Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hee-Haw

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”.

Nobody.

‘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.



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45 comments:

Being Me said...

So, Steve, are you..... gonna QUIT anytime soon before it sucks the last light out of you? Oh dear.

That makes me mad. What are their extension numbers? I've got some petty calls to make.

Steve said...

Being Me: two lovely ideas. Me quitting and you making crank(y) calls on my behalf. I'll have all the phone numbers to you by the end of the day...! ;-)

Gorilla Bananas said...

Looking on the bright side, it will help build up your muscles. Think of yourself as the Karate Kid and the Post-It note as Mr Miyagi.

Wanderlust said...

This, I will say, is one of the benefits of working in the nonprofit sector. We're paid half as much and work twice as hard as everyone else, but the field attracts people that are amazingly willing to pitch in and lend a hand, that in fact thrive on that sort of thing.

Oh, and Being Me, can I give you a few numbers too? Since you're not averse to making international calls? Kthx!

Brother Tobias said...

I'd have been tempted to make at least one of those crates disappear in my absence, as a cautionary tale for not leaving them around. Possibly arranged for someone to trip over the remaing ones and break a leg, as a cautionary ditto.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: there can be no greater insult to my manhood than being compared to Jaden Smith. Except maybe being Jaden Smith.

Wanderlust: can I come and work with you? I'll bring some free wine...

Brother Tobias: nice idea but I'd be the buffoon who would then have to fill out the accident report forms and then risk assess the activity to prevent such an accident happening again.

Owen said...

Oh boy, that makes two of us overjoyed to be back to work today after some time off, some good movies, some enjoyment of life.

Now it's back to the dust and ashes and grit from the grindstone. True grit...

Bon courage, to quote an apt French expression...

MadPriest said...

I've been wondering what this "Big Society" thing is supposed to be about. Obviously it is about you doing everything. I can live with that.

Steve said...

Owen: merde, to quote another.

MadPriest: shove a broom up my arse and I'll sweep the floor at the same time...

joebloggs said...

For goodnessakes man! theres no need to get your panties in a bunch, just sit on the bottom step and drink your way through the crates Father Hackett style and shout abuse at anyone who tries to stop you. "ARSE..FECK..DRRRINK!!"
Also makes it lighter to carry upstairs after.

Steve said...

Joe: I can pretty much guarantee they'll expect me to take out the empties...

Marginalia said...

This is not a laughing matter.Had it happened to me I would be hurt, angry and finally depressed.

I would certainly felt undervalued and misused. But why are you annoyed with your work colleagues? It not to them you should be expressing controlled, well thought out, righteous indignation but whoever put that Post It on your desk.

Can you confront them with their own behaviour?

Why do they see it as your job to move the wine?

But more important why leave a note? Why not ask you face to face? Do they think their behaviour/management style is acceptable or effective?
How would they have reacted in your place?

If your work colleagues had helped out and moved the stuff whoever acted so crassly by leaving you that note would have got away with their unthinking behaviour.

Finally, let's hope The Sagittarian is fine and that radio silence means no more than the internet is down.

Chin up mate, as you said worse happens at (Tasman)sea.

Steve said...

Marginalia: thank you for your indignation on my behalf! Office politics being what they are I cannot make a big thing about the post-it note without looking petty minded and churlish... which is of course all part of the pressure to fulfil the task in the first place. It annoys the hell out of me especially as the author of the note is untouchable. This is a battle not worth having. Nevertheless it riles me. But as you so rightly point out, since learning of events in NZ this morning, niggly post-it notes seem small fry and I am grateful for small blessings. Here's hoping Amanda and co. - and indeed all of the quake victims - are OK.

libby said...

You just have to hope that Karma gets them all in some way.....
I did say to my team leader the other day (after the swearing thing?) that I wasn't a donkey who could work all day without a break and do double what the lazy bugger does....I do feel that I should just have doormat tatooed on my forehead though...y'see we are too nice and too accommodating Steve...

Steve said...

Libby: it is my fervent hope that Karma looks like Mr T and is packing enough heat to melt the polar ice caps. When he starts kicking ass I'd like to be around to see it.

Livi said...

Lol! Oh dear! Some days I do just walk past stuff but only when I'm ill (like today!) but most days I'm charging about like a nutcase so I just grab whatever I see while I'm on my speedy way to somewhere else at work!

