Home > Fiction, My Life Musings > Office Irritations Part 1 – Interruptions

Office Irritations Part 1 – Interruptions

Picture the scene. You’re working away, you’ve just had a great idea and you’re struggling to bring it to fruition. You’re so close, when suddenly…

…there’s someone hanging off your shoulder pestering you for something which only you can provide.

You’ve lost your train of thought! Your mojo’s gone! You were so close to discovering the deepest secrets of the universe, or at least to making Excel do that split-screen thing, and you’ve lost it all because “the printer’s making a funny noise” or “my monitor’s gone all funny”.

There are some tricks you can use to alleviate some of these interruptions:

  • Use a flag system – your flag can say anything from “Please talk to me!” through “Important conversations only!” to “Busy – feck off!”
  • Make it clear that you can only be disturbed during set times
  • Build a reputation in the office for being a mean, unapproachable git

Come with me now on a journey – a journey into a typical office environment, where we will be a fly on the wall. Let us observe just how damaging a badly-timed interruption can be!

A badly-timed interruption

Pablo, top enforcer for the notorious Muertos gang, barely had time to register the impact of the bullets ripping through his body before the darkness claimed him. He experienced a curious sense of drifting before, with a sound like a clap of thunder, he found himself standing on a small rocky island in the midst of what, upon closer inspection, appeared to be a sea of lava.

So this is the afterlife, he thought. The sky was an ugly shade of red, shot through with frequent flashes of lightning. The heat emanating from the lava was making it hard to breathe. The smell of sulphur was making him sick. Looking around, he got the distinct impression that sitting on a cloud playing a harp was not in his future. Pablo had done some pretty horrific things in his life and evidently after he’d died he’d gone to “the other place”.

With yet another clap of thunder, a monstrosity appeared. Big, red, horns and a forked tail. The very cliché of a demon. It spoke, its voice loud, booming, all-encompassing.

“I AM GROZLAAKK! I AM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! HERE YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF PAIN. WITH PLIERS SHALL I TEAR YOUR TONGUE FROM YOUR MOUTH! WITH HOT POKERS SHALL I BURN YOUR EYES FROM THEIR SOCKETS! WITH WHITE-HOT HOOKS SHALL I can see you hovering over there, Trokkle, what is it now?”

A much shorter version of Grozlaakk had suddenly appeared. Trokkle carried a notepad and a pair of half-moon spectacles was perched precariously on the end of his nose.

“So sorry to disturb, oh Unspeakable One,” grovelled Trokkle, “but your eleven o’clock is stuck in traffic. He wishes to push your meeting on to twelve.”

“Remind me?”

“Your landscape architect, oh Magnificent Giver of Pain. He’s re-igniting your lava pond, replacing the tortured soul garden ornaments and installing the gazebo for your weekend garden party.”

“Ah yes,” said Grozlaakk, recollection showing on his hideously demonic face. “Twelve will be fine. You will need to order in lunch.”

“Of course, oh Hideous Denizen of the Lava Wastes, I shall repair to the Demonic Deli immediately. Your usual, Sir? Cucumber sandwiches?”

“That will be perfect, Trokkle. But ensure that THE CRUSTS ARE CUT OFF THIS TIME!”

“I’m sure the survivors of the last mistake have got the message, Sir.”

“Now, where was I?” said Grozlaakk, turning back to Pablo (who was staring at the pair, somewhat confused).

“You were about to let me go?” asked Pablo hopefully.

“How amusing! Isn’t he amusing, Trokkle?” said Grozlaakk.

“Most amusing, Sir,” replied the demonic little secretary.

“Ah, yes, I remember. WITH WHITE-HOT HOOKS SHALL I RIP THE INTESTINES FROM YOUR STILL WARM BODY…”

Grozlaakk

  1. November 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    LOL..I always hated when people would bother me at work..couldn’t they tell I was buseh, lost in an audio book? Feck off!

    Like

    • November 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Yeah, right? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been listening to my early morning Florence and the Machine and someone needs their password reset. Can’t they see I’m groovin’ on down? 🙂

      Like

      • November 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        LMAO…yes, how many times did they interrupt me while I was jamming to my tasty tunes? 🙂

        Like

      • November 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        Anyone would think we were there to work or something. Weird 🙂

        Like

  2. November 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    That is one thing that makes me truly angry actually. When I am so focused on something and someone wants to talk and it almost feels like my brain grip gets ripped away and bam, instant anger. Love the story! 🙂

    Like

    • November 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      As part of a small IT team it’s part of my job to help people, but that doesn’t make me feel any better when that tricky algorithm I’ve struggled with for hours is at the tip of my fingers when suddenly…
      Glad you enjoyed the story!

