Monday, 7 November 2011

Computer movements

I think I had explained in earlier blogs that the company had been taken over and then sometime in the summer the new company had positioned second computers, screens and keyboards on everyone's desk; ready for the change-over. This left us with very little desk space. Then a couple of weeks ago we found that some of the new computers, which were just lying idle on the desks had been spirited away...nicked.
There was some talk of police involvement and security footage being watched, although security isn't the greatest and I imagine the police would just laugh at them for leaving the computers out, unused for anyone who wanted to, to pick up.
Today the IT guys came round to take them all away again. Partly because we will be moving floors at the end of November, for a while at least, while the air-conditioning is fixed. We aren't sure if we will be returning to the same floor, or if we will remain on the second floor.
Surely they would have been better off leaving the new machines in storage rather than leaving them for months on the wrong desks.

Diwali 2

Diwali was a bit more "in your face" this year. The canteen had got a special menu on for the week, not that I would try their effort at Indian or ethnic food. I asked a few of the guys in the office what it was all about, with a few different interpretations. Mostly it seemed that the asian blokes all had to go and meet their counsins and possibly less closely related friends in big gatherings in the pub. Hiten went missing the one morning, coming in really late with a hangover. Vits showed up later than normal on the Friday with a terrible hangover. Although they all assured me that they had to do it because it was a "religious thing".

Monday, 31 October 2011

It's for you

Lester and John are going to be greatly missed when they take their severance at the end of November. They were keeping everyone entertained first thing this morning again. Lester had been given and old LG phone which he hadn't got a clue how to work. He asked John if he would let him phone his mobile so that his number would come up on the display, so that he could find out what his own number was. John read out his number sloswly so that Lester could input it into his phone. When he'd typed in the number he then realised that he didn't know how to ring it. I shouted down: "It'll be the left hand button." Stu was closer and told him to hit the green button, but it didn't show up green until he hit it. He managed to dial, then John eventually answered his phone, although he took his time because his ring gets louder with each ring, and he liked to listen to it get louder, for some reason. John answered the phone with a "Hello Lester, are you phoning in sick again?" Then he read out Lester's number to him. Then Lester asked about if it would come up on the display as John next time he phoned John's number. So we explained to him that that would only happen if he had John in his contacts list. Of course; he didn't know how to input his number in to his address book.
By dinnertime Lester was complaining that he would never get the hang of the phone and that he was going to give it back.


There was a special menu on down in the canteen for halloween, which got us talking about what we would cook for a nice halloween meal, when we went down for breakfast. Most things involved pumpkins, but Hiten and myself became a bit more inventive. I decided that a nice meatball mixture made into the shape of a brain would be good. Then I could stick holes in it, filled with tomato sauce, then with either prawns or thick spaghetti coming out of the holes to look like maggotts. It was only until it was too late to order that I found some brain molds here;

Friday, 7 October 2011

On yer bike

Downstairs where the support guys live, Daz had told me on Monday that Sean, who cycles to work, had been involved in an accident that morning and was in A & E. He reckoned it wasn't a big smash, but he didn't know if his ribs had broken or not.
He was back in this morning telling me that the "fat had stopped him from being hurt too much". He had a badly bruised/swollen thumb and his left arm had been badly grazed. He explained that at the time he leaves for work it is still dark. At the junction with the traffic lights he can usually get up the left hand side of the cars; if not he jumps up onto the pavement where there was a dip in the kerb. However, that day he couldn't fit through the side of the cars, but they had been resurfacing the road, and the jump up onto the kerb was now a couple of inches.He went one way, on to the pavement, while his bike went along the kerb and into the car. He reckoned it was all in slow motion, and then he was lying on the floor for 5 minutes, winded. When he got up a bloke had come over to him, he thought to help him, so he told him that he was alright and that he could go. The bloke said that he wasn't going anywhere. He was the owner of the car that his bike had hit and he wanted some details from him.He looked at the blokes bumper and told him that it was only scuffed and that it would wipe off. Then the bloke, who Sean had gestured; only came up to his nipple area; said he was going to punch him.

"I've just come off my bike and you want to hit me?" he said.

They did exchange addresses and apparently this bloke had threatened him on the phone yesterday about paying for his damage.

Sean said "I wouldn't mind giving him £50 to have his scuff buffed up, but I ain't paying for a new bumper. The bloke was a prick."

I asked if Daz was in today. Sean told me that officially he was and that you could contact him on his mobile, but he knew that he was off, pointing at his bosses empty chair.


Looking at one of the Council's notifications of new house naming and numbering this morning I was fairly amused to find somebody had been allowed to call their new house "The Tardis". I shared this with a couple of people on the e-mail. In reply I got:

"I think it’s going to be built last year."

"Modest exterior houses a surprisingly spacious interior with modern d├ęcor."

