21st Century Cosmodemonic

A jandal from the inside

Monday, October 31, 2005

Rules of Office Etiquette III

  • There is no need to point out that I look like crap. Most people manage to stay quiet about it.

Office Immutable Laws

A new series, where we examine the universal laws of the Office, those facets of behaviour and structure which do not vary building to building, city to city, country to country. Sit tight and I'll give you the good OILs.


Any two colleagues who sleep together will soon be coincidentally moved by management to work very nearby each other, thus making every walk to the photocopier, kitchen or filing cabinet much more awkward than was foreseen at the time of the encounter.


The chances of two people being moved x distance apart from each other is equal to (f/b)*(cA+cB)/2 where c is not the speed of light, but the coolness coefficiant, A and B are the two colleagues, f is the friendship strength, and b is the maximum possible friendship strength (called bestfriendship) and x is the maximum possible reasonable move (MPRM) distance as calculated in some future theorem which I might call Lackey's Theory of General Movability.

Failed Hangover Cures V

  • Marinated sizzling organic beef with asian vegetables and jasmine rice. Sounds fancy, doesn't work. Kind of coagulates in the stomach to just make you feel worse. Next time, I'm sticking to the curry.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rules of Office Ettiquette II

  • Under no circumstances attempt to schedule a meeting for Friday afternoon. Or Monday morning. Or between noon and 2pm, or after 4 or before 9. That makes it easy to schedule fake appointments in Outlook the rest of the time, hence looking busy while not having to go to meetings.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rules of Office Etiquette I

Yes folks, a new series starting today, where I tell you off for things somone else may once have done! Ready? Drumroll please...

  • Do not make a lift or any part of an office smell of sushi before 11am.

Thank you, thank you very much...

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Morning Fiend, an Afternoon Friend

Traffic in the city this morning moved at the speed of a walking Lackey.

One of the advantages of living in the city, despite the ubiquitous yuppiness of the surrounds, is that I don't need to take public transport in a crush of people who just don't want to be there, or drive through polluted traffic jams to get to work. I get to walk beside those traffic jams instead.

Sometimes this is a mood enhancer as you leave those poor worker ants, trapped in their stainless steel and plastic cages, in your dust. You stroll merrily past the stuck cars, whistling and waving as you walk. Sometimes, it's a bit less uplifting, and they whiz past you, farting exhaust and throwing trash. Today the traffic moved at exactly the speed I was walking, which you might think would be mood neutral.

Well I'm afraid not. Keeping pace with me for almost the entirety of my half hour walk to what is commonly known as the f*ck-hole of suckage, was a goddam big enormous smelly and putrid garbage truck. How perfectly apt, I thought, how absolutely fitting that this should be my escort to monday morning at cosmodemonic.

And so that was fine, and I trudged undeterred through the pollution soup and the garbage stench, with the garbage truck pacing me, sometimes racing ahead, only ever to wait considerately at the next set of lights. Hey, I produce as much waste as the next lackey, I can cope with a bit of a stench reminder once in a while.

I did not count, however, on the flies. About halfway to work, they descended en masse from some secret inner bowel of the bastard, and they headed straight for me. I spent the rest of the morning perambulation waving my hands about my head in a demented haka. Eventually I shooed most of them over to a passer by who seemed to have used an unfirtunate fruit based hair product. He had a swarm about him so thick you could hardly see his face. But I'm pretty sure the expression under it all was unimpressed.

There remained one fly, buzzing around me, and indefatigable in it's interest. For moments I would think I'd lost it, only for it to suddenly emerge from behind me, or somehow come buzzing back from in front of me. Like something out of a horror movie, this fly was possessed of a will stronger than anything natural, and a monomania outside the bounds of the rational. He would fly towards me, I would flap my arms ineffectually, missing, and he would buzz around and away, sniffing an irresistable call in the smell I had now picked up from the garbage truck and the process would repeat. Of course, now that its job was done, the garbage truck, that rubbish repository turned demon dispensary, now turned off my path, no doubt in search of another victim.

