A Vision To Hide Behind

March 3, 2013 12:11am Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 30 Comments

“Hi, it’s Lucy” said Lucy down the phone as she fingered her silver chain to unwind it from the strands of hair wisping delicately from her up-do.  
I sat chewing on the end of my pen as I analysed Lucy’s asymmetrical bun and wondered whether it was meant to be lopsided or she’d been in a bit of a rush.  I peered back at my computer screen but my peripheral vision noticed John wandering casually over to us.  I stopped listening to what Lucy was saying to her phone companion and watched as John drummed his fingers on the desk,  eager to get her attention.  He glanced over at me as if suddenly taken by surprise at something.
“You smell nice” he said as he perched on the edge of the desk like he was staying for a while.
“It’s a fragrance  by Juliette has a gun” I replied “I think it’s quite appropriate” 
“Never heard of it” he said furrowing his brow.
“That’s because you’re a philistine, John” 
“Shut up” he responded with a mock sulky face.  
Lucy put down the phone and after jotting down some information in her moleskine notebook,  span round in her chair to face John.  I didn’t really listen to what they were saying as I was more interested in the interaction between the pair.  She was giggling and he was leaning forward talking.
After a few minutes had passed and I’d played my part as ‘mentalist’ I shouted “John!” 
He turned with a smile and said “ You want me?” with a wink.
“Just keep looking at me John.  Don’t let your eyes leave mine.  Now Lucy, I want you to shut your eyes”  I said as I kept mine locked with his.
“What? Why?” she giggled. She always giggled.
“Just do it and don’t open them until I say so” I pleaded.
She shut her eyes and squirmed in her chair with her mouth set in a half smile.
“John” I smiled up at his expectant, cute little face. “ What colour are Lucy’s eyes?”
“Eh? Why..I mean what? Why?’” he shook his head, somewhat baffled. 
“What colour are they? “ I pressed. I saw Lucy close her eyes even tighter just incase he could see through eyelids.
“ Err, blue?”  
“ No, they’re brown”  I returned to my computer screen and clicked on Safari. They both looked on dumbfounded for a few seconds until John was shouted away by a colleague.
“I can’t believe he got my eye colour wrong!” she exclaimed.
I looked up from the “What’s On” list on my screen “That’s because he spends 99.9% of his time talking to your tits ” 
Her hand flew to her chest.  Her mostly bare chest since the top she was wearing looked like a backless dress donned back to front along with a push up bra that was forcing her milky white bazookas so far up she could rest her chin on them.  This was probably why she had to wear her hair up in order to make it obvious she actually had a neck.
“ He fancies the pants off you Lucy.  You can’t really blame him.  He’s made his choice”  I laughed as I nodded toward her clasped chest”
She pretended to be horrified in order to mask her inner delight as she flushed ever so slightly and sucked in her lower lip.
Just then Dave raced through, late as always,  and wafted a box smelling of pastries under my nose as he carried on past.
“You have croissants?”  I yelled after him.
“Only if you chase me” he quipped.
“Do you know how much I love you?”  I was already out of my chair and in pursuit of Dave’s goodies.
“You can show me in the kitchen” he grinned as he went in backwards through the swing door to the tea room.
Five of us spent the next 10 minutes discussing the weekend with our mouths full of almond flavoured, flaky pastry and hot tea.
I got back to my desk to find Ally waiting for me.
“Hey, have you booked us both in at the Brass Monkey event tonight yet ‘cos I need to book a car?”
“ ARGH! No. No I haven’t.  And before you even start Ally” I added quickly as I saw her eyes starting to roll “ I’ve been severely distracted by John’s fascination of Lucy’s chesticles not to mention being lured away by Daves fine pastries. Plus, truth be told, I don’t like how Tim’s got his tie on and I’m drawn to fix it before I go bonkers” I saw Tim fiddle with the knot in his tie and stick his tongue out at me.
“I’ve told you, I can’t work in this kind of environment.  You need to lock me in a room on my own and don’t let anyone talk to me”  
“ Five minutes” she demanded as I sat down “ And don’t ANYONE talk to her!” she shouted as she marched past everyone in her kitten heels.
Now the point of my story is this:  How on earth is one to work or be productive in an open plan environment when temptation, distraction and all manner of things are going on.  Even if I’m working on my own I find it difficult to stay focussed so I needed to think of a solution.
Here it is.
                                                                   My vision board.
A portable (yes I’ve made it so it folds in half like a book and I can take it with me) people blocking, yet visually inspiring, screen.
                                    It says this on the outside just incase they don’t get the point.
I have pegs stuck on the side so people can leave me notes without having to bother me.
On the inside I have a myriad of images and quotes that inspire, uplift me or make me laugh.  I then put my head back down and continue in a productive manner. Even more essential now I have decided to take on the April A-Z blog challenge – thanks to David Macaulay – Brits in the USA – for planting that seed.
Problem is, now John wants one with Lucy’s assets and finer points all over it.  


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Yay – always happy to plant Juliette but I fear you will be seriously hating me by umm April 10. God how come my open plan experience was never such fun..??

