Monday, July 26, 2010


I checked my email earlier. "You have 10 new messages", it said. "Yahoo" (or should that be Gmail?) , I thought, "lots of new stuff to read, maybe a couple of lolcats, who knows."


One email worth reading, from a friend.

Two emails from Blogspot saying that a Chinese spammer with links to adult sites had left a comment on my blog, do I want to publish or reject?

Seven from bloody Facebook:

Joe Blogs took the movie quiz. Can you beat his score?
Bloke you met on holidays sends you a million kisses.
Fanny O'Toole invites you to join the group "Women against Vicars who hop around on one leg"
Richard Cranium tagged you in a photo in the album "Seven drunken nights"

And so on...


Does nobody want to communicate by proper email anymore?

Bloody Fuckbook.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Morticia approached me yet again today. She toddled right up alongside me and said:

"I have an Orts degree, you know."

Now, in my present Department, there are a great many people with Arts degrees. And Business degrees, computer science, even electronic engineering graduates. It's not unusual to have a degree in the civil service. I myself am the holder of an Arts degree, along with a Master's in a humanities discipline. This I reveal to my colleague.

"Ooh", she replies,"but you're not using it." This, said with a smug little smirk and a victory wiggle, which make me furrow my brow and retort curtly:

"Yes I am. A large proportion of what I studied is relevant for what I'm doing right now." (This is actually true, even on EO pay!)

"I'm not using mine at the moment", Morticia confides in me. I'm half expecting her to offer to sell it to me for an aloe vera plant and the chain of paper clips I had in my old Department for whipping clerical officers with.

"I wouldn't have thought so," I reply "as a lot of your generation (ha! Age dig!) doing Arts would have become teachers, or would be higher up in the civil service."

Morticia looks dejected, as her attempt to make herself feel superior to me has backfired in her face.

I smirk and turn back to my work. Morticia returns to hers without saying another word. I did a little victory dance in my swivel chair. I'm a really crap dancer, so I nearly fell off and had to make it look like I was picking up a biro I'd dropped.

The virtual Vuvuzela of victory in my head was going "Blaaaaaart!" for the best part of the next hour.

I go away for two weeks and this is what happens...

Ah, the iridescent glow of sunburn on pasty Irish skin. And not just me, either. Most of my colleagues are back from their summer holidays now and red is the new trendy colour in the Department. Red with a nice peely texture. Yummy. Not for me the beach or the swimming pool, however, I spent my leisure time bouncing merrily on beer-fuelled hikes through non-touristy areas and gaining a nice bright farmer's tan to boot. Oo-arr!

So the silence I'd been suffering in before I left has ended. And there's been another EO thrown into the melange! Oh what fun, another person for me to glower at! So here I am, sandwiched between Mr Trappist EO, the untroublesome CO and this newbie EO who bounded over to me to introduce herself.

EO: "Hello, I'm Morticia! And how are you this fine morning?"
Govstooge: Uhurrrgg. It's my first day back. What do you think?
Morticia: And where were you?
Govstooge: I was hiking in the little-known principality of Fukofaganski.
Morticia: Well, what a co-incidence! My grandmother was born on Fukofaganski, and we still have a house there, don't you know.
Govstooge: Err, no. I've just met you.

(Much blather follows from Morticia about the wonderful baroque architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Stinkyfoot of Bollixybillski, the capital of Fukofaganski, and the glorious Roman Wazzatorium which is preserved nearby.)

All of this, of course, while Morticia is leaning over my desk, breathing this morning's rancid camomile tea breath all over me.

Suddenly, my phone rings! I heave a sigh of relief. But Morticia doesn't go away! She clings onto my desk attendant on the end of my phone conversation, ready to compare Fukofaganski with a myriad of other places around the world, just to illustrate how awfully well-travelled she is.


I don't fucking care if you think the temple of Wan Ker in Malaysia looks like a stone on the road outside the Pontifical University of Bollixybillski.

Go away.

I hate you already.

Who will rid me of this turbulent EO?

There is a silver lining though. Morticia likes to talk an awful lot about herself and has already provided me with a happy ending. She may have just transferred into my area, but plans on taking a career break soon or maybe even retiring, as she is of that vintage (even in spite of the inane chatter akin to that of a very insecure teenager).

I could barely conceal my glee, and smiled across at the Trappist EO.

He was grinning too.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Loneliness of the Short Arsed EO

People. Can't live with 'em (bastards!), can't live without 'em (boo-fucking-hoo).

Rave on John Donne, ya good thing, for no man is an island and so forth.

This week, and for one week only (thank fuck!), I find myself in a rather unenviable position in my new Department. Thanks to holidays, the shorter working year scheme and other factors, I find myself all alone in the office. All alone, that is, apart from a person who seems to be the civil service's one and only Trappist EO. Or else he is a Father Stone impersonator. I don't know. But the silence is slowly killing me.

Anyhow, as the tumbleweeds blow gently among the forms, I find myself craving clerical officers, stupid ringtones, even fucking Vuvuzelas. I even rang the speaking clock to hear the sound of a human-ish voice. I had to stop myself when I realised I was dialling the number for Ryanair's call centre.

I was in a shop at lunchtime today and saw a packet of needles, and nearly bought them, thinking that if I stuck them in my colleague he might make some noise. Our HR department might have something to say about that, though.

I passed the undertaker's on my way back. "Fuck", I thought, "maybe he's dead! " Ah, no, he'd have gone off by now with the recent heat.

Then I passed the taxidermist... ah, too far fetched, even for the civil service.

Ok, I'm off out of the place for a couple of weeks soon myself, in the meantime I've had to transfer some of my Billy Connolly CDs onto the iPod thingy.

Next thing we know, there'll be a Trappist EO blogging about the loony EO he has to share an office with who keeps laughing loudly like the blind priest listening to Mr Bean on the "Flight into Terror" episode of Father Ted.

Now that I would like to see. It would prove that he isn't stuffed.