Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Mongrel Magazine, May 2005

The Top Ten Most Annoying People I Work With

I’m too cowardly to murder them and too broke to put a contract out

brent10. Lance Armstrong boy
Walks around with his sleeve rolled up and his arm stuck out like he’s carrying it in an invisible sling. W-why? Because he’s got a motherfuckin’ Lance Armstrong bracelet dude. Seriously, if he was second class he’d be an idiot. In an insurance office at 24 years of age he has to be either a mental defective or an interloper from some strange parallel universe in which people in offices are impressed by shitty yellow bracelets.9. World’s soundest man
Could he be the soundest man in the world? Well, yes. It’s plain to see he’s the soundest man in the world. Christ, with all the effort he’s put into it you’d need to be deaf, dumb, blind and stupid not to have noticed. Just listen to him go on. How’s it going there? How are you? Great… fantastic. Listen, I’ve done this for you, and I’ve also done that for you, and it was absolutely no trouble so don’t mention it. Email me if you have any questions. Oh, and this is my home number. I still have the two kidneys if any of your relatives is ever stuck… Yes, I know he just wants us to like him. But why?

8. Mr Action Verbs
Yeah, he’s just going to grab that file off you if it’s okay. Then if you punch up some numbers, he’ll bang out an email. After lunch we’ll somersault headfirst into, and roundhouse kick to oblivion, whatever work remains outstanding so that, by Friday, all our weekly targets should be well and truly sodomised. Idiot.

7. Fatman
Likes to close every conversation with a big hearty laugh. This is how we know he’s a people person. Two minor problems here: (1) He only laughs at his own jokes and (2) he doesn’t have sense of humour. That aside, he’s a regular joke machine. These are just from while I was sitting here writing this:
…It’s always in the last place you look! HAHAHAHA
…The more the merrier! HAHAHA
…Any excuse! HAHAHAHA
…[to a group of men] Ladies, please! HAHAHAHAHA
…As little as possible! HAHAHAHAHA
…Well, either brave or stupid!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
…Start as you mean to continue HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

6. Basically/literally/actually/honestly lady
Basically, this woman uses four different words that have, literally, four different meanings, so interchangeably as to render them actually meaningless. Honestly, like.

5. Schizo body language man
You’ll get two totally different reads on this guy depending on whether you can hear what he’s saying or not or not. Two tables away from him in the canteen you’d think he was a really smart guy. He has this sort of sage air about him. Sit down at the same table, though, and he’s one of the dimmest human beings you’ll ever meet. He’s certainly one of the dimmest on these premises. And take my word for it sister, this ain’t Bletchley Park.

Sometimes, when I’m bored, I watch his gestures and read his body language and try to guess what he might be talking about. Then I move a little closer and listen. I’ve never gotten within a million miles.

Body language: Wizened and world weary. He’s seen ‘em come and go and he’s watched ‘em die.
Audio: “Excellent movie, excellent movie… Will Smith is superb!”

Body language: Aging boxer reluctantly agreeing to throw a fight he knows in his heart he can win.
Audio: “The second biggest Lidl in Ireland. I swear to God lads, it’s the second biggest Lidl in Ireland!”

4. The ‘drinks’ crowd
Monday is Brendan’s birthday drinks, Tuesday is Lisa’s leaving drinks and Wednesday is Niamh’s new job drinks. Then Thursday is Tommy’s going to the toilet drinks, Friday is his having a dump drinks and Saturday is his wiping his hole drinks… If you want to go to the pub, just go to the pub, you stupid friggin’ alcoholics.

3. Reverse argument lady
In a normal argument you ight say “It’s mine”, I might say “It’s mine” and we’d both pull each others’ hair until one of us runs home crying. A reverse argument is where you say “It’s yours” and I say “No, actually, you deserve it, Mildred” and then we both coo and tweet until everybody dies of boredom.

In the general run of things you’d have one of these reverse argument maybe three or four times in a year. But this twisted genius engineers eight or ten of them a day. God knows why, she seems to get some sort of twisted pleasure out of them. And you just kick yourself when realise you’ve walk into one. She might have asked you get her something from the shop. On the way back, you suddenly realise you owe her about 20c change. You can’t not offer it to her, so you do offer it to her. But instead of taking the money, or just quietly refusing it, she practically jumps on the desk and starts yelling at the top of her voice “KEEP IT… AH GO ON SURE, JUST KEEP IT… GO AWAAAY… GO AWAAAY FROM ME… KEEP IT… KEEP IT ARRRRRGGGGHHH”

2. The IT Department.

1. Eye Contact Man
This guy should be locked up. The only reason he isn’t is because he hasn’t killed anyone. Yet. That we know of. But it’s in the post. When he does, you’ll turn on the television and they’ll be interviewing me, and I’ll be saying “To be honest Eileen, I’m not surprised at all. I’m only surprised he didn’t flip earlier. I’m only surprised he didn’t take more with him”. Because Eye Contact Man is one strange customer.

His chief weapons – once he’s cornered you in a conversation and there’s no way out – are missile lock eye contact, manic nodding and frantic agreement with anything you say. Sometimes he’ll agree with you before you’ve even said anything:
– Did you, er, see the, am, football there last night? Yeah…
– Yes, I did…
– Yeah yeah yeah
– …see a bit of it…
– Yeah yeah yeah
– …last night.
– Yeah yeah yeah
– Nice finish from Drogba, wasn’t it?
– Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
– Yeah…
– Yeah yeah yeah
– What did you think yourself?
– Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah yeah yeah