Monday, March 23, 2009

On a positive note . . .

Something nice happened in work today.
When I came in (10 minutes early) the editor was already in his little glass box, scanning this week’s edition of the paper.
Twenty minutes later, with everyone sitting at their desks, the office remained oddly silent. I wondered if people were still hung over from Sheila’s going away party on Friday. I’d only met her for a couple of minutes, but she'd struck me as a being an all-weekend-going-away-party sort of girl.
But something told me this silence had nothing to do with hangovers.
Every so often someone would glance towards the glass box.
At 9.52 a bellow issued forth.

‘MIICCHAEL! Get everyone in here – NOW!’

So we shuffled in and lined up in front of the editor’s desk. I noticed the back of Michael’s shirt was dark with sweat.
I tried to lurk towards the back of the group, but since everyone else was trying to do the same thing there was an unseemly scuffle that resulted in one of the slighter reporters being knocked over.
‘WHAT THE F**K*** HELL ARE YOU EEJITS DOING?’ bellowed the editor.

‘JUST – just stand still, for god’s sake.’
There was a long, shuffle-tinted silence.
‘Who the f*** (said very quietly, almost in a whisper) subbed the Barrystown notes this week?’ There was another very long, this time shuffle-free, silence.
Then a sub standing next to me called Marie mumbled ‘I think it might have been Sheila.’
A sudden flurry of similar murmurs traveled through the glass box.
‘Yeah, it was Sheila.’
‘Definitely Sheila.’
‘Yeah, Sheila was at them Friday afternoon.’

The Editor looked at us all for a long moment. I felt his eyes burning into my forehead. Please god don’t let him be able to read my thoughts, I prayed.
‘So that’s the way it’s going to be, is it,’ he said finally. ‘Right so - Clear out of here, the lot of ye’s, and go and do some f***ing work. But don’t think this is the end of this. Because it's not.’

I whispered a hurried thank-you to Marie as we left the office.
‘No problem. The last thing we need is to lose another of the women in this office,' she murmured with a lopsided smile.

I had a sneaky look at the notes page later on. According to the Barrystown notes, a sheep-shagging fund-raiser (as opposed to sheep-shearing, which is, of course, what it should have read) would be taking place in Barry’s Field on Sunday. How did that happen?

On a positive note, at least my new co-workers lied through their teeth to protect me.

Thank you Women rule writer, for pointing out that at least I have good neighbours. (See Sunday's post.)
All the same, I've decided I’m not going to look at youtube for a while.

Instead I have set myself some ‘improving tasks.’ Firstly, I have picked four of my shiniest, newest poems to submit to the Fish Publishing competition. (Even though 12 euro per poem does seem a little steep.)
Secondly I am going to start working on the third draft of my novel.
Just not right now.

There is a window banging upstairs. This is a strange, sighing ship of a house.

Attached is a picture of rain-soaked mountain path, intended to tie in with the positive tone of this post.


  1. Nice pic.€12 per poem for The Fish??? That's seriously outrageous.

  2. I know - It says on the website that Peter Fallon will be reading all entries, so maybe they're trying to keep submissions within a certain level? Still, it means that if you enter four poems you're paying almost 50 euro. Crazy.

  3. It is crazy money. In my experieince, P Fallon likes nature poems...

  4. Really Wr? I sent off four poems yesterday and a few of them were sort of nature based. I was shortlisted the last two years, but didn't manage to make it to the final five .. . although with the increase in entry fees and the decrease in prize money they might only have five entries this year . . . hmmmmmmmm