This week, I’m thrilled to be reviewing some work colleagues. I was approached by my bank over a year ago with a reminder of the limits to the elasticity of my overdraft facility. So, to avoid risking a snap, and the inevitable drop of my financial knickers that would embarrassingly coil around my knees, I returned to full-time employment. You could say the bank, in their unyielding generosity, fixed me up with this motley crew of folk. And now that my time with them is almost done, I feel best placed to provide an honest review of them for any future fools caught in a similar predicament. All names have been changed to protect the guilty.
AKA: The Old Skool Slacker. Or Jesus.
Motto: “Over the years, I’ve learned to stop talking and just listen”
Code language for: “Over the years, I’ve just stopped being arsed”.
Usually found: Scaring people going out the back door by standing just outside it with a fag in hand. If you hover about it long enough you’ll hear frequent cries of “Oh Jesus!”
Negative points: Uninhibited staring at colleagues’ breasts. General apathy. The sharing of endless updates on his son’s cricket team’s successes and failures.
Positive points: Misanthropic in a jaded Larry David kinda way.
Favourite quote: An exasperated “Well, ladies, I really can’t wait to see you all again” As he prematurely exits any meeting involving the most over-achieving cohort of the organisation.
AKA: The Hottie (in her head). The Kitchen Gestapo (in mine)
Code language for: “Whatever”
Usually found: Competing with her colleague in a competition to see whose lunch has the least amount of calories; then delighting in an immodest portion of curry chips in her office on Fridays when the other one is off.
Negative points: Unveiled insults and a fondness for emailing the equivalent of an underlined post-it note politely asking housemates to refrain from leaving unwashed dishes in the sink. Sometimes accompanied by photographic evidence.
Positive points: High forgiveness threshold, recognises her large reserves of eejitry.
Favourite quotes: “I don’t DO parades” Just parading.
AKA: The Shit-hot One.
Motto: “Computer says no” (in voice of Carol Beer from Little Britain)
Code language for: “This organisation is run by genetic throw-backs with all the flexibility of a newt’s arse”
Usually found: Explaining exactly what her latest degree entails to people trying to get away from her. Offering people tea with the same frequency as Mrs. Doyle.
Negative points: Uses organisation’s facilities to drum up private consultancy business. Keeps palming off make-up she doesn’t use on to me.
Positive points: Force feeds me tortilla chips and guacamole to split her guilt while imploring me not to trust anyone. Including the cleaning lady. High up the paranoid spectrum, you could say.
Favourite Quotes: “Smart girl but not too smart” and other impenetrable sayings delivered with a gaze-into-the-middle-distance knowingness.
AKA: The Bullshitter
Motto: “Don’t get me started”
Code language for: “Don’t get me started on having to work. I’m here to appear busy, not be busy”
Usually found: Furiously pacing the back lawn taking very important calls. About his football team.
Negative points: His one-man quest to topple the organisation through unrivalled lethargy.
Positive points: Attending all those fictitious meetings means I can get on with some work in peace. Laughs at my ridiculous jokes, though. And gets them occasionally.
AKA: The Nosey One
Motto: “I’m only just saying”
Code language for: “I can’t seem to keep my trap shut”
Usually found: See Pauline above
Negative points: Free-flowing insults e.g. “How can she be your mother-in-law? She’s soooooo young looking!” (to me, after meeting my
Sister Mother-in-law). Can be heard within a forty mile radius. Uses hands-free to dial phone numbers. Enough to drive the most sane of us to photocopy our arse and paper the entire kitchen with the results.
Positive points: Free-flowing insults e.g. “How can he be your husband? He’s doesn’t look like a man who’s near 40” (to me, after meeting my
Son Husband). Likes Garth Brookes.
Favourite Quotes: “I didn’t say that” when the only possible interpretation of what she did say is reiterated for clarification.
AKA: The Winging It One.
Motto: “I’ve a meeting in the morning”
Code language for: “I’ll be late tomorrow”
Usually found: In the car park
Negative points: Overly formal emails regarding the least important things. Example:
I regret to inform you the photocopies of your arse have been evacuated from the kitchen. Management would be grateful if you could desist from any further acts of defacing the interior of the dining quarter. Such acts shall not be tolerated henceforth.
Me: *dialls Nessa’s extension*
Nessa: Nessa speaking
Me: So, what you mean there, Nessa, is quit plastering the place with pictures of my arse? Right are you are.
Positive points: Makes a decent cup of coffee.
Favourite Quote: “I must have just missed you” (after spending the day ringing her extension)
(My colleagues: not pictured)
I was approached by HR to review these colleagues as part of my exit interview. If I got paid for talking shite about shite, do you think I wouldn’t be bragging about it to you?