Friday, 29 June 2007

Team brief and later

At 2.00pm we all go down to the meeting room on the first floor. Junior gets a mention in Team brief for his promotion, for which he gets a cheer. He looks a bit embarrassed.
There are two sets of stairs at either end of the building. After the meeting most of the team went up the stairs at the canteen end. I go up the other set with Eric and a couple of stragglers. On the way up he asks about Neil.. I tell him that he came in Monday drunk and got sent home and advised to take the day as a holiday. Since then we haven’t heard a word from him. Except for Tuesday when his mom phoned to ask if he’d got into work yet. I explained that I wasn’t sure if his mom was covering for him, saying that he left for work, when all the time he was probably sitting there in front of her. As we get to the office we are just finishing off our conversation when Alan gets to where we are.
“What are you talking about?” he asks.
I don’t want to tell him we’ve been gossiping about Neil, so I tell him-
“Team brief. Eric was just asking about some of the statistics.” (I am out of breath because I’ve been talking as I’ve been walking up.
Alan -“Out of breath, just coming up the stairs?”
“I came up the stairs too, I’m not out of breath.”
“They’re steeper on that side.”


We’re all frustrated in our jobs this morning, for some reason. Waiting in the queue for breakfast we ended up looking at the birthday cards, with very poorly drawn cartoons and even worse jokes on them. The one which Steve wanted to know the ending too was:
“Two old women were walking down the street when a naked man ran past. One of them had a stroke…”
Steve asks: “Have I got to buy the card to find out the ending of the joke?”
Junior: “No, it’ll tell you on the back.”
He picks it up and reads on:
“…but the other one missed.”
“That’s very poor.”
“It is. That really pisses me off. Someone gets paid for thinking up that kind of crap. I could think up better stuff than that.”
“Yes, you are good at thinking up crap.” (grinning)
“And some bastard gets away with drawing really crappy cartoons like that.”
“No, that pisses me off.”
He points to a card with stick men drawn on it.
“Some bastard can get away with drawing stick men on the front of birthday cards. Then someone else thinks they’re going to sell and they get distributed all over the country.”

Standing by the lift we’re waiting for Junior and Chris to pay at the counter. The lift comes and Junior gets to the lift and we hold it for Chris. Then Junior is in a peculiar mood and gestures to Chris to hurry up. Then when he sees that Chris has paid he jumps in the lift and hits the button as Chris is walking to the lift. Then when we get off on our floor he hits the buttons for the floors above us, so Chris is going to have to wait for the lift to go all the way up, before it comes back down for him.
Then when Chris does eventually turn up with his sandwich, Junior apologises for doing it.

Helen sweep

Occasionally when the boss is out, and Helen knows the boss is going to be out she will come in late. Even later than usual. Even pushing it to 11.30 some days. Lately we’ve grown wise to this and have started doing a sweepstake on what time she will come in. The first couple of times we did it we just wrote the times that everyone was going for on a post-it, the one closest to the time she turns up claiming the money (everyone putting in £1). It just makes the Friday morning more interesting. Plus Helen doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. We manage to control our cheering or disappointment when she walks through the door. Junior is very competitive and the one Friday he was fighting over the lift with Clive, who was trying to make her a few minutes later so he would win. That day we were watching out the window for her taxi to pull up. Another day I hadn’t been round everyone with the sweep before she arrived. There was only Andy left, and I had to explain what was going on. Junior wasn’t happy (I had won on that day) and he wanted it declaring void, because Andy hadn’t chosen a time.
Junior wasn’t too happy with me being in control of the scrap of paper, so he drew up an excel sheet ready for the next time with rows with five minute intervals from 9.30 to 11.30. So today was the first time we had used his sheet, and we had to decide what to do in the unlikely event she came in before 9.30, or after 11.30, because that’s as far as Junior’s sheet went. Also, we had to decide that the sweep was void if she either phoned in for a days holiday or phoned in sick. I tried to get them to agree to a roll-over under such circumstances to be a bit more exciting, but Junior wanted to void it.
Because we had stuck to the nearest time being the winner, and Junior had started his sheet at 9.30, he sneakily picked 9.30 so that he could have any time up to that, or even 9.35, because Chris had picked 9.40. This made him even more annoyed when she rolled in earlier than usual, for a Friday, at 9.45, making Chris the winner.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Neil's mom phones

