Dear Journal, after the initial shock of my father being one of the new recruits in our department I was met with another shock in that I was to “look after” them and “show them the ropes”. I wasn’t sure which “ropes” I was supposed to show them. I thought we weren’t allowed rope at work since that guy in the call centre who “accidently tripped off his chair one day and fell into a noose that happened to be attached to the airduct above him and fell asleep” and then “retired with immediate effect to live happily ever after in the Caribbean”. At least that’s what I read in the company memo that was sent out.
Regardless, and ropeless, I decided to show the group around the department. They all seemed very excited by fixtures such as the plastic fern in the corner, the water cooler and of course the “Just for Laughs ‘n Fun” notice board, which to mention it, never really ever had anything “laughable” or “fun” on it, as every joke or cartoon employees put on the board was swiftly removed by Mr Berkley who deemed these jokes a diversion from work (although I had thought that was actually the point).
Nevertheless the board remained and was almost permanently covered in sign-up sheets for one of Doris’s animal welfare campaigns. It’s not that I have anything against animal welfare; I just think that no animal would want to degrade itself by posing in miniature costumes to raise money. She’s basically a “pet pimp” but I’ll have to address that at another stage for I have more important things to show the new guys.
They all seem so bright eyed and inquisitive and generally in awe of my every word. Well, almost all of them, as my father sticks to his genetic condition of rolling his eyes at everything I say, sighing at everything I show the group and reminding them all that I used to wet my bed as a teenager.
As we continue our tour of the office I show the group my cubicle in all its grey and cluttered glory. After a few remarks from my father about how I never had a girlfriend my entire life, interspersed with anecdotes of how I was always picked last for sports, I tell the group to go grab some coffee.
It was at that point that my father pulled me aside and told me I was doing a “great job” and I should “keep up the good work”. I wasn’t sure how to take this after the past half hour of embarrassing stories and well, 27 years of ridicule, but I felt it might have to do with the fact that I was in charge of giving the new guys their assignments for the first week.
I hadn’t really thought about what to give each of the recruits to do, since I was pretty much set on just delegating my own work to each one of them, but I thought that this was my opportunity to give my dad something really suited to his “unique” skill set. So I reached into the top draw of my desk and hauled out “The List” which I had been meaning to work through.
Top of the list… The Evil Wizard in the Air Duct.
“Thanks dad” I said. “I’m so glad you’re enjoying my work, because I have a very special project I need you to take care of”.