So I’ve been off work a couple of days - using up my holiday entitlement that I’m not allowed to carry over into the new financial year to enjoy a long weekend. It was my wife’s birthday and I confess we have kicked back a little and quaffed lightly from the fragile cup of good times. We’ve been to see a couple of movies – Paul and True Grit (both excellent) – we’ve eaten meals out in a French restaurants, we’ve blown a little money that we shouldn’t have blown... all those moderate things normal people do to try and claw some back some enjoyment out of life after the grindstone has coated everything in ash and dust.
And I realize that doesn’t sit well with some people.
Some people who didn’t have a long weekend and who were at work when I wasn’t were possibly a little bitter. A little narked. A little nowty.
And nowty people like to hit back in small and mean ways.
It’s the only explanation I have for the three crates of wine that were dumped by the stairs to the office and the post-it note on my desk saying could I please bring the wine upstairs and put it away. The note dated yesterday.
To make it clear: that wine wasn’t for me. It’s not a gift for my personal consumption. It is wine that is doled out for public events. It is just bought in bulk and stored on site.
Now, what gets my goat is that this wine has sat downstairs and the note has sat on my desk all day yesterday when I wasn’t at work. Other people who were in work will have past those crates of wine countless times; each time they went up to the stairs to the office. And given that those stairs are the only way up to and down from the office every single person will have eyeballed those crates several times over during the working day yesterday.
Nobody and I mean nobody took it upon themselves to take one or all of the crates up with them on their journey to the office. Nobody thought. “I’m going this way anyway, I won’t go empty handed”.
‘Cos I’m guessing everybody saw the note on my desk and figured, “Hey, it isn’t my job to move that wine; it’s Steve’s job, it says so here on this note that’s been left for him so I can absolve myself of all responsibility and courtesy and just go on my own sweet selfish way and not give a shit.”
Now at what point in my dim and dark career history I became the packhorse for the entire office remains a complete mystery to me. It sure as hell isn’t in my Job Description (unless you include the catch-all title General Dogsbody). But somehow, silently and without willing collusion, I have taken on that mantle.
Anything needs carting, carrying, humping (oh please), moving, shifting, lugging or just generally dumped from one dark corner of the office to another dark corner just to please the passing whim of one of my co-workers, well, that responsibility gets carted, carried, humped, moved, shifted, lugged and dumped onto my shoulders because I can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a post-it note somewhere that says it has to be that way. There’ll be a post-it note with my name on it and someone blow drying their freshly painted fingernails waiting for me to do it.
Out of the goodness of my heart. What a gentleman I am.
I’m the office brawn. The office beef. The donkey. The pack animal.
Hell, I’m practically a coolie.
I know, I know. Bigger things have happened at sea – have and are. But this inherent laziness in people really sticks in my craw sometimes. This unwillingness to do something simply because it needs doing and it isn’t even particularly out of your way to do it. This “it ain’t my job, let’s pass the buck” attitude. Let someone else do it; him, let him do it, him, him there, he won’t say no; how can he without looking petty and lazy?
It doesn’t sit well with me. Not at all. I like to help out where I can. I do a little extra. If I see something that needs doing, I do it.
I figured that’s how the world works.
Yeah, I know. Donkey? Dumb ass more like.
Ask me if I’m glad to be back at work. Go on: I dare you.