Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Hands free kit

I was in one of the toilet cubicles after breakfast, doing my business, when in walked the boss talking on his phone. It sounded as if he had proceeded to take a pee as he was talking. It was some conversation, presumably with one of his family about child car seats. Without stopping his conversation, I’m not sure if he ran one hand under a tap few a split second, he was back out the door. I’m not sure if he’s got a new hands free kit, or if he managed to pee one handed. Which ever it is, I’m not picking up his phone.


There was a lot of rubbish talked about how last night’s asteroid was going to affect us. So this morning we are discussing it. A couple of the guys hadn’t even heard that there was an asteroid heading for Earth last night. In walks Mark. His hair is virtually upright, vertical.
Me: “Did the asteroid skim your head?”
He just walks past without comment.
Dan: “It looks like he’s been driving with his head out of the window.”

Later Mark is at the coffee machine generally moaning.
Mark: “Why are all the DVDs so poor quality these days?”
Nige: “That’s twice now you’ve had a pop at my videos. You don’t get a third chance.”
Mark: “Don’t take it personally.”
Nige: “You’re going on my list. I ain’t selling you anymore videos.”
Paul comes along
Nige: “Nor him. He’s banned too.”
The argument goes on for a bit longer. Then looking at both their windswept hairstyles this morning,
Nige says: “They’re like Bert and Ernie.”

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Casual Clothes Day

On Monday there was a notice on the door thanking people for their donations for casual clothes day (not like you have a choice). Somehow they managed to charge everyone £1, then get a grand total of £134.75.

Junior's health scare

Junior was off yesterday with a hangover from the weekend. He was deciding with the boss whether to put it down as a virus or infection on the system. He came over and told me about his excessive drinking at the weekend, then he complained about a pain just below his chest on the right hand side. He’s either lay too long on the one side yesterday, or ate late and got wind or indigestion. I then went on to mention his appendix as a joke:
Junior: “No. Your appendix is down there.” (Pointing lower down)
Me: “Yes. I was only kidding.”
Junior: “What organ is it there then?” (Pointing to his pain)
Me: “Oh. That’s your liver.” (guessing) “It could be enlarged from the amount of drinking you did at the weekend. You could have the onset of liver disease there.”
Bearing in mind the last time he asked about medical matters (with his eyes watering) when he had to go and get his eyes examined, I thought he would have taken it with a pinch of salt. Now he’s surfing the net to find out what are the symptoms of liver disease and considering going to the doctor.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Office Line-backer

Got sent this by e-mail. Being office related “The Office Linebacker” I thought I could include it on the blog.


Through the miracle of flexi-time, Clive showed up around 8.30, instead of his usual 9.30-9.45. Things do get freaky at the end of the month, like Dan already being in the office when I arrive at 7.30. It only happens for the one day though. The next day he has to compensate with a 9.00-9.30.

Eric’s Freaky Friday

On Friday Eric was given special duties in the print-room to help out another department with a backlog. The print-room is manned by an odd character, who writes CDs and DVDs most of the day for sending out to clients. The work Eric was doing meant that he was sitting next to him for the day, at the end of which Eric came out quite traumatised. Here is the gist of their conversation:
Carl: “Are you going to talk to me today?”
Eric: “Probably. Why wouldn’t I?”
Carl: “Well you don’t normally.”
Eric: “I’m hardly ever in here. Plus I’m a very quiet chap anyway. I normally keep my head down and just do my work.”
Carl: “You’re quite chatty to everyone else, but not to me.”

There is a radio in the print-room, which they have on fairly quietly while they work. The story about Heath Ledger dying comes on the news:
Eric: “That’s sad.”
Carl: “That Brokeback Mountain film wrecked his career.”
Eric: “I don’t think so. It won loads of awards. He’s done a few good films since that.”
Carl: “Did you ever see it?”
Eric: “No. It’s not my kind of film. I’m not into watching men kissing.”
Carl: “It’s about gay cowboys riding horses and kissing. I watched it to a point, then had to switch it off.”
Eric: “...Women kissing, now that’s natural.”
Carl: “I don’t like that either. I prefer women fighting.”
Eric: “What?...Wrestling in mud you mean?”
Carl: “No, just normal fighting.”

