Hey Bartender! Irony, straight up! And make it a double!
My boss has been off for the last five weeks having had a back operation. I sympathise with her, it must be agony and she must be horribly uncomfortable. Meanwhile in the office I am doing her job aswell. I am finding out what life as a single parent would be like – I am the only point of reference and decision making for a group of younger, less experienced people who don’t seem interested in learning how to answer the questions for themselves but would rather pass the buck and go and do something less boring than work. There isn’t another person to refer to, so my day is one long exhausting line of questions and problems which I have to fit in solving amongst my own work which I barely have time to do. Okay it’s not digging coal and people’s lives don’t depend on me (although the fuss some customers make if their delivery arrives an hour late you would think they were waiting on a transplanted heart, not a few electrical appliances) but I have pride in my work and make sure everything still runs with a person less.
We are five weeks into her minimum six weeks off, and the latest estimate as that it will be ten weeks in all. So far so self-pitying, but not ironic. The irony comes in the fact that this was announced on the day that my own back (which intermittently gives me jip) decided to seize up leaving me only able to hobble around the office like a hammy amateur Richard III. It isn’t hugely painful but it is restrictive and uncomfortable. What IS painful is about once an hour having people ask me “oh, are you limping? What have you done?” I know they mean well but for fucks sake, I am just going to get a t-shirt made saying “ive done my back in, don’t keep fucking asking”
And in a further ironic twist, my immobilisation coincides with the first weekend of the year which is warm(ish), sunny and football-free. So I could have been on the allotment for two days digging over that last patch of weeds, mowing the grass ready for the spring, repairing the failing borders. It’s not a complete write-off though, I have a few dozen mixed bulbs to plant in my floral entranceway so I should manage that. And for the rest of the weekend I will be starting a few batches of wine, having neglected my brewing obligations and dwindled to my last three dozen bottles. A batch of vimto, a batch and a half of plum, and two batches of cranberry set in motion this week will yield 35 bottles or so in a couple of months. And considering the total cost of all this alcohol will be roughly a tenner, well overall I think I’m winning, bad back or no.