At about 11 o’clock Neil’s mom rings up, to ask if he is in work. She sounded concerned that he wasn’t in yet The boss was half expecting him not to show anyway, because someone else from the same place who comes in on the same train had phoned with flooding on the track. His mom said that he had gone early to catch an earlier train, or get the bus if they had replaced the train service with a bus. She did seem concerned so I played along and just said that we hadn’t heard from him. She also slipped in that he hadn’t got any credit on his mobile, and that his mobile was charging up anyway (which seemed suspicious). She mentioned that he couldn’t remember if he’d “done everything right” the previous day. He had remembered that he’s got to work, showed his photos of the stag night to some people, then he got a lift back to the train station from Junior. Then according to his mom , when he got home he fell asleep on the sofa and slept all afternoon. She mentioned he seemed a bit quiet and she was worried he might do something. On top of this, one of his fish had died that morning as well. I told her I would get him to ring if he got in touch.
I was wondering if she was laying it all on thick to make us sorry when he did turn up. Or if he was still at home with her, and he’d got her to phone in so he’d got some excuse for not phoning us himself.

I mentioned the call to my boss, who hadn’t had a phone call and was unhappy that they’d had to send him home yesterday for turning up drunk.

Signs in the toilets 1 (should have posted this yesterday)

I love it when there are new signs in the toilets. This latest one is stuck on the mirror and is a finger pointing outwards, with the sign reading:
“You are looking at the person responsible for your health and safety.”
Obviously it’s telling you that you are responsible for your own safety, but we would like to imagine lots of disembodied hands (like Thing and the Addams Family) all crawling around looking for flaws in the health and safety of the building. We’re going to have to find somewhere on the internet that we can get false hands, so we can tap people on the shoulder and wag their fingers at them when they are not being safe.

Signs in the toilets 2

It wasn’t me, honest. I don’t understand why either, but the sign reading:
“You are looking at the person responsible for your health and safety,”
has now got a picture of David Hasselhoff in his Baywatch costume stuck over the picture of the hand.

Due to the fact that we don’t like setting foot on the sixth floor when it is full of zombies, we are now taking any drawings from the previous day up to cut and fold as soon as we get in in the morning. Early on there are only one or two wondering around, which are easy to avoid.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

World of Warcraft

Alan comes in late. Junior says to him “Another late night on the World of Warcraft?”
Alan smiles, but says “No”, but because he’s given him a smirk Junior reckons he’s right.
They get onto talking about World of Warcraft and Alan explains his ordeal that he’s been through to get his “cloak of second sight” in World of Warcraft. Junior also plays World of Warcraft and tells us how much of a telling off his missus gives him if he spends all night on the computer playing it. Alan doesn’t get so much grief because his girlfriend plays it too.

It brings back to mind the time when Alan was off sick unexpectedly (yes it does happen) and he left a post-it note on his desk with a note scribbled on it saying how much silver or gold he needs to buy some “spell pants”. The day he came back we had to ask if he got his magic pants, and every time he mentions playing World of Warcraft I visualise him having to wear his magic pants before he can play.

Neil gets in to work late and drunk

About 11 o’clock Neil turns up, I’m not sure if he’d phoned the boss to say he was going to be late, but he came past me and said “Morning, I’m not stopping”. He smelt of alcohol, and we couldn’t figure out if he’d actually been to bed. His eyes looked like they weren’t focused. He stayed for a while talking to the boss, and at one stage looked like he was showing him photos of his brother’s stag night. Then Junior put on his coat and helped him out of the office.
“I advised him to go home, and book the day off as holiday because he’s down on his flexi-time.”
No mention of the drunkenness. Alan comes over and confirms that he must have been pissed. Junior had offered to take him home because he’d never get to the station in one piece. (This is the guy that catches the train into work because he’s been banned from driving for 18 months).

