Tag Archives: colleague

The Return of the Massimo Dutti Jacket Obsession

On Monday morning my colleague strutted into the office sporting her birthday present. She had obviously been treated by a loved one over the weekend. She wore a beautifully shaped, light brown, leather jacket. She smiled proudly (and smugly). She observed the once over I gave her.

“Nice jacket. Where did you get it?”

She beamed. “I bought it in Massimo Dutti.”

“It’s beautiful. Can I feel the leather?” I caressed the soft leather, begrudgingly.

Contact with Colleague’s jacket prompted a hatch to slowly creak open in my mind; an old obsession reared its ugly head and crawled from the confines it was once safely locked away. This obsession related to a Massimo Dutti jacket I encountered last year.  The jacket burned an impression into my brain; it became an obsession that took months to get over. So strong was this wanton desire I documented it. I stood there stroking my colleague’s sublime jacket, recalling the fine jacket like it were an old friend from long ago.

“It really was beautiful,” I whispered to myself.

“Sorry, Stephen? What did you say?” Colleague looked concerned. She reached out. “Eh, can I get my jacket back?”

I flung it back at her. Regretfully, she declined my suggestion to take turns wearing it alternating weekends. I returned to my desk not fully aware of the stirrings in my mind.

Those stirrings gradually rippled to the forefront of my consciousness. Tonight, I went onto the Massimo Dutti site. I really should not have. The jacket I once obsessed over is long gone. But, there is a new one. A new, amazing, brown, leather jacket!

I can afford to buy this jacket since my February wage is a little higher than normal. The only obstacle is a promise I made myself to pay a lump sum off my outstanding college loan. I swore to seriously dent that loan tomorrow morning, but then along came this jacket and…

This is yet another example of something getting stuck in my head. You can guess that obsessive tendencies can be a hindrance in life. They sometimes can, but this is not an example of such. I dumped the obsession of the last brown leather jacket and replaced it with an obsession for a new, different, brown leather jacket. I did the healthy thing and moved on.

I’m normal.


Some Just Can’t Say “Good Bye”

I can be dreadfully intolerant of other people’s differences. However, time has taught me tolerance and lessons. There was a moment in canteen last week, when I was able to impart wisdom to a colleague. Colleague complained that a co-worker left our work place for the last time, without giving a proper good bye. I regaled her with a story:

“I once moved in with a friend. We lived together for almost a year. We weren’t the best of mates, but we were close. Circumstances changed for her and she moved to London, intending to rent her house to me and other tenants.”

“I remember the day she was due to move out. It was a week day and she was up earlier than I. I was about to leave for work and remember noticing how little of her belongings were packed. She complained about how much work she had to do. ‘You’ll be fine,’ I comforted her. She said she would see me later that evening. I did not say good bye.”

“I purposely came home straight after work to catch her before she left. Approaching the house from the driveway, it was obvious there was no one home. I turned on the lights and realised how stark the house was with my housemate’s belongings. All her personal effects were gone.”

“It was a little upsetting. I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t make the time to give a proper good bye. Everywhere I looked, I noticed absent items; photos, paintings, books and ornaments. I did my best not to get upset.”

“Weeks later, I told my friend  Angela of the events. ‘Why could she not even make the time to say goodbye?’ I asked her. ‘We lived together for a year. I find it upsetting’.”

“’Sweetie,’ said Angela. ‘Some people just can’t say good bye’”

“My friend left Ireland a few years ago. Since then, I’ve been in situations when this experience has proven valuable.”

“Some people just can’t say ‘good bye’.”

Blind Leading Blind

A month ago, I moaned that our department lacked training programmes. I was having difficulty with a particular task. After three months of floundering, my manager agreed to organise a training session.

My manager ironically and perhaps, cleverly suggested I deliver the training. This development caused major laughs among my colleagues.

“Is it a ‘what not to do’ guide?” one colleague quipped.

Without going into boring technicalities of my finance-blah-accountancy-job I can describe the training session with an analogy; it is somewhat like Stevie Wonder giving a course on “colouring in”. There’s a slight chance Stevie might go outside the lines.

You Don’t Win Friends with Salad

As you may have guessed from reading one or two entries of mine, my weight is a big concern of mine. The last few years of my life have seen my shape morph from underweight, to overweight, to just right and now it is at a relatively healthy position. Do you think I am happy?

No! I must shed fat.

This week I have been eating salads from the office-canteen. I am sticking to green leaves to avoid wedges, chips and all other forms of stodge. In five days, I’ve lost a little weight.  I even feel healthier. Imagine such a change in such a short period of time. Of course, one would think I’d refrain from junk what my recent weight loss due to small changes.

Wrong again!

