When you’re the youngest in an office where everyone is either married, engaged, with kids or boring (me) then you learn to self-censor. You find yourself on a Tuesday afternoon asking after the operations manager’s kid. She just recently came from maternity and she’s juggling being a young mother, being away from the little one and the stresses of an agency.
And hanging around mothers is fun. Like when I’m sitting on the kitchen counter, phone in one hand, coffee in the other and an attitude that’s like freshly baked croissants. She will walk in, she’ll smile and I’ll crack a joke. I always crack jokes. Decent jokes. I don’t want her to go home reeking of bad jokes that might give the baby nightmares. I figure that if you work with people the least you can do is make them laugh. Then she’ll say she made too much porridge and brought some for everyone.
If you know me, you’ll know I don’t partake of free bites. Ever. When the graphics guy comes in with snacks and says it’s free to share I light up, say thanks but never actually go to get some. When customer relations brings bananas from home I keep reassuring her I’ll take some. I keep doing this throughout the day like an insurance sales person. At the end of the day, I leave. It’s never personal the only freebies I take are beer and those Muslim holidays that come in the middle of a two week – week. Those weeks where everyone is on edge. Deadlines are looming. The client is calling. Everything is just going wrong. Weeks that seemed to have coincided with the devil’s girlfriend’s periods.
It’s those weeks Lucy. Yes, Lucy. The devil’s girlfriend would have a name that’s a version of his of course. Narcissistic bastard that red horned devil. Hehe.
“What’s wrong?” Lucifer would ask
Lucy has probably been brewing up a storm in hell. Worked up and in a mood fouler than burning sulphur.
“For God’s sake haven’t I given you everything?”
“Everything? You call this everything? All you’ve given me is hell!”
“Okay, so what do you want?”
“To cool off.”
“Really? But you just said it; we’re in hell. Where do you expect to cool off?”
“I don’t know this is your fault. Fix it.”
“We men. We men are the ones who have to fix everything.”
“I’m sure you didn’t treat Gabriel’s sister like this”
“Well, she stayed in heaven.”
“And I followed you.”
The devil would grin. Sheepish smile slapped across his maniacal face. Smile in wolves clothing if you may.
“Don’t. I know that face. Please don’t.”
“Come on. Let me. It’s all we get here.”
“The bad puns are for the damned.”
But then again, the devil is not the devil because he listens. If he did he’d be drinking from the fountain of eternal life. He’s the devil because heaven needs a bad guy and the bible has a story.
“You fell for a fallen”
“What? That was dope. You could say it was pure flames.”
“I hate you!”
“So does half the world. Your point?”
So anyway, Lucy would go off and be pissed off the whole day. Piss off the demons. And they’d, in turn, be out causing havoc. Hence bad days.
So when operations manager says she has porridge she emphasizes it’s for all of us. I included. She has that look in her eye when she’s cool with you but also not fucking around. So I know I’ll be having porridge. Which I admit wasn’t so bad other than the bathroom trips and hunger that kicked in after.
With the married guys, it’s different. You can’t just tell guys to go out for drinks. It’s worse when they’re women. They have to go home and do boring stuff like cook. And ask about their day. So, most times you find yourself chatting the waitress asking her if she loves her job. Or if she’s single. Hehe. Then you tell her not to get married because she will not be able to go out for drinks with her friends.
Whoever else is left is usually in top management. These guys like to seem down to earth. But you don’t want to go out for drinks and when they ask if you’re buying them one to reply with, “are you going to pay me more?” People have been fired for less.
But the thing that intrigues me the most is what they probably think about me. A guy who shows up on Monday in t-shirts and jeans then on Friday buttoned up in a suit and a tie. It’s not that I can’t ask them; it’s just more fun to imagine. Operations manager usually disapproves of my dress code. She’s that mother who’d tell her kid to dress themselves then later tell them to change. They’ll do this until they wear the clothes they had in mind the first place. In her head, it’d be interesting what she thinks of me. Probably wishing some strange disease breaks out that only destroys my jeans. She must think I have this rebellious spirit that’s common with creatives. That my creativity extends to my dress code. At night, she probably says a prayer asking God that I don’t show up to the office in a green Mohawk, a magnetic hub of piercings on my ears and a tank top. I definitely think she’d think I’d wear a tank top. But just for posterity’s sake; I would not.
Customer relations doesn’t like my religious views. So probably in her thoughts, I’m some heathen that has a beer and whisky shrine under his bed. I pray to a lesser god and tithe at the bar. At times when we have debates, I can hear the silent prayers from the way she shoots looks my way. It’s not so bad though. I love teasing her with foreign ideologies. Wait till next week and I introduce her to the church of the flying spaghetti monster. Hehe.
Graphics guy probably thinks I ball out of control. In the middle of January when all is else is dry my liquor supply is still flowing. And you know how you can’t ask a colleague how much they get paid? It’s like asking a girl if she’s a virgin. Or if she can cook. Actually never ask a girl if she can cook. When the time comes enjoy the biryani or sharpen your teeth on weaponized pilau. The message is clear. They. Don’t. Belong. In. The. Kitchen. But the guy is cool. He’s not wear-a- durag-to-the-club cool but he’s know-what-a-durag-is cool. Also, has a passion for cars. Kind of like me. Only we’re both too broke to by one so we gawk at passing ones.
Top management only has one word for me. Crazy. I probably eat fireballs chased with whisky for breakfast. Take tequila for a cough. Season my rice with weed. It doesn’t help that I’ve plotted out a map of most happening clubs around the office area and its outskirts.
But oh well, if you’re wondering what my post was all about it was nothing. I’m trying to stay consistent. Also, check out my Valentine’s videos. We’re making it great again.