Posted by: Rob | April 21, 2009

Life Among the Unwashed

I imagine we all have to contend with a co-worker who tends toward the annoying. Let me tell you about one of mine.

I’ll call him BG, which is short for “Blow and Go”*.

BG is a technician by training. He has since progressed into a quasi-leadership role as a coordinator and administrator. He is the type of person who fills up the room with talking and overtly asserts his “expertise”. Now, granted he may have the expertise, but I have grown weary of hearing about it. In accordance with my extremely judgmental nature, I have formally deemed BG as being “all fluff” and “no substance”.

BG is a big soccer (that’s football for you non-North Americans) aficionado. At least he wears the shoes (and shorts during non-winter weather) and he will hold forth, ad nauseum, about current happenings in the soccer world. He hobbles about, I suppose, with the stiffness of a former athlete. I don’t know if he still plays regularly but it seems he does coach. His kid or kids, presumably. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve reached from the myriad team rosters, tournament posters, practice and game schedules I find on our common printer.

You might ask, “Why do you find BG so annoying?”

Well, BG is one of those seagull types of employees. Rarely to be found in his own office**, if one needs to find BG one must simply stand in the hallway and listen. Eventually you will hear his voice and a stroll up or down the hall will find him plopped down in some unlucky soul’s visitor chair. He may be holding forth about official business or he may be holding forth about nothing in particular. A fifty-fifty chance as to which, but either subject is delivered with equal gusto.

I am rarely the recipient of one of these seagull visits. I supposed I have given off sufficient non-verbal cues and clues to convey the fact that I do not care for BG. In that, I suppose, we have reached a mutual understanding.

The females on my hallway have not been quite so fortunate. It seems that BG’s favourite targets are the young women engineers. I don’t know if it’s because he can baffle them with bullshit or what, but more often than not, that is where BG is to be found. Wasting not only his time, but that of others.

Normally I wouldn’t go on a rant about something like this but I currently enjoy the cursed fortune to be bracketed in on both sides by engineers of the female persuasion. Both are frequent recipients of BG seagull visits. Not even a closed door can keep out the din.

* This term was coined, I believe, by a former colleague at my previous place of employ. Derogatory in nature, it was frequently applied to the engineer I replaced at that particular facility.
** I have had the “pleasure” of attempting to engage him in his official role on one or two occasions, however, I should have named him “Boomerang Man” because, inevitably, whatever I wished to task him to do ultimately wound up back on my plate to resolve myself.



  1. Hah! I’m guessing the younger engineers are just too polite to tell him to fuck off. This is an important life lesson for them.

    • That’s my guess too. I was plagued by this type of male co-worker before I married Will and then again after he died. I never did learn to tell a person to “go away” when I was working and they were in the mood to waste time because I have done that myself to people.

      • Well I can clearly see why they were stopping by. And it wasn’t to chat.

    • kyk: Too polite plus a very diversity sensitive crowd. Most of my peers wouldn’t say “shit” if their mouth was full of it.

  2. We have a couple of peaches here too. One guy smells like 256 pounds of unwiped ass.

    • Ewwww. You’d think folks would catch a clue (or a whiff) and learn a bit about hygiene, eh?

  3. “we all have to contend with a co-worker who tends toward the annoying

    Just one? This guy sounds pretty special, though… i had to learn to pile things on the ‘guest’ chair in my office to keep the blowholes at bay. And to always arrange my office so i can escape…

    Totally stealing “blow and go”. Descriptive as hell…

    • Well, there’ve been a few, but most of the dinosaurs have been pensioned off now. Stacking things on the chair, eh? Great insight. Escape is a little harder to manage, though.

      Feel free to steal. I haven’t heard from the phrase coiner in years, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

  4. Hmph, it was usually my boss standing around flapping their jaws, and keeping me from the real work. And I couldn’t tell them to bug off. I would consider it sexual harassment to always have that little darling sitting in my chair. And I pity you, being enclosed by two recipients of his attentions.

    • ‘sfunny because we’re a very diversity sensitive environment here. For the most part.

      • That’s half the trouble nowadays. Diversity, pfffffffffft.
        Sometimes a swift kick in the pants is what is needed.

  5. There’s one in every office. Can’t you recommend him for a promotion? On transfer? To the South Pole or something?

    • Good suggestions but – sadly – neither is possible or probable.

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