Friday, 29 February 2008

Face it

I’ve had to join Facebook so that I can get to Dan’s snowboarding pictures. He had a good time and came back sunburnt. There’s one photo that makes him look like a kamikazee pilot, with his goggles on.
I wasn’t that impressed at Facebook itself, it just seems to be a bunch of people’s photos linked to other peoples photos. I was surprised to find Glen, Eric and Jim on there as well. The only real use for it would be for the police to track who were acquaintances of dodgy characters, or for serial killers to pick off their victims. Discussing this with the guys in the office we decided that it would be a good plot for a movie “The Facebook Killer”.


A few of the guys are going for a promotion that has cropped up. For their interview they have to put a presentation together entitled “Challenges facing the role.” They have been coming round asking for suggestions.
I suggested they just have a big picture of Clive.


Eric found a note on one of the jobs we had sent up marked “URGENT” saying “Found this down the edge of my desk, it is urgent”.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Leap Year Day

Prompted by my friends in the lift,having questioned them about if they are coming to work tommorrow, I asked the boss if we should be working on Leap year day, because our contracts only require us to work 365 days a year. He told me to e-mail his boss about it. i left it there. I'm not sure if the boss can take a joke.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


The earthquake woke me up this morning. I thought it was the girlfriend. She woke up and I convinced her that she had been shouting and kicking her legs about, as if she was having a bad dream. I felt a bit guilty when I heard on the radio this morning that it was an earthquake. I had got her convinced it was her.
It says a lot about where people live. Everyone talks about the roof coming in or the whole room shaking, then Jamil in Sheffield says, that he thought “there were a load of burglars in the house.”
I was reading all this about 7.30 a.m. this morning and I couldn't believe that there’s already an Earthquake fund appeal.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Nige's appointment at the hospital

Nige was wearing a tie yesterday. Everyone commented on it and were asking why he’d got a tie on. He told them it was because he’s going to see the doctor this afternoon for a pre-assessment before his operation to sort out his nose. He has polyps that need taking out.This seemed a bit odd because you wouldn’t dress up to see a doctor. Okay, you may want to impress him to some degree, so that he doesn’t view you as scum and fob you off with the bare minimum of attention. He’s also got to be worried that he impresses on the doctor that he is bothered about his appearance, because they’ve got to break his nose for the operation and then reset it. He doesn’t want to end up looking like Stephen Fry.
I expect that the real reason for Nige wearing a tie was that Mel made him because the big boss was coming round to meet the lowly workers. He’d been in place for six months and wanted to get to know who worked for him, apparently. He was Okay when he came round to see us, although it got a bit repetitive as he went down the office with the same questions for everyone:
“How long have you been here?”
“What did you do before you came here?”
This morning Nige came in and showed me his appointment letter.
It tells him not to drive himself., get someone has to pick him up from the hospital after the operation.
It also tells him:
“Do not attempt to do any cooking or ironing on the day of the operation.”
That he “Shouldn’t wear jewellery except wedding rings.”
And “Should not wear false nails or make-up.”

Monday, 25 February 2008

Romantic Rachael

Somehow the conversation this morning got on to leap year proposals of marriage. Rachael enlightened us:
Rach: “I don’t want to get married, it’s too expensive. I’d rather have an I-pod. He offered me a Nintendo DS last week, but I thought I’d get bored with it. I’d rather have an I-pod.”

Mark’s underwear shock

Mark had been shopping at the weekend for his girlfriend’s birthday present. He was telling Nige and me that had gone to buy her some “nice” underwear. He went in to one shop that she particularly likes, but never buys from, and found what he thought was a nice set of underwear for £80. The woman took all the labels off at the till and started ringing them up. To Mark’s shock, the bra on its own was £80. The total cost of the set was £240. He paid for it, not wanting to look bad:
Mark: “…but that’s all she’s getting.”
Me: “Take some photographs when she’s got them on and bring them in for us to see. I’ve never seen what a £80 bra looks like.”

Friday, 22 February 2008

Coffee machine truth

Graham noticed that when the lady came round to clean the coffee machine she filled it up with unbranded coffee. Yet the stickers on the machine all said “Nescafe”. He got vocal about it to the woman:
Coffee lady: “That’s why you don’t catch me drinking the stuff.”
Nige: “Do you have a nice tub of posh coffee downstairs that you all drink when you’re sitting round at the end of the day chatting?”
Her only response was to touch her nose with her finger. We will never know for sure.


