Category Archives: Travels to work

A crappy soap opera from the Wastelands


The tale I am about to tell is both grubby and murky, involving clashing egos; overweening ambitions and sordid intentions among middle management. It begins about a year ago when a company (let’s not say which one) based in the Wastelands of County Dublin hired a sprightly new manager. As anyone who works in the coalface of office administration knows,  a new manager needs to tread carefully. They have to be assertive enough to stamp their authority on a team fairly fast, lest they reveal themselves to be a pushover. On the other hand they need to be aware of the septic fog of office politics seeping from every corner. Identify the gossips and the surly lumps early, and love-bomb them,  to ward off their negativity. It is a tightrope that requires delicate navigation. Let’s call the villain of this piece Sinead Lovejoy (not her real name). Continue reading A crappy soap opera from the Wastelands

Fantasy Football league


I slunk into my tastefully appointed cubicle in the wastelands of county Dublin, ill prepared for another day in the coalface of office administration. I huddled over my computer cradling my first cup of coffee of the day. I heard a voice. Who was it only my colleague from the North. He’s a pleasant person despite his booming voice, and I get on quite well with him. We don’t that much in common – he is married with a child, and big into football. I am none of those things. He runs something called a ‘Fantasy Football League’ at work that seems popular among the middle-aged married men. I support his endeavours. It is good to have a hobby. I haven’t the faintest idea of the meaning of a Fantasy Football League. Continue reading Fantasy Football league

Lassie in the Wastelands


I boarded the bus, sat back and relaxed, looking forward to another inspiring day in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin. At the stop after mine an older woman boarded with her guide dog. This came as no surprise – the National Council for the Blind Headquarters is en route to my workplace, so people travel with their dogs on a regular basis on this route. This woman asked the driver what number bus it was. He told her and she asked him if he passed my stop. This came as a surprise – I guess I am just used to blind travellers disembarking at the NCBI building – the wastelands has never to this point been a destination. Continue reading Lassie in the Wastelands

A stodgy plate of confusion


There is a new chef in the canteen at my high powered, executive company in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin. His cooking is reasonable. While I’d be miffed if I was served up his dishes in a restaurant, for a canteen it is perfectly acceptable, no frills stodge – both a meat and vegetarian option. While on lunch today, discussing the merits and weak points of the various chefs who have worked here, a strange incident occurred. Continue reading A stodgy plate of confusion

Chronicles of the Wastelands: A passion for fashion


I scowled at her as she boarded the bus, mentally willing her to go upstairs, or at least as far away from me, as is humanly possible on a double decker bus. Of course she couldn’t hear my internal monologue. She was too busy roaring at her friend who she had on speakerphone. Ignorant as it may be to make the conversation audible to the rest of the bus, it wasn’t quite as bad as he own voice which had the timbre of a high pitched shriek. I have no doubt that my anti-social, early morning personality may have been informing my mood this morning, but this was a real endurance test. On what planet is it acceptable to force other people to listen to both sides of an inane babble about ITune purchases. Especially when your speaking voice resembles nails on a blackboard. Continue reading Chronicles of the Wastelands: A passion for fashion

Into the West – an executive from Shannon


Being a high powered executive type I have the ability to work from home when I feel like I need a break from the hustle and bustle of my cut-throat corporate career (I am a busy typist in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin). When at home one must work the same hours and attend to all the same duties as when in the office; do the same phone calls; fill in the same mind-numbing spreadsheets. So it’s not like you can doss off completely. You can however do a daytime wash-load in the machine; or use your lunchbreak to have a little trip to the opticians. Or get major dental work in Poland over the course of a week, but not consume those days entirely as holidays. Continue reading Into the West – an executive from Shannon

Winter wastelands


In eight days I will be paying a visit to my old stomping ground of Amsterdam for a friend’s very important birthday (i.e . the celebration of an age where the second digit is zero). It will only be a flying visit this time as my gluttony for leisure went unchecked this year – I have only twenty six minutes holiday leave remaining, for the rest of 2018. It’s unlikely I’ll see all the people that I would like to, but I will do my damnedest to see a few. It comes at a particularly appropriate time as I am currently wallowing in a pit of glumness, as November draws to a close. Having spoken before about how utterly soul-destroying the final fortnight in November is, I am reminded of the brutal reality as it is being endured. A trip to the Lowlands will be a tonic. The thundering incompetence of Dublin Bus comes into sharp relief each November as I wallow in rainy, dark misery on Parnell Street each morning for the 40D bus – also known as ‘The bus that never arrives’. This morning as I boarded, my nostrils were assaulted by a noxious odour of halitosis. How could anyone not be aware of the brutal reality of their oral stench? My eyes were watering by the time I finally disembarked in the eternally grey industrial wastelands of County Dublin. Continue reading Winter wastelands

Wastelands Pride


*UPDATE* June 1st 2022 – the following post is from 2018. Last year for Pride, some male managers dressed up in drag – remotely. I shudder to think what this year will bring.

The rainbow flag fluttered proudly in the breeze as I approached the office. I entered the building. Someone had been busy overnight. The lobby was festooned with rainbow flags and balloons. Gay Pride had reached the Wastelands and my office was celebrating. Continue reading Wastelands Pride

The man on the bus and the unmarried Mammies

"The Home" in Tuam, Co Galway, Ireland. Pic  Tom Honan.

I am trying. Trying valiantly not to stick my ungainly hoof into other people’s business. This morning was a challenge. I have not spoken about him before but I share a bus route to work each day with a bearded gentleman of around my own age. He has always struck me as slightly odd – in both his appearance and his demeanour. The fact that he wears a wedding ring was an indication that somebody somewhere had enjoyed his company at some point – perhaps they still do. Continue reading The man on the bus and the unmarried Mammies