Well, I’d love to tell you I’ve done some editing things this week, but I haven’t. I’ve been locked down at home with my family. I think I went outside the front door on Tuesday, but I could be mistaken. Perhaps I just looked out of the window.
It’s either lockdown 3.0 or my age, but I find myself getting angry about the least consequential things at the moment. Recently, it’s TikTok and some of the posts there. No, I don’t use TikTok, but for some reason, they always seem to pop up in my YouTube or Instagram feeds, and generally it is the same 3 or 4 faces, doing a silly ‘dance’, or bobbing their head in time with a beat. Or, perhaps they’re doing fast-change clothes swaps. To me, it looks like it took 5 minutes to put together (or less), but 20 million views later???? Who is following these people?
Anyway, here is the next part of our serial Nancy Please. Last time, Nancy was having more trouble with her boss, in fact, to say hew was pissing her off would be an understatement.
Read the previous posts HERE, but now, on to part #7
The door bangs the wall hard enough to rattle the glass as I open it. “What?” I’ve got no intention of sitting down and exposing my thighs for him.
“Excuse me?” says Mark, raising his eyebrows. “Who are you talking to?”
Again, I’ve no wish to lose my job, not even for this idiot. “Sorry.” Yeah, I don’t feel sorry. “It’s them bloody women.”
“It’s all done in jest.” Belshaw chuckles as he speaks. I could ram my fist down his throat. He holds out an envelope to me. “It’s the proofs of the new flyer.” He still can’t wipe the smirk off his face.
“You couldn’t have given me that last time I was here? I was only here two minutes ago.” I grab the envelope from his hand. I hope it paper-cuts him. “I’ll take a look and let you know what I think.” He hadn’t asked my opinion, and honestly, if I gave it, I’m not sure he would even take it. This time, I close his office door carefully and deliberately in the hope that it worries him, although he’s probably looking at my ass.
I can’t be bothered with the shop floor shit this time, so I run along the walkway, my shoes clanging off the metal as I do, and slam my own office door behind me. The gin is still standing where I left it. I drop into my seat and tear open the envelope, pulling out the piece of paper within. It’s a flyer. An A5 piece of copy paper with our logo on and some drivel about what we do. It’s nothing special. Nothing earth-shattering. I snatch up the bottle. I’m bloody well going to do it, aren’t I? Just one will be okay, won’t it? Yes it will, so I take a long pull straight from the bottle, which burns my throat as it goes down. That flyer didn’t need looking at. Belshaw wanted to embarrass me. Another drink. God damnit! I was only going to have one. If someone smells this on my breath… Outside I can hear ‘Narn-see, Narn-see.” I take another drink. Shit.
I sit in my misery for some considerable time. Time enough for the shadows in the office to lengthen. Quitting time is right around the corner. The flyer sits on my desk in front of me, ready for my assessment. It sucks. That’s my assessment. It’s a huge waste of time and money. I hope Belshaw got a laugh out of it, running me across the factory for some bogus errand. As if on cue, I hear the PA system crackle into life. Almost before the crackle-hiss dies away, I’m out of my seat and pulling the door open. “Don’t say it!” I yell to no one in particular, then as the PA sounds my name, I lean over the edge of the walkway and shout to the women below. “Don’t you fucking say anything!” I point my finger and run it over their upturned faces. At that moment, if the machines were not running, you could have heard a pin drop. I hold their gaze for several seconds before marching off along the walkway. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to hear the silence behind me. It is as if my lottery numbers have all come up. My heart skips a beat and I have to restrain myself from whistling as I walk. Those women probably only respond to being spoken to like that. They probably have husbands at home that shout ‘cook my dinner,’ and ‘clean the kitchen.’ It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them got a smack too. If that’s what they understand, then perhaps that’s how I’ll have to treat them.
I’ve almost reached Belshaw’s office when I hear them start up their chant. “Narn-See, Narn-see.” It’s like something you would hear at a football match. As if that’s not bad enough, the chanting is followed, as always, by a round of laughter. “Fuck off!” I yell back at them, and offer my middle finger as punctuation.
“Can you hear that?” I don’t give Belshaw a chance to speak, as I rip open the door to his office. The fat fuck is trying not to smile, but, like everything else, he’s not very good at it, and his lips twitch. “I’ve asked you before about this,” I say. “If it keeps happening, I’m going to make a formal complaint.”
“Against who?” Belshaw’s smile drops from his lips.
“Against them women.” I poke a thumb back over my shoulder in case he’s not sure who I’m talking about. “Against you.” He comically places a hand on his chest, in a ‘you surely can’t mean me’ gesture. “Yes. I’ve asked you not to call me on that system, but you keep doing it.”
“Well,” Now he sits up in his chair and leans across his desk. “it’s the way we’ve always done things, and it’s the way we’ll continue to do things.” I didn’t really think he’d say any different. “Anyway,” he says, leaning back in his chair. This is not going to be good. “I need you to stay back tonight. I want us to go over those figures you gave me.” He pushes a stack of papers across his desk towards me. They’re the ones I gave him earlier. God damn. “Don’t look like that.” I can feel my shoulders slumping and the blood rushing to my cheeks. Spend an evening here with him? Do me a favour. “I’ve got a bottle of wine, and we can order in some food. You like Chinese, right?” I do like Chinese food, just the thought of eating it with you puts me off. Looking at that face while I’m eating would probably make me throw up. Looking at his thin smile now turns my stomach, besides, I know the figures don’t need looking at; they’re straightforward. I can imagine the figure he wants to look at, and I’m really not into that.
That’s your lot for today. Hopefully I’ll feel less annoyed by things next week. Although I doubt it.