Now that we are plumbing the depths of winter, with daylight a distant, hazy memory, and climate conditions that would chill you to the bone, my trek to work to the industrial wastelands has become virtually intolerable. My work place itself, is in the November of locations – a singularly dank, grey, miserable, depressing, ugly part of town.
The journey has become a relentless obstacle course.
For starters, you never know when or whether the bus is going to arrive. The road which was closed while the tram track was being built, has now reopened. It’s since become a lottery whether or not you’ll end up standing by the side of the road, like a streetwalker, waiting for half an hour. In the dark, biting cold. Continue reading Love on the No. 40
In my hi-tech, hi-spec office, on the plains of the industrial wastelands of county Dublin, we have an instant messaging system to communicate with our colleagues. We can thereby ping each other with questions and messages, without cluttering each other’s email inbox.
As I am paranoid, I tend to be quite discreet whenever using this system – on a computer everything you say is traceable. I don’t want to get caught issuing pronouncements like ‘The STATE of ****** today, looks like a bowl of reheated vomit.’ Actually I wouldn’t speak that out loud either. My external filter works on occasion, and I know that a thought like this is for internal mental use only.
I don’t engage in workplace gossip if and when it can get traced back to me. In other words very rarely indeed.
As a result people seem to trust me. And confide in me. Which is always a boon. Anything that assists with the drear of the working day is welcome. I’ll take refuge where I can find it.
This morning I received an instant message.
‘I have a question for you,’ it read.
‘Fire ahead,’ I replied.
‘I don’t really want to ask on here.’ Continue reading Office politics: The survival of the fittest
When I get my driving license (whenever that may be – I have the test in a month, but I am well aware of how tricky it can be to pass, so I need to stay realistic) I do not ever want to get into breakfast discussions with colleagues, about the traffic on the way to work in the morning. I’ve just had the most mind-numbingly dull bowl of porridge, and boiled egg of my life – and these are not thrilling foodstuffs at the best of times.
This morning my breakfast companions were all male. I don’t want to engage in stereotypes about the sexes, and I am a firm believer in equal opportunity for everyone. However I have observed that there is a distinct difference in the topics of conversation over morning gruel, depending on whether you sitting with men or women. Continue reading Men v women – why I will go straight to hell
Tuesday was a day of dread.
Monday saw the return of my glorious leader to work, after her summer holidays. This was bad enough. She’d no doubt be revivified. Full of vim and vigour, with a plethora of new tasks for me to perform. New hoops to jump through to prove my worth – not just as an employee, but as a human being. Although – of course – I am not a human being. I am a human doing. Or something.
What was far worse was the one-to-one meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday. This is a monthly meeting that is not for discussing the details of my job. This one is far more sinister. This one is to discuss my career plans, my performance to date, my areas for improvement, my opportunities. Continue reading A sense of impending doom