David I am ALREADY thinking “What am I doing” but if I actually achieve this (no matter how much I hate you by April 10th ) you will be wholly responsible for bringing about a whole new disciplined me. You will be like the Dalai Lama of the blog network!
Now I have to think of a theme so I can add your blog hop….

That’s pretty neat.
Does it work, though?
Surely you’ll still be distracted by the sounds of John chatting up Lucy’s knockers and the smells of almond croissants wafting into your little screened off world?

Thanks Masher. Yes it works to a degree as long as I don’t keep peering over the top of it! Since I’m quite a visual person this is the best sense for me to knock out. You can’t see on the pictures but I have my headphones in my ipad for getting rid of noise. However, this just makes me sing out loud and then remember times of yore which leads to me thinking of another track that I simply MUST listen to on youtube. It’s my monkey brain that is the issue.

Now those remind me of the dressing screens you see in old movies, where the lady can change into her dress without the the man she’s talking to peeking. The wall paper cuttings are an inspired innovation. How about getting a t-shit for Lucy with this slogan on it?

“Talk to the tits coz the face ain’t interesting”

I’ve got a feeling some women would actually proudly wear it.

Oh I love those and thought about making one.
What a great T-shirt idea! Ha! I think I must put that on the outside of my vision board!

Ingenious. The Brassmonkey event? My cousin who ran in the Major with me has done this one.

Thanks Tony. Now, I have to be honest, this was kind of like a brassmonkey event…of sorts… but it involved a different kind of marathon. Involving cocktails!

I’ve wondered what it’s like to work in a big open office. I can see there would be a lot of distractions. My daughter has been married 20 years and someone asked her hubby what color her eyes were. He got it wrong. My daughter was furious.

There’s way too many distractions.
That’s outrageous! Mind you, she could milk that for a while;)

I was just like you at my previous work place. Always distracted or distracting people. Oh well. Really miss that though.

It can’t be helped Jaya. It’s a recipe for mischief.
I hope you are feeling better.

I hated working in an open office plan, I was always super distracted.

D”yanno Deirdre, I’m with you girlfriend. It’s impossible.

There you go! You gotta do what works for you, and if my desk wasn’t in a corner, I’d do something like that too.

I gave you a Shout-Out on my blog today. 🙂

Absolutely. Now I need to make myself a lockable cage.

Thank you for that – much appreciated being appreciated is! 🙂

I used to work at a place just like this – made it hard to concentrate 🙂

I actually wonder if I have the capacity to concentrate!

The first line is worth a price of admission; you are a classic.
“Chesticles” made my day — I am still chuckling — thanks.

A quote for you that we used to say there in the old construction office (I worked design-engineering at power plant construction sites):

“When you are ass deep in alligators it is hard to realize that your intention was to drain the swamp.”

Thank you goatman, you are most kind!

I’m glad I can have you chuckling at chesticles. Snigger, snigger!

That is a brilliant quote – I love it.

Hahaha – loved this. Especially “chesticles”. You’re a hoot Jules, my kinda girl! Oh do let us know how things transpire between John and Lucy.

As for how to go about working in an open plan office – I can’t help you there. I too work in such an office and let me tell you, it’s no picnic or walk in the park. And I’m sure it’s given me ADHD.

Oh thank you Azra! As are you 🙂

I don’t even know what mental condition I’ve got but it’s ADHD times tigger gone bonkers. There’s no cure.

Have fun with the A-Z Challenge. This will be my third year doing it. I’m not sure why I’m doing it again because it’s sometimes tough coming up with my posts three times a week. A-Z is doable as long as one keeps the posts short.


I don’t know if I’m going to have fun with it Joyce, I’ll probably be tearing my hair out by day 3. Actually, if I can wait until day 8 to be doing that I’ll have my letter H all sorted for the day – H is for HAIR PULLING!

Thanks for the advice and the visit 🙂

Wonderful post, and great writing! Gosh, I couldn’t work (well) in that open environment – which is why I don’t! Nice blog!

Thank you Sally – Sally DeSmet – What a COOL name. Are you famous? You should be with that moniker!
Thank you for the visit 🙂

‘That’s because he spends 99.9% of his time talking to your tits’? Great line even… if it is true 😉 But, no, I’m not a fan of open plan environments either, especially since 99.9% of my female co-workers would spend 99.9% of their time talking to my blue nutty professors since I prefer to wear my tailor-made Robin Hood tights whenever I work in an open plan office. Don’t ask. It’s Saturday, and Robin Hood did good deeds, right? Um……

Hahaha! I think you’d make an awesome Robin Hood! He does do good deeds my blue friend, and he wouldn’t be scared of anyone laughing at his tights, he’d just shoot them with his bow and arrow and steal their stash. I’d like to see these tights Randy. I would not laugh, I promise.

Maybe when it’s no longer snowing. Tights and low temperatures don’t seem like a good combination to me. I mean, even a Blue Robin Hood has a sense of pride 😉

That’s because you haven’t got thermal tights! Honestly, what kind of a modern blue Robin Hood are you eh? tch! 😉

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