Monthly Archives: January 2016

People are mostly idiots.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people who have somewhere to be will always have to deal with other idiots who also have somewhere to be. It’s a vicious circle and one that I’m not altogether happy about participating in.

I’m sure you know what I mean. You’re probably, say, late for work. Like me, you might always be late for work. It’s already bad enough, then you remember the gauntlet you have to run in order to get to your office, inevitably on the other side of the city. You get off the train or the bus and take a look around. There are people everywhere and your hope of getting anywhere at a decent time all but fades to a distant memory.

If you’re anything like me, the prospect of this is infuriating. Absolutely, mind-numbingly infuriating. People are mostly idiots at the best of times, but when you’re late, it really does feel like the whole world is working against you.

As a stress-reducing exercise and quasi coping mechanism, I try to imagine my path to the office as some sort of objective-based video game called ‘Office Quest’ and the people in my way characters that I need to avoid in order to gain points, increase levels and gain experience.

I find imagining my life as ‘Office Quest’ is much easier than actually a) being on time or b) dealing with all the kinds of people that fill a mall each morning. I mean, really. What are these people doing, just wandering around aimlessly? Don’t they have anywhere else to be?

You know the types I’m talking about.

The people who stop in the middle of the walkway to look in their shopping bags. Who are these people? Why is it so important to just stop everything and take a look in their shopping at that exact moment? Why not move off to the side and take a look instead of collecting at least six people walking behind you?

Then there are the people who step out of the shops without even glancing at who might be coming up that cause the most grief. People traffic is like road traffic – rules should apply. What kind of person just walks into oncoming traffic without a care in the world? Worst of all, what kind of person just walks into oncoming traffic, while sending a text message? Then looks at you like you’re the worst person in the world for running into them?

Or the people who walk straight for you, willing you to move with their scowling faces then huff and puff when you don’t move out of the way. What the hell is that? It’s like some sort of weird, silent face-off that quite frankly gets a bit ridiculous and uncomfortable all at the same time.

And finally, let’s not forget about the people who change direction and pace all at the same time. First they’re walking in front of you, in the same direction as you and everything is how it should be. Then suddenly they’re not! They’re walking on top of you, walking sideways, criss-crossing or worse, all of the above! Where do you go? There are a million other people all coming at you as well and it’s like idiocy just exploded all over the place.

It’s just so bloody annoying. I don’t know, I might just be too critical. Or maybe, just maybe, people really are just idiots.

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Return to fight club.

I’ve recently returned to work after a long period in another department. Having previously experienced some, how do you say, ‘challenges’ in my old role, I was determined to be optimistic.

The morning started out on a great note. I saw a friend in the street and we walked together, laughing and joking on the way. So far, so good I thought.

I made my way over to my old desk, waving at old chums as I went. As I sat down I was met with a chorus of ‘YOU CAN’T SIT THERE!’. Shocked, I dropped a handful of belongings on the floor.

I was then ushered over to a reception desk of sorts. There sat a lone computer monitor. No keyboard. No mouse. No phone. No network connection. Ah yes, I thought, off to an excellent start. I looked skyward and hissed to the heavens ‘WHY DO YOU HATE ME?’.

After weeping silently into my hands for 5 minutes, I knew I had to take action.

Step one – find a working phone. I dialed the number for the ironically named ‘help desk’, and so began my descent into corporate hell.

It rang a few times. As I started to settle myself in for a long wait, the phone was picked up immediately. Excellent.

I explained my situation. ‘Are you in Rockhampton?’, he enquired out of the blue. ‘No, I am in Brisbane’, I said, to which he replied ‘Are you sure you aren’t in Rockhampton?’. I looked around and mouthed to a colleague – ‘Am I in Rockhampton?’. He shook his head, just as puzzled as me.  ‘Yes I’m sure’, I flatly replied, ‘In fact I’m positive I’m not in Rockhampton’.

He went on. ‘Well, if you’re not in Rockhampton, we don’t know who you are. In fact, the computer says you don’t exist’.

I didn’t exist…at all? Like ever? Was this just at work or was it a universal problem? Had I ever existed? Was my whole life one big fantasy? Did anything exist? Was I the figment of someone’s imagination? Was this ‘Fight Club’? Was I Tyler Durden? What was going on?

I was snapped back into reality with an impatient ‘Are you still on the line??’.

I starting seeing stars behind my eyes. ‘Listen’ I said, the urgency in my voice becoming more apparent, ‘I assure you I exist and I’m going to need access today to do my job’, my patience starting to wear thin.

‘We’ve got a lot of work on today, is all’, he replied with as much disinterest as he could muster. ‘I’m saying it might not happen today’. ‘I understand’, I replied, starting to feel myself blacking out. ‘I’ve probably downplayed the seriousness of the situation. I. Need. To. Work. You need to connect me. I understand how busy you are, but you seem like a smart man. I’m sure you can see my dilemma’, I responded in a low, murderous tone.

I felt that it was only then he became aware of the urgency of my situation, like he’d woken up out of some sort of fog and smelt danger. Cautiously he replied ‘ Well I guess we can log this job as an emergency and have someone up there in half an hour?’. I could sense his relief when I hissed ‘Perfect’.

It was at about this time that it dawned on me – I hadn’t been paid. Step two – payroll.

As it turns out, they hadn’t been advised of my return either. Shocking. I really was in ‘Fight Club’. They were sympathetic. I was informed the only way to fix it was to log on to the system and fill in forms that I could only access from, you guessed it, THE SYSTEM I HAD NO ACCESS TO.

When pressed on how I would obtain these mythical forms, they were bewildered. ‘We’ve never even heard of this sort of thing before!’ they exclaimed. ‘Well that’s unfortunate’, I muttered. I felt my eye starting to twitch. ‘Before we go any further, I should disclose I’ve been on the phone to the ‘Help desk’ and I now have a red hot anger growing inside me like a tumour. Perhaps we can talk later when I calm down’. We all agreed that might be the best solution for everyone.

That night I went home and lay down for a long time. That was Monday. By Friday, someone had stolen my chair.

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