My office is like a confectionery shop at the moment. Someone brought in sweets because we are going through a busy patsy in work. Another colleague brought in a large box of chocolates; she has to go to weight watchers next week and fears the implications of leaving them at home. Seeing as my colleagues knowingly calorie dump in work, one would assume I’d refrain from gobbling their unwanted sweets.

Of course not!

I am the human equivalent of a calorie charity bin. I feel obliged to hoover up unwanted food stuffs. Once I see foil or wrappers, I tear open packets and examine the contents. I almost feel I might cause offence by not eating them. What is my problem? Why can’t I take one and leave it at that? I really need to get to the bottom of this.

So yeah, it’s salad again for lunch.

You make one little mistake …

I have learned my employers are a relatively unforgiving bunch.

You may have noticed my lack of blogging. This is because my work load rained down on me over the last few weeks. Initially, a new system was launched and let’s just says I was having trouble with it. I am not amazing with technology. When it comes to number crunching, I am the type of guy that prefers an abacus and chalk board. All this new software, currencies (that come in three versions), reconciliations, processes and responsibilities totally blew my bulb. I floundered to get on top of it. It came to the crunch and I misgauged my priorities. The net effect was a colleague and I staying back for two and a half hours on Friday evening.

On Monday morning, the proverbial pooh hit the fan.


My colleague who was detained that Friday evening was probably the worst person to keep late.

Accusations flew back and forth between she and I. She carried more weight because she does not use abacuses and chalk; she is an accountancy goddess. I received her wrath!

Don’t worry, I did not take it lying down. I bet you’re not surprised.

Now, as a result of these events, I have to sit down with my manager on a weekly basis and go through my list of tasks. I feel like the remedial employee. It’s ironic that I actually found it difficult to draw up a list of tasks since I barely know what I am doing. Unfortunately, blogging can’t go on the checklist. I was tempted to clarify that one.

It is for this reason and this reason alone I have not been able to inform you of the amazing time I had in Budapest over the weekend. I went with a friend form college. I was unable to write about the (literally) shitty club, Cafe Capella, that my mate and I visited. I didn’t have time to describe the holy show I made of myself on the dance floor while he was ‘occupied’. I lacked the time to describe how my shoes tore my feet to pieces. I would have documented the pinnacle of my weekend – drinking with the presenters of that new after hours show on TV3, Play TV. It was such a good night. We ended up in a bar called the Funny Carrot, where we remained until 06.00 on Monday morning. The barman, Lola, was an amazing host:

“You promeez Lola you come back hir veez yar pardner”

Monday in Budapest was spent panicking in the hotel when I learned it was in fact 13.20 and not 10.20. After locating a tram to take me to the park, I lay face down in the grass on Margaret Island for two hours. I eventually sobered up around 17.00 to have my stomach jolted about by a Danish taxi driver, who should not have been on the road. The gobshite even dropped us to the wrong terminal after consulting a list to ensure we were headed to the right one. After that pleasant jaunt in the cab, I became reacquainted with the contents of my stomach in the toilet cubicle of the airport.

Overall a good weekend and a not so good week, but hey, at least I had something to write about.

Be Seen and Be Heard

A departmental meeting was scheduled unexpectedly yesterday afternoon. Twenty of us gathered for a brief meeting. A new colleague was unveiled to us all. She spoke for a few minutes, telling us about herself and background. When she finished, the mic was handed back to the department team lead who opened the floor to any further questions or feedback (on anything that was on our mind). By now you must know I am not one to hold my tongue. There has been something bothering of late. Now was the time to air my views.

“I have something to say about our weekly department meetings on Mondays. I hate them. I actually dread them on a Sunday evening.”

My team leader laughed out loud. “I am sorry you feel that way,” she sympathised with a smile.

Each Monday, my department has a meeting at which we are informed of any relevant issues. We then take turns to give what is meant to be a brief overview of what we are working on. It’s an attempt at knowledge sharing.

I appeared to have the attention of the department, most of whom smirked. “I realise that the meetings are necessary for briefings. I find them useful to learn what is going on, but to be honest; I am not really interested in the workload of my colleagues. I zone out when I am not talking.”

One colleague piped up from the corner. “Why don’t you try listening then?” This was said half jokingly.

“It’s not about not listening. I have no idea what you do on a daily basis. You have your work load and I have mine. When you give an overview of your portfolio, I have no idea of what you’re talking about. Why would I listen? There are twenty of us in this department now. Frankly, it’s a waste of my time for me to listen to each and everyone’s work load.”

“That’s a fair enough point,” the team lead said, while nodding her head. “I realise it’s time consuming for everyone. We will work on the format.”

I offered some suggestions, which we discussed as a group.