The fly followed me all the way to 21CCd HQ, escorted me through the morning rituals with Young Eddie, and made his way into the lift with me. By the time we reached my desk, I had named him. Vodka-Legs. Because things that fly should be named Vodka- something and he has lots of legs. Also, he flies in circles similar to those I walk after drinking a bottle of vodka. Come to think of it, he reminds me of me in a number of ways: he's smelly, dirty and persistently irritating. He's lazy, judging by the way he prefers to sit on me when I walk rather than fly for himself. And he probably has bad breath.

It took a while for me to warm to Vodka-Legs. After all he is a filthy and annoying insect. But he has grown on me, and I have to confess, I'm rather fond of him now. Now I think he might be my best friend in the building. I tell him things and he doesn't tell anyone else, I start to feel close to him and he doesn't leave. Everyone else seems to wrinkle their noses as they pass my desk. Not my friend Vodka-Legs.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Lunchtime Questions

Lunch today in the Hall of Bad Food raised a lot of questions without really answering any hunger-related issues:
  • Why oh why do I keep coming here for lunch, knowing that no matter what I order there's no better than a ten percent chance it will be edible in any more than the most superficial sense of the word?
  • Why isn't there actually any where better for the million or so 21CCd employees who share my buildings to eat?
  • Why don't they care?
  • Why am I a lone island of cultural, culinary and cuticular class in a morass of indifference, a swampy sludge of saddenned superficiality, stained with a singularly strange sobriety and stupidity of spirit?
  • What have cuticles got to do with anything, and am I over rating them?
  • Can you go too far with alliteration?
  • Would anyone notice a hunger strike, or would I be carted away from my desk after three months, when someone finally noticed the smell that was my skinny rotting corpse?
  • Is it possible that Dr Phil has hit a new low with a show about a woman who is scared of throwing up, or was he already as low as a 21CCd executive's moral judgement?
  • Will they notice this time if I go to the pub for the afternoon?
  • Should I have had that 5th... no was it 6th... shot of hard liquor?
  • Am I too juiced up on the hooch to go back to work?
  • Am I juiced up enough on the hooch to go back to work?
  • Why is everyone looking at me funny?
  • Why do I have three computers, I used to have one, didn't I?
  • Where can I hide?
  • Can they hear me whimper under here?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New Trick

I've found a new trick to cure the office snoozes when there's no costanza in sight.

The kids around the corner have a sideline in racketeering. They sell coke, diet coke and coke with lime out of a fridge near their desks, for a small amount of change. They keep a cardboard box for change in the fridge with the cans.

So now, whenever I'm sleepy I can pop right around and grab a coke for cheap. The chilled change from my dollar sure wakes me up once I drop it in my pants pocket.

Failed hangover cures IV

  • Lying in the park at lunchtime. Not comfortable. Not relaxing. Nearly drowned. Mental note to try again when it's not raining.

Temp Card

Every now and then, ok quite often, ok all the time shut up, I forget my 21CCd access card.

This results in an awkward confrontation with Young Eddie, the nonagenarian security guard at the front entrance to the building, which usually goes something like this:

Lackey: Hi Eddie, I've forgotten my card sorry mate, could you chuck me a temp card for the day?
Young Eddie: Ooh ah, hello there. So, you've forgotten your card eh? You work here then?
L: You could say that mate, yeah.
YE: Right, ooh. So you're a Cosmodemonic Employee then?
L: Yes Eddie, I am.
YE: Ooh ok. Well I'm going to need you're team leader or supervisor to come down and confirm that then so I can give you a temp pass.
L: Eddie, my team leader works out of a different city. And I don't have a supervisor. We went through this last week, remember. And you always let me sign in in the end. We always have this conversation. It's quite fun actually, mate.
YE: Ah, so your team leader or supervisor can't sign you in then? You'll need to go home and get your pass sorry, ahh....
L: Oh come on, I haven't been home in days. It's not like I'd find my pass there. It's probably in the dumpster I slept under last night (can't remember her name now...) or I traded it to subversive agents in exchange for beer and bomb-making tips or it evaporated in a puff of smoke just after the pink flying elephants danced with the squirrels on the field of bok choy. I'm not sure.
YE: Well calm down, boyo, would you like a temp card then, maybe?
L: Hey that's a good idea! Yes please, Eddie.
YE: Here you go mate, just ask me next time.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The best thing for a hangover

Eight jugs of beer, two and a half bottles of red wine, and 12 shots of tequila.

