Monday, 20 December 2010

Icey spill

Jason phoned in this morning after telling me that he had been involved in a collision.He had brought, or exchanged his old car for, an old rear wheel drive MG sports car. He had already admitted he had trouble controlling it in the icey weather. Apparently this morning he had just put it into 2nd gear, lost control of it, and hit one car; knocking it over the central reservation and into one coming in the opposite direction.
It's the bus for him for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

On a planet far far away

Andy took his helmet home with him, but today turned up with the arm pieces to his stormtrooper kit. He explained that he had brought the kit for £150, but thought he could sell the completed kit for £900. The only problem I could see was that he was cutting it down, for example taking an inch off the arms, so that it would fit a short dumpy Star Wars fan.

I also bumped into Tom in the lift, who sheepishly confessed that he had taken last week off; same as Junior, to play the World Of Warcraft expansion pack.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

stormtrooper in a tea cup

A week of surprises continued today when one of the guys from the other end of the office brought in the stormtrooper helmet he was putting together from a kit. I don't know why, but it broke the day up.

Alan came and took a look, and he showed me the photos of his Halo helmet that he had started making, but didn't have the time to finish.

Eric had told me last week that Junior and some of his mates had taken the week off to play with the latest expansion pack to World of Warcraft. Today I bumped into Cat, who is now Junior's girlfriend, and asked her what she thought about it. She said that she had created a character to play it, but she was only a level two, and she had much more important things to do with her time.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Bi the way

It's good to catch up with people after they have had a week off on holiday. Although I wasn't expecting this e-mail after I'd asked John what he'd done with his week off. Especially as he is one of the quietest members of the team:

"I said my week off was eventful – Basically I came out as bisexual – short
story is my ex girlfriend found out (something I wasn’t expecting) had to tell
dad and sister before anyone else told them. Bit emotional, but went well. Bet
you didn’t expect that."

He went on to ask if I could sort out some support for him. I looked at the employee Assistance Programme, but couldn't really find a subject to fit, so I gave him the web link to look at for himself. He's now told a couple of the team, but not everyone. I'm not going to tell anyone who he hasn't told already.

I'm not too sure what he expected, & we aren't sure what to expect. Is he going to behave in a camp fashion around the office now. He's not exactly effeminate, nor a particularly smart dresser. Now when I look at him though, I wonder what it was that his ex-girlfriend had found out.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


The Friday before it snowed was cold. It had been cold all week anyway, but Friday was the day that everyone was complaining. Some the staff come in, knowing it had been cold all week, dressed for a holiday in the tropics, no jumpers, yet one of them had come prepared with a thermometer.They started off complaining about the cold and put their thermometer on the desk, watching it go from 21 to 20 degrees. Then the others started asking what the temperature was now, every 20 minutes.

I knew that the 6th floor had had trouble with the heating earlier on in the year, so went upstairs to ask if anyone had still got the little electric heaters which they all had under their desks when the heating did pack-up on their floor. Luckily one of the guys had kept one back and agreed to let me borrow it. They were all a bit surprised when I came down with the heater. Then plugged it in by the main complainer. Then they watched as the thermometer went back up again.

I'd like to know if they sit about in shorts and tee-shirt at home with the heating on full at the weekends.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Sick days

Thanks to the people in the office who get the vomiting and diarrhoea bug, then only take the one day off sick, I had a dreadful night on Wednesday, and have had to have a couple of days off. Having eaten nothing for a day, I wonder how many days I might be able to go without food. On the good side, I was looking to lose a little weight.
At the hospital they have a policy where you are not allowed back until 48 hours after your last episode. Explaining this to Ned, he asked what I meant by an episode. I wonder if he thought I was talking about TV programmes?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I was discussing with Clive what he thought we should do with the £50 that Mark had won on our Premium Bond syndicate. Of course most people think we should throw it all away on the lottery, which is why we started the Premium Bond syndicate in the first place.

Then he told me that he was now an expectant father. Unfortunately he is no longer with the lady in question, but seems a bit more involved than Jason was. I suppose it helps if you are told before the baby is born. There are a few ladies up our end of the office who have just gone off on maternity leave, all of which we have tried to get involved in the baby naming process. I thought Clive might be a bit more amenable to giving his son the middle name "Danger"; but he didn't seem keen.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Clive's birthday again

I went down in the lift with the guys in the lift for breakfast and they asked if I was going out on Friday for Clive's birthday. This was the first I'd heard of this:
Me: "Where you going then?"
Hiten: "Somewhere over Bristol."
Me: "What? why so far? He always goes to weird, out of the way places. Is
it because he has to go places where nobody knows him?"
Chris: "Yes, he's banned from anywhere close by."

