Fairest and most magnificent Listeners, I salute you.
Do you work in an office? Yes? No? Not sure? (If you’re not sure I suggest you rethink your suitability to the workplace in general.)
If you work in an office, as I have done for the last five years, then you will understand that it holds many joys. To name but a few:
- office banter (only yesterday I mused out loud ‘What’s my password?’ and my boss replied ‘ ‘I’m a fuckwit’?’);
- office pranks (who doesn’t enjoy covering every single item on their colleague’s desk with pictures of David Hasselhoff?);
- office cakes (raspberry lamington from Jean in Finance, anyone?);
- office insults (tip: insert any office or stationary item before the word ‘wanker’ i.e. ‘hole-punch wanker’ or ‘spreadsheet wanker’ (isn’t it fun? (okay, thank The Inbetweeners for that one)));
- unbridled access to lots and lots of stationary.
Yep, working in an office can be an absolute joy.
There are some truly monstrous things about working in an office. Things that make you question the very nature of human existence and contemplate the annihilation thereof. Take a deep breath, oh trusting Listener, and dare to face, in no particular order,
MONSTROUS THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN AN OFFICE
1. The Toilets
Forget the ‘in no particular order’ thing, this is definitely the number 1 most monstrous thing.
Now, I can’t speak for you blokes. I do not frequent the men’s toilets and therefore can’t make legitimately scathing remarks about your sanitation habits. However, I am extremely qualified to be scathing about the women’s toilets. Picture this: you have been on the phone for an hour. The person on the other end will not shut up and you are about to suffer an MBM (Mortifying Bladder Malfunction). You finally get off the phone, sprint to the toilets, barge through a cubicle door, and are faced with this:
That’s right. The woman who used this toilet before you deemed it appropriate – necessary, even – to defy social convention and wee on the toilet instead of in the toilet. Yes, menfolk, it’s not just you who suffer the odd wayward wee. The sight you see above happens ALL.THE.TIME.
And I know who the culprits are. They are The Crouchers. The women who cannot bear to have their precious behinds touch the odious filth of the toilet seat.
I have three things to say to The Crouchers:
a) The toilet seat was not odiously filthy before you crouched over it to avoid touching its odious filthiness. It was odiously filthy after you crouched over it to avoid touching its odious filthiness, thus making it odiously filthy. Do not crouch. Your wee will go wayward. You are odiously filthy.
b) Unless you are odiously filthy yourself, you would never, ever, be fine with leaving your own toilet in your own home in that it odious state. That is how The Plague started. If you must crouch, clean it up. For the love of God. Clean it up.
c) Your wee is always, without fail, always, this colour:
You are not drinking enough water. Drink some water.
2. When People Don’t Respond
Imagine you meet your friend at the pub. You’ve got a lot to chat about. You sit down in front of her and the following occurs:
Aside from being a very unsuccessful night out, there may be a number of reasons why she is not responding to you:
- She has taken a vow of silence.
- She can’t be bothered.
- She is in a bad mood and just doesn’t want to talk.
- She is abominably rude.
- She hasn’t noticed you are there.
- She is dead.
Whatever the reason, it will exasperate, peeve, and infuriate you. That’s what it’s like when people don’t respond to emails. It makes you want to send an email along these lines:
They still won’t respond.
3. When You Don’t Respond
So you got on your high horse about people not responding to your emails. You curse their incompetence and their appalling rudeness. You would never do such a crass and unprofessional thing. Then you receive the following email:
Realising you are not perfect is a harsh cross to bear. A harsh cross.
4. Food Smells
You understand that people need to eat at certain times of the day. You yourself have a lovely ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge that you are very much looking forward to. But some of your colleagues are insistent that they must feast on the smelliest of foods for their lunch and think nothing of inflicting these pungent aromas on the rest of the office. Is last night’s curry necessary? Mexican? Smoked mackerel? Chinese cabbage? A chilli so spicy that it causes the rest of the office workers’ eyes to fall out?
This is monstrous.
5. Colleagues who provide a running commentary on their daily activities
You know the sort I mean. The colleagues who lack an interior monologue. Who tell you everything. I mean everything, from how many emails they have in their inbox, to how they have responded to said emails, to which documents they have just printed, to their intention to rise from their chair to collect said document from the printer, to how they have just inserted a formula into a spreadsheet, to how they are waiting for someone to respond to an email and how they are going to heat up last night’s curry for lunch.
It is unnecessary. Unnecessary and monstrous.
6. The Fire Alarm Test
Despite the fact it happens every week, on the same day, at the same time, it will still take a year off your life and give you a small heart attack.
7. People who leave long voicemails
We’ve all had them. The ones that begin: ‘Hi, it’s Barry – just after a quick catch-up on mousemat situation…..’
THREE HOURS PASS
‘…. anyway, give me a buzz when you’re back and we’ll chat about it.’
‘Hi it’s Barry, give me a call back when you can’ will suffice. Listen to me, Barry. Life’s too short.
Our world is very high-tech. Isn’t it great? Of course it is. We don’t need to use pens anymore, we can send messages across the world at the click of a button, we can do anything, ANYTHING.
Except that we can’t.
9. People who have in-depth conversations in inappropriate places
Namely: by the sinks or fridge in the kitchen or in the toilets. How many times have you been frightened to retrieve your salad from the fridge because these people are standing right in front of the fridge?
Perhaps more monstrously, why do people choose to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets in the toilets? Toilet conversations are best left for nightclubs, where you can cry, shout, or throw up in the sink to your heart’s content, and everyone else is too drunk to notice or care. I appreciate that you may be concerned about your son’s marijuana habit – although you should be grateful it’s not heroin or sheep (terrible thing, a sheep habit) – but when I go to the toilet I do not want to hear your conversation, just like you do not want to hear my tinkling. I’d like to tinkle in private thank you very much. Hearing about your son’s marijuana habit a foot away from me as I sit on the toilet gives me stage fright and I’ll just have to sit there not weeing until you leave.
Yes, I know. It’s been a painful journey of monstrous situations, many of which you may have experienced only today. And you will experience them again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
But keep smiling. It’s Friday tomorrow.