Sunday, July 15, 2007

At my workplace, there are several people on my floor who are always in their offices after work hours and at the weekends. I know this because in the past, on a few rare occasions where I had to nip back to fetch my cheque book or my house keys, those few people's lights are always on and sometimes I see them stumbling out to the pantry or the toilets. Inevitably they look surprised to see me.

Yesterday was a Saturday and I was at the office pretty much the whole day as I had planned to spend two weeks working on the revision of a paper. Four other offices' lights were on, including both my adjacent neighbours. They probably weren't aware that I was there as this would be quite unusual, and also I don't switch on my office lights. No, I don't have night vision goggles; just a large window and balcony so lights are not really essential.

Anyhowse, one of my neighbours was talking on the phone the whole time I was working. I know this because he was shouting into the phone. It was quite annoying but after a while I was intrigued as to what the fuck he was going on about.

I started by ceasing to type. Then I stopped reading, and then stopped moving. I sat very still and cupped my hands around my ears. I switched the air-con off. But it didn't work very well. Firstly, his voice was still muffled and he tended to yell at the beginning but his volume would tail off towards the end of each exchange (as if he was saying "LISTEN YOU FUCKING BASTARD YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!!! YOU BETTER PRAY TO GOD I DON'T GET MY HANDS ON YOU Or I'm gonna rip your blur blur blur ..... bla bla blahh....."). Secondly, he was speaking in heavily accented mandarin, which I am apologetically not conversant with.

Next, I took a glass, rinsed it out, climbed onto my desk and placed it between my ear and the wall. And man! Was he shouting or what! Nearly split me eardrum. I could only bear it for half a minute.

After that I decided this was hopeless and surrendered.

And so I climbed back down and put some music on to drown out his voice, instead.

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