Twanging out on the iphone.

 

What was that your mum said about not dropping coins off buildings?

 

The creeping death that is work was lapping at the boot straps today in the shape of our weekly two hour office pow-wow.

Why is it some people have to go into excruciatingly lengthy detail about what they’ve been doing (boot licking and general toadying aside)?

Their resume quickly becomes a kind of background drone like the distant sound of traffic. I drift back into consciousness and they were still whistling on. I check my colleagues and they are in various reposes of advanced boredom or glassy eyed desperation. Never mind, it will soon be over.

 

Store detectives are always going to be suspicious of someone who patiently waits in a supermarket queue to pay for one item while all around trolleys groan under the weight of weekly grocery shops.

The checkout girl had just rung in a customer’s solitary purchase when the detective saunters across and politley asks him if he wants to buy anything else.

“No, my friend,” he says with an oily smile.

“Really?” says the guard tapping the customer’s coat pocket lightly.

Chocolate bar No.1 appears.

“Anything else?”

“No,” says the man with an admirably straight face that would have had them applauding in the eaves.

“What about in there,” says the guard tapping the other pocket.

Chocolate bar No.2 appears.

“And in there?” the guard says pointing to the bum belt.

“It’s just my passport in there. Nothing else,” ¬†says the man looking affronted.

Out come a further five bars by which time we’re all laughing.

“Are you going to pay for all that,” says the guard good naturedly.

“No.”

“Off you go then.”

 

A curious selection of items waited to be returned to the shelves at the local checkout yesterday. A four pack of Tenants Supers, a packet of sanitary towels and a tube of Smarties. Would have been a hell of a party.

 

What medical experts say a serious headache looks like.

 

The upper echelons of the National Health Service have taken a leaf out of the SS management guide with their duplicitous finger stepping treachery.

No sooner do they offer us money to leave in the shape of voluntary redundancy and mutually agreed resignation schemes than they withdraw the offer a fortnight later saying too many people are taking up the option.

I wish I could say I was surprised but it is the latest in a series of goalpost moving tactics as the NHS tries to save ¬£20 billion over the next four years. Let’s home the tidal wave of revolution sweeping across north Africa and Arab Peninsula laps these shores. I have my pitchfork and torch at the ready.

 

How do you leave your desk on your final day of work? Wipe any trace of your existence from its face or leave it littered with the detritus of your passing in the shape of old files, rock hard orange peel and filing drawers whose corners are shored up with stale biscuit crumbs and peanut shells?

I’ll leave that old sock, the tin of tuna in brine and chewed up biro. The rest is best consigned to the bin of history.

 

Sometimes it feels as if there is only the width of a paperclip between sanity and exterminating particularly irksome work colleagues. The methods of dispatch are multifold. The stationary cupboard an arsenal of death to the willing hand.

The telephone line garrote, bludgeoned with a cellotape dispenser, death by a thousand staples, being force fed the juice of markerboard pens, gutted by the paper scissors or simply pushed out of the window. Idle and murderous thoughts beneath the yard arm.

 

Handed my notice in this week. A strange but liberating experience. Just an office rat running the maze. That’s how I spend the prime of my days.

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