HARDLY WORTH MENTIONING
I felt it one morning, I Knew it was my body trying to tell me something. At the time I thought it was just the start of a bout of the flu. I’d just got to work, I was early the cycle journey had gone smooth as clockwork, I’d belted down the streets, ripping over kerbs and scattering pedestrians willy nilly- a fantastic co-joined twin of man and metal. No one else was in, I went and rewarded myself with a pissy cup of coffe and bold as brass lit a joint by the bosses desk, opening the window full and perched myself on her desk to peer out the window.
I leafed through her in tray, mostly inter departmental tosh, I rearranged her collection of soft toys and fixed an evil glance at her hilarious “you don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps” sticker attached to the corner of her PC monitor.
My Lungs felt hard, crackling and heaving. I could feel them solidify with every drag on the joint, loose honeycombed foam gap filler slowly crusting and blobbing solid. Whisps of hash curled and desperately tried to escape my petrified lungs. No escape, trapped in amber.
My head swam with the drug. Fine and dandy.
I saw a boxy blue car trundle into the car park far below, sliding into a parking space Kev expertly crunched through his gearbox and brought his bucket of shit to a state of wo’.
Behind it the Boss tore into range, her plush fancy but non descript middle management vehicle getting a cursory nod from the security guards pill box. I just knew she would take that the wrong way, nothing but a salute would please Gwen. I pinged the finished joint out the window and continued writing rude words on an important memo in Gwens tray, then finished up and stuffed it into the bottom of the pile of paper.
The strange condensed, heavy feeling worked its way down my body..sis-stick-fibro-sis I thought, a bit giggly.
Shutting the window made me sweat.
I tottered over to my desk, and opened a few box files. Same old same old.
Why they could’nt do this on the core-ship was a mystery, the shipping costs alone must have been crippling. I pulled out a substantial stack of sampling reports and began to enter them on the system.
The supervisor on most of the dockets was one Gina Hag, which compelled me to mis spell her name as GIN HAG, just for the sake of doing something for the sake of it.
Kev blundered in to the office, clutching his lunch- half a dog in syrupy ketchup and two planks of wood under his arm.
He babbled. To be honest he did’nt say that, but a man so dull must be ignored for the sake of sanity, which is what I routinely did.
Kev wittered on about something, beads of sweat clustering around the top of his tetchy witless forehead.
“ so then right a phoned the police, but the guy had gone…the dogs traumatised, he’s going to the toilet all over the place…the vet says he needs to go on sedatives”
Something was wrong with my brain, the frequency of Kev’s babbling was routinely blocked- either he had changed his settings or something was mis firing in my grey cells.
Either that or Kev’s signal was roaming, which would explain the bursts of transmission. Must fight his gob-shite, last time I actually engaged in a chin wag with Kev my brain went all dysfunctional and slack jawed. It felt baad, like some one had shat in my hat.
“ kind of pervert according to the sergeant, he’s din it afore- broken into folks houses and”
Kevs coming through loud and clear, I give my head a quick dunt with a ruler under the desk, pulling faces-
“kev, shut up, I’ve a sair heed and you’re a prick”
He soldiers on.
“ so they’d better catch him, see if he comes back I’ll fuckin”
Now to make matters worse everythings gone black and white.
Gwen made her entrance-
“boys it’s nine o’clock and your wee banter session ends now, lets get to work then”
She planted her spongy arse in her chair and started flustering paper, bird like and twittery. I cant work out if she’s making a nest or trying to generate a mini tornado.
Everything’s in black and white.
Mid morning I decide to go to the coffe machine, this is when I realise I’m cold. Not physically cold as such, not shivering or that but my skin just feels cold. Might have to break out the lem-sip, other flu remedies are available.
The flexi-time crew arrive as I’m messing with the vending machine, Vikram and Co travel in a cheery pack, working till eight- checking our days input and archiving the whole lot, secured and en crypted.
“ you look like shit, coming down with cold?”
“ nae sure, feel pretty rough though” I say, aware of the fact that my arm makes an audible creak as I fish for my cup of coffe.
Generally, the time that Vikram’s posse arrived coincided with the point that Gwen’s state of still being drunk metamorphosed into early stages of hangover- this was the key point in her day when she achieved many of her goals and this window of peak performance was slight and fleeting. It was essential in this period for her to handle any important business before any hint of rebellion could develop.
She announced her first tirade with a hacking sandpapery cough, banging her desk viciously with her shoe.
Vikram and the rest of them waved, clapped and nodded approvingly:
Kev snapped to attention and held aloft a picture of a dogs genitals, crudely etched on to a plank of wood with a shard of dvd.
“ attention drones”….she rose and began pacing in front of her desk, absentmindedly stabbing at stacks of paper.
“yes that’s wonderfull Kevin, if you could get that down to HR as soon as possible we can begin you’re managerial training later this week. Now I have a few items to bring to you’re attention , firstly the issue of toilet breaks”
Usually this lecture lasted roughly about half an hour, I hid behind my partition- out of sight out of mind. My fingers felt constricted, like they were lashed to tiny little splints.
“ HR and management have asked me to outline a new procedure to you all, due to a number of incidents in other departments. We all know the routine for going to the restroom, or at least you should all be familiar with it. But because some staff, and I’m not singling anyone out from document control- this policy is being rolled out company wide, so no one is being picked on here…”
I peeped over the partition to my left. Alan was studying his induction handbook, there were several brightly colour coded sections on using the zero-gee toilets. It was something of a rite of passage for new employees to emerge from their first trip to the bogs not covered in their on excretia.
“ and so if everybody can tell me when they are going to the toilet we can arrange another member of staff to be your lavitorial buddy”
I was having trouble concentrating on this, it was’nt my newly acquired monochromatic vision, it was just plain boredom.
Gwen covered the usual facts figures and feedback, her delivery getting more and more erratic and laboured as her train of thought left the station, after insinuating that some of us were going to get the sack if we didn’t get our respective acts together she retired to her desk and we all got back to pretending to do work.
Lunch rolled up. I went to get a plate of gack in the canteen, Vikram was on his fifteen minute and we blethered a bit. It was pleasant to be out of the office, he maintained I really did not look well and I made excuses and said I’d probably see the doctor later.
As I ate my gack we watched some poor sod from the loading bay slowly progressing across the reinforced glass roof, he bounced and banged against the panes- the keelhauling cables dragging him painfully slowly out of our sight. I wonderd absentmindedly what he’d done to get that sort of punishment.
On the way back to the office I stopped for a piss. Not informing Gwen gave me a little buzz, fucking health and safety really was a joke. Along with my other symptoms I discovered my piss was as thick as wallpaper paste.
Gwen had written “gone to fucking meeting, you are being monitored in my absess” in huge slightly frayed block capitals on the white board by her desk. Aye right, shooting up in the stationary cupboard more like. Halfway through she had made a distinct choice to go sans serif, as if the little extra exertion had been too much for her.