Blowing up Balloons and under age Minors

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There seems to be a time in your ( working) life when you take on the charity role.  I am particularly referring to ” staff!”  .  Having had a bit of an exit of the Old Guard, thank The Lord, we are now left with imbeciles from Latin America looking after the office and running the Social Programme ( Americans, please note the correct spelling of Programme!). 

Now before the Humanity Police come and knock on my door, I want you to know that its never without cause that I throw a punch or two in that direction.   I had asked “the Panamanian” to order some balloons, with our logo on, to give out at our Farewell party nights or at least to festoon around the Hall in gay abandon when its someone’s birthday.  Its quite an easy task, even if English is not your first language! Yes?   No! No! No!

Now obviously she got the word ” balloons” and she got the word ” birthday” but not a lot more.  I had assumed that she would download our logo …oh and our company name might be good.. and order a few dozen balloons in company colours so that we could do a bit of corporate matching whilst allowing the students to have a good time on their final day.

Our core audience is under 18 years and if I am honest the approximate age is probably around 15 years. Its something to bear in mind, please, whilst getting through the rest of this story.  They can still get excited by a few balloons and some chocolate cake on  a plate, so throw me some slack here.    So there we were doing the planning for the Farewell party when Irma ( Mrs Panama) said ” its ok… I have the balloons ordered”

” Really?” our Marketing Manager said.  ” You have ordered the balloons?”

” Yes, Miss Joss and I got a great deal”

” How great?” we asked

“Oh really great…they are sending 100 free balloons as samples and in return we have to agree to order 5,000 more next time!”   She smiled around the table.  Okay, it was more of a sneer as she thought she had been particularly clever and it would quite make ” her mark”  The rest of us were not so sure.

“eh.. I am not sure we will get rid of 5000 balloons in a hurry.  That’s an awful lot of rubber we are purchasing.  What are the samples like?”

“its ok.” she said, ” Mr Wu can blow them up.  He can get a balloon puffer ( WTF???) and erect them!” she said somewhat smugly.  Yes, I think the word she meant to use was “inflate” and not “erect“, but who cares?  By this stage she had ordered 5000 balloons and trying to explain the difference between erect and inflate would have made me seem somewhat of a Pedant!  In the meantime we were putting up with a few samples.

The day of the party dawned and we still only had the sample balloons.  It fell to Irma and Mr Wu to sort out the balloons, either with hot steam breath or a Balloon Puffer, and so I sent them over to the classes with the package, as yet unopened.

An hour later Mr Wu came back.  ” I have to report a situation” he said, standing at the top of the stairs, looking very red in the face.  You have to imagine a 6ft china man speaking in broken English to really get into the moment!

” The balloons are not good!”

“Not good, Mr Wu, what ever do you mean?  Cant you blow them up?”

“Come see. Come see. Now, now, quick, quick” and he took my arm and lead my across the road helping me into my coat as I negotiated the lunch time traffic.

I entered the building and up the stairs.  I saw Irma looking very sheepish at the kitchen table having blown up a few.  Nothing else seemed to have been started.

” What’s wrong?” I ventured again

“Balloons.. we have balloons.  No problem.  even birthday balloons.  We can use these tonight for someone’s birthday. ” She tried to push me out of the kitchen  but I noticed she seemed uneasy so I was not convinced

I stepped forward and extracted the balloons which were, for some reason, hidden behind her back.  ” They wont notice in the dark! No one will see” she said as I looked at the balloons and digested the situation.  Then at her.  And then back at the balloons.

“Irma” – I screamed ” You’re fired”


When we returned to the Office, Irma, not one to take a defeat lying down countered

” I don’t do admin jobs.  I do managerial jobs.  My last job was big assistant at the Bank of Panama”

Lovely Man looked at her and said ” and what type of balloons did you buy for them Irma?”

Case close, M’Lud!! 



