Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Spanish Inquisition

While at work I like to intensify the total-fucking-bitch side of my personality. I'm somewhat hotheaded, especially when very busy. This can take the form of swearing, shouting, slamming doors and silent rages when people only need to look at me to know if they can approach. It's merely a defence mechanism, when you are stuck in the middle of an open-plan area you must guard your space and what infinitesimal privacy you might have, in order to get on with any work that requires concentration. Sometimes just a look from me says it all but people know they can still ask me if they need my help on anything. I won't eat them. Really I won't.

I'm also one of those workers who runs up the stairs and hurtles down the corridor at warp speed even if I'm only going to the fax machine. This has the effect of scaring some people. Take for instance, the office bore. The office bore will meander his way through the doors in the morning, stop to talk at a colleague, scratch his bollocks, go to the watercooler and amble with a certain insouciance to his desk. Unless Govstooge is coming in the opposite direction. Whoosh. He is startled. He stands back. He looks behind him but I am long gone.

So, by being a bit scary at work and by running past him in the corridors, I can avoid being earwigged by the office bore.

But sometimes his curiosity gets the better of him and he spent most of this morning building up the courage to ask me about where I'd been for the past week. At roughly 3 o'clock he seizes the opportunity, overhearing me in conversation to a couple of my staff, and wanders over to join in. And boy, does he seize his opportunity! His staccato questioning is worthy of Nazi interrogators!

"So, Govstooge, you were away?"
"Was it warm?"
"Was the food nice?"
"What type of food?"
"Garlicky stuff, seafood. Foreign muck. You wouldn't like it."
"So you'd have to like garlic then."
"Did you swim?"
"No. But I did spend several hours looking at the lovely tanned men lounging on the beach, their bronzed biceps and sixpacks rippling in the sun. And nice tight buns encased in skintight thon..."
"Err..." Wanders back to own desk.

There you have it. The merest hint of sex. A non-scary defence mechanism. Works better than shouting at him to fuck off. Works best on those timid blokes who still live at home with their mums.

P.S. The local Sinn Fein candidate just called to my front door canvassing for the local election. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. Slurp slurp slurp.

Art classes

"I'm taking up an art class in the evenings", a colleague told me today.

"Cool", I replied, "what kind of stuff will you be doing? Nudies and that?"

"Nope. Still lifes."

"Oh right. So you'll be coming in here painting some of the employees at their desks then I take it?"

"If you don't mind."

"Oh, go on then."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where there's a willie, there's a way

Right, back to doom and gloom, rain and pain and other general fuckmuppetry for me for the foreseeable future.

Work fucking sucks. I come back from my break to find a WHOLE NEW FORM waiting for me. And not only do I have to fill it up, I have to fill one up for each CO as well. I have a lot of COs. That's a lot of writing. And a lot of pain for whoever has to look at them (if they do indeed look at them) because my handwriting is akin to that of a person with Parkinson's Disease attempting to write longhand while simultaneously bouncing up and down on a trampoline. Arse!

Another day of scowling and swearing behind me, I return home to find an invitation to a neighbour's Anne Summers party waiting for me. Yikes.

I'm just as much a fan of laughing at willie-shaped things as the next girl. I've been to Amsterdam and its various, ahem, museums and shops. I couldn't buy anything though because I was laughing too hard and anyway, I kept thinking about the airport security staff and their X-ray machines. In the end I plumped for a willie-shaped ice mould. Which the dog promptly ate when I brought it home. Git.

Anne Summers parties are different matters entirely. I don't fancy being in someone's house amidst girls tanked up on cheap chardonnay who are shrieking over frilly things and shoving great big plastic phalluses into each others faces. I think I would go mad. Besides, Amsterdam is anonymous, these things aren't. I might be subjected to "Whoa Govstooge, did you get a chance to wow himself with the lacy basque?" the next day when I walk to the newsagent for my paper.

Luckily, I have to be somewhere else on the night in question. I'm saving myself some considerable embarrasment.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I'm away somewhere warm for a week. Nice to get away from the rain-sodden septic isle for a while. Away from the budget fallout. Somewhere where the beer is cheap and the food is infused with tons of garlic, and because I'm not at work, I can eat as much garlic as I like!

I had better enjoy it.

The way things are going it could be my last holiday.

Spiros! Another beer please!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Manners and Spanners

I cannot ABIDE poor manners. Yes, that seems strange coming from a person who swears almost uncontrollably and can only barely suppress her violent rage. I actually believe in good manners. I hold doors open for people. I give up my seat for old folk. I say "thank you" to shop assistants. I thank my staff at work when they do something I have asked, and acknowledge good work. My tolerance for impolite people is almost zero. And falling.

As previously mentioned, I am the section's unofficial IT go-to person. This means that I am the port of call for any niggling computer problem that my colleagues might have.

Sometimes my eagerness to help a colleague in distress overrides my hatred of blatant stupidity and poor manners. My normal acid tongue just doesn't manifest itself. Yesterday, for instance:

The office bore, a grey little chap, approaches me meekly:

"Govstooge, how do I send an email to the whole section?"

"Ok, Declan, open up a new email window. There, at the top left of the screen, where it says 'New'... now do you see the address book icon at the top? Click that. Do you have anything set up under groups? Yes... GROUPS... there at the top left... no... LEFT. There. You have it set up already. Now just select and the name of the group will appear in the email window. When you send, everyone will get it."

"What do I do next?"

"Write your email as normal..." I return to my desk, my unfinished sentence reverberating around my head "... do you expect me to do THAT for you as well?"