Monday, 8 November 2010


I got a bit of a shock in the middle of the morning when one of the big bosses arrived side-by-side with our boss, asking if we could gather everybody up the one end of the office. Apparently, some of the papers over the weekend were speculating that the company was going to be taken over. Basically the boss came in to talk to everyone about the speculation, even though he knew nothing about it at all. All this was supposed to set our minds at rest. He asked if anyone had any questions and confirmed that nobdy knows what is happening, and there will be a bit more news on Wednesday. They would have done better to wait until there was some solid news before they got everybody talking.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

BBC News Strike

I was very surprised on Friday and Saturday to see a range of completely strange/new faces on BBC's Breakfast, due to the BBC reporter's strike. I did wonder why, if the regular presenters are on strike due to a greivance about their pensions, why weren't this other bunch also on strike? I imagined the regular presenters sitting at home shouting "scab" at the telly all day. Then on the local news they had dragged out a very old political correspondant with a big mole on the side of his face, which really didn't help my concentration.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Junior volunteers II

I saw Junior's lady friend at the coffee machine this morning and asked her what had gone on yesterday about the film crew. She told me that they didn't actually turn up in the end. However Junior had been expecting them, and had even had a shave that morning to prepare. I asked if someone was providing a script or if he was supposed to write something. She had asked him the same thing, and because he wasn't tearing his hair out trying to think of what to say, she thought that they knew what they wanted him to say. He had told her that he wouldn't say anything on camera that he didn't agree with.

Big bang

One of the girls in the office was leaving yesterday to go on maternity leave. They had put out streamers and balloons around her desk, and did a small presentation around 11.30, to hand over the proceeds of the office whip-round and leaving card.
She went home about 1.00pm.

Then Sue, her team leader, decided she would tidy up. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she was clearing up all the streamers, then saw her un-tie all the balloons then carry them into the corridor with her big pair of scissors.

A few moments later there was a bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, as she burst the balloons; as if she had taken someone out into the corridor and shot them. Everyone looked round, then were still looking around as Sue walked back in with the remains of the balloons, smiling.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Junior volunteers

Out of the blue last week I got an e-mail, the day before a workshop at the local hotel, saying something like "Thank you for volunteering to stand up in the middle of the presentation, when asked, to demonstrate the 16 people per year from the company who are injured at work."

I don't know who put my name forward, and it was no big deal in the scheme of things. I did feel a little annoyed that I wasn't asked; just volunteered by somebody. And which bugger picked me out of the 200 people or so that went to the workshop?

Anyway, I was quite amused this morning when Junior came down the office complaining. He had been volunteered by the boss to be involved with a camera-crew who were on their way, supposedly to make a video about "Diversity" within the company. He was hoping someone was going to volunteer to go on camera and speak about the subject. Of course nobody did, and I'm not too sure who actually took part in the film in the end.

I did warn him though that his small-checked, black and white shirt was going to cause strobing.

Sunday, 31 October 2010


I was very annoyed yesterday watching the news about the toner cartidge bomb which was found at East Midlands Airport. The newspapers all referred to it as an ink bomb. You would think that a newspaper would know the difference between toner (powder) and ink (liquid).


Ned was talikng in the office about the trouble that had been caused over the recycling bins, but was choosing his words carefully:

Ned: "It's all become a big ker..., blown out of proportion."

Jason: "You were going to say kerfuffle then weren't

Ned: "Yes, I was, but I'm trying to avoid saying it. I like that word

Jason: "It's all a bit of a kerfuffle!" Jason repeated in a high pitched

Me: "Who says kerfuffle all the time? Some TV character."

Jason: "It's Little

I had to think for a while.

Me: "Oh yeah. The guy that pushes the wheelchair."

Jason: "That's right."

Me: "Lou & Andy. I don't know which is which though."

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Trouble on the 4th floor

This is a genuine e-mail sent round earlier this week by one of the staffwhich has completely been blown out of all proportions. The manager of the guys responsible for the mess had appologised, and everyone was keeping their heads down and being on their best behaviour. The woman who had sent the mail wasn't happy with the appology and half-hearted excuse, and has now escalated the matter as a formal complaint. It has now gone to the regional
manager for our department, who has sent round a stern response to all the managers (I only know because Ned showed me). He finds it hard to believe that it has all got so high, forcing the department manager to comment on their behaviour. He is now asking for any information on who the culprits were and threatening to suspend flexi-time for everyone on our floor. It's just like being at school again.

