Sunday, 19 November 2017

Chapter three - Truth is stranger than fiction

His mind wandered, thinking about that person with his name who sat in his office. He wisfully looked up the name of his executive assistant in the staff directory. His name was listed as her manager and when he clicked on it, the face of the person in his office displayed. Before he could express any emotion, Yvonne appeared.

“God,” she said, “that Fergan is his usual self, making changes to next year’s staffing budget without any real consultation. Just doing it to save his own hide.”

James swung his chair around, and said, “I go back a long way with Fergan. We both started out in in Revenue. I got promoted to a job he wanted and he has never forgotten. I don’t know why, he has done alright. He’s clambered over people though to get to where he is and would be the first to throw you under a bus to save himself.”

James paused for a moment before continuing, “It’s why I’m here.”

Yvonne added, “Yes he had Jamie, our Jamie at the meeting. The guy who replaced you in..Executive."

She paused and then continued, “I don’t know how, but Jamie held his own. He came in under special measures, yet has come up with an extraordinary idea which is being put to the board next week.”

She stopped speaking for a moment and then continued, “Jamie’s proposing 1 day off in lieu, for staff each month in response to all the conversations he had with people over the past 12 months when collecting and delivering newspapers. Productivity and profits are high - under this model profits are projected to skyrocket.”

James nodded, allowing Yvonne to continue. “Yes extraordinary suggestion, yet so true. Why not? If the staff are increasing profits, this means the company is well ahead – and a day off each month will improve staff morale. Quite astounding really.”

James reflected and then said, "mmm special measures, inclusive workforce, yes everyone makes contributions.”

“Yes,” said Yvonne, “it’s a label really – the way I observed Jamie handling himself like a seasoned pro.”

There was silence before she continued, “He does, though, know that he well, he isn’t ….er…the full…quid.”

She continued, “I see how he interacts with the guys – they are very accepting, but I can see in him, that sense that, well he knows that he isn’t quite up to it – he knows, that they know, that he isn’t, well, that there is a bit missing…even so, the guys are so decent about it….

There was silence, both lost in their thoughts until Yvonne piped up. “Can you look at something for me.”

“Yes, what is it?”




Go back to Chapter 2 - Truth is stranger than fiction

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Chapter 2 - Truth is stranger than fiction

When he realised that he wasn’t getting noticed, he reluctantly turned and left, thinking he would call Judi to get her to sort it out and made his way back to East Wing. At least, there, he thought he had a desk and phone. Loosening his tie and removing his jacket, he felt surprisingly calm.

Opening the door to his new office, Yvonne (the taller woman) turned when she heard footsteps.

 “Hello.” So, you’ve returned.”

 “Yes,” he said.

He made his way to his desk, claiming his space by putting his case on it.

 “Mmm,” she said, as she looked at him. “So,” she continued, Lisa’s gone to collect the papers, James….Jamie.” She was silent and then continued, “Whoever you are, you are working with us for now. I’m your Manager.”

Yvonne continued to stare at him, bemused at his presence. She played along, “Ok Jamie, when you’re settled, I’ll go through this morning’s data entry, just to err, refresh you, so we all know what we need to do..”

James nodded and switched on his computer. “Sure,” he said, and catching her name badge, continued, “Sure, Yvonne.”
Their eyes locked and then both turned away, James unpacked his bag and Yvonne set her eyes at the computer.

When he was settled, he let Yvonne know. She stopped what she was doing and began coaching him. He quickly picked up the method and almost embarrassed at having to give him the instructions, Yvonne was relieved to be able to return to her computer.

They worked in silence. James continued with the data entry, however, he wrestled with the demotion. Containing his feelings, he made an internal deal to see the day through as if it was a normal day in the office.

He debated about calling Judi and while he knew he was within his rights, an implicit feeling told him not to do it. Being placed, though in a position of powerlessness, which is how he considered his current position to be, the only thing he felt he could do was to listen to his inner compass. That is, if he wanted to survive this ordeal, intact. Holding this thought, he focused on the data entry.

After delivering the papers Lisa returned and noticing James at work, said, “All’s well then,” as she sat at her desk.
The team worked silently for several minutes until Yvonne got up and announced she was going to a meeting. When gone, Lisa turned to James, saying “If you need anything, let me know.”

He sensed she understood more than she was willing to say and replied, “Thanks Lisa.”
Both turned back to their work. The only sound was the tapping of fingers on keyboards and as if sensing the unsettling atmosphere, Lisa asked James if he minded if she switched the radio on.

“No problem,” he said.

The music dispelled the silence and both were grateful for the added dimension the music brought to the room as they carried on with the morning’s work.













