Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year

There’s been a lot of sick people about the office, with colds and flu about. I’ve had two weeks off with a nasty dose. When I got back in at the start of this week Junior had got a cold, which he said had been bad for a few weeks, but he’d managed to drag himself in. On Monday it had got a bit much for him and he went to his doctors, who gave him antibiotics. With New Year approaching I said to him:
Me: “What? You can’t drink any alcohol over New Year then?”
Junior: “I can
can’t I? I asked the doctor if there was anything I had to be
careful about,…could I still drive? and so on.”
Me: “Yes, you can still drink
with antibiotics. I had you going for a while though.”

The boss is temporarily sitting near us this week:

Boss: “Can’t wait for the Hogmanay Show tonight.”
Junior: “’ You stopping in
Boss: “You have to at my age…Which member of staff are you seeing

Cold Start

The boss comes in this morning and comments on the cold weather:
Boss: “We need it though.”
Me: “Why do we need it?”
Boss: “To kill all the
rats…You know they say that you’re never more than six feet away from a
(We look around, we’re on the fourth floor, we give Junior a second look - he has a rat type face)
Boss: “There’s been a big increase in the rat population recently. They have to
keep eating to maintain their body fat, or else they die.”
He certainly knows a lot about rats. He goes on to tell us about the rat problem at his previous house which he found out was due to his neighbour feeding them.
Me: “So why aren’t there so many birds around this year?”
Boss: “Don’t know.
Do you know why?”
Me: “No.”
Boss: “I thought you were trying to catch me
out…I’ll certainly find out for you though.”
Me: “weren’t there fewer bees
about this year as well?”
Boss: “Bees?”
Me: “Yes bees.”
Boss: “I don’t
Me: “I’d heard that if the bees die off, then it’s only two years
before man becomes extinct.”
Boss: “That’s not something Dave told you is
Me: “No, that was a proper expert on the TV.”

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Pep talk

With loads of people off sick, or with time off to do their Christmas shopping, we are struggling with the amount of work that has come in. junior decided to mention this to the boss:
Boss: “You’ll have to do a Churchill style speech,…rally the troops.”
(He saunters over to Andy’s desk)
Boss: “Come on Andy pull your finger

What? No bacon!

Yesterday we all had egg on toast or just toast because the canteen would not sell sausage or bacon following the Irish pork health-scare. we got sent this e-mail just before we were going down for breakfast. Today they had some bacon, but no sausage again:

The Food Standards Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is requiring
the food industry to recall from the market all Irish pork and pork products
produced from pigs in Ireland.
This recall has been called following FSAI
test results indicating the presence of dioxins in animal feed and pork fat.
Dioxins are chemical contaminants and although there are natural sources of
dioxins, dioxins are usually formed as by-products of industrial combustion and
chemical process
The FSAI are currently investigating the extent of
contamination but have indicated that the risk to consumer health is "extremely
low". However, it is illegal for dioxins to be present in foodstuffs and
therefore the recall has been issued.
This means that there will be no bacon,
sausage, ham or pork based products being sold in the Restaurant until further

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause

Saturday, 6 December 2008

It's shit up North

Dan had read this, that people's hands are dirtier the further north they live.

Dan (reading): "The further north they went, the more often they found commuters with
faecal bacteria on their hands - men in Newcastle were the worst

Eric: "So does that mean if we are around half way that we're only 50% as dirty?...Do you think it's the hand that we wipe our arse with that gets dirty then?"

Friday, 28 November 2008

Junior's trouser comedy

Junior has been single handedly trying to kick start the economy this week with his terrifyingly large disposable income, now that he has split from his girlfriend and moved back in with his mom & dad. He is interviewing most of our section on Friday for the four promotions that are available. He decided on Monday that he needed some newer, smarter clothes to conduct the interviews in, having heard that the rest of the section were buying new clothes ready for their interviews. So he told us that on Monday evening he had gone late night shopping and tried on virtually everything in the shop. He listed the amount of stuff that he had bought. Then made us laugh when he told us that the shoes that he’d brought back were both left shoes when he opened the box, and he had got his dad to take them back and change them for him.
Then the other morning he came in late and explained that it was because of his new trousers. We had to ask him why his new trousers had made him late. So he explained that in the shop under artificial light he thought they were grey. So that morning he had put them on and paired them with a blue shirt. However, on leaving the house and going into the daylight, they looked more like a brown colour. So he had to go back into the house and change his shirt, because you can’t wear brown trousers with a blue shirt.
We all examined his trousers and decided that they could pass for grey or brown. Then later discussed the fact that hwe wouldn’t have bought the trousers anyway, and his new wool coat looked like a girl's.

Cake commotion

Jason had kicked off complaining that Rick had bought one of the Steve’s a piece of cake down the office, but not a piece for him. Eric overheard all this and got involved, to the extent where Jason had flicked him the Vs. when Jason came over to the coffee machine I had to shout over:

Me: “Who’s got cake then?”
Jason: “Dave.”
Me: “What kind?”
“Carrot cake, I think.”
Me: “No chocolate cake?...have a word with him…tell
him to get it sorted."

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dan's breakfast

While the canteen is being renovated for a few weeks we have a telephone ordering system in place, whereby one person phones in an order then goes and collects it from the back door of the canteen. So that nobody gets the wrong order they ask you to quote your telephone number when you order, then tell them your number when you go and collect it. For the past three weeks I’ve been doing this for anyone who has been in before 8.30. However Dan has been coming in later and having to fetch his own or get his order tagged onto someone else’s order.
Today he had to order his own and went down to collect it , some time after 9.30. A little later, while I was talking to Eric and one of the Steve’s over near Dan’s desk my mobile rang. I saw it was Dan ringing me:

Me: “Hello, what are you up to?”
Dan: “I’m downstairs. Can you do me a
Me: “Yes…what do you want?”
Dan: “Can you go over to the phone on
my desk and tell me the last two digits of my phone number?”

I had trouble keeping a straight face. So fighting the need to burst out laughing I told him his phone number (overheard by Eric and Steve):
Steve: “He’s forgotten his own phone number?"
Me: “Yes…(almost crying with
laughter)…and he can’t get his sandwich without telling them what it
Eric: “Surely he could tell them what he wanted and they could figure
out which one is his?”
Me: “He’s probably not thought of that has he.”

It takes us all a while to stop laughing, then five minutes later Dan walks through the door with his breakfast and sets us off again.

Ban her!!

Becky has got a date for the driving course that she has to attend, or face a driving ban. She was moaning:
“Two hours of the course is just about avoiding hazards!”

This is the girl that went into the back of a parked car, writing off both cars. Personally, I would ban her.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Junior Smells

In the middle of the afternoon Junior goes over to Cath’s desk and says:

Junior: “Can you smell something around here?”
Cath: “What is it?”
“Is it you Chris? Have you let one go?”
Chris: “No!”

I couldn’t smell anything myself over my side, but couldn’t help smirking at the way he had just come out with his accusation. Junior walks up and down for a while sniffing:

Junior: “It’s Ed, you can see him smirking.”
Me: “I’m smiling at the tone you
accused Chris in.”
Junior: “Oh.”

He carries on talking to Cath for a bit, then looks over at Andy:

Junior: “I reckon it’s Andy, he’s looking guilty.”
Andy: “It’s not.”

He lets the sublect drop then, as if he's started things off to deflect suspicion from himself.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Glen's Tears

I’m at the lift on the ground floor this morning when Glen comes through the revolving doors at the entrance. (He catches the bus in and walks). The stunning blonde, who doesn’t say much, is also waiting for the lift. Glen says hello to the both of us:
Glen: “It’s a bit nippy out there…my eyes are watering.”
Me: “Are you sure
it’s the cold making your eyes water, or are you starting to cry as you walk
into this place for another day.
Glen: “It’s possible.”

Junior's WOW day

Junior is over in one of the meeting rooms adjudicating the tests which will determine who gets an interview for the promotions. There are eight people in each session, spread out throughout the day.
The boss comes over and asks where Junior is:
Me: “He’s over the way, adjudicating all day.”
Boss: “With Alan as
Me: “Is Alan over there as well?.”
Boss: “You know what they’re
doing, don’t you?”
Me: “Playing World Of Warcraft remotely on their laptops?
Or, working hard on some presentation or other.”
Boss: “Did you know Junior
is a 79er?...Alan is only a 76er…It’s all very sad…penis envy. Only I think
they’re talking millimetres.”

We have a laugh. Then as he walks away he turns to Julie:
Boss: “That’s around three inches. You were looking worried.”