Alan had commented on this yesterday when he was relating his story about the boss sending Junior to pick him up from the City centre (where he had been for an interview). Junior tends to talk in a mono-syllablic drone at very high speed, making him very difficult to understand at times. You tend to get the gist of what he is telling you. Then your brain goes back to work out the detail after he has gone. Alan was trying to give him instructions about where he was in the City centre. He tends to drive with his phone in his hand on the steering wheel, shouting, and not hearing very much. Alan has trouble making sense of what he says normally. Over the phone it’s near impossible. So this morning he came over:
Junior: “I’ve…err…got some issues about the process.”
Me: “Tell me all about them.”
Junior: “Well…err…the new stuff that’s been booked in this morning is on top of the other…errr…stuff. So…err…it’s all out of order when you pick things out of the top.”
Me: “Well any new stuff I’ve booked in today I’ve made a point of putting at the bottom of the basket, so that just such an eventuality doesn’t arise.”
Junior: “Someone’s been putting new stuff on the top of the basket.”
Me: “It wasn’t me. Maybe someone has been going through the basket to find a job they like the look of, and put everything back in the wrong order.”
Junior: “Maybe.”
Me: “Thanks for your advice on the matter though.” (sarcastically)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Messages from beyond

Dan hadn’t spoken about his father since the week of the funeral. This morning though he was telling me that he had a really vivid dream where he saw his father holding a baby. For some reason he thought it was a baby girl. I suggested it was a sign that he should have children soon. He wasn’t keen on the idea. Then I suggested it could be one of his sisters, and that he was just trying to tell him to look after his sisters. Lorna overheard all this and had to tell us the story of her brother-in –law. His father had joked that, when he passed away, he would come back and tell them the winning lottery numbers. So one night the brother-in-law had a vivid dream where his father told him the lottery numbers. Unfortunately he was too tired when he woke from the dream to write down the numbers. In the morning he could only remember a couple of the numbers, which were among the winning numbers when he saw the results for that week.

Dodgy drawings

I am constantly amazed when I come across developers plans, especially housing schemes. Some of them are beautifully rendered works of art in Autocad or some other package. Then you get these rubbishy hand drawn efforts without a single straight line. I can’t believe that they can get away with submitting such rubbish as a planning application. No wonder people end up with boundary disputes. Take a look at the detail, where the new housing is supposed to fit next to the existing.

Lift laughter

I was first out of the canteen door at breakfast time with my sandwich. There was an unusually large uptake in amount of people coming down with me for breakfast. Usually some of them don’t get into work until closer to 9.00, so I am usually already eating my breakfast when they come in. The lift door was open and an attractive young lady was already standing in the lift. Knowing that the rest of the guys wouldn’t all fit into the lift I decided to get in with the young lady. Just before the lift door shut Dan jumped in, then held the door open for the others. Hiten was lurking in the corridor not knowing if he could fit in the lift.
Me: “Jump in. You can squeeze in.”
Alan: “Yes. Chris promises he won’t touch your bum.” (An odd thing to come out with in front of the attractive lady)
He gets into the lift.
Steve: “I’m not promising I won’t though.”
When the lift came to the fourth floor they all got out. The lady had a smile on her face, but I was embarrassed to have to associate myself with them.
Me: “What you should have done was to jump, as if someone had touched your bum.”

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Foreign Girl 2

Last week Ken, from the third floor, had come up to use our printers and the new Hungarian girl had started talking to him, which came as a bit of a shock to him, but they built up quite a nice conversation. He was telling her that she spoke very good English, but there were a few points with the vowels where she gave herself away as being foreign.
Andy could hear she was about and wanted to ask for how many Valentine cards she had had. He didn’t realise that she was talking to Ken (who he doesn’t know, because he ha no dealings with the third floor) behind the partition. After taking a quick look behind the partition he came back saying “There’s some weird old geezer trying to tell her how to speak English.”

Brain cells

Thought some of the staff could do with a few of these.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Short Circuit

There’s some kind of maintenance work going on round the building, and the guy who’s doing the electrical work is a bit on the short side.
Nige: “He’s a bit short for an electrician.”
Steve: “Maybe they only pay him half the money.”
Nige: “I thought electricians were tall.”
Steve: “At least he won’t hurt his back bending down to look at the sockets.”
Nige: “How’s he going to manage changing a lightbulb though?”