Go Back to Chapter 1 - Truth is Stranger than Fiction




Read on to Chapter 3 - Truth is stranger than fiction 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Dipping and Diving

Hello,

Thanks for your interest in Truth is Stranger than Fiction. I haven't forgotten about it - I am churning the storyline over. I did have it going one way, however, like a lot of things, the story line seemed to take on a life of its own when I posted it, so I'm re-adjusting the narrative now and when I have it clearer, I will post.

In the meantime, I can tell you something of my day. There was a kite lying around, so it got unpacked and even though the day was still, I decided to take it up to a windy point. Boy, did it ever fly. The darn thing did not want to come down. I'm sure I gave it 200 metres (over 600 feet) of line and it rose like a bat out of hell (aka it was actually a bat kite). It climbed higher and higher into the sunny sky, devouring the wind beneath its winds, like a bat possessed. I couldn't for the life of me bring it down, however, more importantly, I did not want to spoil its fun. Yes, I know inanimate object and all of that, but it simply took on a life of its own, dipping and diving as it caught the wind. With my steady guidance, it was up there for a good 20 minutes and I thought my arms were going to drop off, not to mention the neck pain. Reluctantly, I had to tame the beast and it fell to the ground.

One of my all time favourite singers is Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket

I'm broke but I'm happy, I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded, I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful, baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

I feel drunk but I'm sober, I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless, I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything is going to be quite alright
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette

What it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a peace sign

I'm free but I'm focused, I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly, baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing, I'm brave but I'm chicken shit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano

And what it all comes down to, my friends, yeah
Is that everything is just fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab

"Hand in My Pocket" as written by Glen Ballard Alanis Morissette








Sunday, 17 September 2017

Chapter 1 - Truth is stranger than fiction

Hello,

I have always enjoyed this song by Gabriella Cilmi, a very talented young Australian singer hailing from Melbourne. Not only do I like the song, more importantly I like how she recorded this song and maybe even wrote it without a leg up. Don't get me wrong, power to those who get opportunities through connections or contests. Such opportunities are life enhancing, I am sure.

Gabriella, though achieved her success through raw and unbridled talent - single handedly. Of course, overnight success usually means a lifetime in the making, aka, 10, 15, 20 years of slog. Equally, overnight success may just be that, 24 hours in the making for all I know.

Whatever way, good luck to those who consider that their time is spent entertaining and if they are talented and/or if the public grant it, then power to them.


As well as the utube video, I cobbled together the beginning of another short story, raw and unedited.



Feel free to send through feedback and/or await for the next post as it all unfolds as we speak.


Talk soon.

Allie-Millie








James Buinthelly pressed the button on the remote and the creaky roller-door sprung to life as he drove into the under-cover carpark. Parking, he turned off the ignition and slid out of the driver’s seat, and grabbed his case. After activating the car’s lock, he entered the lift and ascended to the First Floor Executive Suite.

In his mind, he ran through his morning’s plan as he exited and walked the short distance to the foyer.

“Morning Marianne”, he said to the receptionist as he headed to his office where his personal assistant, Judi sat at her desk.

As he walked past the other executives’ suites and rounded the slight bend, he saw people in his office, moving furniture. One of the men was talking to another, who was standing in the middle.

Before he could enter, Judi met him.

“Oh James, sorry there’s been a…misunderstanding….”She paused for a moment, before continuing, “Property arrived this morning with a new desk.”

Looking embarrassed, she stopped and then continued, “It’s been authorised by Greg Fergan for someone called James.”

“Excuse me, furniture arrived?” said James.

He moved his briefcase erratically in response to the news.

Stepping away, James moved toward his office. But before he could go any further, Judi followed, her skirt rustling as she walked quickly to stop him.

“James, I am sorry….but I have a request that, another…..” before trailing off.

Sensing her reluctance to tell him more, he said, “Judi, if there is something you need to say, just say it.”

“Well, James…,” hesitating, she continued, “eer James Buinthelly, um same name as you, goes by Jamie has been, moved into your office.”

“What,” hissed, James, “what do you mean, moved in – let me talk to …. "

He waved his suitcase in the direction of the men rearranging the furniture and stepped their way.

Before he could go any further, one of the men greeted him, “Oh sorry, we’ve got notice that….”

The man paused and looked at his notes, before continuing, “that Jamie Buinthelly,” he gestured towards a man standing beside the furniture, “that” and he repeated the name again, “that Jamie Buinthelly is moving into this office.”

James stood silently before exclaiming, “I am James Buinthelly and this is my office.” “Who are you? I demand to speak to your manager.”

Unconcerned, the man stood still and referred once again to his notes before announcing, “Er…I am sorry but the request was authorised by Greg Fergan. It says Jamie Buinthelly is to move into this office.” He looked towards the door and read out the number, “SB 63, that’s the one.”

“I won’t have any of this,” scowled James as he made to move into his office but was stopped by the three men.

