Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shooting the Breeze

Most people I know like to catch up with current events and gossip over pints at the weekend or a convivial tea break in the Department canteen. This is an important part of our daily lives and it helps if it's done in reasonable comfort.

Which is why I can't understand people who conduct their social lives in strange places.

Like on the stairs. As someone who likes to jog up and down stairs I frequently find myself impeded by groups of middle aged women who, at some stage, decided to take a rest going upstairs and just stopped where they are, ripe for being run into by that rarest of civil servants, the energetic ones. And do you think they say sorry, cop on and go somewhere else? Not likely. There must be a rule somewhere in the civil service code of conduct that says "You must inconvenience a minimum of three people daily in shared areas". If I find where this rule is written and if it doesn't specify how I should inconvenience others, then I'll resign myself to kicking these people up the fucking arse.

The ladies' toilets are also ripe, in more ways than one, for social gatherings. What more perfect way to get the latest news with the tinkling background music of hissing piss and the gentle percussion of poo plopping into the water? Not to mention the attendant aromas? It always disturbs me when I walk into the workplace loos to find two women gossiping and who glare at me when I enter, as if it were their private space. They are usually still there when I've finished washing my hands.

Worse again are those acquaintances from other sections who attempt to engage me in conversation in the bathrooms.
"Hello Govstooge."
"Hello Lucretia."
"Any holidays planned?"
"No, but I've just come back actually."
"Really? Where from?"
"Outer Mongolia."
"What was that like?"
"Pretty good. Whiffed a bit in places, mind. A bit like here. Have to go, I'll talk to you later."

Maybe for the next staff suggestion scheme I'll make a submission saying everyone should set up a Twitter-type thing on the Department intranet. That way we'll know what everyone else is up to. We won't even need the canteen after that...

Eh, maybe not. Coffee anyone?

No comments: