Tag Archives: text

Accentuate the Positives

I go through life with gusto. I say what I want and rarely walk away from an argument. I could be considered an “angry person” and there are moments when I realise how draining this is. I don’t consider myself a negative person, yet I could certainly do with focussing on the many positives in my life. I feel a resolution coming on.

I am not big on New Years Resolutions, believing if you want to change something in your life, do it now, rather than wait for the toll of midnight come December 31st. So besides promising to blog more and brush my teeth more than twice a day, I’ve set myself a good New Year’s Resolution as inspired by Angela.

Angela told me of a good exercise where at the close of each day, you write down three good things about that day. The aim of the exercise is to train your brain to be more positive. Yes, it’s sad some of us need a written exercise, but I for one could certainly do with it. I had a think about my Tuesday, my first day back at work since the Christmas. All I could recall was how tired and long the day was. Where were the positives? I asked myself. Within a few minutes I thought of my three and here they are:

  1. I wrote a blog I was proud of
  2. I received a loving hug from my Bestie Joanne
  3. Mum texted me and told me she loved me

My list might be soppy but it makes me feel good. Is writing out three things about your day something you should consider doing?

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Gullibility is …

My inability to lie developed in my late teens. It came around the time I just got sick of the bullshit popularity in school, longed for college and promised to always say what I thought. To me, honesty is one of the best qualities in a person. A liar is someone who cannot account for their truths.

In appreciating honesty, I often expect truth and in doing so, I am incredibly gullible. Now and again, friends feed me false information, which I rarely question. Later, when I think it through clearly, I realise it is horse shit.

About three years ago, in one of my many jobs, I decided to take a basic ECDL course to demonstrate my proficiency in Microsoft. Each week, I attended a class or two with view to completing an exam. Needless to say, the exams were simple and I passed all modules. One day after work, over tea and scones in Bewley’s, I told Brian that I was doing basic ECDL.

“Is it not boring?” Brian enquired, lifting the tea cup to his mouth.

“Nah, there is good craic in the class. And I get a certificate at the end of it.”

“Do you know that ECDL was invented by the same people who created the Special Olympics?”

“No, it wasn’t.” I scrunched my face, digesting this odd, titbit of information.

Brian nodded energetically. “Think about it. It makes sense.”

The conversation quickly moved on. I thought no more on his claim.

One week later, I sat in the training room behind an antiquated PC. The ECDL tutor and ten other students awaited the tea trolley. We usually chatted for ten minutes or so before starting a class. A knock on the door, followed by the comforting clink of tea cups, signified the arrival of refreshments. We jumped to our feet and gathered around the customary offering of fancy biscuits. Only when biscuits were placed next to full, steaming cups, did we return to our seats. The subject matter of our conversations was always inoffensive. We chatted about current affairs, weather or television, injecting a good dose of humour when possible. As per usual, I was the chattiest.

I piped up once my dunked biscuit was swallowed. “Is it true the ECDL was invented by the Special Olympics?” I directed my question at the tutor.

“Excuse me?” said the tutor. I noted an element of surprise in her voice.

I repeated my question.

She stuttered momentarily. “I don’t think so,” she said. She looked around the room at the other faces in the class.

“A mate of mine told me ECDL was invented by Special Olympics. If you think about it, it makes sense. I mean it was probably created to encourage disabled persons into the workplace by promoting their IT literacy.”

“I never heard that before.” The tutor’s eyes were wide. “Are you sure your friend isn’t feeding you misinformation?”

“No, he’s not like that. I’ll try a Google search and see what I get.”

I ran “Special Olympics ECDL” through Google and received irrelevant matches. “I got no matches,” I announced to the class.

Another student Deirdre joined the chat. “Stephen, I think your friend might be taking the piss.”

“He’s not like that,” I assured. “Why would he do that?”

The tutor picked up the ECDL manual. Tea break was over. “I’ll ask in the office, but I honestly don’t think your friend’s claim is right.” She commenced the class.

