06 MAY 2018, 02:20 PM
For many years I worked in a local authority.
I observed others to see what they did, I aimed to emulate them and become the best.
A lot of time was spent chatting.
A lot of time was spent avoiding work.
So I devoted myself to wilfully avoiding my responsibilities.
To be the best at the game they all seemed to be playing.
I had been brought in as a replacement for Bill the box.
The staff members had genuinely drawn a face on a carboard box and called it Bill.
Anything they didn’t want to do, which was most of everything,went into the box.
I had a lot to live up to. I was mostly worried that I would be more socially awkward than Bill.
I would certainly not fall victim to the Japanese disease. This is defined as karoshi,meaning death by overwork.
Sitting at my desk,half asleep, I would often think of the word. It almost became a lullaby, karoshi,karoshi. Sounding like a gentle wave rolling up to the shore.
Smiling to myself, I would gently fall asleep.
I became a master at avoiding work,any of my official responsibilities.
Esquivalience is the word meaning the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities.
I was fortunate enough to attend an exhibition by Lillian Mountweazel in Dublin,in 2009. She was born in Bangs,Ohio and unfortunately died in an explosion while on assignment for combustibles magazine. The exhibition detailed her life and works.
Or should I say – her fictitous life and works. As I found out that day, a Mountweazel was a term created to describe fictitous words which are placed to protect against copyright theft.
For example, the first American dictionary available on cd rom had fictitious words placed in it.The idea being that the fictitous words could be used to demonstrate plagiarism in a prosecution for copyright theft.
Just like the word esquivalience. A fictitous word, that described my attitude to work perfectly.
But doesn’t it’s appearance in the dictionary make it a word?
What is my attitude to work if I’m not esquivalient?
On my last day at work, I slept late. By the time I woke up everybody had gone home.
I collected all my work together, and found a carboard box to put it in.
I picked up the felt tip and wrote ‘Bobby’ and drew a little face.
Bobby had a lot to live up to.
This story is 90% true.