Friday, 23 May 2008

Secret Meeting

The "sexist" situation at work has created a war.

There are two sides .

Side 1:
New Guy
Scruffy Artist
Part Time Guy (Creative Team. He's the gofer.)
Weirdo (Admin. He's the guy that told me and Bimbo about the Elite Orgy groups.)
4eyes (Accounts. Seriously easy to manipulate.)

Side 2:
Preppy (Accounts. Feminist.)
Irish (Admin. Chatty woman. Can't live without her mobile phone.)
IT Guy (IT Tech. Dry humour.)

For the first time in years Bimbo and Preppy are on the same side. Preppy always used to patronise Bimbo. She didn't really approve of Bimbo's sweet, slightly dim, personality. She now has a new found respect for her.

Side2 have claimed various locations to hold bitching session. Mainly the disabled toilets by Accounts. There's enough space in there for a mini party.

Yesterday afternoon Preppy text us and called a meeting. I was the first to arrive. I sprinted down the corridor. I may have been excited at the thought of an undercover meeting. It was like an MI5 secret calling! Or, it may have been the espresso...

I burst through the door. Preppy was perched on the toilet seat as if it were a throne. Head held high. Notebook resting on her lap. I pushed up onto the ledge by the sink. Damn! Should have checked it was dry.

Bimbo, Irish and Stoner arrived together. Bimbo hobbled in gripping onto Stoner's arm. Honestly, I've told her time and time again not to wear heels in her condition. I'm no expert on pregnancy but I'm sure its difficult to balance even without the heels. Preppy had to stand up and offer Bimbo the toilet seat. She was upset about losing her throne. I could tell.

IT Guy arrived last. He looked around with amusement. Preppy began madly gesturing at him.

"Lock the door!" she mouthed.

IT Guy sighed and flicked the lock. He leaned against the door and folded his arms.

"What's this all about?"

Preppy looked like she was going to burst.


I snorted. Stoner caught my eye and bit back a smile.

"You may think that I'm being over cautious," she whispered "but we have to keep quiet!"

She flicked open her notebook and pulled out some photocopied pages. She passed them around in an official manor. It looked like a page from a legal book. As I glanced at the sheet I noticed that a few lines had been underlined with a red Biro.

"I've done some research and I think that we can approach the situation in a legal manor."

Whispering was taking its toll on Preppy's voice. It began to sound raspy. IT Guy smiled.

"Can you say that again?"

Preppy repeated herself in a loud whisper. She began coughing halfway through the sentence.

"Seriously, I didn't get that."

Irish poked IT Guy. Preppy looked so angry.

"Why don't we just email?" Bimbo asked

Preppy looked at her scornfully.

"Because this is a very important situation. We can't run the risk."

"But we don't have to use work accounts we can use personal ones right?"

I swear I saw I vein throbbing by Preppy's temple. She really needs to calm down. She'll end up bursting a blood vessel if she's not careful.

"It's not a bad idea." I voiced up.

We were all standing around in the toilets whispering! We must look so ridiculous. It's pretty hard to have a secret meeting when half the staff were missing. Someone was bound to notice and no amount of whispering would help us.

"You can scan the documents through and we could do our own research an come up with a plan."

Preppy turned on me.

"In case you've forgotten, everything that you look up on the Internet can be monitored."

IT Guy coughed.

"Excuse me, but in case you've forgotten, I do the IT around here. If anyone wants to trace things back they have to call me to do it."

"Do not talk to me like I'm stupid!"

I guess whispering went out the window. Preppy and IT Guy were heading for a full on argument.

Bimbo suddenly stood up.

"Look. This is stupid! We'll all use our personal email accounts and copy everyone in on everything, okay. (Preppy), your research in a step in the right direction. We'll all look at it and decide what to do. In case I'm mistaken, lawyers cost. If we can use research and sort it out without getting legal the better it will be for all of us. I'm hungry! I don't want to sit around in the toilets. I want some Hula Hoops." Bimbo began crying with frustration. "I had to walk up all those stairs. My peppermint tea is cold. My feet are hurting and I just want to sit down and relax. Is that too much to ask for? Is it?"

I slid off the ledge. My butt was wet. I put my arm around Bimbo and walked her out of the toilets. We accidentally left our photocopied sheets in the toilets.

Preppy hasn't emailed yet. I think she's a little sore.

I must admit this is fun!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Cutie Pie

I'm finding it difficult to control my anger.