Monday, 17 November 2008

WOW what a disappointment

The World of Warcraft set were very disappointed in the end. Tom told us this morning that the 24 hour Tesco had got a massive queue through the store. Somewhere else they went had got 18 copies coming in and 70 people queuing. They drove around for three hours looking for places who might have had it. In the end they went and bought it in the daylight the morning after. Then when they started playing it they were just disappointed at the new bits and thought it wasn’t worth it in the end.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Job Opportunities

Most of my lads are applying for the promotions which are currently on offer around the company. There are a total of 46 applying for about 8 jobs. I've tried to set them up with as much information as I can without giving them the interview questions. They are all iontelligent lads, but they still seem to give off the impression of schoolboys who have spent their spare time playing football or computer games instead of revising for their exams.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Asda be a good idea

The canteen is currently being renovated, a process that will take four weeks or so. We used to use the canteen as an impromptu meeting venue, and had booked a couple of meetings to take place in there. Sadly no other meeting rooms are available around the building. Instead Junior had organised a meeting for today Meeting at Asda’s café down the road. I thought it was a joke at first, then asked if he couldn’t just move a few people round to create enough space to conduct the meeting in the office. He said it was confidential.

How to lose friends

Nige had got a copy of “How to lose friends and alienate people” that he was going to give me a copy of. He brought it in on Monday and I watched the start of the DVD. What he had actually copied (for someone else in the office) was “Midnight Meat Train”. So until the titles actually came up I watched ten minutes of some guy hacking away at a passenger on a tube train, covered in blood. I thought it was a bit odd, but thought that they might shout “cut” at any moment, and they were behind the camera. Or the guy could have to go and get a coffee from the café still in his blood stained clothes.
I told him that it was the wrong film on Tuesday. He had Midnight Meat Train in his desk and assumed he must have mixed them up, so he gave me the DVD out of the Midnight Meat Train cover. Sadly, again, when I tried it in my player that evening I got the same guy soaked in blood. He eventually did me a new copy of “How to lose friends and alienate people”, and tells me that he’s watched the start to make sure he’s given me the right DVD this time. We’ll see.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

WOW expansion pack

Sadly we are without a number of our staff for the next couple of days. Not through ill health or anything like that. The next World of Warcraft Expansion pack is released at midnight tonight. Junior and our latest recruit, Tim, have discovered that the 24 hour Tesco will be having them in at midnight tonight. So they are going there to buy them tonight, probably with some Red Bulls & Pot Noodles, then spend the next four days playing the new bits of the game. Alan & another guy from down the office are also going to be queueing up to buy it as well, and taking the next couple of days off to play it too.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Hazel's Health

Hazel was coughing and sniffing all of Monday morning, complaining that she had a terrible headache. Towards the end of the morning she was asking if she could have the afternoon off as a half day flexi-day because she didn’t think she could work for the afternoon with her symptoms getting worse. Junior was happy to let her use up her flexi-time in this way, but I asked her if she wanted to have it off as sick. It was obvious to me that if she was that ill she wouldn’t be coming back for a couple of days. Junior asked her:
“Are you really that bad that you need to go off sick?”

as if she was malingering. I know the bosses have tried to stop people having so much time absent, but when it gets to flu season people should be coming in to work infecting everyone else.
Glen’s section had a similar problem with one geezer who had taken a lot of time off work and they had put him on, what they call capability. This meant he couldn’t have any more time off work in a certain period. He got sick, but had to come into work. For a few weeks he was having massive coughing fits which made everyone’s stomach turn as he was coughing up so much crap. Everyone else around him was catching it and going off sick for weeks at a time. I think that they eventually saw sense and told him to have some time off sick, but by then, with the air-conditioning working it’s magic, it had took a hold on the office and was spreading like dominoes from one end of the office to the other.
So Hazel goes off sick at dinnertime on Monday, for us to find out when she phones in sick on Tuesday that she has a chest infection and a possible lung problem, after Junior had tried to get her to take the time as flexitime.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Above and beyond

Glen was in before me this morning messing about with computers on his lots team. I asked what he was up to and was told that he was moving machines around.
Me: “You’re doing it yourself, rather than getting IT to do it?”
Glen: “Yes,
they charge £60 for each machine.”
Me: “Aren’t they going to be upset when IT
have to deal with a problem on one of them and they aren’t on the right desk
Glen: “No. They don’t keep a record of the machine and desk numbers.
We update the drawing which tells us where each machine is.”
Me: “Why are you
doing it so early?”
Glen: “I’ve got to do it before any of the bosses come
in. They don’t want to know about it. ..That’s what I’ve been told, “if anybody
asks we don’t know about it.””
So he’d come in early for no extra pay, flexi-time doesn’t start until 7.30a.m. to do something that his boss had told him to do, but would deny knowledge of if asked.
Me: “Have you got many to do?”
Glen: “Only this one and that one (pointing to
a couple of desks further down)…but next week I’ve got to bring one down from
the sixth floor and swap it for that one.”

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


I asked Alan what time he was staying until on the way out of the office, incase he wanted a lift home. He told me he was staying a while longer.

Alan: "I've got all the fun of walking my girls home from the nursery in
the dark tonight."

Me: "Well tonight it'll be more fun with all the fireworks going off around

Alan: "No it won't, the little one is terrified of fireworks."

Me: "Oh well, at least they'll probably walk a bit faster then."

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Sunday Gym fun

I don’t often mention my life outside the office, this was always meant to be a work related blog, but this Sunday I just had to share this. I go to the gym most Sunday mornings, I know it’s very middle-class but I need to stop my beer belly taking hold, and there are various classes which go on at the same time. There is one woman who does the ladies aerobics class (men are allowed to go too but it’s not very often that there is any male take-up) who has started to sing along with the soundtrack she plays for her class. You can hear all this going on from the main gym because the rooms the classes are held in are just off the main gym. So this morning I was treated to Kim Wilde’ s "Keep my hanging on", with the teacher singing “set me free…’cause you don’t really love me…keep me hanging on.” The gaps being the woman breathing and shouting instructions in between the lines. The funny bit was when she threw in a “Shabba!” just like the DJ out of Phoenix Nights. I was on the leg machine at the time and I couldn’t move the weight for a good two or three minutes after, from the giggling.

Friday, 31 October 2008

American woman

I was reminded about this by having to rip the bottom layer of my sandwich apart at breakfast. There was a very sociable, and attractive, American girl in the queue for breakfast. Somehow she got involved in my conversation with Dan and I ended up talking to her more than Dan while I was waiting, but we ended up talking about nothing much. We mostly talked about how bad the canteen was, waiting time and food wise. I complained about the length of the queue and suggested they should adopt a McDonald’s style serving system, then she complained about the woman who was serving; how she never cuts all the way through the bread, so that you have to rip the bottom bit of bread or toast when you come to eat it. Unfortunately, for some reason, I deliberately avoided talking to her about obvious things like why she was working in a tin-pot town like this, how she came to work for us, which part of America she came from (assuming she wasn’t actually Canadian) and which department she worked in. I imagined everyone that talks to her asks where she’s from and how she came to be working over here.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Banana allergy

We have had Hazel passed on to our section, with one of the other sections needing to shed staff. She has had no experience of the stuff we do and we had to appoint someone to train her for this week. We chose one of the Steve’s. This Steve is the one that cycles into work and also eats two bunches of bananas a day. Unfortunately, after we’d decided Steve was the man for the job, we were told that Hazel is allergic to bananas. Then when she started, she confirmed that she was allergic and couldn’t go anywhere near them. We didn’t know that banana allergies existed, but she reckoned that even contact with her skin would result in her swelling up. Now Hazel is quite rotund anyway and our first, childlike instinct was to see how much she would swell up, and even see if we could get her to burst. As it turns out, Steve has been training her very well and carried on eating his bananas with no ill effects as yet.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Well-being day

For well-being day there are various activities going on for the staff. Someone was sent round all the floors to try and encourage people to go and see what’s available. On the first floor they have a woman doing head massages, a cycling machine that powers a smoothy maker, so that you can make your own smoothy while you peddle. Then there was a Wii-Fit with a ski-jumping game and a football (soccer) heading game.
We’ve now had a few new ladies from another department (which the company is getting rid of) who we are trying to train, so that they could be used on our section instead. One of these is Hazel, who is a large, loud lady. We all listen to what the woman has to say about what is on offer then Hazel says:
“Why does she look at me when she says Wii-Fit, as if I need to have a go on one?”

