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If I look back at my last post I see that it’s dated March 2014. March bloody 2014. Where has the time gone? To explain, I decided to take a break from humour blogging because quite frankly, I just wasn’t feeling funny anymore. No surprise, but academia will do that to you. It’s a laughter-thief of note. However, as I’m feeling heartened by the fact that I’m officially on the academic homestretch, I’ve resurfaced from my blogging sabbatical and will attempt to relocate my funny.
I thought a good way to kick off would be to do a series of short posts that I will be calling “The Embarrassing Moment Series”. I figure it will make readers laugh as it is the literary equivalent of watching YouTube fail videos. So without delay, I’ll begin.
After leaving school I was unsure of “What-I-Wanted-To-Be”, so, I opted to study something “useful” that would be sure to land me a job and see me on my way to financial independence. I went to secretarial college. Here, as I tried to squeeze myself into a pencil skirt (because, as you know, pencil skirts are the most comfortable things on earth) I got to hone my skills as a speed typist and well, to tell the truth, I don’t remember much else of what I learned there.
Shortly after finishing my course, I found myself looking for work. This was not easy to do in a pencil skirt because as you might rightly suspect, pencil skirts are not designed for taking big strides in (mmm, I feel this is rather telling). Anyhow, I was still in touch with a close friend from school (I’ll call her Dory because she was an excellent swimmer and I often had to “eat-her-bubbles”) who told me that there was an admin job going at the conveyancing agency where she worked. I had abso-fucking-lutely no idea what a conveyancer did, but I went for the interview and got the job. Although the money was fine for a green-branch with no experience, landing the job was a bit of a hollow triumph as I soon discovered that my life would turn out to be nothing like Melanie Griffith’s in “Working Girl”.
My colleagues were a smorgasbord of savory and unsavory characters. By far the worst was the head-secretary-honcho who I’ll call MMM which stands for “Marshall- Mather’s-Mother”. She was a lazy, 50-something trailer-trash type, with peroxided hair and bright turquoise eye-shadow who pretty spent most of her day thinking up inventive ways of being a bitch to everyone. On my third day there I noticed she had an ashtray, which read “Famous Grouse”. No shit, I thought to myself. (I even asked her if someone had given it to her, you know, as a joke but not a joke). Remember, this was the early 90’s and smoking was still permitted every-fucking-where so the entire office spent our days breathing in MMM’s chain smoke.
Other noteworthy heinous characters included “The Body”, who indeed had the body but little else (she was MMM’s side-kick and they’d have bitchathons of biblical proportions) and “No-Smile”, a sour puss of a girl who was personal secretary to one of the conveyancers. It obviously wasn’t a very fun job because she always looked as if she had bile in her mouth.
As for me, my job entailed the riveting task of “opening-files”. This was the early days of data capture (yes, the days of a black screen with orange typeface) and in order for the data capturer to do her job, us all-important file-openers had to match up documents relating to the same transaction. This involved the tricky task of reading the names on the documents inside the file and writing the same names on the front cover of the file. As you can imagine, my days went by in a blur-of-boredom so there was no lack of excitement when I discovered one day, that the names on the front of a file did not match the names on inside the file. This, I realised, could be a shit-fest of note because if we had to locate the documents of, say, Mr Biggs and Mr Chester but they were filed under Mr Seymore and Mr Winston, it would take an eternity of dusty years to wade through EVERY file in the back office to find the correct documents.
Bearing in mind that I still had no idea and even less interest of what conveyancing was, I thought I’d better to and check with No-Smile that I was right about being wrong. She wasn’t at her desk (probably out sharpening her claws and tongue with MMM and The-Body), so I went directly to the conveyancer himself.
As I queried the error on the file, he nodded sagely and agreed on the shit-festness of who-ever opened the file wrong. I felt he had a congratulatory air about him which I was sure was aimed in my direction (because after all, I was the cunning secretary who’d discovered the error) so, when he held out his hand to me I did what any normal person would’ve done. I low-fived him. I may even have said "yeah".
He gave me a confused look and then said, umm, I was actually just holding my hand out for your pen.
What can I say. I only lasted five months at that place and I still shudder when I see someone wearing turquoise eye-shadow.