Face Off

1st
Dec. × ’09

No matter who you are or what position you hold within an office there is one golden rule “Hold it together in front of the client”. You might have just found out that your mother died during intercourse with your girlfriend and a Dyson, but as far as the area above your neck is concerned, it’s client-face until that final handshake in the lobby. Elevators are made for crying, boardrooms are made for firing. Steve, the man who tact forgot, is usually the grandmaster of client-face. Today I saw that mask slip a little, well if I’m honest, a lot actually. Quite a lot.

In the middle of a very important strategy meeting for next year’s Sales pipeline, which basically means how much money the Sales team will be bringing in. My boss likes to refer to the pipeline as ‘The Ho-Basket’. The name came about from some after work drinks where I pointed out that rappers must have some form of Budget for the Ho’s in their video clips. That there is literally an accountant who sits there and dictates how many rump flapping girls they can afford to drape over the rap artiste at any given time. My boss enjoyed the concept so much that The Ho-Basket moved into our office lexicon.

The Sales Manager Polly was pointing out the value we could add to the client’s advertising campaigns for 2010 and I was doing my best to keep my client-face shining. Steve’s pocket rang out loudly. I didn’t recognise the tune, it was your standard teenage pop-starlet type of song. The kind where you know the singer was carefully strategising when to leak her next accidental sex-tape, complete with Pepsi product placement next to a set of vibrators and furry handcuffs.

Steve played it cool, excused himself and stood just outside the door of the meeting room. I could clearly hear him yelling out “Yes!” from the gap in the door. When Steve walked back in, he was all smiles and looked like the proverbial cream filled cat. We all turned to him as he sat down and with great excitement he blurts out

She got her period. Fuckin’ A

My boss’ face went redder than the time he ate a double quarter pounder in one go.
I’m guessing there will be fewer Ho’s in next year’s basket.

 

Yo, where my tweeps at?! – http:/twitter.com/DUFL

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A Bit of a Downer

22nd
Nov. × ’09

Since my boss returned to work he’s noticed a distinct lack of morale in our team. It has a little bit to do with the huge workload we have and everything to do with the fact my boss keeps interrupting me, hauling my infuriated carcass into his office and forcing me read the dating profiles of all the women he’s interested in, just in case they’re actually men. The process involves checking how muscular their shoulders are and seeing if their hobbies include indoor soccer. I talked him out of asking for photographs of their hands and necks as that might come off as somewhat creepy. I fear there may have been an incident on his trip to Thailand.

Sensing the blanket of malcontent our department is rugged up in, my boss took the initiative of preparing a motivational slide show for us to sit through. The majority of slides were of people standing on mountains or footprints left on a sandy beach. It was the final slide that really stood out.  The photo showed a young man in a superman costume who was clearly mentally handicapped. The message above him read “It’s time to turn this Down syndrome, into an Up Syndrome” At that point my boss gave us all an exuberant thumbs up to really hit the point home, much like the final glossy red swing of a seal club.

When Mike pointed out that this might be considered offensive, my boss countered with the argument

You can’t really make fun of retards because they’re oblivious to it. If a mongospaz doesn’t get the joke, then were you ever really making fun of them?”

I’m no expert, but I’m fairly sure he got that from ancient Zen Buddhist scripture.

Oh shit, it just occurred to me. Perhaps he wants the ones with Adams Apples.

Yo, where my tweeps at? – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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Stand and De-Liver

17th
Nov. × ’09

When I go back to work after a holiday I feel as though I have a form of jetlag. A Funlag if you will. My body is seated in front of the keyboard yet my mind is waiting for my monitor to take my cocktail order. It can get so bad that when I look at my cup of morning coffee, my brain fills in the gap by adding a little umbrella.

My boss on the other hand doesn’t suffer from Funlag. He has returned to the office with a renewed sense of purpose and loads of ideas on how we can ‘actualise’ more as a team. I’m not sure what that means, when he said it the work experience kid nodded like a hostage so I guess it must be good.

