The Story About The Thing That I Really Didn't Want To Talk About But I'm Blogging About It Anyway
I shall now, as I always do, switch to the present tense for heightened dramatic effect.
The tech guy, complete with cap, jeans, and large toolbox, appears in our office about five hours after we had been expecting him (that's part of the long story). He tries out the phone. He opens his toolbox. He does tech guy things. Eventually it becomes boring so we all go back to work.
He leaves, he returns. We continue working. My colleague leaves the office for some reason. I keep half an eye on the tech guy because there's something a little odd about him. My other colleagues in the room continue on with their work. It is deadline, after all, and no one's given us alcohol, so we're all in a bad mood.
So the tech guy is fiddling with his tools and then crouches down under the desk. As he does so I hear a sound that I really don't want to be hearing. In fact, I'm hoping that the zipperish sound is an actual zip, and not what I think it is.
About a minute later an odour wafts past my desk heading off towards the ether. Except the ether is on the other side of a wall of windows that can't be opened, leaving me trapped in a room with a smell that can't dissipate.
Naturally, I begin to feel nauseous.
The tech guy continues to play with his tools, trying very hard to pretend that he's not responsible for this ecological disaster. In fact, he does such a good job of it that I begin to suspect that perhaps he doesn't actually know that he is responsible. Or that it truly is a disaster.
It's lunch time. I am practically starving, but I can't eat my lunch because the thought of food makes me want to vomit. In fact, it takes about two hours - waaaay past lunch time - before I can stomach consuming my carefully prepared piece of stuffed butternut, but all the joy has been taken out of it. I am not amused by this.
Meanwhile, the tech guy disappears, but we hear hammering sounds from nearby for the next 40 minutes, so we presume he's fixing something.
The tech guy reappears at my colleague's desk and starts fiddling again. Even though he's a couple of metres away from me I am feeling so invaded, in terms of my personal space, that I am cringing. I try to focus on my work but can't, and glance his way. I notice that his jeans are rather worn out, which isn't a big deal because I am wearing similar jeans today, but I notice that his jeans aren't so much worn-out blue as worn-out blueish streaked with grimy brown. In other words, they've probably never been washed.
He disappears, reappears, disappears, the work goes on. Eventually he returns to the office, picks up the handset of the now-fixed phone and - I kid you not - phones a friend and shouts something to the effect of: "Whad-up dawg!! Is it working?" into the phone. I presume he was trying to impress me with his knowledge of Ebonics, or something. I don't know; I was still so nauseous that I couldn't laugh cynically at the absurdity of a South African white boy trying to sound like an African American hip-hop artist and was just willing him To Go. Away.
My colleague, who had left the room again, returns to her desk and the tech guy informs her that her phone is now working. She is pleased, and thanks him, and then demurely says "...and hopefully I won't have to call you again," which is a reference to the fact that she didn't have a working phone for days on end and wouldn't like to repeat that experience (or the experience of trying to get someone to fix it).
"That would be a pity," replies the tech guy, sheepishly, gaze roaming the carpet while he daydreams about their five kids, because he's far too attracted to her to look her in the eyes as he says it.
Ooh. Sparks igniting while my nausea grows. Go. Away.
Realising that the romance probably isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon the tech guy leaves, and my colleague picks up her phone to try it out, but then exclaims: "Yuck! It smells like cigarette smoke."
Of course, because how else would this story end?
Labels: At The Office