Monday, 27 October 2008

Writing's on the wallys

The latest thing in our office between Nige, Cat and Becks is drawing on each other. Yes, drawing on each other like kids. They started off writing “love” and “hate” on each other’s knuckles. Then they started drawing smiley faces on their arms. Lately they’ve been using the office stamps saying “Copy” or “Received” to stamp each other’s hands and legs.

Take a look at some better quality knuckle tattoos.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Just Managing

Junior has not made a great impression on us as a manager. Last week we were snowed under with work, which he has been promising people a fast turn-around for. On Wednesday he had spent the day on the internet finding the cheapest car insurance quote for his new car he was picking up the following weekend. Then on the Thursday he asked myself and Eric to go to a meeting over the other regional office 50 miles away, which was basically a waste of both our days. When we came back we found out that he had done bugger all, and Thursday’s work had piled up for us to do on Thursday evening or Friday. Then on Friday, when there was too much work for us to possibly get out, he was still fannying about asking us to do other stuff for him.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Chinese doctor

Dave had been to have acupuncture at a Chinese doctors’ last week. He wanted to lose some weight and stop drinking, which had caused his knee to flare up (gout). He had told us all about it, having long needles stuck through his ears, through his knee and down his back. Remarkably he had stopped craving drink and was now only drinking water or soft drinks. Hazel had heard of his great result and went to see the Chinese doctor too to help her loose weight and stop drinking. She hadn’t told us this though. The boss came to tell us this, after he had offended her:

Boss: “You know Hazel has been to the Chinese doctor to help her loose weight and get a man?”
Steve: “A China man?”
Boss: “Anyway, she was telling Dave about it and I walked in on the conversation half way through. She said “The worst thing about it was when I was standing there in front of him in my bra and pants.” So of course I was a bit shocked."

Then he went into smirk mode and you could tell the rest of it was made up.

Boss: “Anyway, this Chinese doctor tells her to get on all fours and crawl away from him. Then he tells her to face him and crawl back. He gets her to do this a couple of times then the doctor tells her “you got zakary disease.” (in dodgy Chinese accent)…”What’s that?” she asks him. “Lady, your face look zakary like your arse.””

We laughed.

Boss: “Everyone else laughed up the other end of the office, except Hazel. I’m not sure if I’ve offended her.”

Friday, 5 September 2008

Eric’s act of kindness

Eric very kindly asked everyone for their drinks order around dinnertime. He asked Cat, who has hers in a mug, and took her mug. Then he asked Becky what she wanted.
“I’ll have a coffee thanks. ..While you’re up, can I be really cheeky and ask you to put those in the bin for me?”

Handing him her pot noodle pot, salad container and drinks can. We erupted into laughter as Eric politely declined.

Tonsils and testicles

Somehow on Thursday afternoon we got chatting about tonsils. Junior had got a sore throat and was eating cough sweets one after another, and he told us about his tonsils being too big to be removed. We were surprised that anyone could have tonsils too big to operate on. He then told us that doctors don’t remove tonsils anymore. So Becky started going round the office asking if any of them had their tonsils removed. Everyone had theirs still intact. Then the boss came down the office after a coffee and saw there was a bit of a commotion. Rather than settle down to some work, Becky caught the boss’s eye:

Becky: “Have you had your tonsils removed?”
Boss: “You what?”
Becky: “Have you had your tonsils taken out?”
Boss: “Tonsils?...No. I have got three testicles though.”
Becky: “Really?”
Me: “Isn’t that a load of bollocks?”

Friday, 29 August 2008

Free phone calls

The only thing that’s going on over this side of the office is the on-going saga of Becky’s new car and her missing spare key. She’s had the car for a week now and spent most of her time phoning the garage trying to find out when they are going to have her key, which they have had to order in. If she isn’t phoning the garage she is phoning her Mom or her boyfriend. We have IP telephones now, which you have to log-on to, but which follow you around whatever desk you get moved to. Becky’s desk phone rang on Wednesday afternoon:
Becky: “Who’s that ringing me?”
Steve: “Answer it and find out.”
She looks at the display on the phone:
Becky: “Oh…It’s my Dad.”

That’s one employees take on the company telephone policy.
Yesterday Chris’s dad was in hospital with internal bleeding. His mobile had no charge left, so he came over to me to explain the circumstances and asked if it would be okay to use the desk phone to ring home to see how he was and if he would be able to go and visit him straight after work.

Moving Seats

This week I moved seats following my promotion, which starts properly on September 1st. I was very sad to leave my chair of about 3 years, and I will miss all the fun conversations I had with Dan, Rach, Clive, and the rest of them. Over this side of the office the dynamics are all wrong. Everyone is out to impress everyone else, and nobody seems to have any funny stories. I can’t see all the way down the office anymore to see what the other sections are up to and I can’t see the coffee machine, which used to be the hub of activity that was blog worthy. Eric is taking my chair on Monday, and I’m giving him instructions to inform me abouit everything I miss. It’s probably a bit much to ask him to write it all down for me, I might as well hand my blog over to him. The one good thing about my new chair is the fact that nobody can see my monitor, so I could try and write some more of my novel in the quiet periods.

Monday, 18 August 2008


The boss comes in around 9.00 this morning with a big bunch of flowers and gives them to Junior to present them in front of the team to Karen, who left our section of Friday. Junior is not best pleased at having to do the presentation and giving flowers. “I don’t do flowers” he tells everyone. It takes a while for everyone to get in and have their breakfast from the canteen, so it’s about 10.30 when Junior actually calls Karen over and everyone gathers round. She gets upset and tells him that she’s going to cry anyway. Steve does a bit of a speech and hands over the flowers. The boss them puts an arm round her and looks as if he’s taking the flowers down to her desk for her. He then runs down the office and gives the flowers to Dave (Karen’s news boss). As she reaches her new desk Dave says:
“We are cutting costs on our section, and we would like to welcome you to your new job.”
Handing her the flowers she had just been presented with at the other end of the office.

Friday, 15 August 2008

New phone number

Junior was giving out his new company mobile number and asking people for theirs. We weren’t that happy to give out such information, but if he came up on caller display we could just ignore him (since we only have them on vibrate in the office anyway). Mark has been off for a few weeks with a bad back and Junior tried to phone him to se how he was progressing. When Mark called back Junior was out of the office in a meeting, Mark called me instead. I passed on the message from Mark, but Junior still wanted his number, so I read it to him off my display:
Me: “0785……”
Junior: “Hang on I haven’t got that far yet.”
Me: “How far have you got?”
Junior: “A far as the K in Mark.”

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Eric in late

Eric gets in to work just after 9.30 and thinks he’s managed to sneak in. After the weird team brief which Paul was held up as a shinning example to the workforce Paul now gets some stick too:
Me: “Eric. Good morning.”
Eric: “Morning.”
Jason: “What time do you call this? Paul’s been in since half past seven”
Paul: “I was waiting for a comment.”
Eric: “Oh. I don’t need to get in too early because I know Paul is in grafting away, clearing all the work.”

Eric: “Who put this fan on? Was it you?” (to Paul)
Jason: “He needs something to cool him down at the speed he goes.
I was thinking of bringing in my dry cleaning to use the steam he gives off.”

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Karen's new manager

Karen told us all that she is leaving us to go and work for another section on the same floor. I knew about this a few weeks ago, but it was a surprise that it had all happened so fast.
Her new boss is going to be one of the Dave’s who’s always making comments of an inappropriate nature, but gets away with it:
“When you start on my section I’ll start sexually harassing you. Then you can put in a complaint and get a big pay-out. By Christmas we’ll have both got what we wanted.”

Monday, 11 August 2008

Jim bragging

As I mentioned before, Jim, Eric and One of the Dave’s had all had the Friday off work. When John comes in Paul greets him:
Paul: “Did you have a nice weekend John…and Friday?”
Jim: “Yes thank you. It’s nice to have a long one.”
Dan: “Bragging again Jim…about having a long one.”

Friday, 8 August 2008

Jim's day off

Jim, Eric and one of the Dave’s have all booked the Friday off. We started discussing what they might all be doing together, even though they are probably doing independent stuff. Then we moved on to Jim and his elaborate system of greeting everyone as the come through the door in the morning.
Rach: “Is there anyone he doesn’t talk to? He was telling me about going on holiday to India and bumping into someone he knows.”
Becky: “He’s always going on holiday. If you tell him where you’re going on holiday, he tells you he’s been there.”
Rach: “If you say you’ve ate shit on toast Jim’s done it first.”

