Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Small Unremembered Acts Of Unkindness

I’m sure it’s not deliberate but this has happened with galling regularity during my time “here” as corporate slave. And it makes me hit boiling point every time because, in all honesty, I’m never quite sure how to handle it.

An engineer turns up in a company car. Or his own car. Whatever. The car is not important. But he needs to get parked and doesn’t want to use the Pay & Display spaces in town. This is fine. I lower the bollards and allow him to drive into the fiercely guarded enclave of the building’s footprint. I direct him to the staff parking bays down the back of the building. Off he drives with a cheery wave.

Pleasure, mate. I’m here to be helpful.

And then I wait by the entrance doors so I can chaperone the poor bewildered engineer to wherever he needs to be in the building. Usually a urinal which is behaving like the gateway to Hell.

And I wait.

And I wait.

And he stays in his bloody car. He doesn’t move. He just sits there in the warm, sealed cockpit of his worksmobile.

And I stand there by the front doors feeling like a jilted groom.

What do I do? ‘Cos I’m getting narked. I’m getting annoyed. I’m stood there like the proverbial last sausage and he’s rubbing himself off against his walnut dash.

Logic and the laws of dynamic motivation (is there even such a thing) dictate that I go up to the car and knock officiously on the windscreen and ask very loudly if he’s going to be joining me anytime soon because the vicar is getting impatient and the reception is booked.

But I worry that this might precipitate a faux pas of monumental proportions.

You see, he could be delayed for a very legitimate reason...

He’s taking an emergency phone call from his wife: “Darling, little Terry has found your stash of crystal meth and he’s bouncing off the walls with grandpappy’s pump-action assault rifle – the nanny is pulling her hair out and the nursery looks like a bomb site! What shall I do? What shall I do?”

Or – and this is the scenario that I fear the most – I storm up to the car, violently yank open the driver’s door and have a paraplegic engineer fall out onto the pavement like a newborn lamb from its mother’s womb.

Oh God. I am so sorry. Do you need a hand? Oh shit. I didn’t mean that the way it came out, honestly.

You get the idea.

So I wait.

And I wait.

And eventually the engineer shuffles out of his vehicle – not panicked in any way, with a full complement of limbs, wiping the foam of a take-out cappuccino from his top lip.

Utter. Git.



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39 comments:

London City Mum said...

And it's at times like these when I cannot refrain from asking, "Where's mine then?"

LCM x

Gorilla Bananas said...

Come on, mate, you should have walked up to the car and given him a quizzical stare. It's not as if you had any reason to pry and you were entitled to an explanation. He could have been playing with his balls, for all you knew.

Nota Bene said...

Yes, the cappuccino drinking class should be shot

English Rider said...

As you let him into the parking lot advise him that you must be somewhere else in five minutes, so would he please meet you by the entrance ASAP, or he will not get in. Then, at least, if he keeps you waiting you can go knock on his window with profuse apologies and the excuse that you would be so distraught if you had to leave him stranded.

Steve said...

LCM: please see Gorilla Bananas's comment. Should he be playing with his balls I fear such a question may lead to unwanted intimacy.

Gorilla Bananas: I make it a life rule never to interrupt a man when he is playing with his balls. Please see my answer above for further explanation.

Nota Bene: I’d like to watch them die frothing at the mouth.

English Rider: I just love your arch politeness. ;-)

Rol said...

The coffee is just a ruse.

His real motivation was plain to see...

"Must piss Steve off."

Heather said...

I'd have just left him there. But then I'm a callous and unforgiving bitch with no patience what so ever.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Poor you. Luckily they have to come through the front door and up the stairs to reception at our place and the Security guy in the car park sortst them out.

Marginalia said...

Steve I was going to say "are you rehearsing for a part as a door mat?" However, I've changed my analysis.

Why didn't you go up to his car tap on the window? Not for the comical reasons you've suggested.

You resented having to act as corporate slave yet again. I think what stopped you doing a fairly reasonable thing - finding out why the delay - was that resentment.

You couldn't trust yourself not to express that if you "confronted" the man. So you daren't go over to him.

Why didn't you just leave him? You're the nice guy even if you resent having to be one

libby said...

If you're not careful Steve you are going to have an 'incident' at work like I have been having recently...y'know the ones..where I lose patience and let the fizz out of the bottle and scare people....remember D-Fens? So go home and kiss your lovely wife, have fun with the kids and remember that Karma will resolve most things...eventually!