Thank you... thank you very much.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mental Health

It's important for a blokes mental health to have hobbies. Probably for a girl's too. Nothing strenuous, you understand, but simple hobbies distract you from the overwhelming banality of existence, and enable you to function in society. So it's in everybody's interest. For example, my hobbies are drinking too much, and wandering aimlessly to avoid work.

By indulging these hobbies I maintain the health of a very important sector of the economy, and maintain my own sanity. I manage to turn up to work - most days - and that saves me from becoming a drain on the government coffers and a booze-thief. So it works out great for everybody.

To get to the point, on one of my recent excursions around the bowels of my building here at 21CCd, I recently discovered a sick room several floors down that seems to always be left open. Brilliant for a Costanza. But that ain't the half of it. I was there early yesterday, napping pleasantly through some scheduled meeting or other, when I opened one eye and happened to notice the medical supplies cupboard had a key in the lock.

Well, what's a boy to do? I mean, we try to be nice, we try to stick to simple rules to live by, and sure, one of those rules regards how rude it is to steal someone else's drugs without at least apologising and giving them a big hug afterwards and pretending you didn't know that was their stash, but hey, this is the 21CCd stash, and I just don't like them all that much.

So I got up, opened the other eye for better balance, and strolled casually, looking only every half-second over my shoulder at the doorway, to squat in front of the cupboard. I turned the key. The door wouldn't open. I turned the key back. The door opened. Turns out it had already been unlocked. Fair enough. I got over that minor stupidity, checked behind me half a dozen more times, and turned to examine the contents of the cupboard:

  • Bandaids...
  • Regulation pain killer with no active ingredients to avoid allergies...
  • Roll of bandages...
  • Morphine tablets...
  • CPR guide books...
  • More bandaids...
  • Hang on a second!

Morphine tablets!?!?

Now here was a thing that doesn't come along everyday. What the hell were decent drugs doing in a place like this? Ah, who cares for reasons and questions at a time like this. I grabbed the tablet bottle, with all the tablets, then reconsidered, replaced the bottle with a couple left in it, threw a bunch of the tablets down my throat, put the rest in my pocket and waited for a bit. Took a few more, and threw this track on repeat on my iPod and zoned out... for a couple of days. Great days. I think.

The Cute Nurse woke me up this afternoon when she was bringing Sick Sally in from 11 for her weekly hypochondria check.

She was shaking me with some urgency, and I was all like "Wha... wha.. shtop it ma... I'll get up in a minute..."
"Jesus Lackey, I didn't know you were here, what the hell... ah..." She grabbed a couple of tablets that had fallen out of my pocket. "You prick, these were mine."
"You need a better hiding place," I said, sitting up.
"I guess so, how are they? How many'd you take... oh. All of them."
"No I left a couple there..."
"They're not here now. You must have coma-walked for more."
"'Spossible I spose..." I grinned. "Don't know if I could have made it though... Sorry."
"Well I guess they're pretty good. I'll order more and hide them better. Look, you gotta move, Sick Sally is right outside, and I didn't know you were here, so I called Battleaxe from the other building, she'll be over in a second. You'd better get out now!"
"Why, does she still hate me? Could you hate this face? How could anyone hate such a harmless man as me?" I asked as I tried to pinch the Cute Nurse on the butt, missed, tripped and head butted the door at the end of my fall from the bed.
"Could be the smell, could be the manners. It's hard to be sure, Lackey."
"Right." I struggled up, grabbed the door handle and nearly managed to open it straight away.
"Lackey, you forgot something." As I turned back to steal a kiss, she put the extra pills in my shirt pocket, turned me around and pushed me out the door, a slap on the arse for good measure.
"One day, Cute Nurse, one day," I murmured as I sauntered, as much as a recovering morphine fiend can saunter, which I reckon is plenty, past Sick Sally and down the corridor. "Hi Sal. Bye Sal."

As I turned the corner, Nurse Battleaxe stormed past me in the other direction. She wasn't in a hurry especially, it's just she always storms. I winked at her as she passed. Don't think she caught it though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Somewhat disturbing

Some guy was found dead in a cubicle in the male toilets today.