32 thoughts on “Blowing up Balloons and under age Minors

  1. That wish would look great on a cake….”Happy Fucking Birthday, now stuff your gob with some brown mush and imagine it’s chocolate”


    • Well it seems a novel money spinning idea, albeit somewhat coarse… but it made me smile ( I think) on a sunny Wednesday, so Greetings from the UK who is now turned to face the sun, of which you probably take far too much for granted, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I was, actually. But it brings to mind …write everything down and make them repeat it back so they do understand. Birthday balloons anyone?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those balloons are delightful. If you’re having trouble getting rid of the other 5,000, you could always try donating them to a good cause. Surely the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts, or the nearest charity shop would love to have them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. Its madness isn’t it? We usually give balloons away at our local market… well I guess we wont now! Actually, we have laughed about it and really dined out at her expense. Poor Irma

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “But, Objections, My’Lud,” Spoke up the Angel’s Advocate, (this one is similar to, but different from the devil’s one).

    “As Your Blindness and Deafness nose, I learnt my entire law from the honolable Pelly Mason, and such, am not too sure whether my client is the Plain-tiff or the other.

    My Client had ordered ‘Happy Birthday’ balloons, but she had not even suspected that Such balloons (as were delivered) were even produced. And How, My’Lud, could my Client have read the blah-blah-blasted words on the balloons?

    She and Mr. Wu could read those words Only after they had been erected, or, as the English put it, inflated.

    As such my Client, very unkindly called Mrs. Panama,’ should be given back her job with a raise, and also with just a Billion pounds as compensation.

    That’s All, My’Lud.”


    • Now you have to stop weighing in after the Underdog. All you say is quite correct . She ordered balloons and they sent the wrong ones. As you say, who would have known. The piece was supposed to be ” tongue in cheek” though and I have to say that she is still very much in residence. I called her Mrs Panama because I wanted to protect her identity, but I believe later on I have called her Irma. her name. Anyway as she is from Panama, her moniker was appropriate in all the circumstances. (I haven’t asked her where she has hidden her millions, as she used to work for the Bank of Panama!) Her job was never ( really) under threat and on Monday she will be teaching the multi national groups.
      Mr Wu is currently on a sabbatical 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • depends who is bringing about the action
      If I was – then she would be the Defendant… if she wanted to take me to Court for losing her job, then she would be the Claimant or Plaintiff. But as its all circumspect and she didn’t lose her job… we don’t need to worry. All good in The Hood!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was not even sure this was some real incident. I had taken as a story You had written. …Am sure glad she has her job. And Very Glad All Good in The Hood! 🙂


  4. Fast forward to July, and now this woman is taking over the place! Yikes! But I think those balloons would be popular here in the states. College kids would love them and Alaedene could use the profit to finance another field trip


    • Irma is currently on ” tapas bars” ( she wants to buy one) and also has her mind on Mr NoZair, her Egyptian Lemon exporter, come for rapid English. More on him next week

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Noze Hair?????? Well, I do think she’s on to something with tapas bars. Very industrious woman, our Irma.


      • Yes well you would see the connection, properly pronounced its Mr Nossair, and a very distinguished gentleman he is, too. Although if I have another box of lemons delivered to the office, I shall have to start up a Juice business 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe you could turn them into that famous soap “Brompton Lemons”? I bought some when I was last in London. You could turn a tidy little profit!

        Liked by 1 person

      • yes it has a very ” lemony” smell, hasn’t it? I could just as easily ask him to ship some over to you. Its a fab idea re soap. Maybe lemon and hydrangea – new line?

        Liked by 1 person

      • You should be a millionaire by now. Such great idas and a winning personality to boot! I actually did buy Brompton Soap shaped like lemons – back in the 70’s when I first went to London.


  5. haha – well you need a sense of humour but I would get shot if I showed those around the school
    Irma has been away doing Homestay Teaching for July – back in September
    Hold onto your hats….


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