“Sorry, Mr er Buinthelly?” The man who had greeted him at the door once again looked at his notes and this time presented a photo ID which he waved towards the man still in the office and continued, “Mr Buinthelly, the name and photo we have here identifies James Gream….”

The man with the notes continued to wave in the direction of the man beside the desk, and said, “Sorry,” I know that you say you are also Mr Buinthelly but the photo ID we have gives authority for that James Buinthelly to move in…” he trailed off, gesturing towards the office again, this time, almost apologetically.

James turned towards his personal assistant and exclaimed, “Judi, get Rodger onto this.

This is an insult.”

Judi stood gawkily and said, “James, Rodger is interstate for the next week.”

He walked towards the other Executive Officer’s personal assistant and said, “Carol, Suzanne will be here soon, she will know this is ridiculous.”

Carol looked up, and said, “Sorry James, this is ridiculous, I know.” She went onto say, “Suzanne, too is interstate. Didn’t she tell you?”

“No,” said James. He was silent and then said, “I am going to see Fergan.” With that he marched out of the Offices where he had worked for the past three years and headed towards Fergan’s office.

When he got there, there was no-one around. Annoyed he walked quickly back to his office only to see the property men meeting him at the entrance.

“I want my office back,” demanded James.

The man with the notes spoke with James and said, “James, Jamie Buinthelly has been issued with this office. He paused for a moment as he looked through his notes and said, “Hang on, he read out James’ full name and asked to see his photo ID.

James reluctantly showed him his pass. The man checked the number against his notes as said, “You are allocated Office 64 in East Wing.” With that, he said to James, “follow me.”

James stood his ground and made to push past the men, however he was stopped from entering the Suite and was encouraged by the man with the notes to walk in the other direction.

They made their way to East Wing and James was escorted into the lift where it descended to the basement. They walked along the long corridor until they reached an opening and the man with the notes opened a door and ushered James in. He pointed to a desk in a small office containing three other desks and said, “James, this is your desk.”

With that the men from property walked out of the room and left James standing beside the desk.

Muttering to himself, James vented his frustration by swearing before reaching for the phone on the desk. When he realised there was no tone he abruptly put the phone back on its handle and paced around the room.

“I am the Executive Officer in this place, and I have been relegated to…a desk in the basement. Someone’s head is going to roll.”

Before he could do anymore, the door opened and two women walked in.

“Hi Jamie,” they said. “My, don’t you look flash.”

James replied with, ‘My name is James, not Jamie – there is a mistaken identity.”

The women twittered before one of them said, ‘Oh come on Jamie, have you been to elocution lessons on the weekend. Look how you are talking, all good and proper.”

With that they both laughed again and busied themselves at their desks, getting ready for the day.

“Come on, Jamie,” said the taller of the two women, “You’ve still got to collect the papers no matter how flash you’re looking and talking today.”

“Papers,” spat James. “Don’t you know who I am? I am James Buinthelly, Executive Officer of this company. I do not collect papers the papers are delivered to me in the Executive Suite where I will be returning as soon as I find out who the idiot was who assigned me this……” he trailed off as he motioned to the desk.

Nonchalantly the taller woman shrugged her shoulders and announced, “My you won’t get far today, Jamie with that attitude. The best thing you can do is to change into your spare clothes you keep in your locker. That will bring you down to our level, once you get out of that suit.”

Infuriated, James turned and left the office and made his way to the lift.

He made his way back to the Executive Suites, however when he reached the door, he found his pass did not swipe to let him in. He peered through the glass doors, trying to get the attention of Marianne who was chatting to Jamie, the new owner of his office.





Go to Chapter 2 - Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Monday, 6 February 2017

Kaos

I get to the party and I am loaded up with presents, champagne and hot food navigating through the house between 3 poodles, kids and an obstacle course of coffee tables, chairs, and a long table assembled together with a collection of smaller tables placed in a walkway spilling out into the already crowded lounge room.

So I make my way to the kitchen, intact balancing the hot dish on my arm and hanging onto the champagne for dear life after having offloaded the present to the hostess. Standing room in the kitchen is about a little over 50 cm square from bench top to bench top and when I arrive it is crowded. I get bailed up by a couple I haven't seen in years and proceed to start a conversation amidst the chaos. The hostess offloads the hot dish and I am desperate to pop the champagne and I have suddenly launched into a spirited conversation with the couple who I haven't seen in a while. The bloke is eyeing off the champagne cork concerned I don't take out his eye in the process of popping it or worse take out the overhead lighting. People suddenly stand clear.

In the meantime the bloke whose been eyeing off the champagne cork accidentally spills his glass of red wine all over his white shirt and hastily elbows party goers out of the way to reach the sink in the kitchen to get water and sponges to soak up the stain.

There are plastic champagne glasses and wine glasses available which are badly constructed as the bases keep falling off and they are very unstable to drink out of.


