30 August, 2010

Working with an unnecessary evil

Well, the holiday is over. It wasn't a holiday in the traditional sense - not for me, at any rate - but La Mondaine went on a cruise for a few days the week before last and came back from that (as people often seem to do) with some hideous disease that kept her away for another week.

Ah, happy times... Even the Stress Fiend admitted it was easier to get work done without her here. "I like having her around again, but it's just so much easier to get things done when I don't have to keep explaining things to her." So clearly bringing her back to cover the Ted Gap is ... well, actually, it's working quite well. Just not in the way expected by any of the people who thought it was a good idea.

For the record, I'd just like to state again that I was not one of them.

But she's back now, and in between devouring most of the Stress Fiend's morning like so:

  • "How do I do this again?"
  • "What was the name of that nice man who used to work in... where did he used to work again?"
  • "Why don't we do it this way anymore?"
  • "But don't you remember how we used to have to do it?"
  • "Do you ever hear from ..." mixed with "Did you hear about..."
... she's also reminded me quite why it is I actually prefer having no-one (or even Ted) to having La Mondaine here by trying to pry extensively into my personal life.

"But aren't you stressed? Why aren't you on anti-depressants?You should be on anti-depressants!" Following which she proceeds to rattle off a string of pharmaceutical and herbal remedies she thinks I should be on because she can't imagine how she'd cope.

On the other hand I don't need to imagine how she'd cope, because I'm seeing it right now: she'd cope poorly. Very, very poorly. Her grown-up-and-left-home children have fallen into yet another crisis due to non-payment of bills and her mobile phone is ringing hot as she tries to fix things up for them. This has been a recurrent feature since her return so it's little wonder, really, that her offspring (who I'm sure can't be that much younger than me) are incapable of looking after themselves. It can only be a matter of time before one of them calls wanting to know what to do when he's exhausted all the possible ways he can wear one pair of underpants.

And if she ever has grandchildren it will be a disaster of Roland Emmerich proportions, only without the complex characterisation and intelligent plotlines. Think 2012 with the subtlety and grace of Dumb & Dumber.

Anyway, in between wittering on about the latest domestic dramas (many of which seem to revolve around the fact that she and her husband of decades still annoy one another and haven't merged into some warm, fuzzy, collective hive mind), she's also had the brilliant idea that she needs to come in for an extra day each week to work with Ted to learn all the great secrets she's convinced he holds. Which ... is really kind of mind-blowing when you think about it. She's worked with him before; she's seeing firsthand again how little he does now. Yet she still buys into the myth of Ted E. as the guardian of hidden knowledge, without which everything will fall apart.

I suspect I should probably be irritated by that (and no doubt will be at some point), and the thought of La Mondaine being here an extra day each week is certainly one that wants to make me weep ... but, on the other hand, it means she and Ted can make each other suffer directly, and on that basis I think I can put up with it for a time.

As long as I don't think about the fact we could have hired someone else.

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