We laughed. We had not heard that phrase before.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Happy Birthday Gee

Gee turned 40 yesterday. He’d brought in cakes this morning and was offering them round. He’d taken his birthday off to go to Warwick Castle to watch the jousting. Glen was down from the sixth floor as well discussing what he’d been up to. Becky walked in. I turned round:
Me: “Morning Becky.”
Becky: “Morning.”
Glen: “Afternoon.” (It’s only about 8.30 a.m.)
Becky: “Morning… I would normally be in earlier, but I’m relying on my mom to bring me in at the moment.” (Her mom works on the sixth floor)
Glen: “Why’s that?”
Becky: “I had a car crash last week.”
Glen: “Oh yes, much damage?”
Becky: “It’s a write-off.”
Glen: “Their fault or yours?”
Becky: “Mine… you know what it’s like when you take your eyes off the road for a second or two.”

She told Glen a few more details. Glen was just amazed that she’d been driving without looking in front of her.
After I’d finished talking to Glen and Gee I turned back round to my own desk, adjacent to Becky:
Me: “Couldn’t you get your mom to get up a bit earlier?”
Becky: “Well…no she car shares, with that Green-travel scheme. She picks up another woman who works on the sixth floor too.”
Me: “Is that worth doing.”
Becky: “Yes. She gets £50 worth of vouchers.” (I don’t know if that’s every month or year)
“Gives them to my dad and says “Here get some new clothes””

Either her mom isn’t very tactful or her dad is a real scruff, I didn’t ask which.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Smashing Becky

The other Monday I had taken the day off. When I came back in on the Tuesday everyone was making a big fuss of Becky, asking how she was. It turned out that she had not been in on Monday either because she had crashed her car. When the crowd had gone away I asked her how it had happened:
Becky: “I was driving my boyfriend to work yesterday morning. You know what it’s like – you turn your head to one side (she demonstrates turning her head) to talk to the passenger…then I just hit this car that was parked half on-half off the pavement.”

I wanted to say “You don’t turn your head to talk to people if you’re driving. You only turn your head when you’re manoeuvring or reversing.” I kept that to myself.
She wrote off her car, smashing in the nearside front corner. She indicated with her hand the degree to which her bonnet had crumpled.
Dan: “Did your airbag go off?”
Becky: “Yes.”
Dan: “Cool.”

The parked car she’d gone into the back of belonged to some guy who had no tax, no insurance and no MOT on the car. She found this out when he asked for her details. Becky mentioned this to the police when they arrived. They seemed very dis-interested, telling her that they had to see him drive the car before they can do anything. Even though they have all those adverts on the TV and radio telling you that hey have the power to tow your car away and crush it if it isn’t taxed. We were appalled at their attitude. The guy had been shouting “How am I going to get to work this morning?” Surely that’s enough to realize he had intended to drive it.
The next day she found out that the insurance company were going to pay out for the damage to his car even without insurance, MOT or tax.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Andy- ladies' man

Andy likes to have a rapour with the ladies, and can usually get the younger females in the office to fetch him drinks or items from the canteen. Especially in the case of the girls who haven’t worked here for too long and think that it’s normal There seems to be a backlash recently though. And one of the girls who used to wait on him has been ignoring him. Andy shouted over to her a couple of times and she seemed not to hear. He sent Ricky down to talk to her, when she went to the coffee machine, to try and get her to go and see him.
Ricky spoke to her quite softly to explain that Andy wanted to go up the office to see him:
“I’ve been trying to avoid making eye-contact with him all day.”

We all had a goggle about it because Andy was so sure that she would take him a cup of coffee up.

Monday, 4 August 2008


For some time there has been some work going on around the building with people fitting security devices next to the doors on each floor. We were told that they wouldn’t be active until September, however we got this e-mail on Friday afternoon:

"Due to regulatory compliance following the integration of Data Retrieval and Data Management staff, swipereadershave been installed across the site.
This afternoon the readers in the Main Building will become active and you will need to swipe your access card to gain entry to each floor.
If you do not have an access card please contact the Security Team on the ground floor of the main building.
Thank for your co-operation - Facilities"

Yes, the e-mail did say “swipereadershave.” We all wondered if that was a new kind of razor. Late on Friday afternoon the swiper system to get into our office door from the corridor was switched on. This caused great problems on Friday (turning it on at the end of the afternoon for one).
Everyone has complained that they have to take their card with them even if they just go for a pee. Us sensible people have shirt pockets, but some of them have now had to start wearing them around their necks.
There are pockets of resistance. Andy is unhappy to have his toilet visits scrutinized, so he knocks on the door and gets Becky (who sits closest to the door) to let him back in.

This is just the kind of important thing that you would think our monthly Team Brief would inform you about. We had Team Brief on the Friday afternoon straight after dinner, and there was no mention of it.
There was the latest news from above that mobile phone ring tones are now banned from our office. Some people did have some terribly annoying ring tones, also they would leave their phones on the desk to ring when they went walkabout, rather than take their “mobile” phone with them. So there used to be people running back down the office to answer their phone, or the people at the adjacent desks having to put the phone inside the drawer. Now we are only allowed to have them on vibrate. So we’ll probably be having mobile races along the desks later on in the week, seeing which phones have the most powerful vibrate.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Clive's new motorbike

Clive had been talking about his new bike (a cheap 125 Japanese thing) for some time. When he came in on Monday with a biker jacket on and a helmet under his arm we all rightly assumed it must be roadworthy now. He had come with a change of clothes because of the heat; he would be very sweaty on a summer’s day with a big, padded jacket on.
When he took off his jacket to reveal a tee shirt I shouted over to Steve:
“Did you get the e-mail about dress down day?”
His helmet was matt black, so there were lots of jokes about him polishing his helmet, and “have you seen Clive’s helmet out on his desk” type jokes.

Jason has been coming in unusually early. He has just become a father though, and has been complaining about not getting any sleep any more. Paul came in and provoked him. Jason told him “It’s too early in the morning for an argument.”
Paul replied “It’s never too early for an argument.”

Monday, 14 July 2008

A lot of wind on Friday afternoon

Friday afternoon was odd because we had a guest speaker coming to address us in the canteen about “Changing Energy”. He blamed privatisation and the early running down of the coalmining industry. He mentioned alternative sources of energy, which would be many years away. A new nuclear power plant would take fifteen years to get up and running. Then he spoke against wind energy because he wanted to know where we would get our energy from when it wasn’t windy.

This brings me on to later in the afternoon. That was always Windy Miller’s problem wasn’t it, waiting for the wind.
George, Eric, Andy and one of the Steve’s were sitting around discussing the old TV programmes they watched as kids. Bod, Starfleet, Masters of the Universe, Captain Scarlet, Trumpton, Buck Rogers, Roger Ramjet Hong Kong Phooey they all got a mention. We’d got onto this through talking about how much money the bosses were on, so they could pay for their fuel without a worry. By the time the shortages and power-cuts come they’ll be emigrated to some beach somewhere without civil war breaking out. Jersey was mentioned, because that was where all the millionaires go to live. In fact you have to get a license to live there, and they don’t take any riff-raff. The only scum on the island are the ones who were born there and do all the work. This got us on to Bergerac, which leads us on to Midsomer Murders, and finally the declining state of television in general. Dan had never heard of Bergerac, so we said that we would have to see if Nige can get hold of it on DVD.

Andy: “I sit in bed on Saturday mornings having a flick about.”
Eric: “Too much information.” (smirking all round, so Andy repeats it).
Andy: “I have a flick about on Saturday morning….and I discovered the old Batman series. Eh? Biff!, Ker-pow!!”
Eric: “The Adam West one?”
Andy: “Yes.”
Eric: “What was the bloke who played Robin called…?”
Me: “Burt Ward.”
Eric: “That’s right. Didn’t he end up doing porn films?”
Me: “I don’t know about that.”
Steve (almost simultaneously fast): “Yes he did.”
Eric: “There was something worrying about the authority with which you told us that.”
Me: “He’s got the complete set on DVD.”

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Alan's lego fun

Alan was telling us about yesterday’s conference jolly. They’d done some team building exercises, one of which involved building a bridge out of lego which had to be strong enough to stand the weight of a toy truck and a toy horse, but also had to be tall enough for both of the toys to pass underneath. However all the bricks were priced by colour and they had to work out a quote for the job before they could start building. Alan was quite pleased with his coming in under budget at £1,250. All the other teams had quoted around £4,000.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Nige's fat fighting

Nige announced today that he was going to quit the slimmimg club because it costs £9 per week, although he was going to carry on weighing himself and eating the same stuff. Dan asked what went on at a meeting. Nige explained that they all going weighed then sat around discussing their diet. I suggested it might be like alcoholics annonymous, where they all sit round and talk:
"This week I passed up the chance of a chocolate cake."
Then they all drool over the missed chocolate cake:
"Mmmmmmmmmmmm...chocolate cake."

