We break into an ineffectual half-trot if a colleague holds a door open for us, just to demonstrate that we don’t want to keep them waiting too long. This gesture inevitably turns into a corridor-long sequence of awkward door-holdings and we soon run out of different ways to express gratitude: “Thanks… cheers… ta… nice one… sorry… thanks again.”
Solution: Never, ever leave your cubicle.
Eating your packed lunch by 11am
So you need to buy another lunch at 1pm. Some money-saving strategy this is turning out to be.
Solution: Pack two lunches. And end up eating one at 10am.
Over-excusing yourself for sickies and lateness
If you’re few minutes late, you feel the need to launch into a convoluted tale of train woe and traffic tragedy, to which nobody really listens. Taking a sickie is even worse: guilt means you go into unsavoury detail about your symptoms and still act under-the-weather when you return. Brave soldier.
Solution: Arrive for morning sales meeting in full Ebola-grade biohazard outfit.
Tea-making mind games
When a colleague offers to make a round of hot drinks, you act all surprised and pretend to ponder for a moment before saying yes please — even though you’ve been silently willing them to do it for the past hour.
Solution: Make everyone a cuppa first thing in the morning. Then you OWN THEIR VERY SOULS for the rest of the day.
You’re the opposite of those ghastly braggarts on The Apprentice, aren’t you? Your worst nightmare is doing a pitch or presentation and being asked to “tell us a bit about yourself”, whereupon you tend to explain how you’re a bit of an idiot and you can’t do anything properly, ha ha. Even your CV plays down your achievements. Well, you’d hate to appear boastful. So vulgar and American.
Solution: A fat gold chain with #1 MARKETING DAWG might bring you out of your shell.
Hiding hangovers at your desk
You think you’ll “just keep your head down” and get away with it. Except everyone’s totally wise to your non-stop eating, dehydration and general dishevelment, plus the powerful aroma of blue WKD seeping out of your pores.
Solution: Three Egg McMuffins on the way in will either sort out your hangover or give you something else to worry about.
Card message agony
What to write in a colleague’s communal birthday or leaving card? Best to agonise over it, then settle for a pass-agg boring message because you never liked them anyway. Or pay so little attention that you write WE’LL MISS YOU, GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FUTURE PLANS or SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS on a birthday card.
Solution: Tell them you’re a Recycled Pulpitarian and cards are offensive to your religion.
The emotional rollercoaster of Bank Holidays
You look forward to a Monday off way too much. But then you spend the week beforehand moaning about too much work, and the four days afterwards complaining about a backlog while not knowing what day it is.
Solution: Throw Monday sickies throughout the summer and before you know it, Bank Holidays are the natural order of things. As is unemployment.