Deep Cuts

I’ve spoken before about The Office moments in my office. Last week took the biscuit. Several biscuits, in fact. All chocolatey ones. The only difference between past comparisons and last week was that last week I became a full-scale character in the story, not just an extra.

As part of the carefully measured and meticulously contained festive office jocularity, work arranged a Kris Kindle for our department. I, predictably, got a girl I’d spoken to once and for whom I couldn’t possibly buy a joke present. Between myself and M, we tried to think up some potential female gifts that would fit the 15 euro limit…

  • 15 euro worth of tampons
  • A huge inflatable man (inflated, then wrapped)
  • 15 euro in sweaty, creased cash in a company envelope
  • A USB cable (more than one if funds allow)
  • A really cool knife
  • 15 euro mobile credit

What I eventually came up with was, in my eyes, very thoughtful and fit the cash limit perfectly. I decided to blow up a photo I took a while ago, of which I am reasonably proud, and frame it. It was taken at the lake in Glendalough, and features a red setter standing in the almost-still lake surrounded by ripples in the water.

The time came for presents to be exchanged and, as it was to remain anonymous, I was looking forward to the recipient’s reaction to my up-to-this-point quality present. The actual distribution of the presents was an ordeal in itself. Hosted in a formal meeting room, all of us seated round a huge board table, everyone could see everything. The presents were given out and the recipient was watched and waited on BY EVERYONE to open it and react. Opening a gift in front of the giver is often daunting- this was horrific. Fake smiles were smiled, insincere thanks were offered and much slagging ensued.

My present was one of the last ones to be opened. Its considerable size in comparison with some other presents (e.g. Racing Nuns) made it conspicuous and there was a bit of banter over whether it was under the price limit. When finally opened, there was a kind of muted reaction. I squirmed and while I don’t think I was blushing, my body temperature had tripled. It was the most awkward exchange I’ve ever experienced. For my part, I got a book entitled, ‘Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?’ A sweet gift. Kind of sums up how I imagine people in work see me though. Yipee!

Later that day we went out for a team meal. While smalltalking before the meal one colleague, who was bewildered at his own present (a toy car made entirely from recycled material), consoled himself by saying (to me), “Sure someone got C a frame with a picture of a *dog* in it!” [Guffaw] [Stigmund fakes a laugh, shuffles and swallows deeply.]

The meal continued in the same vein. I overheard comments like “They probably just took it down from the B and B they were staying in and wrapped it!” and plenty of laughter. I felt feverishly hot and a bit queasy. Lovely. The sick thing was that they were saying all this as if the person who bought it wasn’t RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. It was a team Kris Kindle and a team night out. Go team!

Oh, to further authenticise the Office feel, I was made redundant last week. M sent me this to make me feel better.

Me. Redundant.

Originally uploaded by stigmund.

stigmund sees himself as a friend first and boss second. Probably entertainer third.

2 Responses to “Deep Cuts”

  1. Leo Kearse says:

    Can you show us the offending pic? And the frame? My mate got something framed for his doris and it cost him £70! She didn’t think he’d nicked it out of a B+B either.

    PS doris is a condescending term for girlfriend that I learnt when I moved to England. I use it to fit in with my peer group here. Hey! At least I don’t set fire to tramps any more.

  2. stigmund says:

    I really wasn’t expecting this request but if that’s what my public wants then that’s what they get. Keep a close eye round these here parts. Yarr.

    That’s good to hear about the tramps I guess, but what do you and your friends *do* in your free time?

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