Monday, 7 December 2009

The Madness of King Boss (may be contagious)

I have been observing this saga unfold for some time and documenting it for your perusal, but in truth I have no idea what the bloody hell it's all about. If you have a theory, do share it.

Our story opens some weeks ago when I happened to look over and see that there was a pile of ripped up paper scattered around The Boss's waste-paper basket. I didn't think much of this at the time, just put it down to her being a bit messy.

The following day, I noticed that the same thing had happened again, and casually remarked to The Boss that her aim was a bit off when throwing stuff in the bin. So far this is all still within the realms of the sane, yeah?

But... again. And again. After observing a few days of this I remarked that she might want to try hitting the bin as the cleaning lady would probably not relish having to pick this up each morning. The Boss assures me that she gathers up all the little bits and puts them all the bin herself before she goes home, and you know, I actually do believe her.

So it's got to the stage where I have to say something. Why, I ask, do you not just put the paper in the bin? I don't know why this is bugging me so much but it's really starting to get on my nerves. The Boss complains that the bin is too far away. Here is the chair-to-bin scenario :

I feel that this is not an unreasonable distance to travel, and yet every day, I see this happening again.

I could hold my water no longer. I tried asking why The Boss was ripping pieces of paper into tiny little bits before binning it, every bloody day, but received no clear answer and her manner, I can confirm, was decidedly evasive. Try to follow the elusive white logic rabbit here :

Here's me : "OK. Why are you scattering paper round the bin every day?"
The Boss : "Because I can't reach the bin"
Here's me : "So move the bin closer?"
The Boss : "I don't like it closer."
Here's me : "Okkkkkayy why not just put the paper in the bin without ripping it up?"
The Boss : "I don't like putting whole sheets of paper in the bin."
Here's me : "Why not?"
The Boss : "Because it's a waste of paper."

And so on. Anyway, by this stage I had become morbidly fascinated by this process.

The part of this that is really fucking with me is that I never once have seen the paper either being shredded or being thrown. Which leads me to believe this is happening while I'm not in the office.

So while my back is turned, The Boss is conducting The Ripping Up And Scattering Around The Bin Of Papers ritual, and her devotion to it appears to be reaching frenzied heights.

I mean look. Actually none of it is going in the bin. It's just right there, every day, right beside the bin, and it's slowly driving me completely bleedin' mental for reasons I don't fully understand.

THIS IS JUST NOT RIGHT says a voice in the back of my mind. Who sits ripping every piece of paper they use in the office up into tiny wee bits before scattering it around the bin? WHOM DOES THIS!! WHAT KIND OF OCCULT RITE IS TAKING PLACE IN MY FUCKING OFFICE ON A DAILY BASIS! It's got to the stage where I can see The Boss in my mind's eye, sitting there when I go out for lunch, her eyes narrowing and staring into the beyond as she hears voices only she can hear, and as she tears the paper again and again, I wonder, does she hear it scream as she rips it...

... such thoughts will rouse me from my sleep some night, drenched in sweat and shaking like a shitting dog, of this you can be sure.

Look you here, in the orgiastic abandon of the paper-ripping-and-throwing-ceremony this particular set of shredded bits actually somehow got launched about a metre through the air and wound up behind the photocopier:

Now it's getting quite artistic, as in addition to the paper, she is now branching out into other media, specifically any old bit of rubbish going :

I call this "Urban Decay & Capri Sun" :

Now with empty KFC chip packet in foreground. Classy. It's like a fucking Banksy or something :

Now who does this, every day, while their colleague is out for lunch, then tidies it again that evening after the colleague has left? WHO DOES THIS?

Brace yourself before looking -

- yes, that object in the lower right area of the picture above actually is a human fingernail clipping.

And this is apparently all building up to some kind of crescendo, as it intensifies, but where it ends I cannot guess. Is she trying to see if she can actually completely wall herself in with crap during the course of my lunch-hour?

Now plainly at least one of us actually is a bona-fide lunatic. The worrying part is I've just spent two weeks furtively photographing a bin so I think it's probably me.


  1. Your Boss' ritual - your compulsive fascination - my compulsive reading... it's like a hall of mirrors except the mirrors are made of crazy.

  2. "Paper basket and various sundries: a social comment on the fragile mental state of the Perenially-Distracted"
    Mixed media interactive installation, 2009.

  3. Thats...odd. Perhaps she needs an excuse to stay behind?

  4. Tell her she should put the paper in an empty box near her, and then she should put that in the bin at the end of the day. She'd love the logic.

  5. your office looks very...cream...maybe that's got something to do with it all...

  6. I laughed out loud at "Because it's a waste of paper." Amazing.
    In other news, I cannot believe I have to go to work today. I got up at 6.30 and made a table, because my boss told me last wee, that he wanted to see The Plan (WHAT FUCKING PLAN?) in table form.
    I just know that he's going to be dissatisfied with it and I am going to want to flip the table over and throw the fax machine across the room. Sigh.

  7. Hide the bin and see what she does

  8. No! Move the bin closer to her desk inch by inch every day. If she notices, she'll think someone is trying to hack into her bin.

  9. Even better, inch her desk closer to the bin! 1cm a day should do it, melt her head ;)

  10. Its a cry for help. She wants you to notice the ripped up paper. If you stick all the bits back together again you will see the words
    written over and over again in a childish, deliberate and drool marked script.

    Another good way to mess with her head: leave ripped up bits of paper around ALL the office bins. See how she copes with that!

  11. Bribe the cleaners to turn all the bins in your office upside down, every night. Never comment on this, ignore everything The Boss says about it. Take all your rubbish "home" with you in a carrier bag. (You don't need to actually take it home, just dump it in another office).

  12. She's definitely onto you. This is all for your benefit... and by the looks of your post she now has THE UPPER HAND.

  13. She is selfless - when you rip the paper up it makes it lighter for the cleaners to carry the rubbish around

  14. I have hidden her bin. More news as it breaks.

  15. According to some of the information lifted from your pics, you or your clients have an office in Ringaskiddy. Any place with a name that awful should be the location for your office from hell.

  16. You should save the pieces of paper! When you have enough, soak them in wallpaper paste and make a paper-mache effigy of either:

    1. Yourself. Place it at your desk before she gets in so that it takes the brunt of the madness. See how long it takes until she notices you haven't sworn back at her.

    2. Her. Place it at your desk and see if it freaks her out looking at herself

    3. Her and place it at her desk so she thinks she's already arrived at work and see whether she decides to leave

    4. Any variation of the above!

    Obviously the plan would have a weak point - could you cope with having a model of her hanging around your place whilst you create it? Are you strong enough to make this work????

  17.'s slowly driving me completely bleedin' mental for reasons I don't fully understand.

    I've compared my work situation to a romantic relationship on its last legs, when you're at that point where Every. Little. Thing. drives you completely batty even when you know you're being unreasonable -- the tone of their voice, the way they pronounce certain words, even the way they breathe.

    As for fingernail clippings, two of my three coworkers clip their fingernails here in the office, though the worst offender is my boss. The snip...snip...snip...snip coming from his office is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, especially since it's often followed by a blowing sound which means he's scattering them all over his office -- the office I have to go into several times a day because he's too much of a micro-managing basket case to allow the files to be kept in a central location out here in the main office. I always try to avoid having to enter his office for any reason when he's engaged in this act of personal hygiene. (Though it's not nearly as disgusting as having to listen to him eat, which I can hear from much further away that I should really be able to, especially with one very dodgy ear.)

    Oh, and I also have insanely messy coworkers:

  18. lol @ crypto and barista. good plans guys.