I was doing a lunchtime pavilion event thing at work today. It’s one of those things where you offer a few free chocolates, pens and post-it notes and hope to entice unwary people in the office on their way to their lunch to stop and talk to you about the latest - invariably tedious - thing you’re working on. They make me do them from time-to-time, and unless you are a visting supplier with a celebrity handing out goodie bags (we had Jimmy Anderson in last week, I'm told), then you are mostly just ignored. Usually I like to just stand in as out-of-the-way a position as I can find, but since I became the boss, that’s been somewhat harder a trick to pull off.
As I was standing there sheepishly in my branded t-shirt and trying to direct people to enter the much more interesting quiz that could give you a chance to win a bottle of own-brand supermarket Prosecco, someone approached me and insisted on engaging me in conversation:
“Ah, so this is what you do. I’ve seen you around and often thought that you must have the best job in the world”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, because I always see you either in the changing rooms or in the gym. It was you I spoke to in the changing rooms the other day, wasn't it?”
“Well, maybe. I cycle to work every day, so I’m often in the changing rooms at 0745 and 1800, so you might have seen me, but I’m not a member of the gym here, so you haven't seen me there.”
“Yeah, mornings and evenings and lunchtimes as well. Working out in the gym. I wondered how you find the time to work.”
“But I’ve never been in the gym here and I don't go into the changing room at lunchtime...”
"I wondered what kind of job you had!"
At this point, someone else comes over. I’d hoped that this might be a chance to change the topic of conversation, but apparently no.
“....this guy here has the best job in the world. He’s always either in the gym or in the changing rooms….”
WILL YOU PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT? WHY ARE YOU TELLING HIM THAT? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? I’M IN THE CHANGING ROOM FOR ABOUT TEN MINUTES IN TOTAL EVERY DAY AND I’M NOT A MEMBER OF THE BLOODY GYM AND HAVE NEVER SO MUCH AS SET FOOT THROUGH THE DOOR. WHY ARE YOU SAYING THESE THINGS? WHY ARE YOU SHARING THESE HALLUCINATIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
“[chuckles] ….Yeah, he's always in the gym”
I was so angry, I nearly directed him towards the Rum-Kokos that our lovely friends in Vienna insist on giving me every time we visit… but even I’m not that evil.