)

If anyone from Wigan is reading this (in particular, members of the extended Govstooge family who live in that very area), I'd check my purchases for foreign objects - specifically short curly hairs - before eating.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I love Autumn. Out for a walk today in the fine weather to escape the pressure-cooker environment of the Department I reverted back to my childhood for a few minutes.

I found a walkway carpeted in brown, red and yellow leaves. Giving thanks for abscissic acid and its delightful aesthetic effects I skipped, kicked and crunched my way along the path, forgetting for several minutes the drudgery of the job.

Autumn days don't get much better than today - at least where I am.

Returning to work having put my sober EO face back on, I was in fine form for roaring filthy abuse at errant clerical officers.

All in all, a good day. And I don't care who saw me fannying about with the leaves either.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Fantastic Foaming Mouth Functionary

I'm going through a rather busy period at work of late and haven't been attending to writing as much as I would like to; I just want to turn my brain off in the evenings and watch my Scrubs boxsets before trudging upstairs to bed and entering a comatose state for several hours.

I've been doing more hours than the 6.57 that is required of me daily ( Yes, my flexitime balance is incredibly healthy, and I'm praying for a chance to use the day off). The work just keeps on coming and I have to stay on top of it, because the clerical officers will have fuck all to do when I pass the boring bits onto them. And, on top of all that, I have a big deadline looming. If program files on my C: drive were actual physical entities, then Arse Race.exe would have six inches of nasty Government dust and other detritus on it.

Well, it's better than no job at all. That's what keeps me motivated to go in every day. I've spent some time signing on at the dole office and actually taking recruitment "consultants" seriously. At one stage I was even been tempted to work at a call centre with a bad reputation, for minimum wage, just to get off the dole queue. (It was when I realised at the interview that bonuses were paid in pizza that I said "G'luck, I'm off to sign on" and turned to the door.)

That's also what motivates me to do my job well, or at least, to the best of my ability. I put my head down and try to see the task through to its conclusion. Apart from the swearing, mood swings and threatening to rip the arms off clerical officers and beat them to death with the wet end, I like to think I set a good example. Especially when I'm busy as I get my head down and render myself oblivious to what's going on around me. Not an easy task given the open plan layout and the volume of shite-talk from all corners. I don't deal with interruptions too well.

I don't deal very well with being assigned additional tasks when I'm clearly under pressure either. For instance:

Boss: Err... Govstooge?
Me: Whu... what??
Boss: Could you do something with this? (Hands me a file)
Me: Whatever. Add it to the pile, I'll get round to it some time this century.
Boss: Well, it's just that I'd like something on it this evening.
Me: (Gesticulating at the piles of paper in front of me) Maybe it's best to get someone else to do it. I'm up the walls here. Hey! You know what would be really quick?
Boss: What?
Me: If you did it yourself?

Seriously, I don't advocate talking to superior officers in that fashion as a matter of course. But when you KNOW that the boss has been on the phone to their partner or their mother all morning, or trying to get on the Joe Duffy show to whinge about medical cards or surfing the internet and using Alt_Tab not quite quickly enough for you not to see the EBay page open when you go to their desk with something - when you've been working your hole off, it brings out a vicious streak. On certain days it's as close to apoplexy as a healthy young person such as myself is likely to get.

When my deadline is up, and it will be soon (and yes, I'm on track), I'm going to rest on my laurels for ooh, I don't know, a couple of days, take some flexi time off and get a headstart on Christmas shopping so I can beat the rush and avoid further stress.

No, I won't do the shopping online at work. I've more principles than that (sniffs haughtily). Besides, a few of the clerical officers can see my monitor. Ordering Nazi memorabilia for Uncle Joe within their line of sight may not be big or clever.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Letter to the Facilities Management Unit.

Dear Facilities Management,

I realise you have enough to do what with ensuring a steady supply of stationery, that people don't park their cars in the foyer on wet days because they don't want to get their clothes wet, that some of the stranger employees don't use the bins in the ladies' toilets as headgear, but I hope that you will at least give my request a little consideration.

I am at my wits' end. You may have seen me tearing my hair out at my desk as you went about your building inspection. You might even have heard the plaintive whines from all corners, surrounded as I am by several clerical officers:

"Govstooge, can I have tomorrow off?"
"Govstooge, can I have yesterday off?"
"Govstooge, this form's not filled in right. Can you fix it?"
"Govstooge, can you ask the HEO for me about.... (insert anything you like here)?"
"Govstooge, I forgot my password."
"Govstooge, I think I broke Microsoft Excel (this from the HEO)."
"Govstooge, there's a splinter in my desk."
"Why is the sky blue, Govstooge?"

