Drunk With Flower

30thJun. × ’09

I found myself firmly wedged in the gap between checking my personal emails and actually starting any real work. I call this time “pre-boreding“. It was obvious that I was reluctant to start the day, because I was staring at the solidified remnants of one too many teas that had encrusted the bottom of my favourite mug. There is only one thing that can remove tea stains like that. More tea. I’m not a massive tea drinker myself, but I’d already consumed enough coffee for one morning. One more cup would move me dangerously close to being Michael J. Fox’s stunt double. I hopped up from my desk, making my way to the kitchen via a shortcut through reception.

As I walked through I noticed a bunch of flowers that on a scale of one to Elton John, was highly flamboyant. The fancy flowers sat next to Nina, our receptionist. I asked if they were for her. The poor thing explained that some of the girls from the office had bought them for her, because her brother had passed away last week. She’d been absent the week before, but I had assumed it was a holiday. I gave her my best awkward condolences and turned to continue on to the kitchen, and saw my boss exiting the elevator. He waved to me with an enthusiasm that seemed out of place for such an early time. He too noticed the flowers and rushed over to Nina and yelled “Happy Birthday!

I instantly winced and tried to warn him, but he burst into song. He sang the happy birthday song at the top of his voice in our lobby. You could see Nina’s eyes starting to fill with tears. At that point he was signalling people walking past to join in. They did. I’ve never seen something so inappropriate. It was like watching Chairman Mao light marshmallows off a burning Tibetan monk.  My boss was standing behind her, hands on shoulders, shaking her whole body left to right in time with everyone’s singing. Nina burst into tears, holding her head in her hands, her whole body shaking as she cried. My boss just said “Oh brother, what a wuss!” Which considering the loss of her sibling, is possibly the worst choice of words ever to be uttered.

One of the girls from our office leaned in and whispered the real reason for her tears. My boss went lawsuit white and tried to comfort the blubbering mess he had created. He did this by saying “If it’s any consolation, I’m heaps drunk

I stand corrected, that was the worst possible choice of words ever to be uttered. But Drunk? I looked up to see what time it was, and on the clock, the little hand was pointing to nine and the big hand was making the “glug-glug” drinking gesture.

 

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