Last night when I came back from off site, I was disgusted to find that
staff had stacked the so called empty cups into one compartment of the recycle bin, higher than the actual stands surrounding the Business Centre, instead of distributing them amongst the other empty compartments. Most of the cups had the used teabags still inside them, when staff are fully aware (there is a poster on the plastic cup recycling bin) that these cups are turned upside down to ensure there is nothing inside them when stacked for recycling, otherwise recycling cannot take place and this incurrs a penalty cost to the business. Not only that, but the dregs compartment attached at the side was full and overflowing, it had overflowed onto the actual unit and saturated the surrounding carpet. I was stood next to the cleaners when they took the top off the unit, the fluid that spilt out was disgusting and spilt not only onto the carpet, but also onto the cleaners. This also incurrs a cost tothe business as they now have to arrange for the carpet to be cleaned. The cleaners were very upset and angry about this this, and so was I, I am ashamed that such an immature act has taken place within thisdepartment on the 4th flr, and the fact that whoever witnessed this disgusting act/s and behaviour, did not challenge the staff responsible. This is unacceptable, and I told the cleaners so. They have made an official complaint. I would like this incident to be investigated and the person/staff responsible to apologise to the cleaners, as this was a despicable act, these are human beings that have to clean up after them.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Lottery winners

Last Wednesday I got talked into putting in a pound for a syndicate up my end of the office, when the National Lottery was on a roll-over. The fantastic news was that we got a line of 4 numbers and could have walked away with £7 each for our £1 stake. Sadly that's not what happened. What happened was that they all decided to put the ful 90-something-pounds on the Saturday roll-over.

You're imagining that we lost the lot...but no...we won £10 back as much as we put on to start with. So what are we doing with the money? Throwing it back on the lottery. Meanwhile two people shared the £13million rolled-over lottery on Saturday.

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Jason has actually booked some real holiday for the end of this week. Before he left though, he wasn't looking forward to it. He's taking Jason Junior to Butlins holiday camp in Skegness. Lately it hasn't been the weather for the seaside.

He had done some research. He knew Dora the Explorer was going to be in residence there. He even knew a bit about the characters in the TV series.
We couldn't really imagine him doing much with the kid though. We only have visions of him eyeing-up the red-coats.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Dan's in-laws

I happened to bump into Dan in the city centre on Saturday dinnertime, which reminded me of this sad story.

He has just got married and bought a new house. His next door neighbour decided to move out, and they thought they might take a look at buying the house to rent out as an investment. not being loaded, they spoke to his wife's parents about lending the money to do this. Naturally her parents wanted to see what they would be investing in, so they arranged a viewing. Sadly for Dan, they loved the house, and thought they might like to live in it. So Dan has the very real nightmare of the possiblity of his in-laws moving next door. This might be alright if you had a good relationship with the in-laws, but he really doesn't get on with her dad. Stupidly the wife and mother-in-law thinks that they would get to like each other better if they spent more time together. Of course this isn't the case at all.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Dress down Alan

Occasionally we have a dress-down Friday, where we all pay £1 to a nominated charity and wear plain clothes for the day. Our last one was Friday 1st October just gone. We were all amused yesterday, 8th, when Alan walked in wearing tee-shirt & jeans. When asked, he admitted he had got his Fridays mixed up. Luckily he wasn't in any meetings and he could hide in the corner quietly for the day.
Just to clarify; the picture is not actually of Alan.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Drinks machine

When I got back from holiday a few weeks ago the biggest change was that there was a new coffee machine. I was amazed to get this e-mail today:

"It has been brought to our attention from the Klix Vending Engineer that
some of our machines are being written on in permanent marker pen.Please do not
deface the Vending machines in any way as they are on lease and do not belong to
the company.If any machines are vandalised i.e. written on, the
company will incur a cost to replace the affected areas/parts

Thank you for your co-operation"

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Jason returned from his two weeks Paternity leave, all smiles. He didn't say how much contact he had actually had with his offspring and his mother. Ned was hoping that he would let it slip that he hadn't been to see the kid at all, and he could start some kind of disciplinary process with him.
I've been asked about this a lot, and basically all he had to do was sign a form saying he was the father of a new baby (no proof needed what so ever) and he was given two weeks extra paid leave.

