Abu Musa's Chilled Blog

Friday, April 07, 2006

The second half of a day in the life of a mad man called Al

Unfortunately, I made an empty promise on the previous post that If I made it through the day I would complete the post. Well, empty promises are exactly that, they should not be kept, completing the post would defeat the whole object of an empty promise, they intrinsically tell you their own outcome. So why should I complete the post?

But it’s not that easy is it? I’m not going to get away without finishing this post am I? Serves me right for having such a big mouth.

Well here goes.

1.00 pm (cont..)

The guy who is showing me his process is on a roll, he’s flying through screens explaining all sorts, he’s cracking jokes and having a great time. What he doesn’t realise is that I’m barely conscious. I figured he would probably realise this after 20th silence after the 20th joke, but no. Full steam ahead, this boy’s determined to enjoy himself. I felt quite bad really, it’s almost like no one’s sat with him before and he’s so excited, if he’s not careful I think he will burst a blood vessel in a minute. Not that I don’t like a laugh or a joke, just when you’re this sleepy, the funniest thing is most certainly silence.

1.15 pm

I don’t often take lunch, primarily because I’m new to this building and I hate eating alone. I physically can’t sit alone in a canteen and eat on my own, I feel like the saddest person alive, in the saddest corner of the saddest planet that not even one person would eat with. Perhaps I’m too self-conscious, but before I end up crying in my chips I’d rather skip this whole scenario.

However, to survive I need food to keep me going, so what can you do, I can’t eat junk everyday can I? The wife would beat me to a pulp if I did that.

However, there was once a bright spark who had this same problem, he invented a solution that would help millions for centuries to come, something which fulfils every need for the internal body. Something which provides all the vitamins and minerals needed for a week in one healthy serving. Yes! It’s the Cheese and Onion Pie.

Now the pie solves all my problems, it fulfils my need for hot food, I can take it to my desk and munch away on it until my heart is content hence no need for crying in the canteen. And last but not least, it tastes unbelievable!

So off I toddle in pursuit of my pie.

The only problem with purchasing a pie each day is being served by the same person. There’s this girl who sells the pies, and slowly she has developed a slightly apathetic look towards me like “here he comes for his pie” I think sometimes she picks it up and holds out her hand for the cash before I’ve even spoken, in fact as soon as she sees my head pop out of the door, maybe even as she hears my footsteps on the stairs.

It’s horrible to be discriminated against. She’s some kind of pie-cist, I can feel it in my bones.

So today, l decide to use some new tactics.

I walk through the door as per usual and approach the counter as per usual. She looks at me and I can see what she’s thinking “here he comes for his pie again”. I decide to counter this by looking around the shelves behind her for something to throw her off track, I then see her next thought bubble appear “look at him pretend he wants something else, I’m gonna chuck this pie at him in a minute”. Like all true tacticians I switch tactics again and decide to use some words this time “Can I have a hmmmmmmmm” I figured if the hmmm lasts long enough she may think I’m genuinely after something different, then all of a sudden she says: “what do you want?”

“Pie please”

I hold out money and trudge off down the stairs with my pie, it was a brave battle but I’m afraid she’d won this one. I retreated to my desk and cried into my pie.

1.30 pm

Time for Dhur, time to be uplifted, time to forget that traumatic pie experience.

There’s a quaint little prayer room upstairs and Masha’Allah a nice group of brothers who always attend the Jam’ah. But there’s a slight problem, what is it this time I hear you say?

Well, just before you enter the prayer room there is a small lobby in which people put there shoes. There’s not much air in there and it’s a tight little space. This is severely compounded by the fact that one of the brothers has slightly smelly shoes, well actually that’s an understatement; I think three brothers barely made it alive the other day! Now I’ve tried to figure out which of the regular six pairs of shoes contains the boots of eternal stench, but short of smelling each one I don’t think there’s a way to do this.

And the last thing I want is to be on my knees smelling shoes when everyone else comes out from praying- it’s a scene I don’t even want to imagine. I’ve considered dropping some form of perfume in each shoe to help, or even setting them alight, forcing the brothers to buy new shoes. But neither of these are practical and the latter may just get me fired and arrested.

Looks like I just have to brave it, I open the corridor door and take my last gasp of fresh air, I kick my shoes off and run for the prayer room, I feel the stench overtake me as my head gets lighter and lighter and then finally I succumb and loose all feeling in my body, at which point I have reached the prayer area- time to take another breath. Ahhhhh fresh air.

These guys like to pray their salahs relatively fast, forget extra supplications and kushu, just concentrate on your hamstrings and your ligaments.

2.00 pm

Back to my desk and the kind man who’s showing me what to do is in full swing again. My head is so slow, his torrent of words is now a blur and his laugh is like a punch in the ear. However, there is one thing drawing me towards him. that shoulder looks so appealing. I could snuggle right into it, wrap my arms around his neck and go to sleep. I drool as I stare at his shoulder, oh the warmth, oh the the peace as I slowly edge my way towards it. Then as he turns around and notices I’m an inch away from him, he gives me a slight look wondering which side I bat for, and then continues with his tornado of words.. I needless to say have to settle for my own shoulder, I return slowly back to my own place and begin to slouch in my chair. A moment of weakness could have led to a lifetime of madness. Readers be warned!

3.00 pm

In between stints of sleep, I surf to keep the time ticking, ebay, islamiblog you name it, anything to get me through the last few minutes. I look over and my friend is still talking, poor guy.