      Like

  3. November 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I used to hang a skull and cross bones on my door. That was unmistakable, you’d think. There were those who ignored it . They regretted it. Except The Boss. He didn’t do regret.

    Like

    • November 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Most bosses don’t do regret. I think they take a course or something.
      Love the skull and cross bones idea!

      Like

  4. November 15, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Hope your boss doesn’t read here or that he has a sense of humor.
    I distract easily. For me to concentrate I need something else going on around me.
    I can drive extremely well with loud music, a difficult road or traffic and being able to drive fast.
    If I drive the speed limit on a straight road I become so distracted that I drive off the road. I have to force myself to remember I’m driving. To be in the moment or my mind wanders and I’m in a field.
    If I can be on the phone, cleaning anything, cooking and have the radio on Everything is fine. If I do one thing, it doesn’t get finished. I forget something’s cooking and will leave home. Don’t understand myself.
    Love to read and watch TV at the same time.
    I have become much better in time but the driving part I still need to be aware.

    Like

    • November 15, 2013 at 7:22 am

      I was originally safe in the knowledge that no-one from work would read this, but then I remembered that I publish to Facebook! I did get a couple of (jokey) comments on my Facebook page 🙂
      I’m not so good at doing more than one thing at a time (but blokes aren’t supposed to be able to multi-task, apparently!). I often read and write posts while watching TV, but not if it’s something really good! I’ll never read a book and watch TV at the same time, as I won’t get anything out of either of them.
      I always listen to loud music in the car, but I get distracted if someone talks to me or I answer the phone (if I can even remember which button on the steering wheel actually answers the phone that is – I’m just as likely to cut someone off and I can’t ring them back because I can’t remember the voice commands!).
      I guess we’re polar opposites to each other when it comes to distractions!
      I hope you don’t drive into any fields or hedges – I’m a bit worried now 😦

      Like

  5. November 15, 2013 at 6:55 am

    If this ever goes to the big screen I want dibs on the character of Grozlaakk ~ I really think I have the comedic timing to pull it off!!
    This was awesome my Dralifriend!!
    I loved this ~ your gifts don’t stop at dralidoodles, no, your dralistories are also fantastic!
    ~Andrea<3

    Like

    • November 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Because you have invented the awesomely excellent terms “dralifriend” and “dralistories”, you can definitely have the lead role as Grozlaakk!
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought up the story and then had to think up a post to put it in to give it some context 🙂

      Like

  6. November 16, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Also, great story telling. I’ve heard that on our Academy Awards online site there is a competition for writers if short stories.
    Please check it out, your stories would be good movies. Your dialogue is right up there. Breath deep and think about it. Please.

    Like

    • November 16, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Thanks – sadly this year’s winners were announced last month. Maybe next year!
      I’m glad you enjoy my little fictions, I always look forward to your comments.

      Like

  7. November 24, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I try hard for mean and unapproachable but still they come to me with their I.T. questions! I’m not even in I.T.

    Like

    • November 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Some people just can’t pull off mean and unapproachable!
      Maybe you are the de facto unofficial IT expert. Are all your IT people truly mean and unapproachable :-)?

      Like

      • November 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

        We are such a small organisation that our I.T. is external, so it’s a pain to get them to come on site. Still, it’s bizarre that people come to me with their questions, I’m totally useless at I.T. Funny post!

        Like

      • November 24, 2013 at 9:48 am

        Thanks!
        Looks like you’re stuck with it then :-(. But hey, looks like you’re the officially acknowledged in-house IT expert (it’s amazing how far you can get with “have you tried rebooting?” – it fixes almost everything)!

        Like

  8. November 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Haha, actually, one of the tips I have learned is, “have you checked that it’s plugged in?” It’s been useful on a few occasions! Must have gained me my credentials as resident IT guru.

    Like

    • November 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

      It’s amazing how many times someone knocks out a power cable with their foot 🙂

      Like

  1. December 22, 2013 at 9:11 am

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