Monday, 25 June 2007

Undead on 6th floor

As I explained in an earlier blog, “Abuse of office equipment”, someone has been messing about with the machines and apparatus in the print-room until now; the large plan trimmer has been broken completely. They are now waiting for one to be imported or made within two to four weeks. So any copies of large drawings that we have to send have to be trimmed off on the sixth floor, on their trimmer which has a very small blade and will only do one print at a time.
The sixth floor has a reputation for being quiet, even though there are the same number of people working up there. I had to go up on Thursday afternoon and it was so quiet, the trimmer squeaked every time I trimmed a drawing and everyone looked up to see where the noise was coming from. It wasn’t as bad this morning because I went up early there were some people who hadn’t arrived, and there was even a bit of talking. People saying good morning to each other and even discussing if they had had a pleasant weekend.
I was complaining about this to Steve when I returned to the fourth floor and likened it to the “Body snatchers”, when the aliens realise that there is someone human about… “and they point and open their mouth and let out a high pitched scream.”
He knew the exact bit of the film I meant.
So we discussed what is behind the phenomena of the quiet sixth floor.
“Maybe there is someone up there that has fallen out with everyone, and no one is talking to them. Or there’s someone up there that they all fear and he tells them all to be quiet.”
“That would make sense, because there was some talking going on this morning. Maybe whoever it is doesn’t come in until later.”
“Maybe the guy comes in every morning and shouts at everyone to be quiet.”

Update from Friday

We interviewed Junior for the job he was the only applicant for (he did quite well) then virtually straight after we told him he’d got the job anyway. He’d sussed that the other guy could have applied for his job by mistake. Then he wanted to know what starting pay he’d be on, which we can’t decide. We got him to get us some coffees in while we filled in his score sheet. This is something you have to do after each interview, the boss likes to see it (even though he couldn’t be bothered to interview. Actually he did want to do the interview to get himself out of a more important meeting. Junior decided not to tell the rest of the office he’d been successful straight away. I think he told them on Friday when I was off.

On Friday the department had been invited to a buffet lunch with the boss and his manager. He’s meeting everyone to try and effect how people fill in their Employee Opinion Survey. Last years survey hadn’t gone as well as they had hoped and they have to account for the unhappiness of the staff. I was off, but I’ve got to attend this Friday with another section instead.

Eric had asked a question about if he tried harder would there be a chance of promotion.
Unfortunately our boss was in a funny mood and replied:
“You could work harder than you do already?”
Then through-out the meeting he was made to look daft, as they kept referring to his enthusiasm to work harder. By the sound of things, no one else said that much after that for fear that they put themselves in the firing line. His manager told them that they could go on any courses that they wanted to that might help with their chances of promotion, only to be told (once the manager had left) that any applications for courses would be turned down

So he ended up with a bunch of unhappy employees who’s only chance to vent their unhappiness is when the anonymous Employee Opinion Survey gets sent round.

Knock off Nige

Knock-off Nige comes in late and explains that he’s spent the first part of the morning finishing off his DVD orders. When he came out, he said, it was really sunny. He looks out the window and it’s pouring down now.
“I put the cat out before I left this morning. He didn’t want to go either.”
We had to share our Mrs Sloacombe moment.
“You’re going to have a wet pussy waiting for you when you get home,” I tell him.

Like any workplace we have the one guy who sells dodgy DVDs and CDs around the office. He doesn’t charge very much for them, so he is quite popular. He has the latest titles (Fantastic Four/Silver Surfer is the latest one). But he must regret doing it at some times. On Wednesday he had to have the afternoon off to catch up with his DVD orders before he went away for two weeks. Then Thursday morning he had to spend a couple of hours finishing them off before work. Then there are the times when he gets asked for films which he’s never heard of. Sometimes they are really old films, other times someone has read that they are making a new film, and they ask for it even before it has even started filming. He laughs about all the adverts that tell you that he’s funding terrorists or drug smugglers, or has anything at all to do with organised crime. He’s just trying to save up for a new car before his old one conks out.
Occasionally he’ll hunt down box sets of TV series, like the Office or Futurama, but he’s drawn the line at Clive’s request for six series of Stargate. Clive keeps asking him to get it, but it’s not worth Nige’s time and money doing it if he’s only going to sell one copy. So lately Clive has taken to asking anyone who comes into the office if they like Stargate. People’s reactions to this can range from “no” to “what the hell is it”, and “that’s shit, you don’t watch that do you?”
He’s told him he needs to get five more people to want it before it’s worth doing. I think he’s found one other person interested if it’s cheap enough.
So lately whenever someone is discussing the TV (maybe one or two of the ladies are discussing Eastenders) Clive will pipe up “You don’t watch that rubbish do you?”
So we now have a put-down for him:
“Oh, but you’ll like next weeks episode. They find a portal through which they can travel through to different times and planets and have amazing adventures.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Applied by accident

