Tag Archives: office life

All Pain And No Gain

“Do you like pain? I don’t. But sometimes you don’t got any choice.” Her words had been white noise until that point but now I was listening.

“Sometimes he’s all like, PAP PAP PAP,” she raised her fists to her face and made little jabbing movements akin to a Victorian boxer.

“He loves it, but I aint fussed. Keeps him sweet though, init. Makes him feel like the big man. It’s not my thing though.”

The room fell silent. Her eyes darted around hoping someone had “got her”. Nobody had.

“Joking!” she screeched, arms dropping, and hands landing on her hips. “God you lot! Can’t even have a bloody laugh in ‘ere no more.”

A rogue sheet of paper from my in-tray, caught a gust of wind from the open window, and danced across the room like a dusty tumbleweed.

“Anyways,” she said, pausing to rub her tongue-stud on her upper lip, “I’ve got shit to do.” She bent down to pick up the paper. Her top lifted slightly as she crouched, revealing a tattoo above the waistband of her bright pink underwear. To the left of her Chinese tattoo was a collection of blues, yellows and purples.

A bruise the size of a fist.


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The funeral

“How was your funeral?” she asked. She had meant “THE funeral”; I’m fairly sure I’m not dead.

Two days ago I wore a black tie with my white shirt; it had just felt like a black tie with a white shirt kind of day. She looked at me and realised I was 15% less scruffy-looking than I generally appear. Noting the tie she had asked if I had a job interview. “LOL”.

I sat stoney-faced and replied, “I have a funeral to go to”.


My day went uninterrupted after that.

“How was your funeral?” she asked this morning.

“Dead good” I replied.


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John’s head pounded rhythmically against the desk. He lifted his neck and looked around. The four other members of his corner office sat at their stations and carried on doing whatever it was they were doing.


Finally his hands came to rest upon the keyboard and through blinking eyes he focussed on the screen in front of him. Numbers danced across spreadsheets and letters climbed on top of each other in documents all the while his right hand guided his mouse cursor around the screen. Twice it hovered over the database icon. Three times it clicked SAVE and finally it came to rest on the window hidden behind the plethora of Microsoft Office applications.

John scrolled through his personal emails looking for anything he hadn’t yet replied to.

His eyes darted to the pristine white iPhone laying flat besides his mug of tea as he continued to scroll, click, open, click, scroll, click and close emails. His left hand reached forward and unlocked his phone and with a deft tap of his finger he jabbed at the Twitter icon.

The timeline rolled past his eyes at breakneck speed, information barely registering as his eyes flitted between the phone and the screen in front of him. Just as quick as he had started scrolling, he stopped. The timeline exhausted.

John’s attention turned to the monitor. His emails had disappeared and in 5 new tabs along the top of the browser his favourite bookmarks had been opened.

He stopped for a moment. Had he loaded these? He must have. They weren’t there before. He began to scan the page, his gaze bouncing around the text in a scattered F formation and as he reached the bottom of the screen he kept going.

The iPhone was now tightly in his grasp and the inane grins of his Facebook friends stared back.

The office line rang.

It rang,

and it rang,

and it rang.

The four other members of this little corner office sat at their stations and carried on doing whatever it was they were doing.





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