A Red Camel

A red camel. Yepp, that’s the first thing my eyes see through my thick glasses´ lenses when I sit down at my office desk.  It’s a sort of play mobile toy which my colleagues gave me on my first day at work.  They said it would be my mascot. It’s cute. Red… but cute.

Speaking of colleagues, we all kind of have them. They are those creatures whom we have to face every day, either at work or at school or anywhere which involves team work and interaction with other beings.  We like most of them; refrain from strangling a few; and have already probably killed at least one.

We all have colleague-stories which we love to narrate. We all have funny colleagues, naughty ones, lazy co-workers, the ones who are never hungry and the ones who could eat their feelings. Of course, the queen of ´em all is the blonde colleague. Sorry, not being sexist at all, but it´s true, office blondes derive almost always from the female specimen.

Currently at the office I sit across a colleague hidden behind a coffee table. By coffee table I mean a desk full of brown coffee stains! Not a day goes by that she doesn’t come in with a cup of coffee and spills an ocean of Americano on her sticky notes – I hope she’s not using coffee instead of glue because I wouldn’t know whether to classify her as dumb blonde or just clumsy.

The colleague sitting next to her tries hard to keep his eyes wide open and I can never get a single word he utters, except for ‘joder’, which is a Spanish rude word. Oh right, a tiny detail which I left out: my colleagues are all Spanish. He comes in 10 minutes late every morning and takes an extra 5-minute break every afternoon. Simply put: he doesn’t give a damn. I can classify him as the lazy one who would rather stay at home, strut in his birthday suit and leave everything hang lose, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeaaaaah. Sorry, got carried away with Bruno Mars´s song there.

Then there´s her. The one whom I have mentally strangled at least 60 times and I’ve only been working here 38 days (sigh). She complains about everything and everyone. She bloody complains about her own complaining… ¡Dios! And don’t get me started about the extra mental effort I have to do to concentrate when she is talking with clients… three rooms away! The pitch of her voice must hurt dogs’ ears so bad, poor things.

*Drumm rolls* …YES! I am lucky enough to have a blonde colleague (yes, she’s a lady). .  I remember how she used to water a fake plant, tried to boil milk in a kettle before the smoke detector went off, thought that Q W E R T Y was the name of the person who invented the keyboard, laughs five decades later at a joke, thinks that her PC is not switching on before someone magically switches on her monitor, and applies glue to sticky notes, because ‘they’re called sticky notes for a reason’… *insert jaw-drop emoticon here*

But… all in all, the world is beautiful in all its diversity. And so is the atmosphere at my work place. So, whenever I want to mentally triple face kick the one who always complains; urge my lazy colleague to be on time; hand a straw to the colleague sitting in front of me because she could might as well drink her coffee directly from her desk; or just face palm myself when my blonde colleague asks me whether we all know each other in Malta because ‘the population is only half a million’, I just stare in awe at my red camel, wink, and thank God at least there’s someone sane at the office. Red, but sane.

MarieLou Camilleri

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