Saturday, 27 October 2007

R I P Raven

I know this isn’t a serious blog, but today I wanted put this on as a remembrance of Paul Raven, Killing Joke and Ministry bass player. I followed Killing Joke for years, and he was born in the same town as me. Here’s an old Tube interview followed by a live version of their “Love Like Blood” . Him nor Jaz ever interviewed very well, but the music was great.Paul Raven was found dead in a home in Geneva, Switzerland Saturday Oct. 20, after apparently suffering a heart attack. He was only 46.
(Paul Vincent Raven (Jan 16th, 1961 - Oct 20th, 2007).
Promise some silly stuff next week.

Rich Russell

I saw his name on some post for another department. Not sure if it’s his name or a nickname because he throws his money around.

Best f*c$ing business

We were all so happy to read this in the register:“Put simply, profanity can reduce stress and promote team bonding with a beneficial knock-on effect for business.”
We must have one of the best f*c$ing businesses in the country.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Mixed feelings

Andy comes down to see Nige. He’s done him a favour of finding him a CD he was after.
“Thanks mate for doing that CD. Sometimes I love you and could marry you. Other days I could just punch your head in.”


Dress down day 2

I didn’t get time to do a fake dress down day poster. In the end it got declared “wear pink for breast cancer” day. With no male colleagues owning any pink clothes, as it should be, it got re-packaged “dress down day”. Unfortunately there are going to be people coming round collecting money.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Human race

According to the Daily Mail

"Human race will 'split into two different species'
The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures, according to a top scientist."

My lot will all be the dim-witted goblins.

Job seeking

Yesterday Mark and Andy both went for job interviews at the same place. It was a big deal, because they’d both got suits on, which is unheard of for Andy, as he usually appears as a right scruff. He had even straightened up his hair.He was trying to find out if the secretary had got any plans to marry her boyfriend soon.
“I’ve got a suit now, I’ve got to get some use out of it.”

First thing this morning Mark is telling us about his interview for the office manger job he went for. He’s looking to poach a few people with him. The pay and conditions are much better than here, although we’d have to travel a bit. After he’s walked back up the office with his coffee, I turn to Nige, who’s been listening too.
Me: “Do you think he could get Clive a job then?”
Nige: “Clive’s here till he retires, unfortunately.”
Me: “Clive will die peacefully in his sleep, at this desk.”

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Alan quits World Of Warcraft

Alan comes in all smiles and announces that he’s cancelled his World of Warcraft subscription. Technically he can play till the end of the month, but he managed to stay off it all last week. He’s been trying to give it up for some time and even half heartedly started his own blog “WOW Rehab”. I don’t think he added much to it though.

As a celebration I'm posting this video we found the other week. it's a bit long. Basically the guy spends too much time on WOW that his girlfriend decides that the only way to get him interested in sex again is to dress up as a character from the game and do a dance (which is supposedly a real dance that the characters do).

Dress down day

In response to the lifehacker’s “What workplace practices should be over?”

I hate charitable collections that come round at work. In our case though it’s almost compulsory, because they disguise it as “dress down days” or “jeans days”, so if you don’t want to part with your pound coins you have to come to work in your usual work wear while everyone else is wearing jeans. The people that collect the money don’t even tell you what charity you’re giving to any more, they just come round and say “dress down day” and expect you to give them a pound. I’ve taken to going to the toilet if I see them in time.
So being next in charge for this week I’m making up my own posters for “dress down Friday” and not collecting for anything.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Be careful on Thursday

This afternoon Eb comes over and talks to me a bit furtively. Looking round before he talks he says:
Eb: “Can I book Thursday off as a holiday?”
Me: “Why? Have you got a job on?”