Not even so much as a "Thank you Govstooge." Next time he asks for my help I will say "THANK YOU GOVSTOOGE" as loud as I possibly can when I finish, so that everyone in our section, and the neighbouring sections and possibly the senior manager at the end of the corridor can hear it. Simple manners cost absolutely nothing, Declan.

Mind you, I get a chance to retaliate a few minutes later, when Declan sidles over to my desk once again.

"I was at the dentist the other day. He says I have to get a bit of work done..."


"Yeah, quite a lot actually."



Silence. The vein in my temple is starting to throb, though, and the only sound coming from me is my measured breathing, an attempt to restrain myself from doing something I might get sacked for.

Declan catches the eye of another CO who is just unfortunate enough to glance up from their work at this time and wanders over to his new audience to continue his story of pain at the dentist.

Yes, simple manners cost nothing, but sometimes, life is too short.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Budget blues

Ok, that was the final straw. I'm sick of having my pay packet raped by the incompetents in Leinster House.

I think now, with the income levy going up to 2% and the increased "Health levy" which I never knew I was paying in the first place, I think my income might now be so low as to qualify me for a full medical card.

And the great thing about full medical cards? You're exempt from the poxy income levy. Worth it for that alone, even if you never see the doctor.

Tell your friends.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shite Talk

At work, rushing to the loo because I've left it almost too late for number ones again.

I crash through the toilet doors and barely notice the two people at the sinks as I lurch towards a stall.

Having successfully completed my business without spilling a drop, I wash my hands and return to the section.

"Ooh Govstooge, you were in a hurry back there," a colleague's voice calls from across the section. "You didn't even stop to talk when I was in the bathrooms."

Now, toilets are for weeing and pooing into (just weeing for me at work). Sinks are for washing hands and the tap with the boiling water coming out of it is handy if I want to strip a layer of skin that I don't need any more.

Workplace bathroom facilities are not places for congregating socially. Not for me. I can't understand why (why, goddamn it!) some folk at work like to stand there and gossip for ages. Especially when someone's just dropped the kids off at the pool and the stench is slowly spreading. Why would you want to stand there and inhale all that?

I treat workplace loos as a necessary evil. Joining in conversations there in the presence of other people's bodily functions is not an option for me.

So I responded to the colleague: "Sorry. I was trying to get in and out without having to breathe. Lunch was half an hour ago and I was afraid what might assault my nostrils as a result when I went in."

It shut my colleague up. Which led me to think that they might be the culprit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Song for Ballyfuck

I was lucky enough to find myself at a sing-song last night with a group of people, most of whom I know, in a local pub. There was a wide ranging repertoire, from rebel songs, to sea shanties to stuff from musicals. Overall, it was glorious, and being completely sober, I could enjoy it all without having to go to the toilet all the time or feeling nauseous.

When called on for my own contribution I politely declined (lack of alcohol being a factor) due to my not knowing any songs. Well, nothing that would stand up to the calibre of material being belted out by my companions. So I promised that next time I would have a couple of turns memorised.

For the record, the only songs I know from the top of my head are:
The Spongebob Squarepants Theme Song
The Accountancy Shanty, Penis Song, Every Sperm is Sacred from Monty Python's Meaning of Life
My Lovely Horse from Father Ted (The one-note version).
People are Strange by the Doors

And I forgot to mention that I don't sing them very well.
So I've got a mandate to memorise a few of Ella Fitzgerald(my favourite female vocalist)'s songs in order to fulfil my promise and impress the others.

And if I can change the lyrics to suit myself it'll be a little bit easier for me to remember them.

So far, I have in mind:

Slap that Face
Wire me to the Moon
Get Crappy
Orgy and Bess

Sorry, Ella.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is the Cruellest Month

After a day of planning my aforementioned bollockings (I was afforded this luxury on account of the offending staff members' being out on leave today), I have emerged unscathed from the workplace April Fools' pranks.

I wasn't taken in by the promise of free scones in the canteen. And the zombie attack was fooling no-one. I've said before, zombie attacks only work in places where you can tell the living and the dead apart.

Anyway, I took some time out to get away from it all. I took a leisurely stroll around the unremarkable environs of the Department for some fresh air and exercise (remember folks - only YOU can prevent the spread of CIVIL SERVANT ARSE (Gluteus bureaucraticus giganticus).

It was a nice day where I was. A cafe with outdoor seating was doing a roaring trade. I've never been there. And it's just as well I didn't want to go today, because there was a bum on every seat. I'm not sure why. It wasn't that warm to sit outside. It was ok to walk around without a coat on, but not to sit in one spot, outdoors, with a nasty breeze blowing up the leg of your jeans. And, in addition, while sitting outside, you can get a nice lungful of the carbon monoxide belched out by passing traffic and the idling Landrover abandoned at the blind corner by the yummy mummy with the gigantic sunglasses who just popped in to get a brioche (I thought most of these were extinct now, but no, some of them are still clinging on). So I gave that one a miss, regardless of how tempting the scones and cakes looked and smelt as I passed.

I wasn't alone in my activity. There were several joggers about. Joggers! Gurrgh! I don't have a a problem with jogging as a form of exercise. I DO have a problem with the fact that they have a rotten habit of jogging right up behind me to overtake as I walk, no matter how wide the pavement is. Hey, assholes, I'm walkin' here! I'm sticking my leg out the next time they do that!

Maybe I should have stayed in at my break and gone along with the pranks. It might have been safer.