Conductor of Sighs

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Everybody sighs where I work. They sigh when they sit, they sigh when they stand, they sigh when an email comes through, they sigh after the tube sighs them out of the bowls of London. For all the exaggerated exhaling, you'd expect the place to smell...

Everybody sighs where I work. They sigh when they sit, they sigh when they stand, they sigh when an email comes through, they sigh after the Tube sighs them out of the bowls of London. For all the exaggerated exhaling, you'd expect the place to smell like gut and mouth, but it doesn't. It smells like plastic and cheap carpet and air conditioning. It’s a faint smell that dries you out and creates boulders of snot in your nose which you have to excavate with a fleet of JCB digits in the privacy of your own home. You can't do that kind of thing at work with all the sighing chimneys around, drawing attention to every minutely sigh-worthy case. And there are lot of sigh-worthy cases in this place. They could power the building on all the thermal wind being wheezed into the atmosphere. What a waste. Sigh.

 

I should mention at this point, I'm a gigantic hypocrite of a man. I'm not a gigantic man, not by any means. Let me be clear; I am a gargantuan hypocrite. The champ of contradiction and double standards. The King of 180's and U-turns. Challenge me at your peril. You cannot outmanoeuvre my inconsistency. What I'm getting at is; I'm the biggest sigher of the bunch. Oh, yes. I can barely read this page without sighing away all my breath in disgust, turning my lungs inside out. I'm on the verge of hyperventilation most of the day. I should really carry around one of those brown bags. Or better yet, I could carry a few balloons and store up some sighs for when I'm all sighed out. Then I can let off some rubber-perfumed sighs just when I need them, with a little balloon raspberry at the end to wake up those lot who think they've mastered sigh-deafness. You haven't mastered sigh-raspberry-deafness now, have you? Little pest. Now, back to work, mite!

 

Those are genuinely things I say to my colleagues. This rhetoric brings on a good deal of the outward breathing thing I'd mentioned previously. A sigh choir. I am the conductor of an orchestra of wind instruments. More feeling, you worm! 

 

I think they are looking for ways to get rid of me. Manage me out. That's how it works in the UK, my American friends. You can't just fire someone, sonny. Oh, no siree bob. In the UK, you have to make a person feel so unwanted and uncomfortable over the course of many weeks and months, that they are forced to leave on their own accord. Then we can all write in their leaving card and buy them a gift and say we’re sorry they're going. Good luck! All the best in the new role! It's passive aggressive firing. We excel at passive aggression here. That's why we sigh so much. In America you probably don't sigh at all. You probably just scream 'hot damn' and shoot your mother. 

 

They are pretty much stuck with me here, bringing everyone down with my sighs and feeding on their hot lunch breath in return. I store it all up and humidify the dry air with their recycled carbon dioxide puffs. It's the only way I can stop the air being so dry and get control of these bloody nose crusties.

 

Sometimes, if the team is too buoyant, I'll have to be a bit more direct to get them back to choir practice. Not enough sighing going on around here, know what I mean? This can happen around Christmas time or on Fridays, five minutes before everyone evacuates to live their very sigh-worthy lives. So I'll just throw in a sigh grenade like, 'Redundancies'. 

 

'What do you mean, "redundancies?"' they'll ask. 

 

'Just heard there might be some. Enjoy your weekend!' Then I'll leave immediately, my exit wind-assisted by the warm sighs at my back. Wonderful. 

 

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