The route to ruin my back

[Monday, 31 July, 2006]

Two weeks ago when I thought I should start to slack, my plan did not go well. I had done a fair share of work to contribute to the dark place, when people around were also encouraging me to relax more. Compared to the more senior people, they started to ignore everything (unless being given special task by the superiors) even half year before they started to clear leave. I supposed my three weeks of resting was fair enough.

As I mentioned about my failure to live a carefree life in my remaining days there, situations always caught up with me. I hated it when others did not want to take initiative to do work, waiting or hinting for me to get cracking. So I wondered was it a trend for the rest of the generations that everyone had to work hard till the day they cleared leave.

I worried so much for my injuries, preparing not to exert myself in my remaining days, but it got my back really bad this time even though I had been trying so hard to rest it.

Morning roamed the rain which kept the roadside flooded again. Nobody else except me took up the job to do the usual area cleaning. Even though the HeyYou was not around, I went to clear the water after the sweeping job to avoid any unforeseen complaint from him. Scoping the water with the dustpan and throwing into the drain, it required hundreds of swings.

Shep passed by to witness my lone effort and was very concerned. Suddenly she just seemed to lose her memory that the area was under our department. She questioned why I was doing it alone, just like how others including the HeyYou were puzzled about, and I told her the rest were busy. Apparently it was quite true this time, for almost all of the rest were having lessons to take care of.

She tried to take over me to test the tediousness of the job but I ensured her it was an easy task even though my back was almost cracking. It was then again she mentioned how everyone was thinking about her non-lenient working attitude. I might be different from the others that I actually felt sad once again because I knew she was always trying to be nice except for she went too far by the book.

After she left, Yuqing finally arrived to lend me a helping hand. I made sure I worked extra hard since I had a companion, but the drizzling halted us when we were almost done. Then, I went to the main office to get a spare key from Blackie to test the lock of a room and realised it was indeed spoilt. I made a tour up to both sides of the level three to check the toilets out and helped the cleaner auntie to trigger the tripped electricity’s switchboard.

After I took the sickening path back to return the keys to Blackie and urged him to get the contractor down to fix the door, I helped Gilbert to buy his breakfast. It was then I thought I could have a rest finally but some people came to borrow chairs again. Though it was a small matter which everyone should be able to handle, my name was called from the front over and over again that I decided to attend to it to stop all the irritations.

I realised Toad was the one who was asking for the chairs and he joked that I was sleeping behind when he saw I was the only one clearing the big puddle of water by the roadside just a while ago. I was so used to accusation that I did not take it to heart. As all the rooms were already booked, I had problems resolving the sudden need.

After weighing the importance of the event and the lessons, I brought the two customers up to the examination room to bring the chairs down. Ridiculously, they did not state the requirements in the first place and that we were actually playing kind by squeezing out the resources for them. And if Shep were to get to know about this, she would probably give me a lecture again for being too kind-hearted and not appreciating her ruthlessness to people who did not bother to help us.

After carrying the chairs down despite my back aching worsened so much, I went to the E-plaza to take a rest since it was at the ground floor as well. However, before I could finish a page of the newspapers, Kwang Han called me to go back for more work.

As Teddy bear had four of our rooms in hands, he asked us to clean them up before all the big shots came on Wednesday. He came together with Sold (voice so loud like selling pork in market and goods would definitely be SOLD out) to inspect the rooms while we were on the move.

The tables were pushed to the sides and chairs arranged in a circular form in the centre. The three of us inclusive of Kwang Han and Yuqing were helped by Kenneth and Kelvin in their effortless moves. They were actually instructed by Sold to help us out but they stopped soon after their bosses had left.

Anyway, for the lack of chairs, I went personally to the examination room to retrieve some again all by myself. As we stepped into the fourth room, both the two elderly shook their heads. It was actually the room which Sold forced us to keep the extra tables and chairs at, having to activate so many of our manpower to shift them instead of using his own men. It was of course filled with so many extra tables that the sides were unable to keep them and the centre was stained badly by the rubber stoppers of the furniture.

Sold asked for another room and obviously we did not have any left and I told him truthfully. In order to solve the problem, I used my common sense to try and ask him for what was wrong with the room so that we could rectify. I questioned him why we could not just push the tables to the sides like the other three rooms and he started roaring, boosting about the importance of the event.

It was so clear cut that since the other three rooms had the same arrangement, the fourth room should be the same. If there were excess tables, we could just move them out to other rooms and for the stains we would clean like other rooms; but Sold did not seem to understand such simple theory that he demanded me to ask Ivan for another room.

Since I knew the situation of the allocation of rooms in the building better than Ivan who was at another building even though he was the timetable planner, I understood there was no other room left. Still, I went down to the office and called Ivan to discuss and express my anger.

After a while, Kelvin came down, followed by Teddy bear and I explained to him the situation and my plan. His ears were opened for the fact, unlike Sold, and after hearing my words, he nodded. Without further ado, we got back to work. I was quite disappointed that Kenneth and Kelvin, being instructed to help us, were spending most of their time sitting down to enjoy the air-conditioner. Luckily, Ah Boon saw our hardship and came down to aid us immediately.

I had never intended to pull a long face, especially when my clear-leave day was coming so soon, nevertheless the inevitable sudden tedious work had hurt my back so much and yet I still continued with the work. We managed to shift everything in order before leaving for lunch at around noon.

Back to the office after lunch, everyone started to stick to the computers. There was a need to mop the rooms soon since the commander was said to be coming in the afternoon and we had to leave them to dry. But since I was the only injured and also worried person, I decided not to care as well. I took a fresh breath sitting outside alone and then went in to the office half an hour later and they did not seem to bother.

After some time, Kwang Han came to the back to ask me to start work. I was puzzled why he still asked me along when he obviously knew I had back injury and that the earlier chores had already caused so much pain in me. I did not want to shrink the responsibility and got up immediately but Yuqing was still gluing to in front of the computer. In fact, there were a few other lab technicians who were part of us and should be helping out, but nobody had approached them.

Kwang Han and I held the two mops to siege the rooms without any delay. The pain on my lower back was getting terrible but since I wanted to get everything done fast and well, which was my usual practise, I did not hand the mop over to Yuqing for he would definitely stone halfway and dream of things.

It was quite a fun process after all and the satisfaction to see the extremely dirty floors becoming clean, regardless of the fact that they would definitely get back to the older condition soon, was good enough to ease some of my flames. One thing I did not like about was people who took the opportunity to come over to slack while doing nothing.

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