Fran said...

Are you glad to be ...... Nah, maybe I won't.

Kelloggsville said...

Bugger I clicked your link expectimg it to start "Two donkeys walk into a bar ..." . It was a bit less light hearted than that. I was watching some NZ ladies crying on the news this morning because their office building had collapsed and they were worried about colleagues inside. Not wanting to undermine the dreadful situation there but my first thought was "I wouldn't be crying if I came back from lunch and my office had collapsed". I guess you wouldn't be rushing to get your black tie on either. There's always retirement then death to look forward to and hey, it's going to be a cracking funeral!

Steve said...

Livi: doing less because of illness is fine and justifiable. Doing less because you figure you just have a right to do that is not. We nutcases need to stick together.

Fran: grrr! ;-)

Kelloggsville: if I win the lottery I'll buy my place of work and ship it out to the nearest earthquake zone, I swear.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

We have a saying in our house which I think you need to adopt at work:

"never go up(or down)empty handed"

Phil said...

Ha ha ha Steve – what a mizzy mule you’ve been here. I simply ‘love’ and ‘cherish’ Anus Heads like this, cos they constantly present me with perfect opportunities to repay them for their kindnesses and take a great big irritating ‘dump’ in their hi-backed executive chairs.

Sorry, but if that had been me, I would have dashed upstairs straight away and plonked a post-it-note with the letters ‘no’ on it, straight onto the Anus Heads PC screen. Dashed back down stairs again and carefully put all the crates of wine at the bottom of the stairs – and upside down.

Then I’d take humungous delight in waiting to hear precisely what happened next.

Opportunity missed Steve. Remember…by their very specific actions…Anus Heads like this, are specifically inviting you to really piss them off. Not the other way round mate!

It’s called ‘game time’ – and I love it.

And ‘Yes’ we too are all having some very deep thoughts and concerns for Amanda and her family down in Christchurch right now. We all moan and whinge about the general state of play in Brit culture today, but we don’t have to live in fear of some of the sudden and ungodly tragedies served up by mother nature from time to time, as is panning out for the good and decent citizens of Canterbury, New Zealand this day.

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: my Nan had a similar saying - never leave a room empty handed. In fact I mentioned it to my wife when I came home but, as she said, it's not a saying that many others adhere to these days sadly.

Phil: "game time". When you descibe it thus it takes on an almost rosy and enjoyable hue. Plainly I've been coming at such shenanigans from the wrong direction. I need to get myself tooled up with some juicy retaliation tactics...

As for Amanda, I've been checking into her blog regularly in case of updates. Lame really when internet access is (a) going to be down and (b) last thing on their mind. Do hope she and hers are all OK though. NZ and Australia have been through the mangle the last few months.

the fly in the web said...

You work with some pretty odd people...but take Phil's tip.
When people get away with one kick they tend to give a few more in the same direction and it becomes a group thing.
Yes, of course there are 'bigger' things in the world and of course you worry about people involved....but the work thing will still be there and it is appalling that your good nature is abused.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: I don't know about abused, I can feel my good nature being eroded... and that's the worst thing about it.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's typical of folk today, pass the buck, no responsibility, ignore. Too much arrogance in the world where people think hard work is beneath them.

I think I'd have been inclined to stick the post it note up the nearest jacksy.

CJ xx

Heather said...

I feel aggrieved for you. Like I want to go and work there just so I can defend you and demand everyone else pull their weight. Or at the very least help you shift a few of those crates up the stairs. Someday these foolish oafs are going to look back upon the day they abused one of England's greatest literary minds and feel rather ashamed.

I take hope and comfort in that fact that karma is indeed a complete and utter fucking bitch.

bigwords is... said...

I want to know more about the French food and the delightfulness of your wife's birthday. Sounds like you need to speak of that at work, that'll annoy them!

Steve said...

CJ: the same thought crossed my mind but I didn't want to get the sack for wasting tax payer's money.

Heather: Someday these foolish oafs are going to look back upon the day they abused one of England's greatest literary minds and feel rather ashamed... Thank you, m'dear. When I write my autobiography I may well use that quote in the chapter which describes the time I went insane with the hole-punch and killed everyone in the office.