There is a bit of a silence for a while, then Carl’s phone goes. Apparently it’s his girlfriend. He tells her he’s got a friend in the print-room with him today, and at one stage he asks Eric to talk to her. He says “hello”, then Carl explains who he is. When he’s finished he puts the phone down and tells Eric that she’s tired.

Eric: “Why is she tired?”
Carl: “She didn’t get to bed until 4.00a.m. this morning.”
Eric: “That would make you tired. Why did she stay up so late?”
Carl: “No, she works till that late.”

Eric doesn’t ask what she worked as.
She rings back later in the day, and Carl has a complete conversation with her just saying “Why?” in various tones of voice. Later that afternoon he tells Eric that he used to do bodybuilding with his brother. They used to enter shows, oil eachother up then pose on stage to Gary Glitter songs like “Do you wanna be in my gang.”

Friday, 25 January 2008

Hazels pictures

Back in the office, one of the loud women (Hazel)had come round to show Rachael a picture of when she first got married (I don’t know why). Dan caught a glimpse, then when she’d gone he said that she looked quite nice when she was 21. “That’s scary. I can’t believe it’s the same woman.” We talked about what the ravages of time can do to you, then Dan came out with the notion that he would never get married. “Imagine if you married a woman that looked like that at 21, then over the years she could turn into that (present day Hazel at 47)”. All he could say was “scary”.

Run down

As we are nearing the front of the queue Jason comes and joins the end of the queue:
Jason: “Have you heard the news about Andy?”
Me: “What news is this?”
Jason: “He’s been run over. On a zebra crossing. Sustained some head injuries apparently”
Me: “When was this?” (not sure if it was a joke yet)
Jason: “This morning, on his way to work I think.”
Me: “Where about was it?”
Jason: “I don’t know.”
Dan: “Was it in the car park?”
Eric: “Did someone speed up to get him?”
Me: “Oh maybe. There are still some people not happy about the Christmas party thing.”

As it turned out he was mostly just shaken –up and bruised.

Ashley Cole story

In the queue for breakfast this morning one of the Steves started on telling us about how penguins at the South Pole take it in turns to be in the middle of the huddle, so they take it in turns to keep warm. “That’s why they are always moving”, he tells us. So we start to look round for something more interesting to talk about and spot the newspaper headlines. “Ashley cheats”, about Ashley Cole cheating on his girlfriend. Eric suggests that we try and guess what he has cheated at, before we get round the queue to read more of the front page. After a few daft guesses Nige tells us the real story:
Nige: “I’d heard a bit about that on the news on the radio. Apparently he shagged this blonde hair-dresser, and told her not to tell anyone.”
Eric: “I heard a bit of that. Didn’t he stop halfway through to be sick on the floor?”
Nige: “Yes. She must have been a looker.”

After a pause for thinking, Eric says: “Do you think he got into trouble for diving in the box?”
Followed up with: “Do you think he got pulled-off at half-time.”

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Mario Shining

Found this website at dinnertime. This is the best one, but really take a flick through the others too.

Dropping off the coffee

Jim gets a round of drinks from the coffee machine. As he’s delivering Nige’s he just lets go of the cup before it’s on the table and it goes all over the document he’s working on. There’s a bit of a commotion and two people run off to find paper towels from the toilets. While they’re gone, Nige is trying to pick up his document carefully, because the coffee has settled like a big pool , so that if he manages to get it away from his desk it won’t wreck anything else. Jim comes back with paper towels and sees him like this.
Jim: “If I hold it up, it will still be okay to drink, if you put your head one end and I slowly tip the other end up for you.”

