Tuesday 26 February

Some years ago – let’s say less than 10 but more than two – I shared an office with a woman. It was a small office and the woman was…she was eccentric is a nice way of putting it. Not eccentric like Vivienne Westwood, eccentric like a slightly insane middle-aged woman from Denton. It was a very small office. Just the two of us – and we weren’t building castles in the sky (hashtag: Bill Withers): we were doing very mundane administrative work. Unlike all that wildly exciting administrative work that many people do in offices around the world (I’m pretty sure the admin at the International Centre for Fun and Circuses is as lacking in excitement as the admin at The Gloucester Centre for Wafer Storage*).

To say I was driven mad by this woman would be, frankly, hyperbole and insulting to those with sanity issues. It just was a bit much sometimes. At this time in my life it wasn’t odd for me to be in work nursing a hangover. Ah, yes, I was quite the man about town. Coping with someone who is a bit annoying is harder when you have a hangover. If you don’t believe me why don’t you drink heavily and then the next day lock yourself in a shed with someone talking, quite loudly, about something you have no interest in? And then fuck off. Go on..fuck off.

People who know me will find it hard to believe but such was her relentless bombardment of my airspace with ‘old woman from Tameside who likes flower arranging bombs’ I actually went past being annoyed and became amused by it. There remains little documentation of this time. There was a recording of the woman made, using a Nokia mobile phone – this no longer exists. However, what does still exist is a spreadsheet I made one Monday morning of things she talked about. I could only sustain it for about an hour (that’s what she said). In these modern days I would no doubt of had a Twitter account called something like ShitthiswomanIworkwithsays – it would have 19 followers and I would tired of it after some 30-45 days.

Here, now, for you is that summary I made that one morning:

hasn’t Manchester changed?
“do you like luchtime football?”
“isn’t it damp?”
Jacqueline (daughter) paying for a £12 bottle of wine and her ‘friends’ not chipping in
“don’t kids love phones?”
Ken being offered a turkey
Avon catalogue (“no pressure on you” Id been in 8 seconds when she shoved it at me)
brother takin aunty(she’s 92) to germany (Sunday till Wednesday) to visit Lucy(just graduated).  Hired a lightweight wheelchair – to take with them.
(Husband) Ken’s mum is really pleased at the temporary indoor market in Ashton
Ken (colleague not husband) looking well.  He enjoys Lanzarote.
“sun’s like rain isnt it?”
Oldham manager has 2 games left according to Peter (son)
someone who worked here years ago being bossy.
ear syringing
her driving instructors
Jacqueline’s second name is clare
the spelling of ‘City and Guilds’
the spelling of ‘foreign’
big cat in the paper – lost weight but still looks quite big
computer mended but no keyboard at home
10 minute anecdote about thinking someone approaching 40 was approaching 50.
Friend’s daughter getting married on a Friday so Dad who has Cancer is alive
Paul Scholes going trough a pair of trainers every 3 weeks.
I don’t like going up paths when its dark
“I like him, he said that one place he’d like to go is Wimbledon” talking about Peter (colleague).
Ken (husband) always said pepper would be too hot for my mum, hahahahahahahahaha
Morrisons christmas opening hours – they don’t do nights

*Prove me wrong employees of TGCWS. Prove me wrong.

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