I’ve often wondered what my boss actually does, from what I can see his role is comprised of making PowerPoint slides of overlapping circles featuring pictures of smiling men in ties shaking hands with women doing the thumbs up gesture, usually there is one black guy off to one side standing way behind them quietly approving of the thumbs.

This morning my suspicions of were confirmed when my boss had me sit through a meeting where he projected a graph depicting how effective graphs are.

I went to the pub straight after the presentation.
My liver has become the dipstick for my mental health.

 

Yo, where my tweeps at?! – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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A Little Off Filter

5th
Nov. × ’09

Hey there fellow hive-workers,

I have been a bit busy of late on some other writing gigs and that equates to fewer DUFL’s for you to read. Apologies for that, to hopefully make up for the lack of schadenfreude in your lives I’m going to share a video that some friends and I recently made. We all felt that filtering our Internet simply wasn’t going far enough – so here is a further solution.

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Rise & Shudder

20th
Oct. × ’09

Motivation, some people don’t seem to need it at all, others drink it from Styrofoam cups. You have to admit though; there is a breed of person who is unfalteringly chirpy in the face of adversity. Where some would simply give up or indeed just not care, these chosen few switch their frowns into reverse and don their best theatrical winks every day of the week. They exhibit the blind optimism of people who nail up missing bird posters.

I wouldn’t say that I’m highly motivated, unless it’s something I’m passionate about. As you may have surmised, I’m not all that enraptured by my office. I think writing about it is the only thing preventing me from doing a celibate Michael Hutchence in the storage room. Although this week has been somewhat of a blessing, for you see, my boss is on holiday. The days have flown by so smoothly I barely realised he was gone, although the youngest girl in our team has taken it upon herself to become our departmental cheerleader in his absence. Envision the relief of finding out you don’t have HIV being replaced by the gut-punch of Herpes. 

Due to a downpour last night, I had planned to spend my morning cycle wrapped up in my warm bed. I liked this plan, it was a good plan and everything was going according to it. Until, despite turning off my alarm, I was still rudely awakened by the piercing electronic beep of my phone. It was a message from Princess Perky. The contents of which was so mind bogglingly offensive to read at 7am that it had me reaching for my leather belt and gauging whether my ceiling fan could take my weight.

I’ve had to fight the urge to grammatically correct the following, but I feel that any changes would be like giving the Mona Lisa a breast augmentation.

Whats fuzzy, filled wit letters & makes u feel good.
This!
GOOD MORNIN. Spread the smile and give at least 2 people a hug on ur way in.
I love you guys

7am… Christ, it’s like waking up to find a Care Bear smoking a cigarette in bed with you and saying ‘boy, you were really drunk last night, but not too drunk

 

Yo, where my tweeps at? – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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Gloat Like A Butterfly

19th
Oct. × ’09

I never understood why so many people exercise in their lunch hour or before work. Of late though, I’ve been getting up early and riding my bicycle and I really enjoy it. Through the simple act of heading outside and upping my heart rate, my whole day improves. When I would normally moan and roll my eyes, I serenely sit in my adjustable chair as my annoyance melts away. There are of course some people who shouldn’t indulge in exercise, the sudden rush of endorphins doesn’t encourage a peaceful euphoria. Instead the chemical surge enhances their aggression, they basically become angry drunks.

Steve started a pre-work boxing course about a month ago, and the results are increasingly apparent. Instead of him glossing over when asked a question, his eyes flicker with a meth intensity and he constantly spars with whoever is talking with him. It’s really hard to conduct a conversation when the other person is ducking and weaving, throwing mock boxing fists inches from your face and yelling

Eat the Steve, taste the pain bitch!”

