I fucking hate nosey people.
Now, I don't mean the kind of people who stick their heads over office partitions to see who made the strange noise, or those who, when hearing a couple of colleagues having a rant in the bathrooms, decide to spend that little longer in the toilet cubicle just to hear the end of the story. If I hated those kind of people, then I would hate myself, for these are things I have done in the past (hey! It's blog fodder!).
In spite of having a blog in order to pour out my woes in cyberspace, I'm generally a very private person. I don't divulge much information to my staff or colleagues about my activities outside of work. The reason for this is that, as a manager, you are leaving yourself open to abuse if your staff know everything about your private life. I'm not saying they will all do this, but there's always one or two. I go along the lines of "I'm your manager, not your mate", and don't talk much about my personal life outside of where I watched the rugby match last Saturday and wasn't it boring! (Good result though!)
As a result of this, there are "questions" hanging over me, and some colleagues have been tring to plumb the depths of Govstooge. Lately, some of them have been getting even more audacious in their quest to discover the real dirt on me.
Like today. I announce that I am taking a couple of extra days off to lengthen my weekend. Immediately, a CO pounces.
CO: Well, Govstooge, I hope you have a nice weekend...
Govstooge: Thanks, Declan. I will.
CO: Wherever you're going.
Govstooge: It'll be nice anyway.
CO: I hope the weather's better than this, wherever you're going. Govstooge: I'll try not to let it get me down if it isn't. (Under breath) Now fuck off, will ya.
(CO gives up)
That's a harmless example. I could have just said where I was going, but the CO was being so obviously nosey, I decided not to give in and tell him.
The worst is yet to come...
Like a couple of weeks ago, on a tea break. A CO comes right out and asks me:
CO: Govstooge, you live in Ballyfuck don't you? Govstooge: Yeah.
CO: Where exactly? I passed through it at the weekend.
Govstooge: Did you now? Well, you know how there's only a couple of streets, and there's a couple of big new housing estates at each end of the village?
Govstooge: And there's about 150 new houses between the lot of them?
Govstooge: Well, it's one of them.
Well, I could have told the CO where the house was. But I started to have visions of my doorbell ringing on a Sunday afternoon while a pair of eyes peered through the letterbox into my hallway, and a familiar voice calling, "Hey, Govstooge, I was just passing through, and thought I'd save the cost of a phone call tomorrow morning. Can I have the morning off tomorrow?"
I really wouldn't be surprised if this happened. I might have to invest in a shotgun if it did. (Get orf my laaaand!)
And lastly, most disturbing of all, the mystery surrounding who does Govstooge spend her spare time with? Because she doesn't have any kids, and there is a noticeable absence of a wedding ring on her left hand. And we know she drinks pints because we saw her drinking several at the last work outing. Therefore, she must be .... a LESBIAN! So there's been a bit of subtle probing about this too from various corners, or at least, as subtle as incredibly nosey folk are likely to be.
For example, one day I mentioned having been to the dentist for a regular check-up.
Colleague: Do you like going to the dentist?
Govstooge: I don't mind. It helps when the dentist is easy on the eye, and mine is.
Colleague: What's her name?
Govstooge: Since when could someone who looks like Christian Bale be described as Female?
I'm not exactly what you could call a "frilly" girl. I wear t-shirts, swear in the office and like to talk about hurling. I like to go to the pub with the lads and drink pints. So maybe I fit their somewhat outdated stereotype of what a lesbian is. I don't know. I don't know any lesbians. Or, at least, I'm not aware of any in my current milieu.
The main treatment for these nosey folk is to keep them guessing; I feed them as little information about my private life as possible. I'll let them think what they want and I won't waste my already depleted energy trying to disprove it, as they have made up their minds already.
Or, alternatively, I should feed them lies. Tomorrow I will tell them all I've been promoted to Director General of FAS and can now afford that luxury pile next to J.P. McManus and will be leaving shortly. In a big helicopter. With champagne and a posh hairdresser on board. Oh, and it'll have doors. not like Martin Cullen's.
And that my novel based on life in the civil service has been accepted by a major international publisher and I've just signed a seven-figure book deal and sold the film rights.
And I know Elvis.
That'll show them, the nosey bloody gits!