Junior had been working as my right-hand man for some time now. Eventually they advertised the job he was doing properly so they could offer him promotion. They have to do this to be fair, in case anyone else in the company fancied the job, but bearing in mind he was doing the job anyway it was unlikely anyone would.
Somebody did, and for the past two or three weeks while they’ve been sorting out interviews Junior has been trying to find out who the other guy was and if he stood any chance. As it happened the guy worked on the same floor, but had never had any involvement in the work we do, so we regarded him as a dark horse, and had to take his application seriously.
In passing on Friday night, as I was leaving, the boss told me that I was going to be doing the interviewing (which I don’t think is right because the job would be the same grade as me, but I’ve done it before). I didn’t think that much of it anyway, because I couldn’t tell if it was some kind of jokey comment on the way out of the office, or if he was serious about the interviewing.
I asked my Team Leader on Monday if the boss was serious about me interviewing. She told me yes, but couldn’t tell me any details about it until tomorrow.
Tuesday came, and she took me to one side and explained that we were interviewing Junior, but not the other guy because he had pulled out. I asked why he had pulled out, and was told that he had applied by accident. He had confessed last week that he entered the wrong code for the job he was applying for, and accidentally applied for the job on our section, only realising when he got invited for interview. I can only imagine he missed out on promotion for the job he did want.
So we thought that was it and we just give Junior the job, but no. The boss hadn’t wanted us to tell Junior he was the only applicant now, and to go through the whole interview thing anyway, so he didn’t think it was a walk in the park. So on Thursday we have a room booked for most of the morning for one fake interview, and we can’t come back to our office after Junior’s interview, because we have to look like we are interviewing the other bloke.
Junior will find out probably anyway because he’s bound to se the other guy and ask him if he’s ready for the interview, to try and psyche him out or something.
Also, we found out that the boss was using these interviews as an excuse to miss a meeting he didn’t fancy going to. His boss told him that the meeting was more important to attend, which is how we got lumbered with the fake interview.

Witness Protection programme

In the breakfast queue Karen tells us about
I spoke the other day about our monthly team brief, in relation to Dan dislocating his arm putting on his coat.
Anyway, we have a new starter with us this week, and usually they have some kind of an introduction at team brief anyway. This time tough we have a bit of trouble because he has the same name as another bloke we already have on our floor. So my team leader has been asked to put together a slide for the team brief with both of their photographs on, explaining which is which.
I suggested that we tell them that he has had cosmetic surgery, and this is the before and this is the after photo.
“Why would he be having plastic surgery?” asked Karen.
“Maybe we could tell them that he’s been put on the …(pause to think of the phrase)…witness protection programme. Yes that’s it. He’s been grassing up the local villains, and he’s had to have plastic surgery paid for by the witness protection scheme.”
“You watch too much television you do.”

Half Fare

I asked Nige if he wanted any breakfast today, because some days he comes down for some.
"No," he said “I’ve got to cut down.”
“I should too.”
“No,” said Nige “I weighed myself last night and got a shock.”
“How much?”
“A big shock.”
“No, I mean numbers.”
“Seventeen stone.”
“That’s getting on for Clive size.”
“He’s about nineteen isn’t he?” Neil chipped in.
“They were talking about charging him double on the buses.”
“I’m only eleven.” Adds Neil
“You should qualify for half fare then.”

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Dan's arm

Someone had asked why Dan needed an operation on his arm. Some while back he was in a fight (it does so8und like a violent office, with Dan getting into fights and Neil coming into work once a month with black eyes, but it’s not. I will tell you about Jen getting dropped on her head during a night out in another post though). This was back in the days when his mate Lee worked with us, he recommended Dan for his job here, but he did tend to get Dan into a few difficulties. Consequently Dan took a bit of a beating and dislocated his shoulder. He had treatment for this at the time, but often complained about it aching for some time after.
Then one day, about six months later, he was putting on his coat to go home and dislocated it again. He tried to be brave about it, but he apparently stood by the lift with his coat on in tears with the pain. A passing woman came in and asked if we knew the guy in the corridor. Lee went out and brought him back into the office and called him an ambulance. He followed the ambulance in his car and stayed with Dan for some time at the hospital until he was released, bandaged up and with painkillers. This got my boss and his boss involved trying to do reports for the company’s safety department. They had to decide if it was a work related injury, and a lost time injury. This was difficult because he had dislocated it in the office, but he had switched off his machine and was technically going home. For a couple of months after this Dan showed up in the monthly team brief, and people were warned to be careful putting on their coats.
This is embarrassing because the whole of the company get this team brief every month, and of course people would ask questions during team brief (in other departments) about how someone could dislocate their arm putting on their coat.
In recent time this has only just been overtaken by a woman who fell while walking down the stairs, culminating in everyone in the company having lessons on how to walk up and down stairs safely. This is true.
Dan has had regular visits with a consultant at the hospital, who even tried some keyhole surgery on his shoulder ligaments. This did not work, so Dan has ended up needing proper surgery with bolts being put through his shoulder bone.
Even though he is a popular member of the team, there is a bit of resentment from some of them because of the company paying him for 4 to 6 weeks to convalesce at home. Although, most people were happy to lend him armfuls of DVDs to watch while he was off work.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007