This morning Steve was punching the absolute crap out of some thin air and complaining about his son. He’s about 20 years old and works here in our office, but I suspect his real job is creating inter-parental wars for profit. Steve was whinging about how disrespectful his son was when Polly remarked that he could keep him in line now that he’s learning how to box. I don’t think he recognised it was a light-hearted comment, because Steve simply told us he’d already punched his son in the head before. The office went silent and a garden of heads started popping up over the cubicle walls, straining towards the eavesdropping sun. Sensing an immediate uneasiness, he tried to rectify the situation with

Aw, not lately or anything – it was back when he was a kid

I’m really not sure how that is supposed to make it better.
It’s like trying to put out a fire by smothering it in petrol.

 

Yo, where my tweeps at? – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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An Offspring In Your Step

18th
Oct. × ’09

Women are incredible. They are the true creators in this world, connected to the Earth through their ability to create life. Mere men can only imagine what it’s like to grow a person inside of us, to house a human life for nine life changing months. Women must come away with such an understanding of the sanctity of human existence. There is no greater bond or intimacy than sharing your life-blood with another creature, except perhaps, the moment that connection is severed. After the birth, once they first hold that fragile life in their hands, a mother will never let it go doing anything they can to protect their progeny.

That is until they put their child into a stroller, and then they’ll ram that kid through hordes of ankles like a Russian Ice Breaker.

I should know, on the train platform I had a toddler ploughed into my shin and it’s left me with Roseanne Barr’s ankle. I’m calling it a Bankle.

After explaining how much my leg hurt from having a child bashed into me, the female pharmacist told me to try having one bash out of you.

Irony hurts way more than Bankles.

 

Yo, where my tweeps at? – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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Time Keeps on Sipping

14th
Oct. × ’09

If you find yourself running from a Tyrannosaurs Rex or sleeping with a young hottie that turns out to be your great great grandchild, then I really do apologise. It’s all my fault you see, for yesterday I foolishly broke the space time continuum in my lunch hour. I had gone out for dinner the night before and had no leftovers to bring in for my lunch, so I went over the road to the upmarket market to scout for upmarked prices on food. The whole place was filled with organic produce of every kind, organic sausages, organic vegetables, even organic cling wrap. So expansive was the  choice, they had some apples labelled ‘neutered apples’. When I asked the small freckled girl in the fruit section what a neutered apple actually was, she scoffed at me like I’d just asked her how many feet I have. After spending several minutes bathing in the glow of condescending food stuffs, I quickly grabbed some pumpkin soup that came in an actual pumpkin and headed for the check out. Before I got there I picked up some bread to have with my soup and noticed they also sold imported beer. I picked up a Belgian Pilsner and went straight back to my desk.

After realising it’s almost impossible to microwave a pumpkin filled with soup, I had transferred the contents to a bowl and it sat steaming in front of both my monitor and me. The hiss of the pilsner bottle opening was akin to shooting a maritime flare into the ceiling or simply screaming AIDS at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason. The people in my office completely lost their shit over the fact I was drinking a beer at my desk. I literally drew a crowd. It was like the scene in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ where the ape creature first uses a weapon to the dismay of it’s hirsute brethren. Such a simple concept, yet it had never occurred to my colleagues before. I’m fairly certain it was around this moment that my actions caused the universe to implode, such was the reaction from the other staff. Steve appeared panicked and asked me why I was drinking a beer at my desk. My answer of “I’m an adult” seemed to cave his mind in. All around I could hear whispers of “pssst… psst… beer… pssst… desk… psst” If I’d known it would cause such a fuss I’d have charged two bits a gander.

Naturally I was called into the office of my boss who expressed much concern over my deskside drink. What I found strange was that he didn’t care about me having a beer at my desk, he just wanted me to be more discreet about it. To further illustrate his meaning, he picked up a snowglobe from his desk, pulled a small plastic plug from the bottom and took a large sip. His only comment was “You get used to the vodka, but the snow tastes like shit

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Cock-A-Doodle-Don’t

13th
Oct. × ’09

In all of the meetings I have to attend there is one common motif. At some point, one person around the table will begin doodling. It might start out as a series of abstract scrawls, but soon enough the blue biro smudge scrawls find form, becoming recognisable patterns and eventually a stick figure can be seen. That figure then meets another stick person and they multiply into tribes, then those groups wage wars on the blue lined sheets.