New Foreign Girl

There’s a new foreign girl who started a week or two ago. Unlike our last foreign couple (Svetlana and her boyfriend) she isn’t shy. She puts herself about and will talk to anyone. I was messing with one of the printers yesterday, when she came up behind me (bearing in mind that she hadn’t spoken to me before now), and said “Hello” quite loudly, so I couldn’t ignore it. I don’t know where she is from, I should have asked really, but I bet that’s all she gets from everyone else. She then went on to ask me all about the printers and what I did, without much chance for me to get a word in edgeways. I’m not knocking her attitude, she obviously wants to be friendly and speak as much English as she can. It’s just a bit odd after Svetlana being so reserved.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Musical Jason

After an altercation about biscuits, Jason comes over to Nige and says:
Jason: “Any luck with any of those films?”
Nige: “Yeah. I’ve got you two. Oklahoma and Seven Brides.”
Me: “You’ve started collecting musicals?”
Jason: “Yes it’s my gay side coming out.” (In an appropriately camp voice)
Jason walks off to go down to the canteen.
Me: “Is he really buying up musicals?”
Nige: “Yes. Last week I got him…(looks up a web page on the internet to jog his memory) that one (turning his monitor round… Carousel.”
Me: “ That’s not a cowboy one is it?”
Nige: “No, it don’t look it.”
Jason comes back up with his breakfast and asks Nige how much he owes him now.
Nige: “£15.50 after that lot you had off me last week.”
Jason: “What did I have off you last week?”
Nige: “You had loads. Carousel, Beowulf.” He goes on to name a few more. Jason stands there trying to think what else he had had.
Me: “Cabaret?”
He laughs that one off.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Paperless Office

On the life hacker I had to comment on the guy's attempts to make his home paperless. What I do is save anything I need to print onto my memory stick, then print it off when i get to work. They have much better, more expensive printers, and they always have ink and paper.

Tall guy

There is a new guy who’s started down the other end of the office who must be about 7 feet tall. This morning he was in early and as he stood at the coffee machine, I was dying to ask if anyone ever dusted the top of it.
When Dan comes in, he is around by the photocopier. I mention the guy to Dan. He says:
“He’s not 7 feet tall,…he’s only,…about 6 feet 8.”
We laugh, then watch the guy walk up the office, to see if he hits his head or ducks when he goes past the signs that dangle from the ceiling.

Here's Rachael

Rach is always asking if she can get a mention on my blog. She really doesn’t do anything to be blog-worthy normally, but last week she told us her story of how her husband (Si) looked her in the utility room when they were having an argument. This had us in stitches, not least because she was laughing about it all the time she was telling us about it. She explained that their utility room was added on to the kitchen, so the alarm system doesn’t cover it, she they have a big deadlock on the door between the kitchen and utility. I asked if she couldn’t go out the utility and walk all the way round and let her-self in the front door. But she said that she didn’t have any shoes on. She told us how hard she banged on the door and shouted to be let in. He told her to be quiet because she would wake up their little boy sleeping upstairs. He wouldn’t let her back in until she had calmed down. In the end she reckoned that he’d kept her locked out for at least fifteen minutes. We suggested that she keep a spare pair of shoes in the utility in case it happened again. Then I suggested that she keep an axe hidden somewhere in the utility (I reckoned that you could buy a small axe from the pound shop, they sell big knives and meat cleavers), so that she could hack down the door and scare the crap out of Si, just like in the shining.
Then when she came in on Monday and we were exchanging pleasantries, she told me that Si had locked her out again.
Si sounds an odd character as well. Apparently well built, but not keen on opening the door to strangers. If the doorbell goes, Rach told us, he runs into the living room and whispers “Who’s that?”. Then she will tell him “I don’t bloody know without answering it.” Then she will have to answer the door. He won’t answer the phone if it rings either.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Alan's Krispies

Alan has taken to bringing in his own Rice-Krispies, rather than having bacon or sausage sandwiches for breakfast. This morning Steve and me crept up behind him when we were preparing to go down to the canteen and told him “That’s not a man’s breakfast.” He had his mouth full, but gestured towards us with his hand.
Waiting by the lift door:
Steve: “Are Rice Krispies not a man’s breakfast?”
Me: “No. They are a …child’s breakfast. Only one step up from Coco Pops.”

Junior's sweets

Junior has taken to bringing in sweets for his section, which he keeps in a container in between his and Chris’s desk. Over the months he has brought in some odd concoctions. This week though was probably one of the weirdest choices. His container consists of stuff like sherbet dabbers (which no-one has tried yet), and candy necklaces (Dolly Beads that you wear round your neck and bite off pieces one at a time). We doubted that anyone would eat these, let alone wear them round their neck in the office. Clive was the obvious choice to talk into doing it, but he was off on his flexi-day. Then we got on to discussing what a handy way to eat your food, and why no other types of food were presented in this way – on a bit of string round your neck.
Me: “Kebabs would be ideal. String together a chunk of pepper, a bit of onion, then some chunks of beef.”
Steve: “Yes, then Clive could snack on it throughout the day, and never have to move very far.”
Me: “The only problem would be the chilli-sauce stain around his neck.”
Karen: “EEuur!”