Photo Shy

For some reason the company are trying to take everyone’s photo again for the company portal. Neither Nige nor his misses are particularly photogenic, in fact there are a fair few of them in the office who I would have thought would have broken the camera by looking at it. Rob is the new head of Reprographics and is going round trying to organise people to go and have their photo taken. For some reason Lorna is camera shy, and Rob lets her off. As soon as he comes over to Nige, Nige tells him that he’s not having his photo taken either:
Rob: “Mel (Nige’s misses) won’t have hers taken either. I’m determined to get at least one Williamson on the portal.”
Nige: “There’s a Kevin on the third floor.”

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Borrowed headphones

Talking to one of the Steve’s this morning I asked why he wasn’t listening to the music off his memory stick, like he does normally. He told me he hadn’t brought his headphones in today.
Me: “Won’t someone lend you a spare set? Alan isn’t using his.”
Steve: “Borrow someone else’s headphones? Isn’t that like borrowing someone else’s … toilet paper?”
Me: “You mean used toilet paper?
Steve: “Exactly.”
Me: “It’s not as bad as that is it, as long as they don’t have excess ear wax oozing out of their ears?”

So, is it safe or hygienic to use someone e else’s headphones? Let us know.

Woman jailed for testicle attack

A woman who ripped off her ex-boyfriend's testicle with her bare hands has been sent to prison.
I thought that this was a joke e-mail when I had the link sent to me.
Thanks to Clive for passing it on to me. He does do some useful stuff.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Alan's Asda suit

I’m currently looking around for a suit for a wedding. I have been teasing the missus about going to buy one of those £15 suits from Asda, but I saw them when I was in Asda at the weekend and they didn’t look up to much. Unfortunately I was discussing this with Alan and Dan, and Alan came out and told me that he’d bought one.

Nige’s dinner disappointment

Nige came back from the canteen around 12.30;
Me: “What have you had for your dinner then Nige?”
Nige: “I’ve bought a pasty. I was going to have dinner down in the canteen with Mel (his wife), but she wanted to go on the internet instead.”
Lorna: “Don’t worry we’ll talk to you while you have your dinner.”
Me: “Well actually, I thought I’d go on the internet at dinnertime too.”

Monday, 21 January 2008

Rachael and the tale of Sweeney Todd

Since the New Year we have had Rachael back working with us for two days a week. She went on maternity leave for some time, then returned, part-time, working on the bureau section. She now does a job-share thing working on our section, since Russell decided he wanted to go part-time (doing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays). She’s not the best worker, slow, and always looking for something to distract people from their work. She heard me talking to Mark about Fat Dave, and how bad he used to be. She said “I’m a bit like that aren’t I?”
I did try to re-assure her with a “No. You’re not as bad as Dave used to be.”
This backfired a bit, and she came back with “I am fairly bad then?”
I managed to leave it at that, but to be honest, she knows how bad she is. There’s not that much we can get her involved with working only Mondays and Fridays.

Later on we got talking about then new Sweeney Todd film, when they were asking about what new films Nige had found. (I'm still surprised that nobody has mentioned how much Sweeney Todds appearance is the same as the Damned's Phantasmagoria phase).Rach knew that Sweeney Todd had murdered people, but didn’t know that Helena Bonham Carter’s character baked the meat into pies.
Rach: “I wish we could slaughter a few of this lot.”
Me: “Clive would make a few pies wouldn’t he?!”

How did you find your way in, in the dark?