It’s the evolution of doodle. The more banal the meeting, the more shading and realistic the drawings are. The best is watching those people who only doodle after someone speaks, you can tell by their hand movements that they’re not writing, they nod their head and go through all the motions of calculated contemplation, but if you look across you’ll still see an inky flower or a stick figure mutilating one of it’s own with a hastily drawn axe.

Unless of course you’re Steve, who is obsessed with drawing three headed stick figures. There are tri-noggin folks on boats, driving cars, and many are wrestling. I’ve noticed him do it a lot, but it was only yesterday I realised that the two extra heads are actually enormous breasts. If a picture says a thousand words, this just says one word a thousand times – pervert.

I feel sorry for Todd, one of the web developers at our work. During this morning’s meeting he flipped open some pages he had stapled together to reveal a doodle of… well, a doodle. There have long been rumours of Todd’s sexual preference. His mouth says straight, but the product in his hair disagrees. So you can imagine that a small doodle of a small doodle will only fuel the rumours.

At this point, I should point out that it wasn’t just an outline, but a fully realised illustration, there was shading and even a drop shadow. Todd did his best impersonation of a tomato and explained that it was a sketch of a bullet. We all remained tight lipped with embarrassment for him, except for Steph. In a matter of fact tone she simply said that bullets didn’t have veins. The lady has a point.

 

Yo, where my tweeps at?! – http://twitter.com/DUFL

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The Emperor’s New Ho’s

12th
Oct. × ’09

My boss is extremely excited about his impending vacation to Thailand and other than one-too-many jokes about ping pong balls I think he’ll have a fairly relaxing time. In fact, not having him around the office is, for me, a holiday in itself. While I’ll be tanning myself under an air conditioned sun, he’ll no doubt be checking every girl he talks to for the tell tale signs of a Thai Lady Boy. He’ll be bobbing for Adam’s Apples so to speak. I shouldn’t be so judgemental, but he did spend a little too long explaining the leaps in tranny technology to us at after work drinks last Friday. I’m now to understand that Bangkok is to transsexuals what Japan is to chrome pocket-sized gadgets.

Craig, one of our senior managers, firmly believes that homosexuality is caused by either men not playing enough sport or women playing too much. Craig is also the kind of guy who only listens to your anecdotes so that he can dismiss them with what he thinks are his own infinitely cooler tales. Perhaps he was inspired by my boss discussing his itinerary or maybe it was the eight beers he downed in quick succession, but he told us about his last vacation that he took with some of his ‘High-End Friends’ or HEFS. Yes, he’s made an acronym based on Hugh Hefner.

All of his over achieving buddies run their own companies and every now and again they blow off some steam without their trophy wives impeding them. On their last trip away they hired a house boat for the long weekend and sat around drinking and snorting my entire week’s wages on an hourly basis. They also hired a number of hookers to accompany them, which led them to officially creating ‘The Singlet Rule’. A sacred commandment that one can only assume Moses simply forgot to add on to his ten.

The Singlet Rule came about because, due to the size of the house boat, they realised that at some point they were going to see each other naked and that was considered far too gay to be permissible. I mean what if one of them hadn’t kicked a football around enough when growing up? If Craig’s theory was correct, they’d flock to the cock like a moth to a bug light. To circumvent the apparent homo-erotic situation, one of the HEFS had the brilliant idea of wearing singlets. Essentially if they were wearing singlets, they weren’t technically nude. Thus standing bourbon-in-hand next to a guy being felated by a prostitute was somehow completely heterosexual and not in any way awkward. It’s as logical as staying dry in a thunderstorm by hitting at the rain with a stick.

I remember when male bonding was all about poker, not poking.

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