Moustache Man wondered what the smell was in there - everyone else assumed... well, the obvious. He called security, and Young Eddie came up and used a screwdriver to open the cubicle door. I assume he knocked first.

Anyhow, slumped there on the loo, looking not too pleasant at all, and smelling feral, was some guy who people remember vaguely from the southern corner of the floor. Sure enough, his PC was on, and people who sat near it couldn't recall seeing the guy who sat there for "Well, some amount of time I guess."

Investigations are underway to find the man's name so his next of kin can be notified. If anyone knows a non-descript gentleman between 30 and 55 who worked(/works) for 21C Cosmodemonic, please get in touch with the local authorities to help out. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Story of Lunch (to the tune of Under the Boardwalk... kinda)

When the sun beats down
And burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot
You wish your tired feet were fireproof

Under the overpass
Down by the expressway
In a Thai place with my hangover
Is where I'll weep

(Under the overpass) With lots of rice
(Under the overpass) I'll be having some spice
(Under the overpass) People serving curry
(Under the overpass) In quite a hurry
(Under the overpass, overpass)

From the street you'll hear
The unhappy sound of a crying lackey
You can almost taste the chillis
And sauces that sent him batty

Under the overpass
Down by the expressway
In a Thai place with my hangover
Is where I'll weep

(Under the overpass) I'm far too hungover
(Under the overpass) I'll never make it through the day
(Under the overpass) I swear it's just curry powder in my eye
(Under the overpass) I break down and weep, Ok.
(Under the overpass, overpass)

Oh, under the overpass
Down by the expressway
In a Thai place with my hangover
Is where I'll weep

(Under the overpass) OK maybe it's the pollen
(Under the overpass) Or the pollution and the noise?
(Under the overpass) Fine maybe this hangover hurts
(Under the overpass) But deep down I'm just as tough as the other boys!
(Under the overpass, overpass)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Failed hangover cures III

  • Two panadol and a lot of water before you go to sleep. Bullshit. Just makes you have to get up and pee, hungover, in the middle of the night.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dissention in the Ranks

I've always thought the 21st Century Cosmodemonic was a monolith. It does not tolerate dissent, the only way to get ahead is to pander to your superiors, while kicking at your underlings. I've always thought that it was like a police state, where freedom of thought is not promoted, freedom of speech actively restricted, and freedom of behaviour strictly regulated.

But it turns out, 21CCd has nothing on America.

Henry Miller was a Dickhead

Henry Miller was a famous writer back in the thirties and later. A lot of people have even heard of him today.

He wrote one of my favourite books, not the most famous, Tropic of Cancer, but Sexus, which is heaps of fun, a bit wild and probably really self-indulgent. But I read it at an impressionable age, and I will love it forever.

Henry Miller worked for a giant telecommunications company, sending boys and men out with telegrams to hand-deliver. Things were different back then. He worked there until he reached 30, when he had an epiphany of sorts, and left his wife for a dance hall floozy named June, and started plotting with her to run away to Europe. Eventually they got to Paris, from where he launched his literary career. His books had rude words and sex scenes, so they were banned for a long time. Marketing genius, the rest was easy. It's all described in his Rosy Crucifiction trilogy, of which Sexus is book one. Rosy Crucifiction relating to his transformation between the ages of 30 and 33, just as Jesus began preaching as a carpenter at 30, and was nailed up as a deity three years later. Miller described the company that employed him as a telegraph delivery despatcher as the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company. Quite a coincidence, hey?

Henry Miller was also a dickhead, but we like him anyway.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Ballad of Reading Contradictory Reports

You get the delivery report from logistics
and tally the totals to tamper
with accountants who ought to be mystics
for whom ethics is just not a hamper.

You ask for the numbers from billing
and eventually billing comes good
the numbers show we'd have made a killing
if they'd have billed half as much as they should.

Why are half of these deliveries free!?
You cry in a rage to all present
and the answer begins "Well you see,"
from some lowly lackey-slash-peasant.

"Most of the company product
is delivered to you and your ilk,
but your attitude's we can get f**ked
there's no way that you're paying a bill.