I don’t normally do this, but here’s some interesting current affairs (in the news):
Did you see the judge that was up for exposing himself on a train? I hadn’t heard about it until I saw

Then I watched a bit of Sky news at the Gym.,,30100-1270368,00.html
It was obvious that the judge was going to get off, or at the very least not do any time. All judges stick together. I just hope the next person he flashes calls his dick off with a knife, just for evidence.
The other funny bit I saw on Sky News was George Bush getting his watch stolen in Albania while shaking hands with a crowd of people.,,70141-1270243,00.html

Dan's progress

Everyone has been asking about Dan and his operation. So I sent a text to Dan yesterday to find out how his operation went and how he felt. This is the reply I got back:

“Op went well thanks dude, had many nice nurses round me:)
I get aches n pain mostly at night but I can handle it.
My ass is still intact, no signs of forced entry :) “

It sounds like he had a positive experience.

You may feel equally happy that Neil survived his brither's stag weekend unscathed as well.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Friday (before Dan's operation)

Alan wants breakfast early, so we all go down without Dan. When we get back upstairs Dan is in, with a McDonalds breakfast.
Nige asks if he’s going to be eating all day, because he can’t eat anything after 10.00 tonight because of his operation. Dan goes down a bit later on in the morning before breakfast finishes for a bacon and egg sandwich.

Nige asks if he’s going to be in the hospital all weekend. Neil gloats:
“You’re gonna be in hospital on Saturday night. I’m gonna be in a lapdancing club.”
“You’re gonna spend Saturday night in a police cell.” Dan retorts.
“You’re gonna end up face to face with the armed response unit outside the nightclub.”

Later on as Neil is leaving (he’s doing half a day, then going to meet his mate in the city centre to get their outfits) he comes round to say goodbye.
“Don’t forget Neil – if you come face to face with the armed response unit, drop your weapons.”

Neil’s brother’s stag night preparations

Neil did see the stag night as a sure bet for him to pull, I don’t know why, a big bunch of drunken men taking the piss out of each other all night. Still he was hopeful, even when he got his black eye. Dan reckoned that his only chance of pulling was if he put eye-liner on the other eye and hung around at the goth disco.
Anyway after all the indecision of what they were going to be dressed up as (yes, they are going in fancy dress) they decided on a cowboy theme. So he’s been telling us all about what he’s got for his costume. He sounded like a real expert on fancy dress. He explained that he was going to wear his own jeans and checked shirt, because the shirts that they hired out were shoddy looking and very baggy. He’s also wearing his own boots, but today he managed (or his mom managed) to get some spurs to fit onto them. He’s got an oversized sheriffs badge.
“How big is over size?” I asked.
He opened his hand wide, indicating it was virtually the size of his hand.
“That is over size.” I said.
He smiled back.
His other great excitement was that he had found some leather chaps to hire. This made Dan’s ears prick up.
“Leather chaps?” he said “are they the ones with no arse in them?”
“No you wear them over your jeans. They just cover your legs.”
“You’re going to a nightclub in leather chaps. I bet you’re not really wearing jeans underneath. I’ve seen those documentaries on channel 5.”
“No Dan, “ I tell him, “Cowboys wear jeans underneath them. Perverts wear them with no jeans on, and their arse hanging out.”
“He’s wearing a cowboy hat as well man. Cowboy hats are gay.”
There is further talk of ponchos, but apparently the ones in the dressing up shop (it sounds like an episode of Mr Ben, but he was never that fussy and wore whatever the shopkeeper had without quarrelling over sizes and colours. He was a cartoon I suppose, so wouldn’t have too much trouble with that kind of thing) were bright, multi-coloured affairs. Not the kind of thing that Clint would be seen dead in.

