You know what it’s like in the morning when it’s dark and you’re rushing to get ready for work – everything conspires against you to make you late, and dark colours all look the same. I once got into my car with shoes of different colours, one navy, one black. Why do I always have to buy two pairs of shoes in different colours when I find some I like? Another time, I had two identical suits, one black watch, one plum watch. The same thing happened. I was in my car when I realised I was wearing the jacket of one suit and the skirt of the other. Fortunately, as it was light by then I spotted both mistakes before I drove off to work, and went back in to change. I must point out at this time I was not yet senile, and was holding down a very responsible job!
However, now I am senile and have been put out to grass and ignored by any company who can’t deal with people over the age of sixty, I have discovered that the same thing has happened again. Only this time, I didn’t discover it before I went to work. In fact, I didn’t discover it while I was at work either, nor when I arrived home and changed!
Picture the scene. I’m on my first day on a temporary assignment, trying to look cool. I’m sitting in reception facing the front door, having arrived early, just in case I’d been stuck in traffic. I’d left a message on my boss-to-be’s voicemail to say I was there, as instructed by the notice in reception. I was dressed smartly, yet not overpoweringly power dressed. Black and grey check skirt, black jumper, grey jacket, black shoes. Drab, but efficient looking. One doesn’t want to be too gaudy, does one? Admittedly, I was carrying a dark red, imitation lizard skin handbag, but only because it was the only one I had which was big enough to hold my lunch, in case there were no lunching facilities on site. I was not sent for a preliminary interview, so I’d actually never been there before to suss out what the protocol was.
Half the company duly arrived at varying times after nine o’clock. I dismissed most of them as being my boss – you get a feel for who is likely to be the Financial Director in this size of business after many years in the trade, he would be the worried looking one, smart but not flambuoyant. Some people were very friendly and stopped to chat with me, some people just looked me up and down and carried on walking through. Eventually I spotted him – the FD, people in the accounting business will know what I mean – he was not concentrating on anything except his thoughts about what he was going to do that day, and how he was going to get the bottom line looking as his head office required. Absorbed in another world, he breezed past me without a glance. Five minutes later he came down to greet me.
We had a short discussion in his office about what he wanted me to do. He introduced me to the assistant accountant, who I was replacing for the next few weeks while she went off to Australia for her daughter’s wedding. We casually sat around in the middle of his office drinking coffee and discussing the job for about half an hour. His desks are spread around the perimeter of the room. No privacy of being screened behind a desk in there.
The assistant accountant then took me around the open plan office and thoughtfully introduced me to everyone, not that I remembered many names except that there were three Ians, so I shall call them all Ian when I go back and hopefully, I’ll at least get one of them right! We then went back to her desk, where she sat tidily tucked under the desk, and I sat to the side of her desk, stuck out in the middle of the office, straining my eyes to see what she was showing me on her screen which was about five feet away from me. The computer system there was very slow, and I was able to make copious notes about the tasks I would be picking up next week when I go back. If I go back, that is.
This morning I took out my last week’s washing from my laundry bin to put into my washing machine. Where did the bright purple tights come from? I live in trousers at home, don’t wear tights, just socks. I did actually go out in a skirt to a meeting in the middle of the day last week, but there was also a pair of black tights I would have worn with that skirt in the wash too. Hmmmm! Purple tights, red bag……….I feel an old poem coming on!
When I am old, I will wear purple, with a red hat that doesn’t go………..
You know the rest.