"So all the deliveries un-paid up for
are to executives, their wives and mistresses
and there's just no way they'll be made up for
it would clash with executive privileges.

The quandary you find yourself in sir:
your own largesse has ruined your numbers.
I suggest you flush all the reports, sir,
and leave the mess to the plumbers."

The insubordinate has much to say,
and he seems to be right and not dense.
Happily a solution occurs in the usual way,
and you fire his ass for making sense.

A board meeting is called, to Barbados you fly.
The question is raised: "Where's all that money?"
"An useless lackey stuffed up, he's been fired," you reply.
"I should have known he was no good, he looked funny."

Consitutional Crisis

The Lackey is suffering from a personal crisis.

I was in the bathroom, only minutes ago, and after I had washed my hands, as I was walking past the basins toward the door, I clenched my biceps and looked appraisingly in the mirror. Of course at that moment, the door opened and Moustache Man walked in. "How are ya?" I asked as I strightened up, brushed past him in the doorway all nonchalant-like.

He mumbled some response, but it was lost in his moustache. But I know he saw it, he knows he saw it, and I know he knows he saw it. The problem is, he doesn't know I was doing it ironically. I pondered this as I wandered back to my desk. He saw me clenching my muscles at the mirror. Now he thinks I'm some kind of vain weirdo. He doesn't know I was being ironic. Was I being ironic? Was I in fact a vain weirdo? Does it matter? Does he care? Maybe I was just innocently wondering how silly I looked if I clenched my biceps. Moustache Man is probably standing there in front of the mirrors, clenching as we speak. Eeugh... How do you clench ironically? That doesn't even make sense you strange little freak. Ok, ok, calm down Mr Passive-Self-Aggression-Guy. But am I constituted of vanity? Or irony? Or general normality? Or a mixture?Or what the hell's going on? Take a lunch break for God's sake. Good idea.

That moment, that moment as the door starts to open is at once so long, stretching into hours on frame-by-frame advance in your mind, and yet so brief that you can't get further than started with any reaction, nowhere near finished nowhere near ready to face the next moment nowhere near anywhere at all.

And so I'm going to lunch, taking a book and sitting in the sun, and checking out my muscles in peace.

Lackey's Life Lessons I

Never take on three jobs at once.

It can leave you feeling like you bit off more than you can chew.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Failed hangover cures II

  • Actually working. Doesn't help at all.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Yuppies vs The Executives

It's like Alien vs Predator, but with more mandibles and scarier weapons.

I spent the weekend holed up in my apartment, hiding from Executive revenge which never came. The bastards are playing it cool, they know I'm on the run after last week's escapades. They know there's no hurry and they're closing in on me in their own good time.

A weekend on my own, you're thinking, in my own apartment. Finally I can calm down, come back to terms with the real world and move on from last week's trauma. A beautiful thought, and I thank you for it. (Honestly, thanks. I'll get you a beer sometime.) But wrong. (So you owe me a beer now, too. We'll have to do a trade off because as everybody knows beer-debts, like all drink-debts, are non-negotiable, non-transferable, do not cancel each other out and cannot be traded for cash, other goods or services. Get we to a brewery.) Because the calm after the Executive storm only gave way to Attack of the Yuppies.

The Yuppies are everywhere in my apartment complex, dining in the restaurants and shopping in the shops downstairs, wandering the concourses, and of course living in the apartments. They stroll, arm in arm, blankly staring at what passes for quality art or quality footwear or quality travelling accoutrements. They sit, blankly staring at what passes for quality cuisine, drinking quality plonk and nibbling on quality snacks. They drive quality four wheel drives or sports cars to blankly browse in the quality shops and blankly breathe the just plain quality that my apartment complex exudes.

Yuppy: a good life given to the wrong person.

I am going to subvert them. I'm starting small. I will wear my ugliest clothes and my homeless man rags and walk to close to them. I will be loud and uncouth and have footpath parties. Hell, I'll even talk to them. They won't know what to make of that. Not if it's not about real estate.

So the yuppies are trying to destroy my soul via a sped up process of erosion, while the executives mean to explode it with a pervasive and mystical fury. These are interesting times, my friends, interesting times indeed. Pray for me.