Saturday, March 03, 2012

I Am Nearly Undone By An E-Book Reader Or Whatever They’re Called.

I’m in the office, arms crossed, staring straight ahead and nobody had better talk to me.

Blonde Colleague is on the phone to her mother or boyfriend or someone.

Blonde Colleague:
…What? [Glances sideways at me] No, he’s being a wanker. Eh? Well, you know that new kid, Liam? Aye. The one he really hates. So, I was on a training course with him the other day and we got chatting and that and he seemed …what? Oh, I don’t know, he hates everyone. Anyway, he seemed really ok – no, this Liam kid - and I mentioned it to Tired and now he’s not talking to me. Seriously. Eh? Dunno, his period’s due or something. It’s been nearly two days …What? Ok, talk to you later, love ya.

I continue staring straight ahead.

B.C: [sigh] It’s lunchtime. Coming for a cigarette?

Me: [Looking around with fake astonishment] Mmm? Who? Me? Tell you what, why don’t you ask your new FANCY MAN [Gesture in the direction of Liam the Tosser’s desk]OVER THERE.

B.C: Do you know what? [Grabs packet of Lambert & Butler from her desk] Fuck OFF.

She clatters out of the office. Uncannily Similar smiles to himself and shakes his head. I don’t know what he thinks is so funny.

Across the office Liam the Tosser is regaling his female colleagues with stories of his time as a member of a ‘punk band’ despite currently only being about 14 years old or something.

Liam the Tosser: Yeah, yeah, we were like a cross between the Clash and Madness…

That’s enough for me. Being of the impression that I shall be dining alone I head upstairs to the canteen to microwave the last of my previous evening’s beef bourguignon. I’d like to see Liam the Tosser make that. His mum probably still gives him a packed-lunch every morning. Whilst assuring him that there is no difference between straight-forward white-boy rock, pretend ska and actual punk.

I grab a table far away from anyone who looks even faintly ‘chatty’ and begin to eat. And to read.

On cue, in wanders Liam the Tosser, resplendent in his new ‘ironic’ 1950’s schoolboy haircut and v-neck jumper. “Yeah, yeah, I’m satirising the stereotype of the office boy.” He probably says to people, like some sort of cunt.

Liam the Tosser:
Hey, Tired. Is that the new kindle?

I’m momentarily astonished. I’m eating and expect to be left alone. We’ve never spoken a word to each other. (Meetings in which I have casual digs at him don’t count.) So there’s no need for him to be speaking to me like we’re ‘mates’. Plus, I’ve been trying to keep the whole ‘kindle’ thing quiet.

L.T.T: God, it’s really tiny isn’t it?

Now. I am NOT having that.

Me: It’s a six-inch screen actually.

L.T.T: I’ve got the…

Me: Anyway, it was a present. [Pointedly return my attention to my food.]

But he’d got me and we both know it.

I return to the office and amble over to Blonde Colleague’s desk. She ignores me. I stand with my hands in my pockets, looking at the floor. I gently kick the nearest leg of her desk.

B.C: [sigh] What?

Me: So he got me as well. That Liam twat. He was all like “Hi” and sort of “new kindle is it” and all that and I nearly got talking to him as well. He’s good.

B.C: [Runs her hand through her hair, stares out of the window for a moment as if coming to a decision about something and then looks directly at me] Yeah, well. His banter’s pretty shit actually. It’s not like we’re going to be friends or owt.

Some time passes.

Me: Coming outside for a smoke?

B.C: You’re a prick, you. Do you know that?

I presume it to be a rhetorical question. We stare at each other for a while. She grabs her cigarettes.

B.C: Come on then.

Uncannily Similar smiles to himself again.


Blogger Ellie said...

I wonder if Uncannily Similar also has a kindle. Does he smoke with BC? Or does he have his own BC with whom to smoke.

As always, I liked your telling of this episode.


8:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth waiting for x

3:09 pm  
Blogger Alison Cross said...

Yeah, he got you...... :-)

9:13 am  
Blogger Furtheron said...

You should be writing new satirical comedy... bugger unless it is full of catchphrases or Ricki Gervais the BBC won't commission it...

11:32 am  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

What really pisses me off is that it's the c*nts like Liam who end up as the managers, and then manage to make everyone's lives as f*cking awful as they can by little, ever-so-carefully-measured increments.

Keep up the good fight Tired.

5:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Kindles are some sort of weird conversation magnet, though. I have one, and the minute I start trying to read something on it, previously silent people suddenly want a fucking chat.

8:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do enjoy the bile round here.

I've got a special sigh for people who think it's acceptable to interrupt reading.

9:58 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Ellie: He quit smoking and does not read. So not that similar. And thank you.

Kate: Thanks. Only because you pestered me.

Ali: What? Oh whatever. Fuck him.

Furtheron: The BBC only commission comedy that isn't really meant to make people laugh so... oh hang on! I'd be perfect!

notkeith: Oh it's not what you think. And agreed - no-one ever had that trouble with an actual fucking book. Did they?

loob: Agreed.

8:45 pm  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

*sob* ignored *weeps copiously into hankie*

8:18 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

TSB: Accept my apologies. It was late. Sadly, there are several imbeciles on the verge of management status before 'Liam' gets his go...

8:57 pm  
Anonymous jonathan said...

Blonde Colleague ends up playing a blinder here doesn't she? I also like Uncannily Similar's understated cameo role, he's showing promise.

And work canteens- they are fraught with danger and the potential for social faux pas are they not? I've stopped going to my one as there doesn't seem to be any way of avoiding having to talk to people in there (there are piles of old magazines and dog-eared paperbacks that people have brought in, but it is seen as antisocial to actually pick one up and read it).

11:39 pm  
Anonymous zonal said...

anal eater

8:05 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Jonathan: Both B.C. and U.S. are more than used to my irrational moods. How they deal with them is another matter.

Re: the canteen. I rather like mine, aside from the unfortunate encounter with Liam who is New and doesn't know The Rules. It's normally a place where you blank people you pretend to like and either hang out with your real friends in a collective Fuck You or just read your book in a singular one. Oh. And welcome back.

zonal: Hello, welcome and thank you for your thoughts.

8:30 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Brilliant - of course. And happy you're back.

3:57 am  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Glad to see you again.
Hope you are enjoying your Kindle. I actually considered buying one for about 1/200 of a second the other day.

Please can you tell me how do you pronounce "Liam"? Is it like "Lie-am" or is it like "Lee-am", or... am I completely off base?

Also, if "Liam" is short for William - couldn't you just keep calling him "Willy" until he goes away in tears?

9:11 pm  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

You OK?
I miss the acid wit.

Jaust a minute.

When did you put the comment moderation on?
Since Zonal?

5:01 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Em: Thank you and sorry for the tardy reply. Blogger is moderating stuff left right and centre and I can't make it stop.

Sew: Oh I know. Like I say, it was a present so, you know...

Oh and it's Lee-am. I could try your suggestions but it would mean acknowledging his existence.

TSB: See above.

12:56 am  
Blogger Northern Snippet said...

Actually his banter was crap.Did all the ground work then didn't go in for the kill.
BTW you forgot to mention his shoes.A vertically challenged man should never wear shoes which give the illusion that his feet are excessively long.
On the plus side I suppose it would be difficult to knock him over.

10:17 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Northern Snippet: There has been some talk in the office, resulting in the conclusion that I could 'take him' if it came to it, despite being (distressingly) of similar height and build. Apparently this is due to my being "pure radge, like" and also a "friggin heed case" - neither opinion reflecting my good education and general air of civilisation. Funny how others see you. Now concerned about the possible 'weeble' effect of his shoes...

8:25 pm  

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