Hitman movie

Following the recent idea that Eb is a part-time hit-man, Eric came in with a picture on his memory stick of the poster for the new movie Hitman (starring Timothy Oliphant) based on the game. With the picture being mostly silhouette it could pass as being Eb (He doesn’t have much hair- probably so he doesn’t leave any hair about at the crime scenes). We looked on the IMDB ( )
movie database to see who was in it, because you can’t tell from the poster. Steve E insisted it was Samuel L Jackson, he looked a fool when we showed him it was a white guy.
We also saw that it was written by Skip Woods. I decided that I fancy changing my name to Skip, jokingly. Then I decided that everyone should start calling me Skip as a nickname. Even more fantastic that Junior was missing, so that when he comes in tomorrow and everyone calls me Skip all of a sudden, he wouldn’t have a clue what was going on.

Junior’s portal profile

As I’d mentioned the boss is out this week which leaves normal working practices a little flimsy, people decide it’s okay to phone in and take the day off, or like Dan yesterday, deciding to book the afternoon off. Junior phones up this morning, having phoned in yesterday to take yesterday off as holiday, but this morning he’s not sure if he’s got any holiday left. He phoned me up to ask if I could go and log onto his machine for him to see if he had any holiday entitlement left. I don’t know what he would do if he hadn’t day any days left, if he would have quickly got dressed and raced into work.
In order for me to do this for him he had to tell me his log-in and password. While I was waiting for the machine to boot up I told him about yesterdays events, and that Eb was a part-time hit-man (which it took some time for him to understand). Eb overheard and said “Oh, no not that again.”
When I was ready he told me his log-in and password and I told him he had got some holiday left. He was happy, said that he was having the day off and hung up, leaving me logged onto his machine.
So I shouted over to Alan and asked what I could do while I was logged on. Then we decided the best thing to do was to change his personal profile on the company portal. We all have our photos with a brief description of our skills and interests. Alan had got an old Photoshopped picture of Junior with a distorted forehead, which made him look like Oddbod off Carry on screaming”. He quickly produced that on a memory stick while I kept the mouse moving, so that the screensaver didn’t kick in and thought about what to change in the text. I swapped over the pictures, then we decided that in the language section we would add advanced Welsh as a skill. The only things we could think of in interests was to make him sound a bit gay, so we put a sentence in saying that he enjoyed musicals and walks in the park. Steve E suggested we put “likes hanging around public toilets at night”, but we have a limit.
Alan says “It serves him right for being so lazy”.
I’m wondering how long it will stay on the portal though, because nobody checks their own profile once they’ve written it, only using it for looking up people’s phone numbers throughout the company. So I think it could stay like that for years possibly.

What I don’t understand is why anyone would want to be on holiday while all the bosses are away.

Monday, 22 October 2007


The bosses are out this week. It’s half-term, so they all have to spend quality time with the kids they avoid for the rest of the year. The atmosphere is already quite relaxed. Junior has phoned in asking to have the day as a last minute holiday (I expect he’s hoping we don’t do the paperwork, so he gets an extra days holiday for free). There’s some illegal elastic band flicking going on already as well. By Friday I think it’s going to get so relaxed that there’s going to be no work done at all.

Eb the hit-man 2

Eric comes back on Monday morning. He’s been on holiday fort the last week. He went to Weymouth, which I doubt is that much fun when it’s cold. Also he had gone home on the Friday before that with a migraine. This was the day of his interview for a promotion, although he didn’t really fancy the job he was going to get more money ( He didn’t get the job, but I’m told he did a very good interview and would probably get one of the next lot of promotions that are coming up soon.). Karen had sent him home as soon as his interview was over because she could see he was ill.
He asked what he had missed while he was off. I told him we had gotten rid of Helen, although not to the section we were going to get rid of her to. Then I told him about Eb not denying he was a hit-man. He looked quizzically at me, as if to say why would Eb deny he was a hit-man, I explained about Steve’s accusation while they were discussing what his sideline was, and that he had only laughed it off rather than deny it. So I explain that he should be careful what he says to him until we have cleared things up. Then when Eb comes in we ask him about his weekend, and if he’d done any business. Then we ask if he had bumped off anyone. Again he just laughed it all off, not saying NO to the accusation.
When the subject came up later on in the afternoon Alan said that he had just laughed, not denying it. Now we go around pointing two fingers at his head, like a gun, when he’s not looking.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Early breakfast

Dan comes in much earlier than usual. He’s down on his flexi-time, and has been working until 6.00pm to try and make up time. He asks virtually straight away if I’m hungry, as if we should go down for breakfast early. I look around to see if everyone who usually comes down with us is in. Everyone is about except for Steve E. He is in the building though, so I tell him we’ll go down when Steve E gets back to his desk.
“Do we have to?” says Dan.

