I'm afraid there aren't too many positives about having to go to work with my male staff four times a week. The drive there is a terrifying experience in itself. Partly because my male staff thinks his Hyundai Getz has automatic transmission. It hasn't of course because he was too tight fisted to pay the extra five hundred dollars. Nevertheless the salesman told him it was an automatic in order to get rid of him. Now he drives the forty minutes to work at one hundred and ten kilometres an hour in first gear and wonders why the engine is so noisy. Once he parked the car in the fast lane and went to have a pee on the median strip. When he returned a rather cross policeman had parked his police car behind the Getz and was peering through the window. Upon seeing my male staff he straightened and said. "Are you the driver of this vehicle sir?"
"No," replied my male staff. "It's an automatic." At which point the policeman handed my male staff a piece of paper and said it would cost him two hundred and fifty dollars, which seems an awful lot for a piece of paper. If my male staff had wanted a piece of paper that badly he could have had a bit from the bottom of my cage. It might have been a bit damp but it would have only cost him a sprig or two of basil. Silly old sod.
It's even more frightening when it's been raining and the roads are wet. The worse the weather the faster he drives. I think he works on the theory that he should get to wherever it is he's going before he has an accident. In fairness though I should add that all Queenslanders seem to do this. After a shower of rain, when the road is nice and greasy everybody in the state seems determined to wipe themselves and each other out. It seems to be working for my male staff anyway, he's never had an accident so far. Mind you, he's seen dozens in his rear view mirror. Or at least he would have if he'd known that it's not just there for checking to see if his tie is straight.
Once we get to my male staff's office the swearing starts. Some of it from the ladies who work with him who realise that they have to spend all day with him, but mostly it emanates from my male staff, who's foul language is mostly directed at his computer. "F...king thing! What the f..k's wrong with you this morning. Work you f...king f...ker!" As you can imagine, This can be somewhat alarming for the clients that have come into the shop expecting to me greeted politely and sold a trip to Fiji.
"You'll find it works a whole lot better if you turn the thing on." Says one of the ladies he works with, and the cursing gradually subsides into muttering, which continues until he has his first cup of coffee. Meanwhile I sit on the desk and look adorable enough to persuade the clients to upgrade to business class.
Since my male staff contacted multiple pulmonary emboli (Silly Old Buggers' Syndrome) he has to leave his desk and walk around the block every couple of hours or so to ensure that he doesn't die which would be inconvenient and spoil his day. I always go with him, sitting on his shoulder, so that I can bite his ear if he stays away from the office too long. Behind the office is a track that runs along the side of a tidal river. One say we met an elderly man watching a stingray flapping elegantly through the shallows. My male staff and I stopped to say hello and to admire the fish. It was a pleasant chat until my male staff pointed out that it was a shame that people thought it a good idea to throw shopping trolleys into the river. At this point the nice old fellow turned into some sort of nasty fascist dictator. "When I was a young man," he said. "If some yob threw a shopping trolley into the river, or spat on the pavement, ot stepped out of line in any way the cops would pick him up one night, dive him to a quiet spot and break a few of his ribs. He'd never throw another shopping trolley in the river again that's for sure." He paused momentarily to point out an osprey perched on a nearby mobile phone tower. "These day," he continued, "the bloody do-gooders won't let them do that. The cops can't even clip the little shits' ears."
"You don't think that breaking some kid's ribs is a little harsh for chucking a shopping trolley in a river do you, you shrivelled up, frustrated, nasty old sod?" I said, but he didn't understand me. I guess all he heard was "Wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek!" He just looked at my male staff and I as if we were both as mad as him. (True, fifty percent of us are.) "Bloody do-gooders," he continued his rant. "They're ruining Australia."
"Listen you miserable so and so." I said. "It's better to be a do-gooder than the opposite." But again, I guess all he heard was "Wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek!" My male staff smiled at him and we returned to the office to abuse the computer again.
I'm glad I didn't meet that old man. He'd probably want the police to cut my feet off for pooping on the floor.