Interview results

Today we were given the results of the interviews for the latest manager jobs. I went in before Alan and Junior and was relieved to be told I hadn’t got the job. Then I was amazed when Junior came out later and told us that he had got one of the jobs, knowing how much the boss thinks he’s a prat. Then Alan came out, who we thought should get something if anyone was going to, and he had got one too. They haven’t told anyone which sections they will be managing yet though. I was quite happy thinking that we might all fail. Now I’m jealous of the money they’re going to get. I’m now bothered that they might stick Junior as my manager, which a few of us will find intolerable.
Then it was followed by a load of “congratulations manager” back slapping between my boss and the others who had come out successful. I started off saying that I’ll remember Junior as a young office-boy.
Then my boss came out with “I remember when he was Gouldie’s bitch!” towards one of the Dave’s who had also been promoted.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

What's with Terry

Terry from the third floor is usually a happy, jovial kind of character, whether you’re in the mood for it or not. So this morning when he showed his face on the fourth floor early I said “Alright Terry?”
“No” he said “Everything’s crap!”. He then went on to tell me about how some geezer is hassling him for a job he can’t finish because of some missing plans.
After he’d gone Becks said “I bet you’re glad you asked him now.”

Fancy a warm one

When Mark comes down the office to get a round of drinks in for his section, the woman who cleans the coffee machine is still working on it. He sits down in Becky’s seat, opposite Dan and me and starts chatting. He has somehow got free tickets to Silverstone at the weekend. He might be able to go round in one of the F1 cars (he’s hoping). As time goes on Dan tells him that he could get the waters in while he’s waiting, which come from a separate machine. The woman has got her cleaning trolley in front of it anyway, so he can’t get to it.

Me: “Surely you don’t want the first couple of drinks, they’ll taste of bleach.”
Mark: “No I was going to get the first couple for the guys down there.”
Me: “There’ll also be those clumps of stuff that she’s dislodged, but not quite got out of the machine.”
Mark: “Yeah, the dried up globs of chocolate powder and coffee crud.”

When Becky comes back Mark jumps up to let her have her seat back. She complains that he’s made her seat all warm.
Dan: “Isn’t that a good thing?”
Me: “Not in the Summer months. In the Winter it’s nice to have your seat warmed up for you.”

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

IT trouble

There area a new bunch of rules for making up passwords which we have to adhere to now. Everyone has had to change their password to their computer last week. Becks came in this morning and was having trouble remembering her password and was eventually blocked-out after three goes. She phoned IT who asked her to get someone to request a “password reset” by e-mail, which I did for her. Eventually they replied with a new password, “yellow12”. I passed this on to Becks, and because they were so specific I reminded her that it was case-sensitive. She tried this 3 times and got blocked out again. I e-mailed IT back and they told her to try again with “yellow12”. It didn’t work again, so we phoned them back and explained what was happening. I had checked that she had made it all lower-case. Eventually we heard the IT guy at the next desk, to the woman we were talking to, shout over “That needs to be a capital Y”. They had e-mailed us over a password which they hadn’t made case-sensitive. We tried “Yellow12” (with a capital Y) and it was fine.

Asbestos stickers

Last week we weren’t worried about the threat of asbestos poisoning. After this e-mail though we have all been trying to find the stickers.

Asbestos Sticker labels
Colleagues on site may have noticed that stickers have appeared in various locations around the site regarding the presence of Asbestos.
This labelling up exercise has been done following the latest asbestos survey that has been carried out to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations. Under these regulations, we have a duty to manage and to monitor the condition of asbestos in our buildings and to ensure it is not disturbed. The stickers have been placed on the window sills (among other locations) because the cores of the original sills, which are still in place inside the timber casing, contain low risk asbestos cement.
All asbestos on site is monitored and managed and poses no risk to site occupants. There is no cause for concern.
Thank you”

Following the e-mail we’ve all been reading up about it and all the wheezing from hay-fever has turned a bit more sinister.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Fat Fighter Nige

Nige came in with his slimmer of the week certificate again having lost 5 ½ lbs.


One of the women from the other end of the office had bought in a load of mint flavoured rock for Karen. This was very thick, large sections of green and black striped stuff. Karen invited anyone who wanted some to have some, but there were no takers and after staring at it for the morning they decided it needed breaking up into manageable pieces. Alan picked up the thin polythene bag which held it and looked about for something to use to break it.
Karen: “She was whacking it on the floor to break it.”
Me: “Use the side of the desk…that metal part.”

After thinking for it he decided it was going to be the floor. He raised the bag up high and smashed it on the floor with a mighty whack.
The bag split wide open and the floor was showered with little tiny shards of rock and about four big chunks which stayed intact. We laughed for a good 5 minutes then tried scraping the stuff off the floor. Alan ended up using cellotape to get the little shards up. As he finished Karen said:
“Now we’ve got nothing to suck on this afternoon.”

Juniors WOW announcement

Junior came in and announced that he had quit his WOW guild last night - Nothing to do with Alan quitting his guild (apparently). He reckoned that he got home at 3.30 yesterday afternoon and there was nothing on there that he wanted to do. If he wanted to do a raid he would have to wait around until 1.00 in the morning to do it. That was taking it out of him. He moaned about Clive giving up on the WOW after a month.
Dan: “What can you expect if you’re slapping him about whenever he joins the game.”

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Not so green boss

The company is promoting green living and energy saving ideas – leave your car at home, cycle to work, use public transport, use video/telephone conferencing. Then the boss is setting up a meeting with a guy who works on the floor below us 25 miles away at an old building we used to use, but are selling, just so that he can claim the business miles for the tax on his car.

Fat Fighters

I must stand corrected. Nige isn’t going to Weight-watchers at all, he goes to Fat Fighters. This throws up a whole new load of imagery. You can imagine some kind of Fight Club thing going on, but only fort fat people. They could probably start off with the weigh in, then the two who have lost the most fight it out for the honour of the certificate and the fruit basket. Then the next two would fight each other. I could probably do a whole spoof on it:
“First rule of Fat Fighters is don’t tell anyone about how much chips you’ve ate all week.”

WOW Recruitment

There are a few guys in the office (as I have mentioned) who like to play WOW in the evening. Lately they’ve been doing a bit of a recruitment drive, for some reason, lending out their demo discs etc., trying to get people hooked (like drug dealers). Last week Junior had talked Clive into playing it. He spent eight hours loading discs onto his machine. Then when he started off playing, Junior just jumped in and slaughtered him in a couple of seconds.
Meanwhile Alan is so frustrated with his old guild that he’s thinking of starting a blog called “I play WOW with idiots”. The only thing stopping him is that he forgets to do screen-grabs of the stuff they get up to.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


A subtle question posed to Nige (who’s currently going to Weight-watchers and is going well so far).
Andy: “You know your clothes from when you were fat?...Can I have ‘em?”

More fun with rozzers

Talking of Rozzers, I found this. Thanks to the Boing Boing.
We all wanted to read the Ladybird books at the bottom too. Let's hassle them to write them.

Dead Rozzer

When I was almost at work this morning there was a police motorbike with a lorry he’d pulled over near the shops, down the road from work. I wasn’t sure if there was a speed trap operating along the road.
Then when Dan came in at 8.30 he reckoned he’d seen a rozzer lying motionless in the outside lane of the dual carriageway, (coming from the other end of the road) looking like he had come off his bike. With the amount of rain we’d had this morning you would think they would have more sense than to send out rozzers on motorbikes to race up and down after speeding motorists.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Branching out

Nige looks to be branching out into audio-books. There are a few people who’ve been having audio-books off him, although it seems that the only has Harry Potter books, and then only 1 to 7. Jason and Nige are discussing this when Eric comes along:
“He’s currently recording number 8 in his poshest voice.”

Tattoo for Clive

Also found this tattoo which would have been great for Fat Dave. Instaed I am suggesting it for Clive.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Mario Tattoo

Found this this morning. Had to share.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Bacon Gum

Becky was complaining about the smell of everyone’s bacon sandwiches at breakfast time. She is trying to diet and was having cereals. Dan had been mentioning nicotine gum, trying to give up smoking, then I thought up the idea of Bacon gum for people dieting, but who want to taste the bacon. Then we decided that it would be better, seeing Becks with her cereal, to make something like Frosties, but instead of the sugar coating they could have a bacon coating. Cat told us you could get Bacon bits
At the supermarket and sprinkle those on.