Steve said...

Rol: and I bet he "went large" for an extra 30p too.

Heather: you must come and work in my office. You'd fit right in.

Laura: plainly we are just too damned accessible. Curse you DDA!

Marginalia: because... because... oh confound it; you're just too good. Do you charge a fee for this service? Can I see you again next month?

Libby: I must admit I'm cruising town looking for a gang of hoodlums whose weapons I can nick even as I type...

Marginalia said...

No charge you're my case study for my correspondence degree in cod psychology. I'm aiming for a double first.

Owen said...

Isn't there a reception area he could go to if he needed help finding his way ? Or maybe he could even ask any passing person near the entrance ?

That way someone else could help him, while you had slipped out back to the parking area to let the air out of his tyres...
:-)

(Just kidding, I'm sure you'd never even think of commiting such an act, and no doubt his unwitting inconsideration in your regard wouldn't merit such retribution)

Steve said...

Marginalia: please spell my name right in your thesis.

Owen: you are kidding, aren't you? Let the air out of his tyres? I've slashed the hell out of them with a Stanley knife, gouged both wings of his car and shat all over his windscreen wipers. Purely as a warning of what might happen next time, you understand.

Being Me said...

Do you reckon there is ever a time when some rather more intuitive person than the average git you have to deal with is onto you? I think sometimes you might find some people unwittingly just know that underneath your chivalrous ways, you are plotting your next imaginary revenge. And they are planted in your life to bait you. Which means, of course, that the longer you don't let the steam out (what was it libby said? "let the fizz out of the bottle"?) the more chance there is of there being a bigger act of retaliation than necessary because it's becoming so overblown.

That's why I'd be doing little things around the office that bring you a warm feeling of satisfaction that whatever you've anonymously done is pissing off or otherwise inconveniencing your co-workers/employers. Live a little. Have a bit o' fun with them. I would. And I'm the nicest guy around :)

Steve said...

Being Me: you're talking about booby-trapping my co-worker's desks, aren't you? Nail bombs and semtex and that kind of shit. Hmm. Yes. That would give me a warm feeling, alright. Do you know any good suppliers, you being a nice guy like me and all that? ;-)

Kelloggsville said...

he'll come back as a cochroach...it's all karma or fate or something profound but I settle with gits come back as cochroaches.

the fly in the web said...

I don't know what to do about the engineer...I think I'd have wandered off and let him sort himself out...but I do know how to annoy your less than amiable colleagues.
I'm sure they all have little boxes or containers for the stuff they occasionally work with...staples, paper clips, whatever.
A couple of cloves of garlic tucked in there will work wonders in about a week.
It used to be tacking kippers under chairs...but it's a waste of a kipper.

Being Me said...

What about sandwich wrap under the toilet seat and across the bowl? An old one but one they'd never see coming. of course, you'd have to disguise yourself as a ('tached) woman to sneak in to the loo to set up that one.

I hear ACME are good? Buy two 1,000lb anvils and you get a rocket (complete with fast burning wick) completely free. Apparently.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: cockroaches are too good. They can survive nuclear wars and shit like that. Have them come back as common bluebottles. That's much more fitting.

The fly in the web: plainly I am an innocent in the subtle arts of office warfare. I had no idea I was sitting on such a hotbed of experience and superior tactics. I am taking notes even as I type.

Being Me: I love ACME. I'd love some jet powered rollerskates - the ones that don't allow you to steer at all or even switch them off once they've been ignited but instead propel you inevitably off the edge of a cliff... whereupon the fuel runs out. Classic. An absolute must-have.

Keith said...

Look at it this way. You got 5 minutes in the spring sunshine, on your own, away from the folks in the office. Priceless quality 'me' time. Next time, tell the Engineer not to hurry, maybe go get your own beverage of choice.

BTW. I have those rollerskates too. The number of times I have gone whizzing over that cliff edge...

lunarossa said...

I agree with Heather. I would have just left him there. Time is too precious to be waisted on morons! Ciao. A.

Steve said...

Keith: that's very true. I might start bringing a deckchair into work with me...

Lunarossa: I've got to get me some of this 'tude!

Mark said...

I'd like to say that I'd have told him to stuff but I suspect not. Lady come for an interview today and then just 'popped to the Ladies' - she was gone 15 minutes! What do you do / say? All too embarrassing; she didn't get the job though.

Steve said...

