Monday, March 1, 2010

The Lay of the Land

My calendar gets a bit stupid at times - friends would say most of the time, but rarely do I mix things up. Well, it happened tonight. Here I was thinking I had a mason's rehearsal when I wanted to go to the gym. At 7.30, ready for a night of boredom and watching little old ladies argue, I walked into another group's rehearsal, where a different group of little old ladies were arguing... oops. So I've spent the evening at home, penning Greek website pages, cleaning for the coming flat inspection and pondering my ironing pile. And here I was planning to do all this tomorrow.

Having an unexpected night free is bliss. I would have gone to the gym, but dinner was weighing heavily in my stomach and there were things to do around here. Floors for mopping, spare room to tidy, writing to complete... all fairly mundane stuff.

I'm not fond of inspection day. One of the great bummers of renting is that the agent comes through every couple of months to check things over. Not that the agent ever makes comment. Though, I'm not tidy, I'm clean. I'm not keeping twenty cats, running a meth lab, hosting a brothel or letting rubbish pile up. The place gets cleaned regularly, the neighbours, all of whom have been here as long as I have, never complain and the rent gets paid on time. And for the stupid amount I pay out each month, have undercover parking, locked gates to get into the place and being in Richmond, I walk to work. All is cool.

But nothing takes away the feeling that I'm being judged. Inspection Day is like when my mother comes over for one of her four yearly visits. I feel like I'm cleaning for weeks but nothing will ever be good enough. I'll get over it one day.

I suppose it gives a bit of excitement to life - work isn't providing that at the moment. Tin Can, String and Whistle Ltd isn't a fun place to be at the moment. The project I'm on is winding down, there are heaps of stressed people about, the work isn't as interesting and half the time I feel like thumping somebody or something. It's unsettling.

Looking around the office, you can see the stress people are under. Jurgen, the walking toilet brush sits on his phone and sighs in his wonderfully impenetrable German accent "This is nonsense..."(Classic Colonel Klink). Work Husband looks like he's going to cry. And then there's Eddie.

Eddie and I share a pod, along with absent Noisy Raymond and the soon to be leaving Dee. Noisy Raymond is lovely, just very loud. Most of his phone conversations can be heard at the other end of the office. Dee is leaving for another job in a few weeks. I'd miss her if she didn't work from home so much - she's cool.

That just leaves Eddie.

In a former life I must have been pond scum. There is no other reason why I would get stuck in a pod with Eddie. He's nearly as bad as the worst podmate in the world - that honour going to the inimitable Karen Tissington, dog breeder, constant sniffer, tea bag re-user, soup slurper and class A bigot from Tunbridge Wells. She liked Australians (bastards take all our jobs) as much as I liked John Howard. That was a really fun six months. I took up smoking when I was sitting next to her just to get away.

It's not that Eddie breeds dobermans or goes around like he's having root canal every Tuesday for three months - he's just Eddie. Eddie, who butts into every conversation I have whether it be work or personal. Eddie, who after nine months of using the new document system still asks me how to log in three times a day. Eddie, whose OCD has made him a legend in the fourth floor bathrooms, and Eddie, who at 2.05 pm every day crunches loudly on carrot sticks the size of baseball bats. Oh, did I mention Eddie only speaks to me in French, offers me dodgy herbal tea every day and when I tuck into diet coke lectures me on the harm of phosphoric acid. He asks every half an hour what the weather is doing. (LOOK OUT THE WINDOW, EDDIE!)

Most amazingly, I met Eddie's wife at Xmas. And she's lovely, normal, sweet, intelligent and kind. I asked how long they had been married. Thirty years she replied.

I sort of feel bad that my response slipped out unedited. "You get less for murder..."

And that is the lay of the land.

Back the the joys of Patmos. At least I get to run at lunchtime tomorrow, it makes up for a lot of the frustration I'm feeling at the moment.

Card of the Blog: The Star.  Wishes and dreams, one of the best cards in the pack, self esteem, self love, optimism.

Who are the cards kidding?


Kilometres walked since 29 January: 85 km
Kilometres run since 29 January: 49 km
Currently reading: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Weight lost since 29 Jan: 0.7 kg


Kath Lockett said...

Maybe Eddie's wife is deaf? Or fulfilling some kind of debt to society?

I can always lend you Mr Divvy Van if you like. He lives in the block of flats about 40 metres up the road and was standing outside on the kerb, yelling into his mobile phone that he was going to KILL YOU, YOU ARAB M-Fer!

The dog and I kept walking and Mr Divvy stopped his ranting and said, rather politely, "Hello there" before slipping straight back into his racist death threats.

I wouldn't want to inspect *his* flat.....

Pandora Behr said...

The wonderful thing about Eddie, he's harmless - annoying, but harmless. I could see myself crossing to the otherside of the road with Mr Divvy - he sounds a true delight.