Every office knew its legends, and so did mine. They lived between the walls and the whispering of the employees. Sometimes there was a legend in the air. When I was talking with a colleague during the outing of the department, this anecdote came up.

A couple of years ago, an Irish woman was working for finance and control, who loved alcohol. In the minivan on the way to the company outing, she had already drunk three cans of beer. Presumably she already had built up some alcohol tolerance, because she didn’t become tipsy. On location, somewhere at the edge of the forest with deer, there was a barbecue set up. While enjoying some bites, she drank one bottle and a half of red wine. She walked over to five colleagues -men-, who were gathered around the fire of the barbecue to warm themselves up. She spoke the legendary words:

‘I would love to have sex now, you guys too?’ It became incredibly quiet, and a heartbeat out of measure, she said:

‘Come on, who is joining me?’ She snuck off and was later found with another bottle of red wine next to her, deeply hidden in a beanbag. People always gather courage to go on with life again and a month later, when she returned drunk to the office in the afternoon after lunch, she was fired.

Another legend was that of the secretary with a burn-out. She had worked hard and became overloaded, making her stay at home. This woman had short hair like most women of her age, but she was not as ordinary as she looked. After hanging on the couch at home for five months, she apparently had developed a hobby and appeared on the late-night-astrology-channel. It was a broadcast in which she offered her services as astrologer – medium – hand reader. How she could read hands from the tv was unclear, but she offered this service. Furthermore, she could also put tarot cards and read tea leaves. Although this was a curious fact, it was even more interesting to figure out which colleagues had been watching this tv-program at night to spot her on tv.

As if this wasn’t enough, the astrologer on tv also said that she performed as an experience expert in grief processing. Everybody who has ever lost someone, is an experience expert in grief processing. That was also applicable to my colleague Alicia who had buried a little Russian dwarf hamster. Probably the secretary called herself an experience expert in grief processing because she had killed her four ex-husbands. Or maybe she mourned for herself, about her own identity that was lost when she had a burn-out. Her shadow career did not remain unnoticed, because another colleague saw the secretary perform in the astrology program. The rest is history and ended in dismissal, and so the secretary also became a living, albeit nameless, legend.

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