Many years ago, I worked in Dublin in a nasty modern office block.
It was a horrible place. The windows faced south so it got very hot in summer, but we couldn’t open the windows because of the noise and fumes from the street below.
However, the lads in the Support Department found a use for all this sunlight.
They went into horticulture. In a very big way. So big, that the room became quite dark.
Incidentally, I should point out that the window in question looked out onto one of Dublin’s biggest Garda Stations.
Now the plants loved it there and they flourished. The other staff [the innocent ones] became quite jealous. One girl asked if she could bring one home. So they gave her a fine specimen. She brought it home on the bus, all the way out to Leixlip. I’d love to know what the other passengers thought.
Of course we had a fine time every lunch hour. This was long before the stupid “no smoking in offices” rule, and we made the most of it. Come two o’clock, most of us didn’t know where we were, and we certainly didn’t care. The Support Department at this stage had vanished in a blue haze, and the smell permeated the entire floor of the building. Somehow, nobody outside the room seemed to notice. They were all probably smashed as well.
Naturally, when the public rang in with their complaints after lunch, they would get weird and wonderful replies from the lads. I remember when one unfortunate woman got frustrated and demanded the name of a manager. “Ron Atkinson” says the lad before hanging up. Another complained that she thought some electrical equipment was ‘live’. So the lads told her to feed it.
Sadly all good things must come to an end.
One day one of the secretaries came in and asked if they could have a couple of plants for the main public reception desk. It was after lunch so the lads weren’t exactly thinking straight, and they told her to go ahead.
It was a magnificent polished oak counter. The secretary was right – the plants looked lovely there, resplendent at each end.
Then some damned member of the public had to come in and ask why there were two marijuana plants on the counter.
There was mayhem for a couple of days and the plants disappeared [I never discovered who robbed them, but it wasn’t me]. Heads rolled [the last thing to be rolled that summer!], one got sacked, and one or two ended up with severe cautions. The rest of us ended up with withdrawals.
After that, the lads lost heart. They became depressed and took it out on the customers. I think the customers missed the inventive replies they used to get too. They started to complain that the lads weren’t so helpful.
Lunch hour was never the same again.