New Guy is slightly sexist. Its rubbing off on some of the other guys.

Good Girl....????

Fuck you!

People are beginning to call me Honey. I don't mind one of my close friends calling me Hun. I do mind a work colleague calling me Honey in a patronising voice.

"Honey, do you mind checking the Client Activity for the past two years? There's a Good Girl."

New Guy is just like CEO. He thinks I'm stupid. He's sending me random documents.

"Do you mind amending the spacing on this Sweetheart. Thanks a million."

Yes I do mind! I'm not a secretary.

Whenever anyone asks me to do something I just don't bother doing it. Why should I? It's not my job.

This morning I had an episode with Scruffy Artist in the main foyer. I bumped into him on my way to the chocolate machine. He smiled at me and said.

"Hey babe. You got any idea where I should put the designs? Do me a fav a create a new folder on the server. Thanks a million."

I lost it.

"Do not call me babe. I am not your fucking secretary so you create your own fucking folder. Frankly, I am fucked off with the way you've all started to fucking talk. You're a bunch of fucking sheep. Following like sheep, and getting fucked like sheep."

I was in the middle of talking about sheep when I realised that a crowd had developed. Stoner was desperately trying not to burst out laughing. I could hear him trying to control his snorts. Scruffy Artist looked embarrassed.

"Right... well... good."

I turned and slowly walked up the stairs. My head held high. Trying my best not to look like some crazed psychopath. When I got to the first floor I began running. I shut myself in my office and tried to control my breathing.

God I'm so unfit. How can sprinting up another flight of stairs and running down a corridor leave me so out of breath? I can't believe I actually thought about running the marathon.

Stoner knocked on my door a few minutes later.

"Are you okay?"

He was trying hard to keep a straight face. I stared at him. He couldn't hold it. He started laughing. He didn't stop.

"That was so funny! I've never seen so many people look so shocked. Sheep? What the hell were you thinking?"

I made us a cup of tea. We sat against the office door sipping and talking. I told him that I felt like I was being patronised. That I hated the way everyone seemed to be doing it. The attitude was catching on fast. He nodded sympathetically.

"Not just you. (Bimbo) feels the same way. (Preppy) from accounts is a little pissed off too. Yesterday (New Guy) called her Cutie Pie and winked."

I laughed. Preppy is not cute. She's a strong feminist and scorns at women that do not choose to follow a career path. She thinks its an insult to what women have worked hard to achieve.

"Maybe you guys should form a feminist group. Go on a march around the building. Burn your bra."

I smacked Stoner lightly on his leg.

"What?" He looked at me innocently. "I'd love to see you all take of your bras. Show us all a little bit of..."

He stopped.

"Yeah, you're right. It's catching on."

Thursday, 8 May 2008

The way we...

Last Friday I got a call from Tequila Guy.

I got to work at around 10:30am. The traffic was bad, the weather was hot and I was miserable. New Guy gave me a huge smile when I walked into the office. He looked pointedly at the clock. I plonked myself down and removed my sunglasses. Ouch! the light hurt my eyes.

New Guy looked concerned. He asked me if I was okay. I told him that I'm prone to headaches and I just need a few hours without annoying human contact.

At around 11 I got a text on my phone.

I know I said I wouldn't call when I get to London so I thought I'd text. Are you free tonight?

Tequila Guy! I knew he couldn't come all the way to England and not contact me. I felt a wave of excitement. I quickly text back.

Where are you?

By the Natural History Museum...

Stay there. I'll be there in an hour.

I left work. I briefly told New Guy that I needed to sort something out. He assumed it was important and he wished me luck with whatever it was.

I met Tequila Guy outside the V&A. We hugged tightly. It had been so long since we'd seen each other. We laughed as we looked at each other. Observing changes. Seeing familiar expressions. God, I missed him.

We chatted easily together. Just like we always have. We walked around for hours. Catching up on each other lives. Playfully cracking jokes. Neither of us could stop smiling.

We finally stopped at a bar. We ordered drinks and sat quietly at a table outside. For some reason there was an awkward silence. As I struggled to think of something to say I reached into my bag for my emergency cigarette. I pulled out a slightly wonky Silk Cut and thumbled around for a lighter. Tequila Guy leaned over and pulled the cigarette from my lips.

"They're bad for you."

He squashed it into an ashtray. We both stared at the ashtray for a while, not knowing what to say.