Friday, 10 September 2010


One of the oddest occurences happened this morning in the office. I got in a bit later than usual and saw that Lester had had a haircut. It was Jim's birthday as well, and he had ballons and streamers were all around his desk.

Then it came to light that Lester had got Jim to cut his hair in the toilets that morning with some clippers that they had borrowed.

There was a lot of talk about how he had cleaned up after himself, being no hoover or brushes anywhere to use. When I went to the toilet later that morning you could see the hair all around one of thye sinks. I still do not know why they did it, or why that particular morning, or why in the toilet.

Has anyone ever had their haircut cut in the toilets where you work?

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Lesley asked where Jason was at some stage. I had to try and keep a straight face while I explained to him that he was on unexpected Paternity leave. After laughing about it he asked if it was genuine. I explained that he had been showing photos round, but he wasn't too happy about the kids name, he wanted Jason Junior(or JJ).
"What colour is it?" he asked.
"Kind of a cappuccino colour," we told him.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Cherry picking

Ned had taken a weeks annual leave to go and visit his family down south. When he got back he had brought a big basket a cherries in with him to share.He explained that he had been picking cherries at his dad's house. "Stuck up the tree for three days, with a bucket round my neck," he expanded. "Like a flippin' monkey. While my dad and brother watched him from their garden chairs."Apparently, many years ago, it had been his idea to grow a fruit tree. So every year he goes to pick the cherries off it. Entrepreneur as he is, he managed to pick 8KG, which he sold to the local shop.

Friday, 27 August 2010


Jason got a shock a few weeks back. A young lady that he had been friendly with about 9 months ago texted him to tell him that he was a proud father.Now fatherhood is a weird thing to have thrust upon you unexpectedly; obviously he had mixed emotions about it all.Then his next thought was Paternity Leave (two weeks extra holiday for nothing).It was left to Ned to work out everything with HR; was he entitled? What proof did he need that he was the father?In the meantime Jason was showing photos of his offspring around the office on his phone.With the comment "He looks like me doesn't he?", obviously strengthening his case.
Apparently the young lady's Caucasian boyfriend, who was now living with her, was a little confused that his new baby had a coffee coloured complexion.

After a couple of days of asking around, we got a visit from a HR bod, who told us that all he needed to do was sign a disclaimer saying that he was the father, and he was going to spend two weeks bonding with his new son.Then that was it. We had to cover for the next two weeks while he managed to get an extra two weeks paid annual holiday.The girls in the office, who had all had legitimate Maternity leave in the past, it's more difficult to fake if you are a lady, were all spitting feathers.

Jumper clowns

What is it?;mid August and torrential rain. Chris is off today starting his journey to Reading for the festival.Little chance of him getting sunburnt this year.I got into the office this morning and a couple of the lads had dug out jumpers to wear over their workshirts.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Taking the pee

It's been an interesting week. I'm really worked up this weekend with the brand new IT Crowd series 4 starting, & Glastonbury, & the World Cup match on Sunday with Germany.

Then this afternoon I got an e-mail containing the word "urine". It was from the Occupational Health Department, about one of my guys with kidney stones, who she's had to write a report on.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Chips with everything

When I first saw this I thought "Great I could have all my staff chipped, so I know where they are at all times."

But you know that they would all be off with computer viruses.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fitting achievement

Today, an achievement of sorts. Our team was the first on our floor, and possibly the company, to get a "Fit Note" sent in. One of the guys is off work with kidney stones, which I am told is painful. I can't really see the point of changing. No doctor is going to enquire that far into what their patient does for a living, and decide whether there are other duties they could carry out which the employer may or may not agree with.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Hairy Deb

The team that sits next to ours get on much better with each-other, and take it in turns to buy biscuits. This morning there was only one biscuit left, and everyone was being too polite to take it.
“It’s an English thing, isn’t it? Not taking the last one” said Les.
“I’ll have it shall I?” Said Deb.
“Ah, there you go,…” said Les “That’s the Greek in you.”
“What else would you say was a Greek thing then?”
“Being smelly and hairy” said Les.
“…Especially the women.”

