Monday, August 31, 2009

Rabble! Rabble! Rabble!

You know the summer's over when all the folk who've been on Term Time Leave during the summer arrive back to work. (Edit: If the summer ever started in the first place. It is Ireland, after all.)

For anyone who's had their head buried in piles of forms all summer, here are the tell-tale signs.

The multitudinous, echoing cries of "Welcome back" and occasional hugging. Have you ever seen civil servants hugging? Fat ones, I mean? 'Tis a fearsome sight.

Being cornered in the ladies' toilet as you dry your hands by someone you don't particularly like saying "So what did YOU do this summer, Govstooge?"

Endless, long winded descriptions of holidays. To be repeated ad nauseam as people continue to arrive in the office. The story about your husband being stung on the willie by a jellyfish in Mallorca was funny, the first, the second and even the fifth time. But now I've heard it twenty times I'm starting to lose my patience.

Having people ring your extension asking "Is Hermione there? Her line's engaged." and you answer "Yes, she's on the phone to her friend downstairs, and there are two other calls holding for her. Would you like to remain in the queue?" Goddamn it!

Having the number of staff you supervise nearly double overnight. Excellent from a workflow point of view, but not so excellent if you have to spend an hour reminding each one what their job was.

Finding a car parking space becomes almost impossible if you're a late starter. Similarly the availability of croissants and tables in the canteen is curtailed significantly.

The "Term time" scheme is no longer open only to parents of school-age children during the summer. It's now been opened up to the rest of us by having been renamed "Shorter Working Year Scheme". Unpaid, of course.

I must say, I'm tempted to join their ranks. Maybe during the winter, when the weather's less harsh.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Oops, been off the radar for a bit. Fecked off out of this shitty windswept hole of a country for a couple of weeks. Looks like I didn't miss much. Anyway, back in fine form for more sweary ranting... and currently listening to lovely if depressing modern Polish classical music to get me in the mood.

But really, I won't need any help. Watch this fucking space.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deaf? I don't think so!

A typical day in the Department. I am up to my elbows in paper. And then, the most unwelcome sound of all.

Extension 666, the direct line to Govstooge, rings.

"Bollocks", I say, before taking a deep breath and adopting my posh professional civil servant voice.

"Good afternoon. Govstooge speaking. How may I help you?"

A faint crackle and the distant sound of the Pussycat Dolls.

I sigh, and try again: "Good afternoon. Govstooge speaking. How may I help you?"

"Can you speak up?" comes the voice at the other line.

I take a deeper breath.
"Govstooge speaking. How may I help you?"

"I still can't hear you."


"Ah, that's better. Now just hold on until I turn this radio down."

(Goes off to turn down the radio, which is now blaring Lady GaGa.)

"Jaysus", I say.

People, eh? Hate 'em. Bunch of gits.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Johnny Come Lately

I see our good friends at Tesco are marketing extra large condoms.

For the big prick in your life.

I'm going to buy a trolley load of them and sell them as disposable scented sleeping bags at Electric Picnic.

I'll invent a new award for underperformance at work called "Dickhead of the week" where the offending CO has to wear one on his/ her head for a full week.

I'll seek out Assumpta the most pious civil servant the Department has ever employed and fill her desk drawers with them when she isn't looking. And stick one over the mini statue of the Virgin Mary on her desk to really set the whole thing off.

I may even put them to use in their intended purpose. Flattery will get me everywhere.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In the Shite Garden

Back home, and I opened my front door and battled my way into the hall through the usual profusion of fake charity collection leaflets (Go away.) and Sky TV promotions (just feck off!), and I decided that then was as good a time as any to make good the damage wrought by the recent inclement weather on my back garden.

First of all, a haircut for the lawn which, if a lawn could be compared to a person, would be Brian May. Or Slash.

Throwing on my old tracksuit bottoms and baggy t-shirt, I bounded gleefully out the back door and begin the slaying of the grass. When that's done, I decided to tidy up the edges and pulled on a pair of sturdy gloves, in order to pull up nettles, thistles, atropha belladonna, hemlock, stinking bindweed and all the other nasties that seemed to have congregated for a weed convention among my gladioli.

I filled a whole sack with the stuff. And as I picked up all the waste vegetation, I felt a draught on my back. "Oh bollocks, stupid tracksuit bottoms, the old builder's bum is showing again" I thought. I stood up, hitching up the offending leisurewear. At the precise moment the next door neighbour stuck her head out of her upstairs window and went "Jesus Govstooge, the place is looking lovely! It's like the Botanical Gardens".

"Er, no it's not." I responded, pointing in the direction of the Asiatic lilies, stripped of their vermilion petals by the recent high winds, "But thanks anyway. I try." More pleasantries were exchanged. And my ego was massaged for a little bit, even if some of the praise was tongue in cheek. But all I could think of was "did she see my bum cleft?"

Anyway, it's all looking slightly neater out there now.

The triffids are thriving.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Get the hell out of my face!!!

Dear colleagues,

It has unfortunately come to my attention that some of you have a nasty habit of creeping up on me while I'm working.

I wouldn't mind if your advances were directly related to my area of work, or even vaguely GAA-themed.

However, when you flip flop up to my desk chewing gum in my ear and ask me (without even so much as a "please" I might add) to tell Antigone when she's off the phone that you have gone for tea, don't expect a smile and a cheery "Sure"!

You'll be lucky to get a curt nod. Like you did today. Try it tomorrow, and the result might be different. I might just chase you through the section throwing staplers, forms and other random office paraphernalia in your general direction. Because I'm trying to concentrate on what I'm doing. Your spearmint-tinged halitosis has just sent me back to square one.

This is not confined to my immediate colleagues, but extends to those of you "visiting" from other sections also. I don't know most of you from Adam, so why pick me to pass on a message?

Just fuck off.

Or I'll bite.


CC: Facilities Management

Where's the fucking perspex screen for around my desk?