Mark: not surprised - she's either got bowel problems or OCD. Either way it could cost you thousands in wasted productivity.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville@ a cockroach is no good; they can survive nuclear war and all that shit. Better if he comes back as a dung beetle.

The fly in the web: I need to compile all of these handy hints into a compendium of some kind. Plainly I have lived a sheltered life and my workmates don't know how lucky they are.

Being: ah, I love ACME. Especially those rocket powered rollerskates that propel you forward so fast you can't turn corners and then send you over a cliff edge where they promptly run out of fuel...

Steve said...

Apologies to all of you who left comments that have been subsequently lost by Blogger's almighty foul up over the last 2 days...! Thanks, Blogger, you're a real star.

Phil said...

And “Hooway & Hoowahh for Blogga” – apparently Mavis at Blogger HQ always rests her Starbucks cafe latte on top of the main server cos it keeps it warm, and Sammy the office Labrador knocked it over with his tail cos she wouldn’t let him out for another pee. The server fried itself and Reg was in bed with a cold again, and he had all the petty cash, so that left Mavis on her tod at Blogger to answer both the phones and Radio Shack don’t take plastic for purchases under $100 anymore, so she had to get her brother in law to drive up from Phoenix with some cash to buy a server they had on offer at Radio Shack for $59. Poor old Mavis, she sounded a bit stressed out when I called her earlier, specially with old Sammy barking away at the other phone in the background. Cant be easy for her on her lonesome like that can it. Poor dear.

I might be barking up the wrong bollard here but I’ve been detecting a steadily developing pattern of subtle signals emitting from your last 543 posts, from which I have deduced that perhaps you should start thinking seriously about getting another job Stephen. No really, it’s a special talent of mine…divining the hidden subtexts and coming up with original and inspiring suggestions, before anyone else does. Bit of a pre-cog on the quiet see. The runes tell me something with better rates of pay and a decent set of workmates is what you need. Professional gate keeping is a bit of an open and shut career path these days. Have you thought of trying some of the employment agencies in L.Spa?

Fly’s dead kipper trick is a good plan. Once covertly installed a couple of those deep inside the air intake box for the air filtration system of an old sports car at a friends wedding just as they were leaving for a three week driving tour of France. Whence they returned they very kindly stopped by my house on the way home to; a) kick me in the shins with much brio and vim…and; b) Demand that I immediately locate and remove the now appallingly decayed and offensive items from wherever it was that I’d ‘effing’ hidden them. Apparently, a succession of French mechanics from north to south and back again, had not been able to find the source of the smell and two garages had even refused to look under the bonnet due to the acrid stench. They’re now divorced and don’t eat fish. Culpable kippers then.

P.S. – Try telling your visitors that you’ll be waiting for them at the reception door as they pass through the gate to the parking bays. I just thought that one up all by myself by the way. Int I clever.

Knowing your affection for ‘Lego’, here’s something I prepared earlier to cheer you up a bit – you can laugh along with it if your spirits permit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv5iEK-IEzw&feature=related

Steve said...

Phil: ah - Eddie Izzard and Lego. What a winning combination. And you are quite right in your soothsaying. Your powers of prescience are astounding and I can see that Mystic Meg will be quaking in her boots (and will have been for years having foreseen your coming). If you can hand me the numbers for tomorrow night's lottery I shall buy you a crystal ball with my winnings...

The Sagittarian said...

Kinda like waiting with the door open for the cat to wander in when it's good and ready eh? I guess a swift kick up the jacksey woulnd't work then?

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Bugger! That insightful, quite brilliant comment I left on this post must have been removed by Blogger. I can't replicate it today, I'm afraid. The best I can come up with is...Yeah, uh-huh, shame, never mind, jeez, tut.

TimeWarden said...

Next time he's consuming a cup of the barely bloody drinkable, ask him if he takes one lump or two?

Steve said...

Amanda: but a quick visit to the vet and the vet's scissors might...

Trish: yes, boo to Blogger. I've been having trouble recalling my own instances of genius myself.

TimeWarden: trouble is, he'd take me seriously and expect me to go and find him some Canderel.

Selina Kingston said...

You. Are. The. Funniest. Man !!

Steve said...

Selina: Wish. I. Got. Paid. For. It.

Suburbia said...

Ha!

Steve said...

Suburbia: ah...!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Thanks for making me smile!! Was he part of The Apprentice by any chance, they are utter gits, too.

CJ xx

Steve said...

CJ: he's certainly qualified to join the idiots on the show.