At school I was told that I was very ‘creative’. Yet still, after studying English and then doing the Civil Service Exams at the suggestion of my dad, I accepted what must have been one of the most boring jobs in existence, anywhere, ever.
I accepted the post of Accommodation Officer in the Property Services Agency in Croydon.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? SERIOUSLY?
The picture is of a prank a work colleague played on me during my time in that job. We were all so bored, playing pranks was the only way we could get through the day.
She wanted to see how long it would take till I noticed this fake fire alarm featuring my disembodied head (with attractive 1980s hairstyle) on the wall of the office.
I think it stayed up there for quite a long time after I left, and my ex work colleague Sue only just gave it to me last month (it has moved house with her several times over the decades).
I managed six months before I left that job. I couldn’t carry on. It involved requisitioning paperclips. I also wasn’t at all good at it. I had several near disasters including:
– Pinning some top secret ‘bomb alert’ codes on a public noticeboard, thinking it would be useful if everyone knew them.
– Arranging a fire alarm but forgetting to unlock the fire doors at the bottom of the stairs of one of the multi-storey tower blocks.
– Ordering somebody with severe back problems (who was over 7ft tall) a special high backed chair, which then made his chair back higher than his boss’s. This was, apparently, intolerable.
– Arranging the fitting of a ‘whole wall’ wallpaper style noticeboard for a top manager in a moss green colour, which made it look like the entire wall was covered in mould.
Luckily I’ve since done many more, much more enjoyable jobs to which I’ve been a lot better suited. But that terrible time in that mind numbingly, crushingly tedious job I was so unsuited to taught me an important lesson: in times of extreme boredom, nothing gets you through like a joke fire alarm with a disembodied head on it.
I have this weekend received what is a strong contender for MY BEST EVER LETTER, EVER.
It is from 8 year old Basil Ignatius Hong who says:
“This is what I think about the Abominators: It’s enjoyable, funny and awesome. I am glad that I borrowed the book from the Singapore National Library and read it. My favourite character is Mucker, leader of the gang, kind and has a cool image. Thank you for creating such a nice story for cool dude like me! By the way, I am 8 years old and am a handsome nice fellow!”
THANK YOU Basil Ignatius Hong. With your magnificent letter you have made my day, week, month and possibly year!