Junior has been coming in early, because he has loads of flexitime to make up near the end of the month. He came in this morning around eight o’clock (I get in at 7.30, it doesn’t get light really until; 8.30) and I happened to be by the door when he arrived. I asked how he managed to find his way in, in the dark. He laughed it off with an “Is this what I’ve got to expect all day for showing up for a good days work?” I bit my tongue, but was dying to carry on about if he was actually going to do a full days work. He then collapsed into his chair and confessed that he wasn’t really fully awake, and was going to settle in for a bit before actually starting any work.
He went on to tell us how much he’d had to drink last night, and that he didn’t enjoy it and he was only drinking “because it was there.”
Later on he instigated an early trip down to the canteen, where he bad-mouthed the food in earshot of the staff, then asked for a particular sausage off the hot-plate because it looked nicer than the rest. Before he left the counter though he told the woman serving that he could smell stuffing. The woman told him that it must be her Albas oil, which she had on a tissue in her pocket, because she’d got a cold. Then she took her tissue out and waved it about, then put it back and carried on serving.

Since the New Year the canteen staff have been coming round with a trolley full of sandwich selections at dinnertime, so people don’t necessarily have to go down and queue up at dinnertime in the canteen. Having been on holiday on Friday I asked if I had missed anything, did anything happen? Did Clive move? One of the Steves said that Clive hadn’t moved, other than when the trolley came round at dinnertime. “He buys his dinner from the trolley now does he?” I asked “I wouldn’t be surprised on Friday (Payday) if he doesn’t try and buy the whole trolley.”

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Staff Potential

Rick’s section are discussing their AMP (Achieving their potential), which partly decides how much pay increase they get each year. Jason is new to Rick’s section, and has never had an AMP review.
Dave: “Nobody upset Rick for the next two days lads.”
Rick: “I’m not discussing AMPs in the office, it’s supposed to be private.”
Jason: “I’ve never discussed my potential with you anyway.”
Dave: “You haven’t discussed it with him because you haven’t got any.”

Later on Jason is getting a round of drinks from the coffee machine. It’s late afternoon, so a few of the staff have left (he’s no fool). He comes round asking if we all want drinks. Dave asks for a water, then adds “…and have one for yourself.”

For our sections AMP, Karen took down the last 5 of our staff who joined for a meeting, because they have never seen the AMP before. She gathered them together and took them down to the canteen to explain it all. This left the remaining few staff looking puzzled as to why they had not been invited down with them. As she left the office she was heard to say “It’s nothing to worry about.” Then one of the Steve’s responded with “It’s too late now, I’ve shit myself.”


Nige has been off since last Friday with some virus which had upset his stomach for a few days. Although he doesn’t think it was the Norovirus, because he wasn’t vomiting. He sits close to the door anyway, but everyone was making sure that his route to the lavatory was clear, just in case. They are all worried about catching it off him as well.
Yesterday his mate phoned him after dinner to tell him that our company had taken over the place he works, and that they would now be working for the same people. I asked if he was going to join the pension scheme.


I haven’t blogged for some time because I’ve been off work. As most of the stuff I blog about happens at work, I’ve not had anything to add, plus I’ve had terrible headaches which prevented me from going on the computer for long periods. Luckily it wasn’t this Norovirus which has been sweeping the country. I saw the one news item which said how many millions were off last Wednesday with the bug, but nobody knows if it was all genuine, or if half of the staff were taking advantage of the fact that you’re not supposed to return to work for 48 hours. So most of my spare time has been watching dreadful daytime television or playing on the Nintendo DS. I got quite frustrated to read this on the boingboing about writing a novel in two months. I could have had a big chunk of my novel written in the time I’d taken off, although I would have been in work if I had been in any state to write like that.
Over Christmas I had considered starting my latest novel attempt. I’d got the main idea sorted in my head involving play-fights in the office with the centre cardboard rolls from the A0 size paper rolls we use on the big plotter. This gets out of hand and Junior ends up killing one of the Steve’s by accident. Then Junior and Clive have to try and get rid of the body and cover things up. There are some massive recycling bins which I think they would be able to shove Steve’s body into. Then as a twist, I was going to have Steve wake-up (playing on Junior and Clive’s incompetence in deciding if Steve was dead or not). Then I hadn’t decided if they would have to kill him to cover things up, or decide if Steve would laugh off the whole scenario about them trying to get rid of his body.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Brainwashing II