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Smart lad

Since Lee has moved into nice new apartments near the city centre he has been shaving and had his hair cut, even wearing ties on odd days. I asked him if it was because all his neighbours are smart young professional types, and he doesn't want to look the only scruff in the buiding. He just smiled.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Ned has a weird habit, because he is quite small, of standing up momentarily to look around to see who is about- just like one of those meerkats. I'm thinking of getting the guys to tell him "simples" whenever he asks how things are going.

Monday, 22 February 2010

High visibilty

Nev has been putting himself about a bit lately, he’d got an idea for increasing the quality of information we get from our customers, and he wanted to try it out. He’d organized a trip into the outside world for himself and a couple of other interested parties. This meant he had to have a company issue bright orange, high visibility jacket. Not the most flattering thing on most people, but Nev is tiny and for some reason he had ordered himself a medium sized jacket. He tried this on in front of us all yesterday afternoon and it dwarfed him. We couldn’t help but laugh at him. This morning he had left it lying around the office. We thought he had deliberately left it behind, Jason couldn’t help himself. He’s built like a brick house, he put it on and flexed his shoulder muscles, giving it a good stretch. It would have done up on him, but the sleeves were a little short. Eventually Nev arrived and took it with him, without trying it on again. The other thing that was funny was that there was a sixty percent chance of snow forecast.
Nev had said that it took him back to his paper delivery round days. This made us laugh more because he is so small, and we could picture him delivering papers today.

No more murder

I had missed the conversation where Jason must have been telling everyone that he’d sold his i-phone. So this afternoon, at ten past two
I asked “What time is it?” to Jason.
He looked around at the clock, then lifted up his old phone. “This is all I’ve got now.” He said dejectedly.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Winter in Paris

Lee had had a great time in Paris, he told us when he returned on the Wednesday. He had done the Louvre, and seen the Mona Lisa, although I had warned him that it was tiny. Unfortunately, the last day, that they had chosen to climb the Sacre Coeur, it was snowing.
There is no transport up the hill, and you have to walk. He was also disappointed that the day he had gone to see the Eiffel Tower and got up early to miss the crowds, the crowds had all got up early as well. There was such a big queue to go up it that they didn’t bother.


Following on from the previous afternoon, at ten past two
Jason asked “What time is it?”
“About ten past two” I told him.
“Murder She Wrote time.”Then for a few seconds he unplugged the headphones from his device to play a bit of the theme tune

Thursday, 11 February 2010

'Snow time for that

Lee has been looking forward to going on holiday to Paris for 5 days for some time. However he wasn’t impressed when it snowed yesterday, his last day before his trip. I asked if he would be coming in to work if the airport was closed tomorrow. He said no.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I-phone Murder

Jason managed to get his hands on a Jailbroke i-phone for very little money. Lee managed to sort out some of the teething troubles with it. Jason had spent the previous week just messing with it getting nowhere, not being able to play video on it. Kelly showed him a site where he could stream TV (something like "TV Catch-up”). Considering he had just had a week and a half off sick, watching television, he spent the afternoon listening to “Murder She Wrote” on it.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Nev, my boss, can get really intense at times, but then unwittingly cracks me up when he gets his long words mixed up (or even the smaller ones). He always asks me at the end of any meetings he calls with the team why nobody says anything when they are asked for their opinions. I told him last time that some of them don't want to offend one of the guys by pointing out faults, but afterwards they will tell me stuff in private. I suggested calling the next meeting when this guy was out of the office. He said that would be a good idea if it would get them talking. Adding
"Whatever tic-tacs you want to use."

Friday, 8 January 2010

Belated Christmas Message

Due to the fact that Nev was off from December 18th, we got a very odd Christmas message from the boss yesterday. He’s catching up with his e-mails today, which mostly means he goes round asking if anyone dealt with this or that, from three weeks ago. My memory isn’t that good. It’s also amusing to see his speedy typing going unchecked.
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:47 AM
To: Distribution List
Subject: FW: Christmas Message


I wanted to take the chance to thank you all for your
hard work and efforts during 2009. I know I have only taken up my position at
the very end of the year but already from my conversations amongst the team I
can see that 2009 has been a challenging but very productive year for the

We have successfully moved to a new structure designed to
make it easier for our customers to do business with us. We have also been
growing relationships and generally raising the understanding within the
business on what we do. These moves have been well received across the

In addition to this we have also been successful in
winning work from across the group. Most notable is the project to support XXXX
in organising their many thousand documents.
2010 offers a number of
opportunities for us as a team.

I wish you all a safe
and merry Christmas and a happy new year.