Killing Nemo ~ or ~ Shooting dead fish in a barrel


As I discussed yesterday I have a cushy office jockey job that earns my daily bread. It’s a pretty simple role when you look at it but because I’m “a bit handy” with manual tasks too I tend to be roped into all sorts of errands that any other company would “get a man out” for. This can be anything from basic carpentry to trying to get dead fish out of the boss’s fish tank.

This may sound simple enough but it’s no easy task I can tell you. A tropical fish tank such as the one in question can be a pretty smelly and rotten place. It’s full of brightly coloured fish that may look pretty but can’t half give you a nasty bite. There are crabs and shrimps to make up the numbers and sharp rocks covered in goo. Now before you start thinking, “wow, this tank must be huge” I’ll keep things in perspective; it’s not like I have to strip to my socks and dive in with my wedding tackle wiggling about like juicy bait. I only have to grab a net, roll up my sleeve and stand on a ladder but that’s beside the point. It is a dangerous, stinking place.

Now getting hold of a dead fish sounds pretty easy. I mean, it’s dead right? It’s not like it can swim away from the net. Oh contraire my friends. Every time I got the net near it another fish would come a bit too close to my hand for my liking, looking like a bug-eyed monster hungry for fresh human steak. The scum on the top of the tank didn’t help, it stunk like festival toilets in a heat wave and made me wretch as I plunged my hand in. When I eventually snared the deceased aquatic critter someone only came flying through the door, knocking into the stepladders I was standing on and causing me to drop the fish and the net. I was now becoming quite perturbed.

To prevent having to take my shirt off completely (and thus causing the women of the office to get all flustered and the men to feel inadequate because of my macho-manliness) I rigged up an old broom and the end of a coat hanger with the aid of some trusty duct tape. This amazing ‘extended hook device’ (patent pending) allowed me to snare the net and retrieve the dead fish. Soggy, smelly and red-faced my work was done. All that was left was to give the poor little fish a proper burial, I was considering handing him over to the Chinese restaurant next door but settled for a flush down the toilet.

So next time tells you something will be as easy as ‘shooting dead fish in a barrel’ remember my story.

Is there any part of your job you hate? Do you have a boss that keeps captive animals in the office? Let’s hear your stories.

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