I grab a more stable plastic glass, the champagne and I grab the hostess since it is her birthday and I want to pop it in her honour and we go outside to minimise any damage to people, light fittings or kids - success, the sweet sound pops signalling good times and celebrations. The hostess presents two unstable glasses to fill up. The one stable glass I found has been cast aside.

Reluctantly I take one of the unstable glasses and I wish the hostess a very happy birthday. We go back inside where the kitchen is now overflowing with guests and still more people arrive with food to put into the kitchen.

The flow of party goers moves out of the kitchen to make way for the newcomers and spills out into the lounge room, where we navigate around the long table assembled with a collection of smaller tables and move around coffee tables and poodles while kids run through gaps made by adults and chase one another into the other parts of the house.

We all shuffle around, keen to shake off that awkward feeling I'm sure many readers can identify with. Small talk prevails while the hostess buzzes around adding more presents to the pile of gifts precariously sitting atop of one another where one slight movement at any moment would see them tumble and fall over the lounge room floor only adding to the frenetic atmosphere.

There is a quiet lull in the room as party goers leave to go elsewhere in the house and the bloke who spilled red wine all over his shirt tries desperately to disguise the stain by crossing his arms across his abdomen but realises he can't hold the position all night and after speaking with his wife, he gets up to get his jacket out of the car.

In the meantime, the room is quite calm and fills up again with people. I encourage party goers to sit in the lounges and as I wave my arm, I spill portions of the champagne on my shirt. I race to the kitchen and get behind the bloke's wife who has also got up and is getting a refill. I laugh and say 'I'm not stalking you,' and she laughs and says those glasses are really unstable. She moves to one side as I announce I am after a sponge.

After this, I dig around the kitchen cupboards and find a stable glass and pour a rather large glass of champagne. I make my way back into the lounge room where poodles and coffee tables block my way so I retreat, go back through the kitchen and find a chair on the other side of the room and sit on it.

Success, I have a solid chair and a glass of champagne which is not spilling, I relax and finally start enjoying myself. However, it is short-lived as the hostess announces we are all going outside to eat and there is commotion as the large table which I am sitting next to has all the food taken off it with the tablecloth removed revealing a series of smaller camp style tables which are upended and folded up and taken outside to be set up.

We all make our way outside and happily chat as the tables have food added to them.

Anyhow, the hostess calls out ‘time to eat,’ and I put my glass on the table which is slightly angled on the down slop, however I place it firmly in the middle of the table believing it to be quite stable.

Just as I fill my plate with food, I am chatting happily with the hostess and suddenly the glass goes flying as one of the younger guests, sitting on a computer chair swirls around on it, upsetting the table and there is the sounds of glass shattering.

The hostess swings into action armed with a dustpan and broom states that everyone needs to keep away because it is glass. Chairs are moved to block kids getting through and the hostess sweeps frantically.

By this stage I am cringing but retain composure and sit eating and carry on a conversation. After a while the hostess too sits and eats and for the rest of the evening there are no more dramas.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Fire and Flood - Vance Joy

Fire and Flood was released in 2014. I didn't realise that this was an Australian singer until I did some research. There is awesome talent in this country, with influences from a range of singers, both international and home grown to create wonderful diversity in harmonies and lyrics.

I'm not really sure of the meaning in this song but I simply like it. Here is Fire and the Flood...


"Fire And The Flood"

I was only walking through your neighborhood
Saw your light on, honey; in the cold I stood
Anywhere I go there you are
Anywhere I go there you are

I been getting used to waking up with you
I been getting used to waking up here
Anywhere I go there you are
Anywhere I go there you are

There you are
There you are

You're the fire and the flood
And I'll always feel you in my blood
Everything is fine
When your head's resting next to mine
Next to mine
You're the fire and the flood

Since we met I feel a lightness in my step
You're miles away but I still feel you
Anywhere I go there you are
Anywhere I go there you are
Late at night when you can't fall asleep
I'll be lying right beside you counting sheep
Anywhere I go there you are
Anywhere I go there you are

There you are
There you are

You're the fire and the flood
And I'll always feel you in my blood
Everything is fine
When your head's resting next to mine
Next to mine
You're the fire and the flood

Now listen here she said
Boy when you know you'll know
And I know

You're the fire and the flood
And I'll always feel you in my blood
Everything is fine
When your head's resting next to mine
Next to mine
You're the fire and the flood






Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Song

Hello,

Here is another song I discovered on a playlist recently. I do like the earthy, tones in both the instruments and the singer's voice. It's been around for awhile. Perhaps I have been under a rock all these years...........:)






I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change

Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet

Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand
How you'd be so confused

I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed

I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it
Any other way

So take me as I am, this may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that

When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed

I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it
Any other way

Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed

I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it
Any other way

I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover

I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it
Any other way

Songwriters
BROOKS, MEREDITH ANNE/PEIKEN, SHELLY

Published by

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