Eb’s sideline
Alan , Dan and me are discussing who we would employ if we had our own company. All we know is that we wouldn’t employ Clive. He should have something on his CV by law saying that no one should be daft enough to employ him ever again. Although if we did that, we would be stuck with him for life. Can you imagine a 60 year old Clive, even fatter with either grey hair or no hair, wondering round the office trying to look busy. By the time he’s that old though he would be claiming invalidity benefit. He’s hardly mobile as it is. The way he slouches low down in his chair will certainly wreck his back in a few years time.

We got onto the subject of Eb. He’s always nipping out to use his mobile in the corridor and talking about meeting people in various places that Alan thinks are sinister “Drop-offs” for something. He’s always happy and always smiling. Alan thought that he’s most likely to be some drugs baron. Eb looks up and smiles at the three of us looking over at him. Alan calls him over and asks if he has a business on the side.
Eb: “I wouldn’t call it a business”.
Alan: “Is it legal?”
Eb: “I wouldn’t like to say.” (ending with a laugh, which left us wondering if he was serious or winding us up).
Alan: “Is it drugs?”
Eb: “No, no nothing like that. I’m just very busy with things”
Dan: “Are you a pimp?”
(Again he just laughs)
Alan: “It must be mobile phones.”
There are a few more shouts from the rest of the section .
Steve E: “Are you a hitman?” (He shouts)
The rest of the office laugh their heads off imagining Eb as a hitman.

Mark’s hair

Mark turns up to work this morning with more “product in his hair than normal, with a fin effect on his head.
Me: “Mark’s hair’s looking a bit weird today. He looks like Tintin.”
Nige: “No, he looks like Cameron Diaz in that film… “Something about Mary””
“He’s got jiz in his hair.”

Andy not peeing

Andy made us laugh Thursday afternoon (the day after the England v Russia defeat). He was desperate for the toilet but he could hear that Jim was in there talking football to someone, from outside. He came back in to the office and announced “I was going to pee but Jim’s in there.”

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Business on the 3rd floor

Business on the 3rd floor is picking up for Nige and his DVDs. Although there seems to be one Indian guy in particular who’s always coming up and asking Nige for loads of stuff. He was up again this morning asking for two copies of Prison Break, Heroes, enquiring how much they were. Nige sticks to his pricing system of £2 per single DVD, £3 for doubles, then six DVDs or above are £8. After he’d gone back downstairs I spoke to Nige about him.
Me: “Do you think he’s selling those on at a profit, adding £1 on to each one?”
Nige: “He could be. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
Me: “He does seem to be bringing up a lot of orders, as if there’s something in it for him as a middle-man.”
Nige: “Well, last week he tried to knock me down in price. He came and asked me for two more copies of Lost series 3, he’d already had one copy before then he asked if he could have them for £15 instead of £16.”

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Paper models

Today we found the holy grail of paper models:
The complete set of Wacky Races cars


Genuine e-mail from boss
(Note poor spelling/grammar)

Subject: Arms Amnesty

A bit like the Police have done in recent months with both guns and knives, the Primary Section is going to have an Elastic Band Amnesty.

Starting Monday 08 October for one week, free of recrimination, those individuals who have a none business related stock of elastic bands are requested to hand them in to either Sarah or Sue.

Please cascade and although it can be amusing, lets stop the practice of shooting elastic bands across the before someone gets hurt or takes offence and reports the sniper!

I’m assuming legitimate use of elastic bands is still permitted.