Clive's Man-mamms

Clive comes in late and ends up going down for breakfast about 10.30. He asks if anyone wants anything and Dan asks him to get him a Double Decker. When Clive brings at back in his top shirt pocket it’s all warm and melted.
“It’s melted between his man-mamms!” shouts one of the Steve’s.
Clive insisted it was the only one left and that it was near the motor near the refrigerated bit, and was already melted.

Kisses on the bottom

Cath’s daughter has broken her arm and is at home at her nan’s recuperating. She’s watched all the DVDs they have in the house and Cath is desperate to get Nige to get some more DVDs burned for tomorrow, so she sent him an e-mail listing the films she wanted. When she sent it she realized that she had sent it to Nige’s wife’s e-mail, not Nige’s.
Cath: “At least I didn’t start it off -“Nigey baby” and put kisses on the bottom.”
Becks: “You put kisses at the bottom?!”
Cath: “No. I said at least I didn’t put kisses on the bottom.”
Jason (from some way away): “Who’s getting kissed on the bottom?!”

Thursday, 29 May 2008


Sadly, with the addition of more ladies to the section, the talk has got more domestic and today they turned the conversation round to ironing. Cat told us that her mom irons everything- towels, pants, socks etc. whereas she only irons the bare minimum. She then told us that she hardly irons any of her husbands stuff-
“His tee shirts, he just stuffs in his drawer anyway. By the time he comes to wear them they’re creased up. So I don’t bother, I just wedge them in his drawer before he comes home. Then when he takes them out and they are creased, I tell him he shouldn’t wedge them in his drawer so tightly. Then if I iron it for him he thinks I’m doing him a big favour, re-ironing it.”

Late 2

Dan gets up late and misses most of the morning. He strolls in just before 12.00 with his McDonalds bag and big cup. Ricky sees him first-
Rick: “What time do you call this?”
Dan: “Lunch -time.”

Late 1

George is late in and the troops are talking between each other about where he’s got to and what excuse he’ll have when he turns up. Dave has gone walk-about when George gets in around 10.00 and immediately starts a coffee machine run. Dave comes back and sees George walking towards him.
Dave (shouting): “George!”
George: “What do you want?”
As Dave: “A 52 (coffee with sugar on the machine) please mate.
George heads back to the coffee machine-
Dave: “Did you mean a drink, or did you mean “What do YOU want!””

Network down

When we got on and logged in this morning the whole of the network was down. I spent 15 minutes with my speaker phone on waiting to get through to the helpdesk, who informed me that the whole of the company’s networks were down. We ended up chatting with each other about yesterday’s interviews, among other stuff. Eric came over to see us because no one was around in his section yet. He has the same shirt on as me. It always seems that when I pick this shirt to wear, Eric also has the same idea:

Me: “If I get a team manger job you’re going to be the first one I try and head hunt for my section.”
Eric: “That’s very nice of you to say so.”
Me: (Pointing to one of the Steve’s) “You needn’t bother I’m going to head hunt you though.”
Steve: “I’m not bothered. I would probably refuse to work for you anyway.”
Eric: “You’re making the right decision there Ed. He’s very touchy and has a vile temper, doesn’t he.”

We ended up going down for breakfast early, which we were lucky with to be first down because half the place had got the same idea. The network came back on around 9.00, just after Karen had phoned the boss (who was interviewing today as well) to get an opinion about what we should do. He sent a message to say the time should be spent tidying up our desks and the rest of the office. This all happened before Junior and Alan had come in. They were upset that they’d missed all the commotion.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Interview day

Junior is early on interview day. He’s all jumpy and insisting he’s not prepared, I think it’s all just a front.

Junior:: “Are you prepared for the questioning?”

Me: “I’ve got a few scenarios ready for the questions.”

Junior: “How many scenarios have you got?”

Me: “Five or six.”

Junior: “I’ve thought up about eight. I couldn’t find anything to say was a weakness though.”

Karen and me both smirked, considering telling him his weaknesses.

Me: “We could tell you a few suggestions.”

Junior: “I think I’m just going to go with “I have an inability to recognise my weaknesses”.”

Friday, 23 May 2008

Weigh in

Nige lost 3lbs again this week, but was beaten by his missus to the prize. She lost 3 1/2 lbs this week. After Nige had finished telling us about his waistline Alan started talking to Becks about her diet. She was explaining that she wasn’t counting points or anything like that; she was just trying to eat healthier stuff. Opposite her now sits Dan, who comes in late on in the mornings with his McDonalds breakfast, and then will have KFC or Subway for dinner. He also has a bag full of snacks for during the day. As he was leaving, Alan said “Keep up the good work.” (to Becks)
Dan replied “I will.”

Foreign Integration

After showing off her hand signals and winking that Andy had taught her a while back, the Hungarian girl walked towards Andy with her fist out. After knocking her fist against his in a matey gesture Andy told her that he was relieved because he thought he was going to get punched in the stomach. He then taught her a new phrase - “How bin yer our kid?”


I haven’t touched my blog for a week or so. Sadly I’ve been pushed into applying for a number of promotions which have been advertised internally. There are a whole bunch of people who have been approached to try out for the positions even though they stand very little chance of getting the jobs. So I’ve been putting my presentation together and trying to figure out what I’m going to tell them during the questioning about my previous experience. A few people have started to drop out once the timetable for interviews was announced. The way I look at it – it’s too late in the day to drop out, it would just look bad. So the best I am hoping for is to stand my own in the interview and not make too much of a pillock of myself in front of the bog boss. Things have got a bit political already and all the candidates have been encouraged to go and introduce themselves to the interviewers and ask questions. They’ve ended up getting a mini-interview in return. I don’t like to play games like that. It’s like asking a woman’s father if you can propose to his daughter. As expected, a couple of them have booked today off to put their presentation together.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Weighty issues 2

Clive comes over with a question about a document in the file he’s just picked up. I explain that he’s going to have to do a bit extra to it than normal, because there was a bit missing.
Clive “I’ve got a better idea.” (He folds everything back up and puts it in the tray, where there is another job waiting.
Me: “I didn’t realize that there was enough about to be able to pick and choose.”
Clive “Just the one.”
He looks at the job he’s just picked up, then back at the basket, as if his new folder was going to cause him as much aggravation
Me: “Is that one no better?”

Clive is quite a rotund figure of a man, but there is a new guy on another section who is even bigger than him. I was telling Eb when I stood next to him and the new guy walked past, that I was sure that the floorboards moved as he went past. The new guy was around later, by the printer, and Dan asked if Clive would be able to take him in a fight. I suggested that we have them in a sumo fight in the car park one dinnertime.

Weighty issues

Nige now works further down the office, so the gossip that he had started weight-watchers had only got to me this week. Last night was his weigh in., Cat had got a text off him first thing telling her that he had won Weight-watcher of the week and lost 3 lbs. He got a little certificate, which he bought in to flaunt under the ladies noses, and a big basket of fruit.
The news spread down the office this morning, and everyone was asking him about it. When Dan came in late I decided I might as well tell him as well. He was un-impressed:
Dan: “It’s been really hot weather though.”
Me: “What? You’re saying he’s sweated it off?...But surely all of them will have been sweating too?”
He still asked him later if he wanted a Subway for dinner.
Hazel was asking if he’d got the new Indiana Jones film on DVD yet. He explained that he hadn’t yet.
Hazel: “Will you take me to the pictures to see it?”
Nige: “Yes…But you’ll have to pay.” (All joking)

Then Nige’s wife, on the sixth floor, heard about it and was heard to complain “He never takes me out to the cinema. I haven’t been to the cinema for …years.”

This all coincides with one of the Steve’s birthdays. He has brought in a big bunch of Pringles, crisps, onion rings, and cakes. Sarah asks how old he is and starts reading the crisp labels, looking at the fat content. Andy sees this and shouts down the office:
“Sarah Baxter what are you doing to yourself?”
“Take a leaf out of my book and eat a banana.”

Monday, 12 May 2008

The pain of childbirth

One of the Dave’s from down the office is Charlotte’s father (who now sits opposite me). Before dinner he came down to ask if she wanted a lift somewhere at dinnertime. I should explain that he and Charlotte’s mother no longer live together, and that he is re-married. He likes to pat her on the head and other fatherly stuff, which Charlotte finds embarrassing, and often tells him to “get off”.
“You’re saying no to the man who gave birth to you?” said Dave.
We had to pull him up about that, but let him say that he helped “give her life”.

