My eyes flitted across the room, from the stick insect of a man who should shave that pathetic slick of hair from his head and top lip, across to the woman whose makeup application was simply trying too hard to replicate a Picasso painting, to the pile of biscuits to the Pigeon crapping from the lamp post above. As soon as my eyes started to flit, so did my 40 year old brain. I thought about how somebody first found out that milk could be gleaned from a cow’s breasts, whether or not my hair has become too much like an island/mainland scenario for decency and what the woman from account would look like naked. I watched as the Pigeon descended from its perch and pecked at what looked like a squashed Fox and I watched as the odious fart of a man opposite me picked his nose and wiped it on his jacket sleeve. All of it was interesting and all of it got my attention.
I was trying to concentrate, I really was. I was trying to be the model professional, trying to exude everything that an upstanding, accomplished and proficient modern manager should be, I honestly was. I was trying to take in the papers that lay before me, the shafts of greens, blues, purples, smudged brown and what can only be described as “squashed bee” yellow. I was aware of the figures, all caged and restricted to their tiny little boxes of their ugly little table, or make that, their enormous, page-filling table. I smiled in all the right places, or what I thought were the right places. I nodded, made knowing little grunting noises like a wise Gnu and, just like Jerry Ballsack from Accounts pulled my best frowny face when the mood and tone of the conversation. So why was it that nothing, literally nothing, not one semblance or smidge of information was even vaguely seeping in to my concreted farce of a brain?
The answer is very, very simple. I was, in short BORED BEYOND BELIEF.
Where was I you ask? Thank you for asking, I will tell you. I was in a predicament many of you will have been in before. I was in the purgatory that is a business workshop. For 8 hours I was trapped in a room that smelled of shredded hopes and rotten milk with 20 other people whose eyes were as dead as my brain. We sat, we listened, or at least pretended to listen to the presenter who didn’t have the faintest interest in what she was saying either. As with all good pack-dogs, we glared at the know-it-all cliche riddled, Woodpecker of a man who asked all the irritating questions and more besides (they may well have been pertinent questions, but nobody cared) and we, well, I cheered when somebody dropped a cup and saucer noisily on the floor. Small amusements, small victories.
Now, this may be seen by some as childish, unprofessional, or even unacceptable, but I would argue to the contrary until your dying day. I would argue that this is merely a self-defence mechanism, a survival instinct. Allowing the brain and eyes to wander, to dance and fly, is the only way to survive these scrotum-slicing situations. It is a requirement, a mandation, the only way to survive. Plus, you get to see Pigeons crapping on the slower joggers as they pass by. What’s not to like?