3.30 pm

My eyes shoot open, my heart skips a beat and I sit up on my chair- hometime! Wohoooooo
These feelings of immense pleasure just cannot be described.

I set off into the car park, unlock the car and set off on my journey home. 25 minutes later I arrive home, I shut the front door without looking back.

Welcome to one of my average days.

Now if that was interesting, I can’t wait to tell you what happened at home ;-)

He says in an empty promisingly kind of way……………..

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A day in the life of a mad man named Al (well half a day)

When you’re too zombified to do anything constructive at work, what do you do? The obvious answer is: Type.

Because when you type you look like your doing something, I could be writing an important piece of analysis that could save the company 20million. I could be writing something that initiatives world peace. I could be sacrificing my valuable time writing something of some benefit, to someone, somewhere.

On the other hand I could be writing a useless piece of dribble intended to get me through the day.

Welcome to the latter.

The only problem is even dribble in its poorest form requires some form of substantial content. Hence, this post has failed from the beginning and I plan on torturing each reader by taking you through one of my average Mornings.

10 Pm onwards

The milk seeking midget as I like to call him wakes up every few hours for a feed, change, burp and you name it. It’s been a long night- I desperately need some sleep before work. I turn over, shut off my ears and wala I’m fast asleep.

6.00 Am

I’ve adopted my usual sunbathing position, both arms behind my head, facing up while fast asleep. This is strange I know, I have no idea where it comes from but it must be comfortable for me, the other half of the night is apparently spent sucking my thumb. But who cares? I feel warm, comfy, secure, loved etc life could not get better.

6.30 Am

That perfect dream is interrupted, those moments of peace are gone and my sanctuary is destroyed.
That damn alarm has gone off-I feel cheesed off, aggravated and life could not get any worse!

6:39 Am

After contemplating every excuse possible for not attending work I take look at what I have used so far. Aside from being abducted by Aliens I have no more left.
Best get my butt out of bed before I’m late for work.


I step outside the house, I’ve forgotten my apple, my pear, my tangerine and any other food of any benefit. Like a shrunken version of Herman Munster I stumble out the front door, tripping over pebbles and nearly breaking my neck in the process. Upon sitting in the car I realise my window is frozen, the sensible thing to do is use a scraper, scrapers have been designed for this purpose, they are quick, efficient and do a good job. But am I sensible?

Out comes my work swipe card, perfect for removing those tough bits of ice. Feel the plastic strip bend as the micro-chip which records my data is smothered in ice. And if the swipe card ceases to work, then I will have to bear the burden of not swiping and coming and going as I please. Life without a swipe card is difficult to contemplate. But I may just be brave enough to continue without it should it cease to work.


I drive down the road and slowly realise I cannot see a thing; All I see is steam in front of me, I have no idea where the road is, let alone the houses. I pull up randomly somewhere, on comes the heater and slowly the world becomes visible.


Off we go again. At a blistering speed of 20mph each speed bump sends my head into a spin, I switch on the radio and catch up with the morning news.

Whilst driving along, I see I have very little petrol left, maybe just enough to get me to work. However, there are no petrol stations near work, and the local petrol station is just around the corner.

Suddenly, a thought bubble appears and my mind then wanders, putting in petrol requires getting out of the car, putting in the right amount of petrol requires a brain, paying for it requires even more walking and even more brain power.

I whiz past the petrol station- I’ll worry about that later. Most of the motorway is downhill anyway.


After being cut up by numerous women drivers, most of them unfit to drive a shopping trolley, I arrive at my destination.

7.30 Am

I’m inside the office and ready to swipe. I wipe the last pieces off ice off the swipe card and insert it into the machine. I look at the screen hoping for a blank and *ping* my name appears. Damn.
Maybe I should use my swipe for mopping the kitchen or something.

8.00 Am

I have now eaten some toast and I have all my favourite websites are loaded up, my outlook is in full swing and I’m ready for another day.

9.00 Am

I have a meeting with a manager. He’s due to show me how he assesses certain types of work, my task is to understand what he is doing and re-design and improve this method for other processes.

9.05 Am

He starts talking, I’m sat slightly behind him. My head begins to drop as my eyes close, I’m in no state to retain any information after a long sleepless night. He turns around to see if I’m paying attention and up pops my head and I nod attentively, he turns back to his screen and I begin to slouch again slowly closing my eyes.

10.00 Am

An hour and a few naps later I’m finally rid of him. I look around the office, looking for a corner to have a good sleep in. I realise the only way to nap is to have my head in my hand while I look like I’m reading a screen, I drift in and out of sleep for ages. Randomly clicking the mouse every now and again just to show people I am comatose.

11.00 Am

It’s time to sit with some guy who’s working a process, he show’s me everything that he’s doing and guess what? Yes, the head begins to dip and the mind wanders. I have no idea what he’s saying and I couldn’t care less, I need some sleep from somewhere.


I have been watching him for an hour now and he has no idea that I haven’t been paying an ounce of attention.


He turns around as he is struck by a sudden brainwave “why don’t you have a go?” Damn I think as we swap seats. I start clicking buttons randomly like a fuel injected monkey as slowly he begins to twig that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. After he’s shown me once I’ve taken most of it in and then I do the process once more to show I’ve understood.

Time for another nap as we swap seats. Every moment is a struggle to keep my eyes open as I drift off again.

And that is my situation at this precise moment. An hour of typing has helped to fill in the gaps.

If I make it through the day, then there may be a follow up to this post.

That’s if I make it :- )

Time for another nap.

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