IT Problems

When Russell came into the office this morning his machine was beeping constantly when he turned it on. Ii just assumed he was leaning on the keyboard, but he wasn’t. So he asked me why his machine should be beeping and I took a quick look. Meanwhile, one of the Steve’s who sits opposite him reckoned that it sounded like a major hardware fault, like the motherboard, and that it could explode at any moment. I couldn’t figure it out, so I called IT. We have a spare machine since Neil left, so I got Russell to work on that one. Half an hour or so later Matt from IT came up, tried it out, and as I suspected took the machine away. We expected that we would just get a replacement machine when one became available. A little later though he sent an e-mail saying that it had booted up fine downstairs and he was bringing it up to try again. He tried it back up here and it still beeped continuously. He figured it must be the keyboard, so we booted it without the keyboard and it worked. He said he’d get a new keyboard. I started looking at the keyboard and found there was a bit of silver foil (possibly from a chocolate wrapper) wedged in the keyboard, underneath a couple of keys. I prized it out with a bent paper-clip and tried rebooting the machine. This time there was no noise, and it booted up fine. I rang the IT guy back to tell him it was all fine now. I could hear them all laughing in the IT department when I told them it was just a piece of silver foil, and that I’d banned Russell from eating chocolate in the office again.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Staff moves 2

Then out of the blue the sods pinch Knock Off Nige, when we were told Clive was going to be moved off our section next:
Dear all,
As mentioned earlier, there are more moves afoot. One that directly affects us, Nigel has been poached to assist Carl and Lorna on the workflow cleansing programme.
They are dealing with unknown volumes, so I don’t know how long it will be for. I know you’ll join with me in wishing him all the best.
Kind regards

Junior says that he can't take part in the section's Bonus Ball draw we do each week. I hope he still sorts out our DVDs for us.

Staff moves 1

Copy of e-mail from boss:

Dear all,

Another staff move that directly affects us, Helen has been asked to help out on the bureau and has kindly accepted the opportunity.
Again, I don’t know how long it will be for but I know you’ll join with me in wishing her all the best.
Kind regards

Of course Helen didn’t appreciate it. She said “It sounds like I volunteered, or had some choice in the matter”.

Jim's return

Jim has been off for the week on holiday in Portugal. They all complain about him never shutting up while he’s here, but last week they were all reeling of his catch-phrases (You thought only comedians and quiz show hosts had them) while he’s been gone. They’ve also been singing his favourite song “I love it when you call..” (not sure where it’s from). He’d locked his drawers before he went, so no one could use his brown sauce or tomato ketchup on their breakfast sandwiches, until they found out that I keep sauce in my desk. So I’ve lost half a bottle of brown sauce while he’s been gone. (The previous regional office I worked in used to be stocked with brown, and tomato sauce, soy sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar. So depending on what
It had rained for the fist three days of his holiday. They had a nice time despite that, and he came back even more tanned than he went. He’s kind of a “birch” colour, if you compare him to the wood finishes in the IKEA catalogue.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Quiet day

I say quiet day, the whole week has been quite quiet work-wise. We’ve been discovering the joys of paper folding. I saw on the BBC’s Click programme. Then I printed off and made a basic character from there. I then started to customize the pattern and put Fat Dave’s face on. Then, when Alan saw it, Alan started looking for more ambitious projects and found a load of Tranformers and Star Wars stuff, which looks really good, but would take forever to make.
Take a look on and
Then on the site I found South Park figures to make, but when it came down to cutting out and making the characters it got very tricky. We also found some good, but less complicated stuff to print and make on So I’m going to do some pumpkins from there for Halloween.

