The True Legend Of Tom Joy

United States Trident II (D-5) missile underwa...

I opted not to go with a cockroach picture. (Image via Wikipedia)

If the nations of the world got on each others nerves badly enough, missiles and bombs could end life as we know it. People say that if that were to happen, cockroaches would be the only survivors. They can survive anything.

I know what will happen when the bombs stop falling.

Two roaches will crawl from the rubble. They will discuss the folly of mankind and how we’re finally all gone now. They’ll make plans to get together for dinner. Then one will lift his head. A shocked look will cross his face. The other roach will notice and ask him what’s wrong. He will shake his head in disbelief and say to her “I don’t believe it, he’s done it again. It’s Tom Joy.”

Meet Tom Joy

Dyson Bladeless Fans: How the fuck do they work?

If the crap hits one of these bladeless fans, is there an issue? (Image by kscottz via Flickr)

Tom Joy works for the same organization that I do. He has been around for more than twenty years. We know one another and get along just fine. We have even worked together a few times on little short-term things. I’m glad we don’t work together more. You see, Tom Joy scares me.

There. I said it. Tom Joy scares me. I’m probably as mentally tough an individual as you will meet. When the crap hits the fan where I work, panic ensues. Then someone says “call Omawarisan”. I show up and unplug the fan. But I am scared to work wherever Tom Joy is.

Tom Joy (who is almost always referred to by his first and last name) has been honest and above board when I have been around him. He works hard and earns some really good assignments. Working hard and getting good assignments is the source of his problem

Don’t Mess Around With The Demolition Man

As soon as he gets a prime work assignment, a clock starts counting down to the inevitable. Whether Tom Joy is the one who winds the clock is a mystery. It is no mystery what will happen when the clock reads all zeroes. Something will happen and Tom Joy will fall from his lofty perch. He will land hard. People will whisper “did you hear about Tom Joy?” They will wonder if he has fallen for the last time.

The answer to that last question is always no.

Frame of the actor and comedian Curly Howard f...

Also a victim of circumstance (Image via Wikipedia)

Sometimes Tom Joy causes his own problem. Sometimes he is a victim of circumstance. Sometimes a weird combination of those two things does him in. But inevitably, something will happen.

Hey, Is That A Mountain?

Some of Tom Joy’s falls involve no one but him.

Others are as if he were on a plane headed for a collision with a mountain. He trips and falls out of the plane. Everyone else aboard is lost. Tom Joy plummets 25,000 feet into a hay stack. He gets up, dusts himself off, then walks to the airport to catch the next flight.

Last year, all of us at work watched, spellbound. It seemed Tom Joy would finally meet his end. His most recent fall from grace was very serious. He lost his prime assignment and then his employment. He won the job back on appeal. He is, after all, Tom Joy.

The other day, I was untangling a bit of a mess at work. My phone rang. I answered, because that’s a societal expectation. It was Tom Joy, offering help from his latest sweet perch. It’s only been six months since he lost, then recovered his job. When he won his employment back on appeal he had been sent to career Siberia, not back to his good assignment. He’s done it again. He is back on top.

I thanked him and declined his help. The clock has started running. He and I will not be on the same plane if I can help it.

There’s only one hay stack down there, and he’s Tom Joy


29 Comments on “The True Legend Of Tom Joy”

  1. Christy says:

    We have a Tom Joy also, although I think it’s actually Mrs. Joy. Whereas this Mrs has never actually lost her job and had to fight to get it back, we’re all convinced that it is only because she has some shady evidence that she is holding over someones head. It’s the ONLY thing that comes close to making sense.

    • omawarisan says:

      I have to wonder about that as a possibility. The thing is, it keeps happening. He and I have been though at least 4 changes at the top and the same thing happens no matter who has the big office.

  2. Todd Pack says:

    People like that, you wonder whether they’ve got a cache of incriminating photos or recordings someplace. I had a boss like that once. Horrible boss, horrible person. In six months, this person drove off 2 assistants — she was only allowed one at a time — and 4 of her 6 direct reports (and the other 2 were looking). In the exit interview, the person from HR asked specifically about the boss, and I answered tactfully but truthfully. Everyone at the company knew what a bad boss this person was, but it took several years before the company finally promoted to a better position without any direct reports. Incredible.

  3. savanvleck says:

    I think every office situation, above 10 people, has a Tom Joy. It is a token job situation. Probably mandated by a great Puba. How do you spell Puba, anyway?

  4. Lenore Diane says:

    I bet he likes pumpkins, too.

    Oh, you forgot Cher. Cockroaches and Cher will survive… w/Tom Joy.

  5. Blogdramedy says:

    I’m fighting the urge to write something crude about the reality of Tom Joy, the Office Toy. It passed. The urge I mean. Carry on…gang.

  6. Oh yes, I know the type. In fact I’ve seen several variations on the theme.

    But I think you’ve raised a more worrying issue. Bladeless fans. Ignoring the deeper questions of why they exist and why they are so expensive when they don’t really do the job, there is the whole issue of what will happen to the concept of the crap hitting the fan if all fans become bladeless. It will be like kids today not understanding the concept of dialing a phone or reading an analog watch.

    Another example of technolgical advances destroying the richness of the language I’m afraid.

    • omawarisan says:

      and what sound do bladeless fans make? is it a loud huhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?

      I wonder what phrases were lost on our generation in the same way?

      My son is 19. Until he was about 16 he and a proper old dial phone had never been in the same room where we could get hands on it. He’d seen them in photos, etc. and I’d described hwo they worked. When I actually could show him he was amazed at how much time we wasted.

  7. Laura says:

    I think I know how he does it: it’s his name. Tom Joy. It’s such a simple, happy name. How could you fire someone with a name like that? Tom Joy. It just rolls off the tongue so easily that it’s probably the first name anyone says when they’re talking about giving out plum assignments. Tom Joy. What a great name. Is he single?

    • omawarisan says:

      His actual name is not so far off from this one, and youre right, it is that kind of name. He gets fired pretty regularly despite that, but is soon on the rise.

      I think Tom Joy is currently not single…I think.

  8. Katybeth says:

    I avoid Tom Joys like the plague– I never come up smelly rosy so I do my best to stay far,far away from crap.

  9. queensgirl says:

    I think “The True Legend of Tom Joy” would be an excellent name for a novel.

  10. I too know Tom Joys very well – have worked for and alongside them for years. Ah… too annoying for words. It’s like they have a hold on someone. Or inside information. Everywhere.
    On another note, in southern Africa, we have a saying that when the world ends, there will be cockroaches and Zimbabweans left. Zimbabweans have survived thus far, why wouldn’t they survive the ultimate? They always make a plan. 🙂

  11. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Tom Joy? I give you some of my heavyweight Tom Joys like Tutson, Dick Metz, George Worsley. HBH…….Have a good trip, have fun and be careful.

  12. Amy says:

    It’s like Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin (can’t remember) when they would walk around distracted by something and almost step off the edge of a building and at the last moment a beam would be lowered by a crane and they would step on to it to be safely lowered to the ground and just keep walking, totally unaware that they almost died.
    Meanwhile, I always look where I’m walking and still end up splattered on the sidewalk.
    So unfair.

  13. planetross says:

    Tom Joy sounds like he not only finds the needle in the haystack, but also threads it too.

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