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Gloves on in the Canteen

We were at the front of the sandwich queue this morning at breakfast time when the girl that serves the sandwiches was brought to a halt. Her boss came along with a thick woven glove and told her to put it on. They apologised for the hold up and explained that some woman at a canteen up north keeps cutting herself, so everyone working with sharp knives in any of their canteens now has to wear one of these gloves. Steve explained that it was made of Kevlar. Her boss helped her on with the glove, then told her to put a latex glove over the top of that. It looked like it wouldn’t fit over the top, but together they managed it.
“Now bend over” she said across the counter to us, when they had got the latex glove on. We laughed. Her boss told her to try it and see how she got on with it. She struggled to cut the sausages for my sandwich, telling us:
“I’m careful, I never cut myself.”
Then once she’d got the sandwich together she tried to grab a paper bag off the top of the pile, to put my sandwich in. “I can’t open the paper bags to put the sandwiches in.”
Steve and me both grabbed at the bag to open it up for her. I don’t know how long she lasted with it. We’ll see if she’s still wearing it tomorrow.

A Fine Greeting

This morning I’m over Karen and Alan’s side of the office chatting when Junior comes in
Junior: “What are you doing over my section.”
Me: “Just come to say hello. Make sure you’re all working.”
Junior: “I was just about to pick a job up. Honest.” (sounding very defensive)
Alan: “First one all week.”

Monday, 4 February 2008


It snowed on Friday and Eric asked how I got on going home on Friday night. He has to catch the bus and was worried about the buses being cancelled. As it happened it only snowed for a while, then turned sleety, then rained a bit, so not much snow stuck. I had left early on Friday anyway, but Eric told me that there was a mass exodus as soon as the snow started to fall. It was odd because it started off nice and sunny when I started to drive home. Then all of a sudden the sky went white and the snow started.
Eric was telling me that he had gone to the toilet before he left on Friday. Jim had followed him in and while they were peeing Jim asked him if he remembered four years ago when there was about six inches of snow fell. Eric told him he remembered that year. . Jim said that he would never forget it. Trying to be jovial while they were mid-stream.
Eric: “Why? Did you get mistaken for a snowman on the way home?” (Jim has grey/ white hair)
Jim: “No, that was the night my Dad died.”


The big thing this morning has been Cloverfield. Mark came in early and told me he’d been to see it, and told me all about it. Then Alan came in and told me how great he thought it was too. I wanted to know if you do get to see the monster, or is it all just implied, like the Blair Witch thing.
“Yes, you do see the monster.”
“What’s it look like then?”
“It’s green…like an alien thing”
“Is it like Godzilla? Or is it more of an insect looking creature?”
“It’s like the body of a lizard, but with a round kind of head.”
Later, when I talk to Alan about it, he tells me there are small parasitic dog-like creatures that live on it’s face. These jump off and bite people. If the dog creatures bite you, you become infected and explode.
“Great.” I tell him, “I love watching people explode.”
Karen pulls a funny face to show that she’s not keen on people exploding on screen. Apparently you only get to see one woman explode, and that is behind a screen. Also, at some stage, the creature has tentacles as well.
Mark and Alan both seem to like the fact that it is all supposed to be shot like it was filmed on a camcorder, just from one groups perspective. They particularly enjoyed the Statue of Liberty being de-capitated, and the head rolling along the street.
I go on to say that Manhattan, being an island, is susceptible to amphibious monster attacks. Karen gives me a funny look again. But there are a few other films where New York City is attacked and destroyed, like Godzilla. I’m surprised that they haven’t built any sea defences by now.

Mark2 and Dan are in late, they’ve both been to see Cloverfield over the weekend. Mark asks Dan what he thought of it.
Dan: “I didn’t enjoy it. The camerawork was too shaky. Made me ill.”
Mark2: “There was a warning at the start of the film.”
Dan: “Yeah, but I thought I could take it.”
Mark2: “…I thought the films you get off Nigel were shaky” (joking about his dodgy DVDs. In truth Nige doesn’t download the terrible “camcorder” versions that are just filmed by someone in the cinema, when you get people getting up to go to the toilet in front of you.)
Nige had his headphones in, so he either couldn’t hear, or he was pretending not to hear.