He returned later, telling us that he had gone “Through the pain of childbirth”. We also had to point out that he never re-gained his shape afterwards.


Being another sunny day outside, we had four no-shows, either with excuses for why they couldn’t come into work, or “can I book today as a holiday?” requests on my section. This was a slight improvement on Friday, when Clive didn’t actually phone in until 10.30 to request the day off.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


It’s only as recently as quite recently that I’ve got so used to doing this blog during the day at work that I concentrate so much as I’m writing that I become oblivious to what is going on around me. There have been a couple of occasions that people have come to see me at my desk from other departments and not been wanting to stop me, so just stood behind me watching me type away. The other day one of the Steve’s from downstairs must have been waiting, quietly, behind my back for a good five minutes until Charlotte had to attract my attention with an “Ed!” to tell me there was someone there. Other days that I come in early and just start typing anecdotes from the day before; the place just fills up with people. I can start typing about 7:30, and there be about four or five people in the office. The next time I stop and look around it’s 8:10 and half the office are already in. I also end up with cups of coffee scattered over my desk that people have fetched for me.

Dirty Keyboards

I saw this thing yesterday that Computer keyboards were supposed to be dirtier than a toilet seat. I did want to post a response saying something like “Are you sure? Have you seen my toilet seat?”

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Steve's TV rant

Sadly we were discussing the up-coming episode of the Simpsons on Sky One. I had read that it had got Sideshow Bob, his brother and his Dad in it, all voiced by the actors off Frasier. I’m hoping to grab it when it comes on the Release-log.
Steve: “Have they sorted out the writers strike now?” (they had done this some time ago)
Me: “Yes. That’s all sorted.”
Steve: “Although some of the comedians that write their own stuff were still working. Weren’t they.”
Me: “I don’t know.”
He carries on to discuss how good American drama is now, but isn’t able to name anything that he’s watching at the moment. “What do we have?” he says “Doctor Who? It’s rubbish” (Sometimes I imagine he could have an argument with himself)
Steve: “It’s okay isn’t it. They might be bringing Rose back.”
Me: “No it’s not. Rose? What do they do to make it more exciting? Bring back old aliens from the seventies. Then for a big finale bring back the Daleks to end the series.”
Steve: “They could make up some new aliens.”
Me: “Like what, aren’t they all the same? All wanting to take over the Earth.”
Steve: “The could make some harmless ones. Like a race of Clives who are just really lazy and get in everyone’s way.”
Mark: “They could eat all the food. Then he would have to solve the food shortage.”
Me: “They could just hover over the Earth in their spaceship, blocking out the light, but be un-aware that they are causing any trouble.”

Junior's meeting

Carl had asked Cat if she was “power-dressing for the meeting tomorrow”. She said not, but he carried on with “Why don’t you get a top like Becky’s interview top, two sizes too small so that you can see everything.” Becky had been mortified at being told her new top that she had worn for the latest round of interviews was discussed in such terms.
At the meeting where Junior and Cat went to sort out what software and hardware they needed since they moved sections. Junior had been talking to one of the guys about what software he used, then one of the older men at the meeting said:
“Do you want a list of the tools that I need?”
“Yes, go on then.” said Junior.
Highlighters, and a pencil.”

Dan on wheels

Eb comes over and asks Dan if he’ll take a look at a problem he has with a document on his machine. Dan is in one of those really lazy moods and says “You’ll have to wheel me over there.”
After a few minutes where Eb thinks Dan is joking he grabs the back of Dan’s chair and slowly wheels him over to his desk. Dan puts his feet on the feet of the swivel-chair and smiles as he is wheeled over. Then when he’s finished he gets wheeled back again. There weren’t too many people around in the office that afternoon and it all went fairly un-noticed.
“I enjoyed that. I want to be wheeled everywhere from now on.”
Sadly, nobody else needed his help for the rest of the afternoon. And he never asked anyone else to wheel him about after that.
The smile on his face as he was being wheeled was amazing, like a small child at the fun-fare.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

May 1st protests

I've been reading on the portal that the company (not our regional office) has had some protesters at a couple of it's sites. I can't go into details because of the annonymous nature of my blog. But I've found it all very interesting. The internal e-mails we had played it all down just saying that they had been warned about the protesters intentions and were stepping up security, but at one stage one of the protesters got onto the roof of the one building. Excitement or what!

Casual dress

Friday was another casual clothes day. Due to the excitement with the end of the season and promotion battles and championship games coming up, a number of the guys came in with their football shirts on. This lead to much to-ing and fro-ing of banter when each of them walked in in the morning. Favourite was:
"It's supposed to be casual clothes day, not fancy dress."

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Fat Dave Alive!

We were very pleased to hear that Fat Dave was alive and well. Ricky got a phone call from him around dinnertime. He was quite surprised to hear from him. Apparently he was trying to get through to someone in security. When he worked here he used to get lots of parcels delivered here, mostly containing parts for him to build computers (which he used to do on the side). There was some stuff which must have been delivered here for him, which he can’t get his hands on. Anyway, he’s back from Germany (they probably chucked him out) and split from his girlfriend. He’s working in a neighbouring town as an “IT Consultant” although Ricky said that when he said that over the phone, someone in the background could be heard shouting “No, tea-boy”. He ended the conversation with a “…now I’m back we should go for a drink some time.” To which Ricky replied “Yeah” (but meaning more Yeah…right.”). It set the office off reminiscing about the old days, of when he used to fall asleep at the desk. Ricky remembered him renting a posh flat in the city which had a balcony (which we thought wouldn’t support his weight) and a toilet which was screwed to the wall instead of the floor. At least twice it came off the wall, and he ended up fixing a car jack underneath it to support it.

Jim’s going on holiday everybody!!

Jim is down in the canteen before us this morning. He tells the woman behind the counter, who he knows by name, that he’ll just be taking-off this time tomorrow. I turn to Eb and say “He must be the only guy in the company who everybody knows when he’s going on holiday.”
Eb responds and tells me that he should be in a different job really. He thinks he should be in show-business. He has an all-the year-round tan, from his various trips abroad and possibly tanning-beds, and he talks to everyone. Not only that, he remembers everybody’s names.

We decide he would be a good eccentric weather man:
“Today is going to be cloudy with a few scattered showers, but that doesn’t bother me because I’m off on holiday tomorrow. I will be replaced by Steve, who won’t be doing as good a job as me of course.”

Later he sees Junior down this end of the office and comes down to tell him “I’ll be by the pool this time tomorrow”.
At that moment the woman who cleans the toilets walks past and he turn s to her and says
“Hello Jenny. I’ll be by the pool this time tomorrow”.

Meanwhile George isn’t very happy at the colour of the cup of tea someone has fetched for him.
“Look at that…(shoving it under a couple of people’s noses)…watch out for the tea.”
He sees Jim in front of him.
“That’s the colour I expect my tea to come out like.”


Alan has been on the World of Warcraft again. I asked him what he had been up to last night and he told me about a raid that he had been organising for his guild. Whenever they got going- someone would go missing or disconnect for one reason or another. They wasted half an hour or so, then decided that they were just going to attack something. They did this unsuccessfully and ended up using the “run away” battle plan.
Alan is the one who had successfully stopped playing for some time and had started a WOW Rehab blog. I suggested he change his blog to “I play WOW with idiots”. He could go into detail of how the dickheads mess up, and never seem to be able to stay connected. He could illustrate it with some lovely screenshots as well.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Green Lorna

Lorna wasn’t having a great day. She’d got lumbered showing one of the new recruits what they did on her department. After dinner she was having a go at him, drawing attention from the rest of the office. Not only had he thrown a piece of paper away that he didn’t think was important...he’d also thrown it in the general waste bin, instead of the paper bin for recycling.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Coffee machine capers

Dave hits the wrong keys on the coffee machine:
“Anyone want a 13?”
“What is it?”
“White coffee with sugar.”
“No thanks, not with sugar.”
Jason walks past.
“You have 13s don’t you Jase?”
“Coffee? 14?...Yes I’ll have it.”
He walks off with it. We smirk, knowing he’s got sugar in his coffee.
“Thinking and dancing.” Says Dave.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Foreign film

When Nige comes in we get down to discussing what new films he’s got. Dan and Andy had been asking about a film called “The Recorder”, which is apparently like the “Blair Witch” but involving zombies.
Nige: “Isn’t she supposed to be a reporter?” asks Nige.
Dan: “Yeah. I watched “The Orphanage” last night”
Me: “Was it scary?”
Dan: “I don’t know if you’d find it scary, I’ve become de-sensitized.”
Nige: “Did the sub-titles come on automatically?”
Dan: “No, I had to turn them on.”
Me: “It’s subtitled, not dubbed?”
Dan: “Yes, it’s Spanish. By the same guy who did Pan's Labyrinth, all subtitled.”
Me: “I couldn’t watch it. I’m too lazy to read subtitles…How about if you stick it on your computer and as you watch it record yourself reading the subtitles?”
Dan: “I’d like to do that. I could do all the different voices.”
Me: “I think that would add extra entertainment levels, listening to you doing the voices.”
Dan: “Yeah. I’ll do that.”