Bigwords is: I wouldn't want to sully the memory by uttering such delights in the seventh circle of hell that is my workplace.

Phil said...

Sorry Steve, I forgot yesterday....re your: "Ask me if I’m glad to be back at work. Go on: I dare you."

So:-

" ARE YOU GLAD TO BE BACK TO WORK STEVE!! !! !! !!!! ??"

Steve said...

Phil: you may have just loosed my dogs of war!

Phil said...

Ooops.

I'm off out the door to see 'True Grit' then.

Like the 'True Coward' I now am....

nice doggy woggy's.

Steve said...

Phil: saw it on Monday - absolutely superb. Does the original proud and then some. Fill your hands you sonovabitch!

Mark said...

I want to see True Grit. There was a good documentary on TV the other night, about the decline of the Western as a genre. be interesting to see how the Coen brothers try and reinvent it.

Steve said...

Mark: I'm not sure the Western can be reinvented. It is what it is and despite it's popular decline I think it is actually very enduring as a genre. Certainly the Coen brotherss do nothing new with True Grit, and yet, it remains a compelling story with performances as equally mesmerizing as the John Wayne version. It is simply a terrific story told exceptionally well.

Suburbia said...

Are you glad to be back at work?!

Seriously I really agree with you. I have a pile of stuff at the bottom of our stairs at home most days, the children pass it by many times, it is ALWAYS their stuff. Guess who moves it every time?

Glad you indulged a bit at the weekend :-)

TimeWarden said...

We're all little people out here, Steve, unless you've been to Eaton!

Steve said...

Suburbia: a little indulgence keeps me sane!

TimeWarden: the only way I'd get to Eaton would be via The Jam...! ;-)

missbehaving said...

Steve, would you mind if I hijack this a minute and ask if anyone has heard from The Sagittarian?
Obviously if she is without power/water etc, she won't be updating her blog, but does anyone here know her IRL, and can confirm that she and her family are okay??
Sorry for the interruption folks.
Back with wit and dep insight soon. ;)

Steve said...

MissBehaving: hijack away. I've been checking on her blog regularly but there have been no updates there so I'm guessing internet is down and will certainly not be a priority at the moment. Last I heard from another blogger was that they were all OK but the house had been damaged. Praying that they are all OK and will be in a position to communicate soon.

missbehaving said...

You heard they're okay from another blogger! Brilliant, very glad to hear it.As long as she and her family are okay. Thanks so much.

I'm just wishing like mad for a new and fabulous job for you!

Steve said...

MissBehaving: I sincerely wish you were my fairy godmother.

Phil said...

Steve - re: "Does the original proud and then some. 'Fill your hands you sonovabitch!' "

Took my 27 yr old son to watch it. he's never seen the original. Brilliant. Packed cinema. Everbody laughed where they should have done, cheered where they should have cheered and shut up where they should have shut up.

All the leading actors did it so much credit and with the Coen's script, underlined how such a simple original story can be so intensely, lastingly, entertaining - when treated with such mastery and respect.

I'm a life long 'Bridges' fan, and he just about took top slot for me again, just a nudge in front of Hailee Steinfeld, and then the rest just as closely behind again.

My son came out of the cinema wearing a very big grin on him - and that was enough to do it for me too.

The legacy passes on then... and rightly so too.

Watching 'Che 1' and 'Che 2' again tonight, courtesy of Peter Soder berg. Close to my heart is Ernesto.

Have a better weekend. P.

Steve said...

Phil: must admit I hold the orginal in high regard (along with The Sons of Katie Elder) so I was cautious about how I'd react to the remake but I must confess it blew me away. It was faithful, it was more complete in many ways and it had been subtley touched up and modified for a modern audience. It's made me want to get the book to read the original story. It's also made me want to add to my John Wayne collection specifically and my Western collection generally. A great movie - glad you and your boy enjoyed it.

Readily A Parent said...

When you publish your tenth brilliant book you should send them a great big bunch of free ones in very large boxes and have the delivery man put them on their chairs. Then maybe they'll learn not to sit on their duff and ignore proper work.
While he's there, get him to slip some arsenic in the coffee pot too.

Steve said...

Readily A Parent: I like you. Please will you come and work as my PA? There's some free wine in it for you...