I know the following are first world problems and I know they aren’t particularly important, but have you ever had a small niggle, one that has fermented over time into something huge to the point where you feel a breakdown coming on? Yes, these issues are trivial but to someone, somewhere, they are an everyday verbal explosion awaiting to happen. Please note that the following list was compiled in good humour. Rant beginning …
The Paper Licker
You ask for the batch of signed purchase orders and just in case one was missed, Lizzie wants to check the signatures one more time. Doom washes over your face. She’s been saying all morning that her two under-fives have had norovirus over the weekend. In fact, she looks a bit peaky as she licks her fingers while flicking through the pile. She stops to hack phlegm into a tissue and you remember her saying that her husband was just getting over some flu bug. She smiles and carries on. One last lick and she deems them acceptable to be passed on – to you! This person is the spreader of all office borne illness, sharing infected spores via saliva on the corner of paper. What is wrong with using a rubber thimblette? Please don’t lick paper – ever. There really is no need for it. Lizzie, keep your bugs to yourself.
The Empty Tray Deserter
Bill doesn’t usually use the main office. He works upstairs but he has to venture out of his natural habitat occasionally to photocopy some of his marketing material – and you blooming well know when he’s been. You know when he’s used the copier, you know when he’s used the franking machine and you even know when he’s used the loo – how? Because the copier is flashing an angry red light and needs filling, the franking machine is out of funds and the loo roll needs replacing. ‘It’s no big deal’ he thinks. Bill is an annoying t***. Mommy and Daddy did everything for him when he was a kid and he still doesn’t have to lift a finger at home. If you have a Bill in the office, call him back to fill the paper tray and make him do the walk of shame – he can change, he’s just full of his own self-importance. It’s never too late to develop new skills – like exchanging an empty loo roll tube for a full one.
The Unnecessary Delegator
How many people does it take to change a light bulb? We’ve all heard this saying before, whether it be to open a joke or mock a group of people all doing the same job at once, when one person would suffice.
Sue in accounts wants to get hold of a brochure from a company she regularly uses. She has the email address of the contact and she knows their name, but Sue thinks that requesting a brochure is beneath her. Sue sends Alan in admin an email asking him to request the brochure. Alan requests the brochure from a lady called Betty on Sue’s behalf. Betty emails Alan, to ask which brochure he wants. Alan then emails Sue to ask which brochure she was after. Sue replies and leaves Alan to relay that information back to Betty. Why on earth is Alan involved? Sue, you are a pain in the arse. Alan, you need to tell her to order her own brochure and stop wasting company human resources.
The Birthday Collection
Can’t we all just keep our fivers? I know with ten of us in the office, we each get a birthday gift worth fifty pounds but please … our fifty-pound, year-long investment, has turned into some vouchers for a shop we barely use – and this is the best-case scenario. Did no one ever tell these people that cash is King? We may get some expensive perfume or leisure tickets, maybe a round of golf. Great. Again – cash is King – stuff golf. Sam the clerk hates golf and he’s allergic to all scents but he will force a grateful smile as he receives the gift.
Max on reception thinks a raw insect, ‘Protein of the Future,’ tasting session would be a brill present for Jenny. Max? the names I want to call you are a bit obscene for this post and none of them are Max. Just do away with the collection gift thing. We want our money. We join in to be polite, we join in so that we’re not ostracised by our team. Jenny, you must hate showing everyone the photos of you vomiting while chewing on a mealworm slider – but they also insisted on a selfie to prove you did it.
People come to work to earn money not to plough it back into birthday collections to buy gifts that their colleagues don’t even want. Give Jenny and Sam a break.
The Mischievous Filer
You needs an invoice – urgently. Jackie had the invoice on her desk for two weeks but the invoice has suddenly gone. Jackie says she filed the invoice back in its original place. You go to get the invoice and, to your shock and horror, it is no longer there. You ask where the invoice is but Jackie maintains she put it back where it came from. It wouldn’t be so bad but HMRC are conducting a tax inspection and the five invoices that they’ve requested to see are the last five Jackie has been using, and none of them are filed where they should be. This isn’t the first time it’s happened either. It’s easy to forgive the occasional genuine mistake. Sweat beads roll down your forehead as the tax inspector peers up. You plead with Jackie to think where she put these invoices but she insists that you’ve since moved them as she always puts things back in their rightful places. As your heart pounds, you feel a darkness coming over you. Just as you are about to self-implode, you find the missing purchase invoices filed with the sales invoices. Jackie believes she put them back in the correct place, or does she? She looks at you. You can’t work out whether it’s a look of guilt or a sneer – she’s far too subtle for you to be sure. For now, you have been saved. The tax inspector stops throwing you judgemental looks. Jackie, you are a liability and need a less responsible job. Either that or you’re a sadist who needs reporting to HR. I hope you lose her at some point before you lose your sanity to her absent-mindedness or gas lighting – which ever one of these behaviours she’s displaying.