Jesus. How do you expect me to work in these conditions? I have a lot of important EO-stuff to be getting on with.

I am making an official request to have a soundproof perspex shield around my desk. With a sliding window for me to shout at people out of. Preferably with a megaphone. (Please supply this also.) If the window could be spring loaded that would be a big help because anyone attempting to open it could lose a finger and frankly, I need a laugh when I'm on duty. This I feel will increase my productivity as people will stop bothering me and go somewhere else with their silly problems.

If this is not possible, could I have my own office? I know there is a vacancy down the corridor. I believe its former occupant met with a sudden and tragic accident in the vicinity of Ballyfuck recently.

I await your reply in earnest.

Yours sincerely,

Executive Officer
Noise Pollution and Pestilence Section

Can life get any better?

Tuesday 14th October 2008.

Wonderful day. Torrential rain, increased taxes to look forward to and the bloody NCT.

My day:
8am Start at work. Coffee, scowling, ranting and then forms.
9am Realise my NCT is this evening and not tomorrow. Feck.
11am Long, long tea break. Much bollocks is discussed.
Lunchtime: Waste it on the internet, looking up Budget stuff. It's pissing outside and I didn't wear my wellies to work today.
4pm Swim to the car and go to the NCT centre. (Actually I can't swim so it was more floundering - If any of my staff are reading this, we are NOT having the Christmas do at the local swimming pool. )
6pm Arrive home, make myself a Prozac smoothie and settle down to watch the Budget. (Discovered that if I forego canteen coffee I can save the cost of the 1% levy.) Jesus fucking Christ.

At least the car passed. And Desperate Housewives was on tonight. And the HEO left me alone. And Brian Lenihan left the price of beer alone so that's not so bad either.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ballyfuck Rally

Tonight I want to expound on a subject which is close to my heart. The Hate Node of my heart, as it happens.

There are a considerable number of boy racers living in Ballyfuck. The sort of lads who get their kicks from getting two euro worth of petrol and cruising up and down the street in their noisy buckets of shit for the evening in the hope that people will look at them. And when they get fed up of that, they go home to their rooms in Mammy's house where they commit unspeakable acts while watching reruns of Pimp My Ride.

One wanker on my street has some sort of indescribable piece of shit which makes a sneezing noise as he changes gear. I have never looked to see what kind of car it is. Because that's what he wants.

The other day was when I was walking home after having got the paper from the shop and there was a lad parked outside, waiting for his passenger to come out of the shop. As I passed, he revved his engine a couple of times.

Hey, a girl! Vroom Vroom! Look at me!

(I might add at this point that I bear no resemblance to the sort of girls who grace the cover of Max Power and other such periodicals aimed at boy racers. For one, I am comprised of 0% silicone.)

I looked up at a nearby roof and admired the new PVC guttering. But not before I had a chance to have a quick shifty glance out of the corner of my eye to see what kind of car it was.

A 1997 Fiat Punto.

I sniggered all the way home.

Poor wee lad. Let him have his fun.

Edit: I actually enjoy Pimp My Ride.
In fact I think they should do a similar idea for wedding day makeovers.

Pimp My Bride

***runs away before the rotten tomatoes hit ***

Oh, Bugger.

I'm not very quick on the uptake on Monday mornings. Suffice it to say, I'm a right bloody thick until I've been caffeinated. This morning was no exception.

Picture the scene. I am at my desk alternating between yawning and scowling at big piles of forms. Some clerical officers are discussing various issues that came up last week.

CO: And so ____ (insert name of HEO) thinks it should be that way.
CO2: Oh really? That's not very nice, is it?
CO: No. What do you think, Govstooge?
Me: Leave me out of it. I don't give a shit until I've had my coffee. Anyway HEOs can do what they like.
CO: Ok then... the Head Eejit Officer has the final say, eh?
Me: Bwahahahahahahaha! That's funny!
CO2: Wait a minute, why are you laughing at that?
Me: Because... because... it's er... oh fuck. Does that make me an Eejit Officer then? Because I prefer Evil Overlord if you don't mind.

May I take this opportunity to apologise to the CO and their family and I will repay the cost of having the stapler removed in full.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Country's Fucked! (Part Two... yadda yadda)

OK, I'm having another shot at the unemployed. Even though I know I shouldn't. I've been there. I know what it's like to have a civil servant scowl at you over the counter when you go in to sign on at 2 pm, and they say to you: "You should have signed on this morning". And you reply: "Well I couldn't fucking come in this morning because I had A JOB INTERVIEW, you septic old wagon!"

But anyway...