He looked away.


I focused my attention on my straw. I stirred it around and poked the pieces of lime in my glass. I wanted to run away. I never in my wildest dreams thought that Tequila Guy and I would struggle to speak.

"Are you happy?"

I looked up into his gorgeous face. The light from the sun caught the yellowish green flecks in his golden eyes.

"Yes. I'm very happy. Are you?"


We smiled. Almost a sad smile. I went back to playing with my straw.

"You love him a lot don't you?"

I nodded. I do love Solicitor. I love the way he holds me close in his sleep. The way he wraps his arms around my waist when I'm trying to cook, deliberately distracting me. I even love the way we argue. So passionately. Each of us so certain that we are right.

Tequila Guy finished his Carlsberg. I gulped the rest of my Pimms and we began walking. I linked my arm with his and we walked in silence for a while.

"Do you love her?"

"Yes I do."

"Tell me what you love."

We talked for hours. Just walking. Tequila Guy told me what he loves about Tina. The way she bites her bottom lip when she's nervous. The way she holds his hand when he's driving. I told him what I love about Solicitor.

I called Solicitor a few hours later and told him that I was bringing an old friend to dinner. We decided to invite a few more people and have a barbecue.

I got so excited. I've never had a barbecue with Solicitor before. I dragged Tequila Guy around Tesco picking up meat, salad and the all important alcohol. I couldn't stop talking as I hurried up and down the isles in no particular order. Tequila Guy laughed at me.

"You're cute."

"Be careful... I have chicken and I'm not afraid to use it."

I waved the bag of chicken quarters at him before dumping it into the trolley.

"I love you."

I smiled back at him.

"I love you too."

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A Breath Of Fresh Air

It's a breath of fresh air.

The new guy is... well he's... nice. That's the only way I can describe him. He's nice. He smiles. He makes jokes. He's upbeat and enthusiastic.

For the past week he's been sharing my office. He's slowly getting to grips with how things are run. He's dying to go out and find new business. He's eager to meet existing clients. And slowly but surely he's enthusiasm is killing me.

I would love to come into work and have and old fashioned bitch fight. A moody hello followed by a nasty comment. Without Gay Boss people are pleasant and boring.

Last Friday New Guy and I had a discussion. I told him the bad parts. CEO's random fits of illogical behaviour. I told him to be prepared for stalker-like behaviour if he does anything wrong. He was slightly shocked. He sat in silence for a while tapping away at his computer.

"Don't worry," I gave him a reassuring smile "You'll be fine."


"He's screwed."

Stoner and I had lunch together that day. It was warm enough to sit in park. We lay on the grass sharing a cigarette as we spoke about New Guy.

"In any other company it would be a fantastic attitude. He motivates people."

"Yep. But if you're like that here you'll fall harder."

"you think he'll fall?"

Stoner shrugged.

"They all do."

Gay Boss once told me about the person that he replaced. And the person before him. Stoner's right. They all fell. Gay Boss lasted the longest. CEO actually liked him for a long time. I wonder what changed.


On Saturday I began working hard on my business plan. I walked around the house conjuring up ideas. I threw tree loads of paper into the bin as I ruled out the ideas. I spent hours tracking down old contact information.

Towards the end of the day I was exhausted and frustrated.

Solicitor's brother came over for dinner that night with he's current girlfriend. (He's had about six different ones in the last four months.) As we sat down to eat I suddenly lunged for a pen and my notepad. I tripped over the rug in my desperation.

"What the fuck?"

Solicitor's brother looked at me alarmed. Solicitor shook his head and continued to pour drinks. He's used to my sudden outbursts of energy. I once sprung up out of bed in the middle of the night reaching for my notebook. He thought the house was on fire.

As I wrote down information that I suddenly recalled Solicitor explained my business idea to his brother. Throughout dinner Solicitor's brother showed a keen interest in my plan. He asked questions about the development strategy and he supplied new ideas.

"Elise, it's going to work. Nobody's doing what you're doing. It'll take time but when it takes off it will be amazing."

Amazing?! I love him!

Later that night as I was getting ready for bed I asked Solicitor for the millionth time if he thought it would work.

"Yes babe. It'll work."

"You think it'll be amazing?"

He dropped a kiss on my lips. A very sweet way of shutting me up.

"Do you?"

"Yes babe."



"You're not just saying that?"

"Have you taken you're knickers off or do I have to it for you?"