Wednesday 6 June 2012

Keep it under my hat.

The rules in our office are quite clear and strict. We should not bring any pets to work.

Why is it then that some people insist on “bending the rules” when in reality they are outright breaking them and risking severe disciplinary action; if not being fired from the job altogether.

For example someone brought a kitten in one of those carrying cases because the creature was not too well and its owner was on her way to the vet after work. Admittedly, the cat did not leave the carrying case or cage at any time, and was only in the office for a couple of hours, having been collected from home at lunch time. But if the boss had come in I’m sure that person would have been reprimanded or probably lost her job; especially since the boss is allergic to cats.

What if I had a hippopotamus as a pet, or a crocodile? Would it be OK for me to bring them to work on my way to the vet?

You think I’m exaggerating don’t you? Well, I’m not.

Last week someone brought in a chameleon or lizard type creature. I don’t know what it was. All I know is it was about three inches long and it was ugly; even though it was supposed to be a baby of the species.

Apparently some colleagues had been talking about unusual pets a few days earlier and one of them decided to bring this reptile to show the others. The animal was brought to work in a shoe box and taken out to show everyone. It jumped out of the owner’s hand and ran on the large conference table where we were supposed to have a meeting.

Yes … you’ve guessed it. The boss came to the meeting a few minutes earlier than expected.

Everyone panicked and froze … except Joe. He’s a quick thinker and a bit too clever for comfort.

He quickly grabbed my hat from the coat stand … yes, my expensive cowboy type hat with the long feather on the side … I call it a plume, not a feather … more stylish!

Anyway, Joe picked up my hat and as quick as a flash put it on the lizard trapping him underneath.

Everyone kept a straight face … or tried to. I noticed one or two badly concealed smirks and one person was literally going red in the face trying to hold back a guffaw of laughter as well as nature’s release mechanism.

I was furious of course. My expensive hat used as a cage and a subject of subterfuge. Can you imagine that? And it’s silk lined on the inside. I dread to think what that wretched creature is doing under there.

I said nothing of course. I could hardly risk someone else losing their job; even though my precious hat was the real victim here.

I sat at the place nearest to the hat and we all started the meeting.

The boss sat at the far end and did not seem to notice even though once or twice the hat moved on the table all on its own.

This led to the person nearest me to laugh quietly and then stifle a sneeze.

The boss said “Bless you” and for some stupid reason I replied “Thank you!”

Why do I do silly things like that? What possessed me to say “Thank you”?

Luckily the boss did not notice who had sneezed.

At the end of the meeting my boss suggested he and I visit one of our suppliers who is only half a mile away from our office.

I put on my coat and followed him when he said: “Put on your hat … it’s a little cold out there and we’re walking!”

Everyone froze again and fixed their eyes on my hat on the table.

I had to think and act quickly … very difficult when you can’t multi-task!

I picked up the hat in a scooping motion and put it on my head.

You should have seen everyone’s face when they saw nothing on the table where the hat once was. I was proud of myself and my magical sleight of hand.

My quick triumph quickly faded as I felt the lizard grappling tightly at my hair. I kept a straight face and left the room hurriedly after my boss.

On our way there, as we walked down the street, the silly creature tried to escape once or twice by raising my hat off my head. The boss didn’t see it, but a passerby thought I was saluting him by lifting my hat and he did the same with his.

I pushed the hat further down my head so that the brim was almost at eye level. That should trap him solid … I thought.

In response the vindictive reptile started pulling at my hair struggling to get out. The pain was agonizing but I could hardly do anything about it. How could I possibly explain the situation to my boss if he found out what’s under my hat?

He would hardly take me seriously after such an incident.

We walked side by side with him doing most of the talking about some budgetary situation or other and me making un-intelligent noises more as a response to pain than contribution to the discussion. At one point as I grunted he said “Well … I’m glad you agree with this. Perhaps you can go ahead and implement it.” I had no idea what I had agreed to.

As we approached the suppliers’ premises I felt a wet feeling under my hat as no doubt the lizard decided on a new plan of attack in order to get free.

We entered the building and a young lady offered to take my coat and hat. I gave her my coat and decided to crumple my hat and its content quickly into my briefcase.

She noticed my head and hair were wet and I said “It’s been raining …” as I wiped it off with my handkerchief.

Why did I say such a stupid thing? Does it often rain under peoples’ hats where you come from?

After the meeting with the suppliers I left my boss, went to a coffee bar where I rang the reptile’s owner and asked him to meet me there and collect his pet.

I am now looking for a new hat. The silk lining in mine has been torn to shreds.


  1. How kind of you to sacrifice your silk-lined hat for one of God's creatures, Victor!!

    My children couldn't believe that I wanted to save the life of a creepy, maggot-like worm, today. The truth was I couldn't bring myself to kill it, yet I didn't love it enough to carry it to safety. Luckily, it disappeared while I was preparing myself to squash it with a broom.

    So now, I have no need to feel guilty about killing it but the bad news is that I don't know where it went. My daughter screamed 'It's on your sleeve!' but turns out she was having a laugh at my expense - horrible girl!!

    God bless, Victor:-)

  2. oh my gosh! that seems like a crazy story!! but demonstrates how one lie leads to another!

  3. Hello Vicky and Annmarie Pipa,

    I know what you mean about saving little creatures rather than squashing them down. I'm the one who saves the spiders from the bath in this house.

    I remember once in a hotel I killed a flea. Can you imagine? A flea ... and it was a posh hotel too! Then I found another, and another, and another. When I complained at reception they said the others had come for the funeral of their friend.

    I'm glad you both enjoyed this story.

    God bless.

  4. It does show the difficulty of being deceitful! Your co-worker had to have learned his lesson... he put you in a very sticky situation!

  5. I know Noreen ... and I needed a new hat too!

    Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to write in.

    God bless.

  6. I'm laughing and hubby is looking at me like I am weird or something I tried to explain it to him but he just looked at me like what the hell am I on
    about so just gave up and told him not to worry....
    then he says but chameleons are cute......yes he likes lizards..........I would be hitting the owner of the damn lizard up for the cost of a new hat.........

  7. Hello Jo-Anne,

    It's nice to see you visiting me again. Thanx.

    It's not just the hat that got damaged, you should see what that creature did to my hair!.

    God bless.

  8. Victor,

    Do you remember when we were talking about bad bosses? Well, I think your boss comes into that category. Yes, it was stupid idea to bring an animal to work but everything could have been confessed to a good boss who had taken the time to build up a relationship with his colleagues, and there wouldn't have been any need to be deceitful.

    Andy always says that working in a school isn't much different to working in business. Same level of maturity!

    I love how your stories stimulate discussion.

    God bless.

  9. Hi Sue,

    That particular boss would have eaten the lizard had he found it.

    Some bosses believe in managing by fear!

    My team thought I was a funny boss and laughed at me; even when I was serious. Imagine ... "We've missed our targets for this week!"

    "Ha ... ha ... ha ... that was funny! We'll do it again next week!"

    God bless.

  10. I enjoyed this story, Victor. You do such a good job weaving comedy and suspense together. It's a miracle your hat didn't speed down the table and into the boss's lap!

  11. Hi Barb,

    Great to see you here again. The hat speeding into the boss's lap would have been funny. Although he has no sense of humour whatsoever.

    God bless.

  12. Victor,
    This is too funny and what a good sport you are! I couldn't have kept a straight face duirng the whole ordeal. Your coworker should be very thankful to you!

  13. Hi Beautiful Whispers,

    I know what you mean. There were many who tried hard to keep a straight face at that meeting.

    Thank you for visiting me again.

    God bless.



God bless you.