Recent elongation of the country's dole queues made me wonder today: What the hell are all these newly-unemployed people going to do to pass the time - and on the cheap? I suppose daytime TV will keep some of them amused (personally I would rather stick my head in the oven), maybe others will take up knitting or basket weaving or dry stone-walling, or possibly even writing a blog.

I imagine that many people will frequent the civic amenities, like libraries or museums or public toilets or parks.

Parks with duck ponds.

Where people can feed the ducks and they make that funny scooching sound as they enter the water and swim over. Ducks are cool.

Except, as the recession deepens, there will be an increasing likelihood of another unemployed person running up as folk throw the bread, interposing themselves heroically between the thrower and the duck, and gallantly snaffling the bread themselves before moving on to the next unsuspecting duck enthusiast. I can see it... a man with a P45 sticking out of his back pocket leaping along the water's edge towards a mother with two little girls and a stale baguette.

It'll be taking the bread line a bit too far.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The most awful image...

I have a very strong tolerance of disgusting things. I can watch gory episodes of ER while munching on spaghetti bolognese, or discuss embarrassing bowel conditions over a leisurely lunch. I am a big fan of Peter Jackson films (in his pre-Lord of the Rings days - Brain Dead, Bad Taste, anyone? Rent them, see what I mean). I have a very scatological sense of humour and few conversation topics have the capacity to put me off my food.

Today, I discovered my Achilles heel.

During tea break, a conversation arose between some colleagues about why the HEO was late this morning.

"A chance conversation with a passing AP?"
"A quick cup of coffee?"
"One of the children vomited all over the house?"

"Having a shit?"

At which point I spat my chocolate croissant out and roared "For fuck's sake, I do NOT want to think about a HEO sitting on a toilet while I'm having my tea!!"

Exploding brains, zombies being chopped up with lawnmowers and melting heads, yes.

A Higher Executive Officer pinching a loaf, definitely not.


Sunday, October 5, 2008


Poor Girls Aloud.

A fairly harmless girly band, the sound of which is less offensive to my ears than others of their ilk. They didn't deserve this:

Some weirdo blogger in the UK has been writing fantasy porno articles about doing horrible things to those girls. He has been prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act for publishing material which could "deprave and corrupt" all who read it. It is the first prosecution for written material for some considerable time.

Guess what the writer's job is?

Go on, guess.

Lest I fall foul of our own Censorship of Publications Act, 1967, I wish to apologise in advance to anyone who has made rude noises at work/ kneecapped someone with a desk drawer/ swore loudly into a big pile of forms as a result of reading my blog.

But I also want to say to them: Get your own twisted ideas, you unimaginative gits!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's been very windy of late. Stupid low pressure. Bloody irritating as I can't put one foot outside the door anymore without looking like something that's been dragged through a hedge backwards when I go back in.

It was wind of a different kind that was on my mind today, however.

I spent last night in the company of some friends who had produced the most wonderful curries for dinner. (Yes, this IS going where you think). Saag paneer, saag aloo and some chicken korma all washed down with cool bottles of Lidl's finest Perlenbacher beer. It was sumptuous.

I thought I was in the clear this morning having done the necessary "evacuations" well in advance of leaving the house for work. (I am one of these weirdos who is too embarrassed to do poos at work.)

During the morning I was doing fine. Nothing was amiss.

Midday, and some gurgling in my stomach was a warning sign. Bloody wind. Farting in an open-plan office is a serious no-no, so I held it in, until I could get to the safe blast zone of the toilets. I had to mince to the toilets. I shudder to think what anyone walking behind me made of this. And it was for their benefit. And, when I got there, I had to carefully synchronise the offending emission with a flush of the toilet - in case of noise - as, typically, there were six other women in the vicinity.

Having returned to the section and turning my attention back to more mundane things, I again felt some burbling in my stomach. And then, horror of horrors! My large intestine decided it wanted to join the fun and emitted a very loud borborygmus (pre-fart) which would reach 9.8 on the Richter Scale equivalent of colonic gas! At this point I grabbed my stomach and went, "urrggh my bloody stomach" for the benefit of anyone in the general vicinity, even though the real provenance of the noises had been further "south".

Two minutes later, the same thing happened. Only louder this time. "Brrrrrrrrble" went the air deep inside me. A couple of clerical officers looked up, thinking that (a) the EO had decided to forego any of the social niceties of shared office space, or (b) the EO was about to spontaneously combust. They secretly hoped (b). Because it was cold and some of them would have liked to warm their hands at the flames. And there would be a day or two off to go to the funeral.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon waddling to and from the bathrooms, and when four o'clock rolled around I was out the door like something propelled by wind.

The local chemist was very pleased when I bought out their entire stock of charcoal tablets.

Being anally retentive is such a pain in the fucking hole.