Movement of staff

We got told yesterday (Thursday) that Clive and Helen weren’t needed for the new section that was being put together. I thought that it was too good to be true at the time, that we would be getting rid of a couple of duffers. We were quite depressed when the woman putting the new section together told us. We haven’t told Clive and Helen that they’re not leaving us yet. They were both quite nervous about moving section, so we were going to let then stew for a bit.
Then in the afternoon we were told that Helen would be going anyway, somewhere else. We could not be told where she was moving to. Then later one of the women who is moving came and told us that she was moving section. Then it became obvious where Helen was going to be going. Clive looks like he might be staying for the foreseeable future, but we did tell the woman who’s section he was going to that he would be upset that he’s not going now. We told that Clive was quite keen about the move, even though he wasn’t, so next time she needs anyone she might come looking for him and take him off our hands.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Calibre of 3rd floor staff

As I’m walking towards the print room with a couple of large drawings a middle aged woman who we’d not seen before walks into the office and heads towards the print room, but with her head scanning the room from side to side obviously looking for someone to help her. Not asking for help, she walks into the print room, and unfortunately I follow her in. Instead of asking for help she lets out some retarded sound “Ehh-eer” (a similar kind of sound to Helen when she wants help, but can’t be bothered to actually ask. There’s only me and Paul in the room with her, and having weighed her up already I ignore her stupid sound, I’m happy to say Paul does the same. After 30 seconds she realises that we are getting on with what we’d gone in for and decides to say “Help. Can someone show me which machine I need to fold this drawing?” Again I ignore her because I’m used to this kind of crap from Helen, and I don’t have any time for anyone who behaves the same. Sadly Paul comes over to her and points her in the direction of the folding machine, even though the sheet she has already has folds in it. He takes the drawing off her and shows her how to feed it into the machine, then carries on with his own stuff. She then unfolds her second sheet and tries the same with that. She manages to jam it into the machine to create an error on it then says to me “Which button do I press now?” I don’t know what she’s done so I have to go round and see what she’s done. I pull the paper out of the machine, which clears the error, then tell her that you just feed it in and the sensors detect the paper and it takes it in automatically. So I watch her fold her second piece of paper, pick her paper out of the catcher-tray underneath, then she starts looking around.
“Where do they come out?” she asks.
“Underneath, in the catcher-tray.” (I’ve only seen her with two sheets of paper)
“Where are they?” she says.
Half thinking that she might have had a third sheet I unscrew the part of the machine which lets you look inside. She tells me that none of the machines downstairs have worked properly since the power cuts on Monday.
Paul comes over and asks “How many should you have?”
“Two.” She says.
He holds up the two sheets she’s just put through the folding machine, “One, two.” He says.
“No, the copies.” She says.
“You wanted copies?!” Paul says, “This isn’t the copying machine, this just folds.” He takes her over to the large sheet copier and feeds one through for her.
“They’ve been folded twice now, look at the creases in them.” She says.
Paul makes sure she has copies and then takes her back to the folding machine and makes sure she’s folded them. Once she leaves Paul says “She asked for help with the folding machine didn’t she?”
“She did, she said can you show me how to fold this.”

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Power cuts

On Monday morning, about half past ten, the lights and monitors all went off for a couple of seconds. Just long enough for the computers to all reboot. There was an “OOOOHHH!” from everyone when it happened, then everyone complained that all their work was going to be lost. When Clive complained we told him that it wouldn’t be too much trouble for him to re-do the ten minutes worth of work he had done so far that morning.
The second time the power went off and on again there was a big cheer. Then a big sigh again when it all came back on. In total throughout the day we get four power cuts. No one explained what it was all about.

Itchy & Scratchy

Nige comes in late this morning. He’s had to let the builder in who’s digging the foundation for his conservatory. As soon as he arrives Andy comes over and asks Nige if he’s got any new films. He reels off a list – Kingdom, Rambo, Run Fast Boy Run,Heartbreak Kid…
Nige tells him he hasn’t got any of them. He’s a bit bored of doing all the copies now. I have got Planet Terror .
“What’s Planet Terror?” I ask.
“It’s the 1St part of Grindhouse.” I am told.

After a while Andy leaves. Then Mark shows up. He’s been for a cigarette.
“Here’s the other half of the double act… I’ve already had Itchy, now here’s scratchy.”
“How was your weekend?”
“At least he butters you up a bit before having a go at you.”
“What new films have you got? Have you got Kingdom yet?”
“No, not yet. I can get you a rubbish copy, but you would only complain and bring it back.” As he leaves he asks: “Are we okay?”