What a mess!
Truly, the first week back was peak time. Despite the common knowledge that this was the same procedure as every year - inasmuch as that it was wall to wall busy, management would always get the head count wrong.
Sheila was shafted. Not the good way either. 7.05 and already exhausted.
The files were literally stacking up around here.
One false move and the whole house of cards would come tumbling down and Sheila would be a victim on C.S.I Luxembourg.
Downtrodden Civil Servant found dead. Her reason for kicking the big ol' bucket? "Death by a thousand paper cuts", not the ideal way to start a New Year.
Still, she'd lived through the family dinners, hadn't she? She'd gotten through the gift-giving rituals and the jealousy sittings.
She'd been back to the shops and braved the sales.
Gotten her bargains in.
Sheila had not been smart enough, though, had she?
Not forward thinking enough to have had booked her holidays back in January 2016...for THIS just past Xmas break. And she'd sure as fudge forgotten to do it this year too. So, she was already kissing goodbye to a Maldives beach break during which she could escape the drabness.
Get away from the letches, the leaches and the lazy.
In the office of Resolution Tax Return, it was Sheila's job to collect, collate, correlate, confirm and conduct failed NY Promises.
Her department was about as popular as the Traffic Warden's, or the vehicle registration bureau. That is to say that the cafeteria was a lonely place for such a crowded room.
File after file, Sheila read with weary eyes myriad false futures, endless self deluding lies, countless best foot forwards, dozens of the never followed ups, the drunken swear downs. The life changers. A million promises built on a foundation of custardy bullshit.
A swill of nonsense.
There were the usual:
Will quit Smoking
Will quit Drinking
Will stop junk food
Will join a gym
Will jog every day
Will pay bills on time
Will cut down meat
Will stop eating chocolate
Will cut out sugar
To the slightly more specific:
Will stop talking to my cat as if she understands...or cares
Will iron my underpants
Will be a better person
Will donate to charity
Will read the news
To the really specialist:
Will stop picking my nose on Thursday's
Will stop sniffing toilet seats
Will stop picking the used tissues from Simon's waste paper basket
Will stop spamming my ex from a fake social media account
Will stop whispering 'death comes to us all' on public transport
Will stop licking the biscuits in the office tin
Sheila would read, she would stamp, she would file, she would auto select, she would trigger the notifications, she would send the notice served, she would mark the files with the required sum, the tax that which applies to the severity of that which was a contract broken.
Sheila would see so many better lives cast aside for the easier life.
All those best intentions scuppered by a need to just not try.
It was 7.10 and Sheila was exhausted.