The big worry I thought of was that they were all going armed with toy guns. Apparently some of the guns aren’t that toy-like either. One of his mates has got a pair of pistols and a shotgun to carry round with him. Coupled with bullet belts, which they all have, I can not only see the bouncers not letting them in. I can see a large amount of the constabulary turning out, armed to the teeth, to try stopping these drunken marauders running round the city centre.

I can see Neil’s best bet of a shag is when they all get thrown into the police cells.

Dan’s sore arse 2 - (Or his distrust of the medical profession)

Dan is worried about going into hospital for his operation on his shoulder, on Friday. The lucky bastard is having 4 to 6 weeks off work to convalesce. He’s worried that the surgeons are going to sexually abuse him while he is unconscious. I set him right, telling him that the surgeons will not be alone with him in the operating theatre, so it would be very unlikely that the surgeons would do anything untoward.
No. His real worry should be the hospital porters, who never get police checks done on them, and are all probably ex cons. They are the ones who will be alone with him while he is unconscious. He is now increasingly worried that he will wake up with a sore bottom.
“Oh! And the male nurses.”
“Yeah, they’ll all be batty boys.”
“I’m not going to be operated on if I get a male nurse.”
“Well, they change throughout the day don’t they? They all work shifts. So you might get tucked up by a gorgeous blonde nurse on the night time. You’ll probably dream about her all night. Then six o’clock in the morning (because they all start early) you’ll get woken up by some big hairy geezer threatening you with a bed-bath, before you’ve even had your cup of tea.
That’s even if he is a nurse. You know how bad hospital security is, he could be some mental patient who just happens to find a uniform and goes round touching-up patients.”

Dan looks increasingly worried. I think he’s going to put up with his bad shoulder.
“I imagine there are some nurses, or porters or anaesthetists who have their own website, where they post pictures of themselves doing depraved things with the unconscious patients. Then the first you’ll know about it, Other than your sore arse, is you become video stream of the week on U-tube.”

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Better than...

Dan’s got the DVD of Final Fantasy (animated rubbish). He says it’s the best film ever. I tell him it’s rubbish.
Dan says “It’s the best thing since…” thinks for a while…”fanny.”
We both burst out laughing.
When Nige comes back , he sees the DVD and takes a look. Dan tells him “it’s the best thing since…what did I say Steve?”
“Fanny is what you said.”
Nige smiles.
Neil says “what?” thinking he’s missed out on the conversation.
“See, you’ve made his ears prick up now.”

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Dan’s sore arse 1

Dan was with us standing outside the lift on Tuesday morning waiting to go down to the canteen for breakfast. The first thing that came from his lips was
“Damn, my arse is sore.”
If you didn’t know what he’d been up to at the weekend, you would wonder what he’d been up to at the weekend.
Of course we had to ask if he’d been up to any abnormal sexual practices even though we knew that he’d been go-carting on the Sunday (and they don’t have much suspension), and on the Monday he’d been snowboarding at the snow-dome, and falling down on his arse a lot.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Abuse Of Equipment

No, this isn't people swearing at the prnters or computers when they don't work.
This was aserious e-mail sent round to us all today:

Subject: Abuse Of Equipment

In recent weeks, being a mixture of both misuse and deliberate vandalism, the following incidents have occurred:
Resulting in the mechanism being completed jammed, an entire textbook (French Language) was fed into the shredder. Needless to say, the offender very kindly left the machine jammed and as a consequence, a considerable amount of time was spent clearing it by an innocent party.
Resulting in the guillotine cutting tool being pushed up and onto the protective plastic cover (causing considerable damage), someone attempted to cut something other than a sheet of paper. Having been unsuccessful in obtaining replacement parts, a new guillotine has been order at the cost of £600+.
Resulting in the machine being no longer serviceable, the wire binder has been misused.
Resulting in the need for the engineer to be called in, THREE large paperclips were deliberately fed into the mechanism of the large print machine in the print room. Again, needless to say, this proved very expensive in both callout charges and machine down time.
Obviously, will can ill afford incidents of this nature and I would therefore be grateful if you would speak to your team members accordingly.

Does abuse of the equipment include psychological abuse? We wondered.

Now we have an odd boss who likes to joke around, to the extent that no-one takes him seriously.
He could say to someone "Get that report on my desk by Monday".
They would reply: "Oh yes, that's alright, no problem." Believeing him to be joking.
Then come Monday he would ask "Where's the stuff I asked for?"
You would respond "What stuff?"