While she gave us instructions on how to set up our computers for the upcoming class, I picked up my phone and texted Brian.

“Brian, I am in my ECDL course at the moment. Where did you hear about it being invented by the Special Olympics?”

Brian replied within minutes. “It was a joke.”

“OMG I just told my entire ECDL course it was invented by the Special Olympics people.”

“You muppet! I cannot stop laughing.”

I sat back in my chair taken aback by the fact I had absorbed Brian’s misinformation on the creation of ECDL. It was clearly ridiculous. Not only had I not questioned whether it was truthful, I obviously thought on it enough to embellish it for my “encourage disabled persons into the workplace” spiel. An all too rare embarrassment came down over me. I blushed. I kept my realisation to myself and prayed the tutor would not follow up on my query with her colleagues later that day.

Number Withheld

Half way through my journey home to Athlone yesterday by bus, my phone rang. The caller display was unpopulated. Number withheld. I questioned whether I should answer it. I chose to. I pressed a button and held the phone to my ear.

“Hello,” I said sheepishly.

A deep, heavily-accented, male voice responded. “Hello.” The accent was Eastern-European.

“Eh, hi.” I could hear nervousness in my voice.

“Who is this?” asked the male voice gruffly.

“I’m Stephen. Who are you?”

“I am Tony.”

“Hi. Where did you get my number from, Tony? I don’t think I know you.”

“You called my phone late on Tuesday night,” said Tony. “Why did you call my phone?”

I stammered. “Eh, I don’t know why I would call your phone. I can only imagine I dialled a wrong number. I am sorry about that, if it is the case.”

“OK,” said Tony.

“Is that it?” I questioned. I felt brave.

“Yes,” said Tony after a slight hesitation.

“Good bye, Tony” I said firmly. I hung up.

I put down my mobile. A chill ran down my spine. Who the fuck was that? The mysterious, deep, accented voice unnerved me. I stared out the window, admiring the eskers of Westmeath. I allowed my brain process recent events. My thoughts were interrupted. My mobile rang again It was an 085 number this time.

I answered. “Hello?”

“This is Tony again.”

“Hello again, Tony.”

“I feel bad about calling you. I have to be honest. I was checking my wife’s mobile and your number was a missed call on Tuesday night.”

“Are you accusing me of having an affair with your wife, Tony?” I asked him.

Tony laughed. “I am a very jealous guy. I found your number and I stressed.”

“Well Tony, if it is any relief to you, I am not the type of guy that would be into your wife. I am on a bus at the moment. I can’t really elaborate on that.”

He laughed again. “I understand.”

“So you weren’t in Angels on Tuesday night?”

“Angels?” It was my turn to laugh. “As I just said, Angels wouldn’t be my type of place. Does your wife work in Angels, Tony?

“Yes, she did until recently.”

“Wow,” I responded.

“I am very sorry for bringing this on you.” He sounded genuinely apologetic.

“Don’t worry about it. Take care of yourself.”

“You too!”

With his parting words I hung up.

I sat on the bus smiling like an ostracised weirdo. That was hilarious. I had just been accused of having an affair with some guy’s wife. Out of curiosity I checked my dialled numbers. I found an unknown number in the directory. I remembered dialling incorrectly Tuesday night. I dialled 087 instead of 086. It was very Sliding Doors.

I texted Tony: “Hi, Tony. I found your wife’s number in my phone. It genuinely was a wrong number. You are very lucky to have such a beautiful wife!”

Tony replied. “How do you know my wife is beautiful?”

“I figure she dances at Angels and receives a lot of male attention to warrant your jealousy. It figures!”

“:-)”

I felt cheeky. “You’re probably hot too. Enjoy your beautiful wife, Tony.”

“Enjoy your life. You are a good person.”

One incorrect digit in a telephone number put me in contact with a lap dancer from Angels. This lap dancer happened to have an insanely jealous husband. I clutched my mobile in my hand, asking myself if the events of the last  ten minutes were real.