“Do you carry a lipstick vibrator in your handbag?” says Blondie as though she were just simply asking the time of day.
“Nah, I only live round the corner,” replies Girl Friday nonchalantly, still tapping away on the keyboard. “If I feel horny, I just go home for a wank.”
As I pull the headphones from my ears, I wonder what other gems I have missed during the day, while I have been listening to MP3s on the PC. The mundane work of recording data, takes a few hours of out of each day in my job, and it often seems a good moment to zone out to some music. Although at times it can also be useful just to block out the occasional bland conversation about a colleagues’ “weekend painting skirting boards.”
“Have you ever used that at work?” Girl Friday asks as she ties her long brown hair back into a ponytail.
“Do you mean a work wank?” replies Blondie as she sits down on the edge of a desk, her feet dangling just off the floor.
Girl Friday nods yes, as she pulls a small compact mirror out of her black handbag and starts to check her face and hair.
“No,” says Blondie looking up at the ceiling, as though she needs to have a good think about Girl Fridays question. “No not here, but I’ve used it in the car a few times while I’ve been in a traffic jam.” They both laugh at this comment, in that way that only woman can. If two men in an office, were openly talking about masturbation in the work-place it would seem just plain seedy (no pun intended), but woman talking about it – well that’s another thing entirely.
I thought about choosing this moment to introduce a story about a friend, who was sacked from his first job when he was just 16 years old for a work wank.
This young boy had just left school; and was, as most teenage boys are very interested in girls. Trouble is he wasn’t very good with them, and so had to rely on the one hand shuffle for the time being. As anyone who has ever been a teenage boy knows, a fair bit of your time is taken up that way. We’ve all been there; the sitting on your hand till it goes dead. Looking through the underwear section in the Littlewoods catalogue. Laying on your back, and trying to reach –. Ok maybe that was just me, but anyway I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying here.
Anyway this young lad, who has just left school, gets a job in a local factory. This was in the 1980s when the UK had all the dreadful Tory schemes meant to find young people with no qualifications “on the job training.” His first few days at the factory were spent working in a messy stock room on his own, getting to know the job (as the boss put it at the interview), but basically just being used as cheap labour to clean up a total shit pit (my friends words, not mine). After a few days in the job, the lad starts to get bored. Remember that this is 1985 – long before the mobile phone. There’s no texting your mates for a chat to pass the time of day. Back then, when you were on your own, you were on your own. I imagine that it’s a situation that many of us have been in at work, when what you’re doing becomes so repetitive, that you start to daydream.
And so there in amongst the dusty boxes and rubber cylinder pipes, he started a certain type of “daydreaming.”
And so he was standing in his full glory, trousers down round his ankles – “daydreaming” when the double doors to the stock room crashed open, and in charged the CEO of the company with a face like a Pitbull chewing a Wasp. Apparently the stock room had a CCTV camera that the lad hadn’t known about, which went through to the receptionist’s office. Apparently two, sixty something year old, grey haired receptionists had witnessed a private act that they hadn’t really appreciated since 1935. One of them had allegedly fainted, knocking over the telex machine (it was the 1980s) which then fell into, and broke, the glass partition wall between them and the waiting room. The whole reception area was a scene of utter destruction. Never had a work wank caused so much mayhem.
Needless to say my friend was fired. I can remember at the time he was quite proud (again, no pun intended) that the reason sighted by the company for his dismissal was “gross misconduct.”
I’m obviously openly listening to Blondie and Girl Fridays conversation now, my music taking a back seat as they start to talk about the bulge, and I don’t mean the German attempt to breakout of the Ardennes during World War 2. No... this bulge is the one in a man trousers - a man that works in another department of our company.
“...I’d been standing up all day long, and squatted down like this for a rest.”
At this, Blondie drops down into a squat for the moment, as though it needed further explaining. “So I’m squatting down at zipper height, only a couple of feet away from his groin, but I couldn’t see anything. I would have expected something – but no, nothing,” she says shaking her head, and pulling a face that shows she is truly disappointed.
“Maybe he tucks it away somewhere?” Offers Girl Friday, laughing and arching her eyebrows in mock question, then adding, “You’re terrible you are. Looking at a bloke like he’s a piece of meat.”
My interest in their conversation starts to wane a little now as the conversation changes to male genitalia.
“Oh - it’s OK is it, for him to perv down my cleavage, but not OK for me to look at the bulge in his trousers?” They both laugh out loud at Blondie’s statement.
As she stands back up from her squat, and pulls an office chair over to sit on, she turns to Girl Friday and says, “Come on, he’s a perv. He can’t drag his eyes away from my tits when we sit in a meeting.”
Girl Friday has started putting on mascara but stops to think about it for moment, “Yea but, most men are like that, aren’t they?”
Out of the blue, while I’m totally unprepared comes a question from Blondie aimed at me. She spins round in the office chair to face me, “You’re a man Dicky – don’t all men look down a woman’s cleavage when they can get a free, quick view?”
I’m like a rabbit caught in car headlights; large twin headlights, on full beam. What do I say to this? It’s not like I’ve done any research on the subject. I never went to University, to study “the history of man perving of the female breast through the ages,” although it sounds a very interesting degree and surly worth £9K per year. There’s only one thing for it; I will have to give my opinion on the cleavage issue.
“Well for me... personally... it’s like this –“
I never get to finish my sentence because the phone on my desk starts to buzz away like my saviour. I pick it up, mouthing the words, “Sorry, got answer this - important,” to the girls. They start randomly talking about false eyelashes or painting skirting boards or something. I don’t know and I don’t care.
Never has a man been happier, to receive a cold call from a print supply salesman.