A case in point was yesterday:
We are currently advertising a job which we wanted one of our own staff to get (a promotion). The boss comes over to my Team Leader and tells her-
" You know that job we advertised that Junior was going to go for. Well he didn't get his application form in before the due date, so were going to have to go with the only other guy that applied."
To this Carol replied "Oh no, he's always leaving things to the last minute. He's been waiting ages for this promotion, you can't let someone else have the job, he'll be mortified. We'll have to re-advertise the job."
He lets her carry on like this for a while, then goes "You know who the other candidate is as well don't you?"
"Songbird Jim." (Who she can't stand).
Obviously now, she knows he's joking and calls him a lying bastard, but she was close to tears.
Consiquently his standing has diminished further. So the next time he tells anyone anything, they will not believe him.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Black eyed Neil

Neil is a very odd character. Mostly around pay day he goes missing for a day, often not phoning in sick. Then when he does come in he has some kind of injury, or black eye. The one time he came in with two black eyes and bruising across the bridge of his nose, so he looked like a panda.
He was okay with it on that occasion and told us all he’d been hit by a cricket ball, while playing cricket. We weren’t sure whether to believe him. People had lots of other ideas, the funniest was that he’d been watching Fight Club, and started his own one up. Lately though, it’s become a common occurrence and this week when he came in with a black eye he just told us, after a while, that he’d been beaten up. Other times he has been missing for weeks at a time. On other occasions he has gone to the pub on his own at dinnertime and forgot to come back to work. Obviously the boss has had words with him. The company has even paid for him to have therapy for his drink problem.
There are two theories. Firstly is because it’s pay day, and he does have a problem with his drink, he’s just going out and getting so drunk that he’s collapsed in the street and possibly beaten up. The second theory is that he’s in debt to someone who he shouldn’t be. We’re not talking about the Halifax, I can’t imagine Howard from the Halifax adverts coming round every pay day and kicking the shit out of him if he’s not paid enough to cover his loan. He must be in debt to some loan-shark who, either goes round to see whenever pay day comes round (at his mom’s house), or he must go and meet him somewhere. I’m assuming he must up the payments every time, or he’s not paid enough wages to cover it. I can’t believe he doesn’t get the police involved. I suppose the company have a limit on how much they can interfere with his life.
It’s a serious matter, and some of my colleagues do worry every time pay day comes, if Neil will turn up for work the next day, or what condition he will be in if he does turn up. It is a matter of some amusement for the rest though. They always want to know exactly who has hit him and why, and even make up their own scenarios. The latest one of these is that his mom hits him if he doesn’t give him enough housekeeping money.

Friday, 1 June 2007


I found a new phenomenon yesterday, on my day off.
We went to the city centre on the train. Inside the shopping mall connecting the train station to the main shopping centre a middle aged couple approached me and asked which was the way out.
“Where do you want to get to?” I asked.
“We just want to get out of the station so that we can have a smoke before our train.”
They were stuck under cover, not being able to smoke inside, not being able to find a way out, which isn’t easy if you don’t know your way around, and presumably unable to smoke on the train anymore either.
It was like a strange underclass, like moles, trying to tunnel out into the daylight so they could get a nicotine fix. They seemed strangely sad. So I pointed them to the nearest exit out of there. Normally I am not so sympathetic with smokers. The ones that smoke at work have loads of breaks, which the non-smokers are not eligible for, so they can take the lift down and congregate for 15 minutes in their specially built new bus-stop. Then they slowly meander back in, while I’m stuck at my desk working.

Jim the songbird

Jim was eating away on his breakfast, when he dropped a bit of his sandwich.
“Believe it or not,” he said “I’ve missed my mouth.”
This is the guy who sings most of the afternoon. Prompting comments from Neil like–“I thought Gary Barlow was in the room.”
Often followed with comments about short fat people sitting in the office.
It’s usually awful “middle of the road” stuff he sings.
There was a moment the other day when Neil came out with – “I though Lionel Ritchie was in the toilet this morning.”
This was met with a barrage of comments from “Did he say “Hello”?”
To – “Why? Was there a big black man in there bothering you.” (with some less savory comments to do with people loitering in the toilets - thrown in.)
Always, as he leaves the office of a nighttime, he says “I’m going to take my wife a good husband… If I canm find one on the way home.”
This has worn a little thin, to the extent that Neil came out with “She’s been waiting a long time.” After he left.