Omega 3 in all its Glory
We know Sid has started a new healthy eating plan and we know it’s good for him. Ultimately his work performance will improve, after all, the inclusion of more oily fish in his diet can only be a good thing. Salmon on Mondays, mackerel on Wednesdays – it’s all on his diet chart. Problem is, he cooks the stuff in the office microwave. The smell travels through the corridors into the communal office. It’s on his clothes, in his hair, in fact it’s in everyone’s hair, especially those who dared to venture into the kitchen to make a cup of tea while Sid’s fish was cooking. Great, now everyone smells of mackerel. The next day, the kitchen will still smell of mackerel. We applaud Sid’s commitment to his new diet but we don’t applaud the smell he’s forced upon us. Extremely smelly food – no way should it be cooked at work. Sid, eat your salmon cold, in a lunchbox, sealed. Same with your mackerel. Don’t cook extremely smelly food at work. I include sausages on this list too.
Joe’s role is central to the paperwork movement function. Everything that needs a paper trail lands on Joe’s desk. It normally takes him seconds to deal it into piles and pop it in the internal post. Most people in the company rely on Joe to distribute their work, which means they can sit idle until Joe does his bit. Joe however states that he’s too busy as he clips his nails and chews gum. Joe will do lunch first or he’ll even clean up the stationery cupboard that didn’t needed cleaning in the first place before he dishes out the damn paperwork. Joe knows he holds the power. Joe knows people are waiting but Joe will put his mixed-up pile into little piles when Joe is ready. Joe really isn’t popular but we seem to be stuck with Joes wherever we go. Joe, your retirement can’t come too soon … what you’re only twenty-five?
Go away, I’m packing up!
It’s 16.58. The traffic is diabolical unless you get out on the stroke of 17.00. You are called into John’s office just as you are watching your clock turn 16.59. John is in a senior position in the company so you can’t ask him to wait until tomorrow. That’s ruined your evening. It will cost you more money on childcare as you’ll inevitably catch the traffic and be late collecting your kids. Forget home cooked food, you’ve already decided to grab a pizza as your kids will be grouchy because of the late dinner – factor that cost in too. Maybe you’ll be late attending Bridge Club. Whatever your passion/responsibilities outside work, they are now scuppered. You will now spend another thirty minutes in traffic all because someone else couldn’t manage their time during working hours – or could they? Are they sick of seeing that you have a life and that you look forward to going home? Was it deliberate or just thoughtless? As you enter, you sit there while they talk about nothing for exactly three minutes and end the meaningless conversation with, ‘oh look at the time, I suppose we should go. This can wait until tomorrow,’ – no s***!
Officially – rant over. I hope you don’t have a Sue or a Joe or even a Max to contend with. I hope your workplace is as joyous as spring and you’re as happy as a five-year-old playing in a large cardboard box. Most of all, I hope you enjoyed my list of office offenders. We all have our bugbears, feel free to add your offices offenders in the comments section.
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Meet Me at Marmaris Castle
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‘With the help of best friend Beverley, forty-five-year-old primary school teacher Annie Henderson, is hanging up her beloved cardigans and rediscovering her sexy inner-siren. Why? Because of a proposition made ten years ago. Jason’s words have never left her. ‘Meet me at Marmaris Castle, ten years from now, seven in the evening.’
As she battles with killer heels, bikini waxes and ill-fitting underwear, she toils with the doubts that swim through her head. ‘Will he turn up? If he does turn up, will he like me? Will I like him?’ After all, her only dream is for a happy ever after. Corny, yes – but it’s true. She wants her dream man, she wants him to fulfil all her desires and most of all she wants him to be the one. Is ten years too much of a gap though?’
Meet me at Marmaris Castle is a romantic comedy full of mishap, awkwardness and severe problems with fashion.