At the coffee machine Andy tries Sarah’s glasses on for a laugh.
Andy: “Do I look intellectual?...Do I look like a nerd?”
Me: “He does look intelligent with those on doesn’t he?”
Cat: “It would take more than a pair of glasses for him.”

Ginger trouble

After the big meetings were over our boss got us round to talk to the rest of the staff who he hadn’t invited in to the big pow-wow. One of the girls had been in the print-room and had only turned up after the chat had started. Karen stopped him and pointed out that she was now in the office and needed to be called over.
Boss: “Don’t worry about her, she’s ginger. She’s used to being left standing on her own smelling of piss.”
Cat: “ I do not smell of pee!”

Big wig meeting

The company is going through a restructure, and there are a lot of promotions all becoming available at once. To allay people’s fears of missing out or moving around the big boss has been laying on meetings for managers and high –up staff. My boss invited me to a meeting at the last minute.
Boss: “Do you want to come along to a meeting to explain the restructure?”
Me: “Yes. When is it?”
Boss: “Now.”
Me: “Which room?”
Boss: “Follow me.”
He grabs Eric as well and we start tearing down the stairs, except I’d just finished my breakfast and had got a full, boiling hot cup of coffee in my hand, so I was a little slower.
I hate high level meetings where everyone talks in acronyms and other arms of the business which I know nothing about. At one stage one of them came out with T & Cs (terms and conditions), which made me think for a few seconds. I was worried that it could have been teas and coffees and that they were going to ration the trips to the coffee machine.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Cultural Blackspot

Due to my lateness, and the amount of resulting traffic, I felt compelled to take a short-cut behind the park, which misses out a couple of nasty sets of traffic lights. I’m glad I did because I was cheered up no end by a poster which was on the boarding surrounding a new housing development. It was just a big black circle on a white background, which said “Cultural Blackspot” over the top of it.

Friday, 18 April 2008

French stink - official

From the look of this I could have believed that this was an old April Fool:

New female presence

Since the latest move-round there are a lot more female staff up our end of the office now. It’s tough to gage how much of a sense of humour they have, or how quickly we might offend them. They normally get away with wearing anything they want to work, tee shirts often. This morning one of them turned up in a crisp white blouse and I was at a loss whether to mention that she looked smarter, or nice. I could have got the “I normally look like crap, do I?” response. Or I could have appeared creepy, commenting on her clothes. With the lads in the office it’s easy to just get stuck in if they’ve made a mistake with their shirt or a new pair of shoes. We would just rip into them. Today though, I’ve decided to bite my tongue until I’ve managed to work out how easily they might be offended.

Film 2008

Men shouldn't be subjected to "Chic-flick" movies. this is Mark’s review of 27Dresses:
"I got up and did the washing up"

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Steve's thought power

I walked past one of the Steve’s this morning, he looked to be staring at his screen without moving either hand.
Me: “Trying to move things on the screen using the power of your mind?”
Steve: “Yes, (sarcastically back) that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Me: “It’s not working. ..You need one of those hats to enhance your brainwaves.”
Steve: “They actually do sell them nowadays.”
Me: “No, one of those home-made silver foil things with coat-hanger antennae on.”
Steve: “Yes that would help greatly.”
Me: “Traditionally though, they’re used to stop the aliens reading your thoughts aren’t they?”
Steve: “Yes, I know the kind of thing you mean.”

Nige's movements

Sadly Nige has moved further down the office in the latest move and he’s also been away for a few days. Eric has been given the task of keeping an eye on anything funny going on down there that I might have missed. This morning he witnessed Nige coming in and Mark putting is arms out to hug him, telling him that he had missed him such a lot. “Don’t pull away,” he said when Nige avoided his arms.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Guitar Hero

Andy walked in this morning with his “guitar hero” box tucked underneath his arm. I asked him if he was going to plug it in. He said maybe. There was that episode of “IT Crowd” where they were playing it in the office, but there were only three people in the office. We have a large open plan office, so there would be a bit more disruption. As it turns out, he had only brought it in to lend to Mark. They ended up playing cards at dinnertime instead.

Bad result

Sadly Junior’s team lost last night, so we weren’t expecting him in early. Eric had also gone to the match, but not got tanked-up before hand. He was a bit glum about it, but said that they both performed well and it could have gone either way. He did call me back and tell me about Junior getting a steward to walk him over from one stand to the other at half-time, just so they he could talk to him and have a half-time analysis.
Eric: “I don’t know how he managed to convince him to walk him over.”
Me: “They don’t do that much anyway do they, stewards.”
Eric: “He stood there like a spare part all the time Junior was talking to me, listening in to the conversation.”
Me: “How was Junior, was he completely drunk.”
Eric: “He was drunk, you could smell it on him, but he was cognisant. He could hold a conversation.”
Me: “Maybe that’s why the steward was with him, to keep an eye on him, if he smelt he’d been drinking. They were probably watching him…ear-marked him as a potential trouble maker.”

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Hyper Junior

Junior has been hyper all day. He’s only doing half a day because he’s going to get tanked up in the afternoon before going to the football. Considering the kick-off is 7.45pm, that’s some drinking time they need.
He got into work just after 7.30am this morning, which is unheard of for him, then spent an hour or so messing about with the settings on his and “Quiet” Mark’s Nokia N95s, so that he could video conference in our 2.30pm meeting that he was missing out on. The tests worked and we were going to sit him in the middle of the table while the meeting was taking place. It would have been just like Charlie’s Angels. I wanted to find out if we could video it as it happened, then add a different soundtrack to it.Whatever hapened to that covert footage we had of him with his wireless headphones on that we were going to set to music? Karen thought he was buzzing so much that when we were going down for breakfast she told me not to let him buy any Red Bulls. As it happened, he was further along the queue than me, so once he’d got his sandwich he went straight for the chilled drinks cabinet and waved his Red Bull in the air in defiance before paying. I had to explain that he’d waved his Red Bull at me when she asked why I’d ignored her. It then appeared that the boss wanted to come to the meeting to see what we were up to, and to tell us some news the he had. In the end Junior reconsidered things. So by 2.30 he had either forgotten he was going to do it, or thought better of it.
He might have a good time at the football, but he missed some vital news about a fair number of promotions on the cards, which I’m not sure we should tell him about.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Lorna’s lettuce

Lorna is a strange girl. She drinks warm water instead of coffee, and comes to work with bags full of chopped up lettuce which she eats during the afternoon. For dinner today she had a lasagne from the canteen which stunk the place out, then started munching on her big bag full of lettuce. Around this time Mark is down our end of the office.
Mark: “Are you eating lettuce, Lorna?”
Lorna: “Yes. I happen to like it. I could eat it all day.”
Mark turns to Nige.
Mark: “I bet you wish you liked eating lettuce.”
(After a pause) Nige: “Do you know what I like about You?”
Nige & Mark(together): “Nothing!”

Later on Andy walks down to see what films Nige has got new, just as Mark is shouting more abuse down the office.
Nige: “I’ll sort you both out.”
Andy: “I’ve got no beef with you… I’m on your side when it comes to him.”

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

New recruit

There is a new recruit started on our section, to replace Eric (who got a promotion last month). I hadn’t met him till this morning. When we all went down for breakfast Karen told him that we were going to the canteen and that he should tag along if he wanted anything to eat.
“No thanks,” he said, “I had something before I came out.”
“You can have more than one breakfast…have you seen Clive?” I told him.

Eric's cookie

Eric came down the office to talk to Nige, in a pretend strop. He couldn’t really keep a straight face. As it turns out, Mark had upset Nige this morning before Eric got in and Nige had seen a packet of cookies on Mark’s desk and given them a bashing (physically, not edibley/ smashing them up in the packet). As it ends up, they were Eric’s cookies. He’d got some stuff on Mark’s desk because he was showing him the ropes for his new job.
Mark: “I watched him do it.” (he’d let him carry on, knowing they weren’t his cookies)
Steve: “They’re still edible aren’t they?… Save him having to do so much chewing.”