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Ben's Hilarious Life

Workin’ Day And Night: Hardcore Nepotism

from Totally Fushed, Christmas 2003

Since September, I have been working in my dad’s accountancy practice, and it has been a most interesting experience. Interesting, in the sense that there has been literally nothing about the experience that I haven’t hated. I’ve gained a new and vivid understanding of why office workers look forward to the weekend with such unnatural fervour. Not even at the height of Leaving Cert. hell did I anticipate Friday-evening-home-time with such utter desperation as I have these past weeks. 

My first day at the office was filled entirely with shredding. Paper…so…much …paper…Er, anyway…My first fifteen minutes, however, were spent cursing the shredder for being broken. I then realised that I was pressing the reverse button. The day could only improve! After carrying out the first twenty sacks of minced documents, I think I just kind of blacked out. The other tasks were performed in my mental absence. At 5.30pm, I collapsed into a chair, gasping for Diet Coke, and worried that my mind might shut down from lack of stimulation and I’d awake from a coma in four years’ time to discover that Kilmacanogue had been destroyed by a giant alien mothership. 

Things move fast in the business world. My first promotion came on my second day! I dropped the mantle of ‘shredder’, and became the office’s newest…‘Archive Technician’. I was filing, basically. This meant being out in the ‘file sheds’, relatively unsheltered from the cold and wet wintry weather. From these sheds, however, I have a perfect view of the office kitchen. I can secretly watch as the other employees gather for ‘cram-as-many-people-into-the-kitchen-as-you-can’ time. Um, lunch hour. 

My own lunch hours are spent in the lonely emptiness of Daddy’s ‘personal space’ (his private office), chewing flapjacks and muttering about how shit everything is (Daddy Des himself is invariably out entertaining clients). Before heading for eats, I have to return the shed keys to the secretary. On one occasion, she greeted me with unexpected praise. ‘That’s absolutely brilliant, Ben’, she said as I handed her the little metal phalluses. It’s okay, Jacinta, I’m just returning the keys. There’s no need to orgasm.

I try to find glimmers of hope in each day. One morning, I was lugging files up the stairs to storage space at the top of the building. As my foot reached the hundred-and-somethingth step, I looked up. Sunlight refracted through the chandelier overhead was scattering flecks of rainbow onto the beige walls. It was as if these bits of rainbow were guiding me to my destination!

So, do moments like these make my job easier? No. I still hate it. I come in at 9.00 every morning, do stupid annoying tasks which I’ve no interest in for seven and a half hours, then trudge home in the rain at 5.30.
 But you know what is great? When I do get home – wet as I may be – I’ve got nothing to worry about. No assignments. No study. I can flip open the laptop and do some stuff for the mag, or grab some paper and pen a poem or two. Sometimes, I just think, fuck it – and I watch TV and sip beer all evening!

This job gives me time – precious, sweet time. And also money. And an excuse to take the DART with my friends each morning while inwardly laughing at their lives of university-level stress. 

What’s more, if I went from lowly shredder to ‘Archive Technician’ in just twenty-four hours, by January I’ll be made partner and never have to write a line or learn a line again!

Ah, nepotism. You gotta love it.


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