There are a good many people in the office that have bought Nintendo DS Lites for Christmas. A lot of them are doing the Brain training. Mel, Nige’s misses, was telling us about her brain training regime, and how she had started off with a brain age of 77, then improved to twenty something. Then last night she had gone back up to 32. I told her she should stop, so that it doesn’t get any worse. She and her 4 year old son had both got DSs for Christmas. Her mom and her friend went on a day trip to Europe before Christmas and ended up in Holland, buying thirty DSs (some of them for family and friends, others to sell on Ebay). They just weren’t available in December anywhere near us.
So, she was telling us, on Christmas day the three of them were sitting in the living room, Mel doing her brain training, her son playing Mario. Nige gets up and announces “I’ll go and play with my scarf then, shall I!” (He’d apparently got his new scarf which his mother-in-law had bought him for Christmas).

In tins

Because of Christmas, everyone is still bringing in tins of biscuits and chocolates. There are tins all over the desks. George picked up a tin and looked inside. It was virtually empty. Then he sniffed it.
George: “It smells like cinnamon in there.” He announces to the office.
Dave is further down the office and a little deaf.
Dave: “What? It smells like semen in the tin?”
George: “CINNAMON!”
Dave: “I was going to say. That would be disgusting, semen in your tin.”

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Fashion over function

In the queue for breakfast I got next to a couple of people I knew from the third floor. I had to exchange pleasantries and ask how their Christmas was. Jo complained that it’s all over too quickly. I told her that it’s months of build-up for a couple of days, and it’s all an anti climax:
Me: “…And Santa never brings you what you really want.” (she laughs for a bit)
Jo: “Well I got what I wanted.”
Me: “What did you get then?”
Jo: “I got a few things…like my watch.”

Then she unveils a square, silver DKNY watch, with DKNY spelt out on the face in jewels of some kind. The hands, however, were tiny and there are no numbers on the face.
Me: “Has it got hands on?”
Jo: “Yes, look.”
Me: “How do you know which way up it goes?”
Jo: “That’s the right way up.”
Me: “How do you know what the time is with no numbers on?”
Dave: “Yes, it’s impossible to tell the time with it.”
Jo: “It’s ten to nine look.”
Dave: “What if it’s dark? How can you tell the time then?”
Jo: “I can’t tell the time in the dark, or in the car. I can’t just quickly look down and tell the time.”
Me: “Are those real diamonds?
Jo: “…They must be.”

She seemed happy that it was nice to look at, even though telling the time was impossible.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Brain washing

Has anyone else noticed the intense marketing of Nintendo’s Brain Training on the DS Lite? They’ve spent loads of money on Patrick Stewart from Star Trek and X-men, not to mention other big name celebrities, all aimed at older people who would not necessarily buy a games console. Praying on the idea that Alzheimer’s disease is the only thing you have to look forward to as you get older. Even at the gym there is a stand where you are invited to “check your brain age for free”, in the hope that you are going to be so worried that you are going to have to buy one to improve your score (although there’s nothing to stop you trying it out every time you go to the gym. Surely anyone with a brain can see a slick marketing campaign for something you don’t really need. If you’re that bothered, why not do a crossword? Both my good lady and her sister have insisted on having them for Christmas. The only up-side to this being that they’ve bought Star Wars Lego for it as well, for me to play on. So if my posts get more infrequent, it’s only because I’m spending too much time shooting Imperial Battle Droids.

Sad New Year

Everyone hates coming back to work in the New Year after they’ve had a bit of time off over Christmas. The seasonal festivities are always an anti-climax to months of build-up. All you’ve got to look forward to is the terrible icy weather and catching a nasty cold from your workmates.

We have to look forward to Rachael coming back to work on our department, and probably Crazy Helen too. The Helen thing hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but where she is working now she hasn’t made the greatest of impressions, and they want rid of her.

To cap it all off, Dan’s dad died the week before Christmas. The funeral is Friday.