I probably could have been more diplomatic in how I issued my opinion. I was aware other team mates felt the same about the Monday Meetings. I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind or take shit for speaking on behalf of others. It might be foolish to jeopardise my career for the sake of an opinion, but I really could not give a monkey’s. I have a voice and I use it often. I have a strong voice and I use it on behalf of others.

Speak your mind people. If you feel strongly about something, speak up.

Word Jumble

I visited Joanne at work last night for a catch up. I had not seen her for over a week. After a good ten minute chat, I met one of her colleagues John, who also happens to be gay. He, Joanne and I chatted. John is in his forties and has what one might term “a healthy sexual appetite”. I know him to work with Joanne. Occasionally, I meet him out and about; He’s an acquaintance. During our conversation, I learned he was going to Poland for the weekend. In my head I thought, we all know what you’ll be doing in Poland this weekend. Joanne had earlier revealed John was seeing a guy from Gdansk.

My conversation with John went:

MyopicPsychotic (MP): “so whereabouts in Poland are you going?”

John: “Gdansk. I’ll be there until Tuesday.”

MP: “You will have a great time. I’ve only been to Lodz, which was a dump, and Warsaw. I would love to visit Krakow.”

John: “Did you know I was there for three and a half weeks earlier this year. It’s such an amazing country”.

MP: “Yes …”

In my head I simultaneously thought three things. Again, I guessed the all sorts he got up to while away for three and a half weeks. I was momentarily distracted. I suddenly realised John, Joanne and another colleague of hers, who had appeared from nowhere, awaited my response. I decided I could reply with two things: The first was, “Yes, you were there for a good while.” By this I meant that he had been away for a considerable amount of time. The second alternative response was, “Yes, I heard you had a good time”. Instead of choosing one of these options, the mechanics of my head jammed. I responded with the following:

MP: “Yes, I heard you were there for a good time.”

It rolled from my mouth with no hesitation. I realised what I had just said. I hoped no one noticed. Joanne blinked at me. Within seconds she erupted into fits of laughter. John giggled in chorus with the other unknown gentleman. All present parties had identified my Freudian slip. John took it well. Joanne later informed me that it made his evening.

Conversation from Lunch

This is a conversation from lunch time in our noisy staff canteen:

MyopicPsychotic (MP): “The doctor told me to eat more fruit and veg for my stomach”.

Colleague: “Who told you to eat more veg?”

MP: “The doc”

Colleague: “What did you just say about Gok?”

MP: “No! I did not flash my cock. Why would I do that?”

Guerilla Tactics

Our department are hated by other departments for our constant use of the printers. Certain functions of our job require that we print volumes of up to four or five hundred pages. When running a print job of this size, the worst one can do is stand next to the printer and endure abuse from other colleagues. This has resulted in guerrilla tactics. When we are scheduled to run a large print job, we do what has become known as “print and run”; we press print and get the fuck out of there.

Beautiful Irish Expression

My Dad, for all his faults is a funny fucker. For all the issues I had with him in the past, my mates loved him. To them he was clever and funny. He was good for the critical one liner that would cause a congregation to erupt into laughter. Outside of home, those critical comments were entertaining. At home among the family, those comments were hurtful and perpetuated major self-esteem issues. He isn’t a bad man. He just knows no different.

When Dad changed jobs in 1987, the family packed up and moved to the UK. Dad took a job at the Beeb. Working in the UK during the 80s was difficult for the Irish. The Brits didn’t understand the feud in Northern Island. Maybe they didn’t need to. The loss of life from the bombings was tragic. My parents, like other Irish in the UK at the time, faced critical comments and bad jokes in work and their daily lives.

Dad seemed to get on OK at the Beeb. I recall one story when a colleague of his asked for advice on how he should ask an Irish girl on a date. Dad taught him a “beautiful Irish expression” that would make her go weak at the knees. Dad’s colleague was chuffed. He learned this greeting off by heart and checked in now and again to ensure his pronunciation was correct. He couldn’t wait to impress the knickers off her.

The Irish expression Dad taught his English colleague was, “An bhfuil aon gruaige ar do bhosca?” Any Irish reading this will immediately understand its meaning. For those of you not blessed with the native Irish tongue, you will have to read on for its meaning to be revealed. In my own way of phonetically explaining how it is pronounced, it is “an will ayn grew-a-gah air deh vusca”. Don’t go casually throwing this at Irish women. 

The big day came. Dad’s colleague was going to ask the Irish girl out through this “beautiful Irish expression”. Dad encountered his colleague in the canteen later that day. Dad asked if he was successful. His colleague responded sharply. “You’re a fucking bollox,” he said and stormed off. When he was out of ear shot, Dad explained the meaning of the expression. The occupancy of the lunch table burst out laughing.

The expression, “An bhfuil aon gruaige ar do bhosca?” is in fact a question. It means “Have you any hair on your box?” Charming I think you’ll agree.