& "Doctor on call 24-7"

In his pants

There was a lot of talk this week that there was going to be Dress-Down Day every Friday from now on until everyone leaves. There was nobody to confirm this, we were all waiting for the boss to send out a mail confirming this. John even told Neil that it was Dress-Down Day today. So he felt a pillock on Friday when he ws the only one in the office in jeans & teeshirt. Jason was threatening to come in plain clothes anyway. Ned told him that if he did, he would make him work in his pants. He repeated this on Friday too. Jason said that there was something wrong with him to want to see him in his pants. He went on to tell him that he was wearing his Sesame Street Cookie Monster Pants.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


Surprisingly;Bob came in on Monday with his compact digital camera and asked if we could all have our group team photograph taken, as that this was one of the last times that everybody would be together. He asked me if I minded organising the others. I told Ned; who thought it would be a good idea after the initial surprise. Unfortunately Ned went missing after dinner. So I spoke to the others, who Iwas shocked to find were all up for it, and organised it for Tuesday.
Just before dinner we all decided that we should have it taken outside in the sunshine, and grabbed Sam from one of the other departments to take it. he took two on Bob's cameraand two on Kerry's i-phone. Sadly Jason was playing up, sticking his fingers up for the first one and making more lewd gestures for another couple. Out of the four, only one of them was useable. I'll have to post the photo once I've annonomised all the faces.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


There are a lot more wasps about this year. They aren’t to be taken too lightly. Earlier on in the year Lee was stung by one at this desk, and his hand swelled up quite a lot. I can’t remember if I blogged about that, but I had to take him to the Asda to get the pharmacists advice; and ended up buying him some anti-histamines.

On Friday though there was one in the office. The air conditioning isn’t working and as the day wears on the office gets really hot, so we have to have fans on and open up the windows as wide as possible to get some breeze flowing through. I hadn’t noticed the wasp; engrossed in my work of course; until Vits and Jason shot up out of there seats and headed towards me.

My manager was in, and asked what the problem was. Jason was keeping a safe distance from the wasp, near the manager’s desk.
He said “I’ve never seen you move so fast.”
Jason replied “Only when I run from police and dogs.”
“And wasps!” said my manager.

The wasp flew up into the strip lighting unit above Jason’s desk and stayed there for a while. When it flew back down Lee opened up the windows as wide as possible and wafted the thing out, before slamming the windows shut behind it. Later on there were a couple of wasps on the window looking to come in.


Most of my postings are work related, but on Friday I took my car in for its MOT and I heard this when I went to collect it. The mechanic was sorting out my bill and telling me that I needed to change my rear windscreen wiper. They had been sent three different ones by their suppliers during the day; ranging from a tiny 5” wiper to a 20” one, so they decided I needed to get a genuine Toyota one rather then a look-e-like one. While this was going on another customer came in who I recognised as being there at 8.15 in the morning dropping a vehicle off. Obviously a regular customer they greeted each other.

Mechanic 1: “How’s things?”
Customer: “It’s been a tough day.”
Mechanic 2: “Tough day?! You wouldn’t know a tough day if it turned round and bit you.”

They bantered for a little while then got on to talking about last week, when the police were swarming around trying to catch speeders, which they seem to do once a year. Then the customer got on to telling us about one of his drivers being pulled over by the police one of the nights.
Customer: “They asked him where he was going. He told them he was going to a lecture about binge drinking. “Binge drinking…” said the policeman “…who organises a lecture at 12.30 at night?”
“the wife” said the driver.

After laughing at that the mechanic serving me told us that he had been on holiday in Spain with the wife and another couple two weeks ago. They had been drinking in the hotel bar after their evening meal, and his wife had gone up to bed on her own at 11.00, leaving the others drinking. This bloke had stayed for another couple of glasses of wine (for some reason he couldn’t drink beer) then gone up to the room. When he got into the room his wife asked what time it was. He told her around 12.30. She said “You’re grounded!”
“Grounded?...”he said “…you can’t ground me!... I’m 50.”

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Flats or Apartments

I was changing some of the address data we hold this morning, which had been updated by the post office. This entailed changing a load of "apartments" to "flats". Looking into the address history on the database the last entry for most of them read "address changed as per estate agents" on 14th September 2010. Obviously if you are an estate agent you are going to write "apartment" instead of "flat", because it sounds nicer. I wonder how many of the residents who receive their next mailing addressed to "flat" rather than "apartment" are going to feel cheated. I wonder if you could sue the estate agent for selling you an apartment which turns out later to be a flat? I also wonder who at the Post Office decides if a development is flats or apartments?
Also, is that a UFO behind it?

Monday, 22 August 2011

On the Fringe of Culture

Lester had been to Edinburgh for the end of last week. When he came in this morning Kerry had asked him about it and what he had gone to see. He explained that they hadn’t realised that the festival was on, and all he wanted to do was see the sights, but he couldn’t see much because of the crowds of studenty types handing out flyers and juggling. He hadn’t been to any of the shows, although he had picked up arm-fulls of flyers that he had been collecting. Everyone knows him to be a bit of a hoarder and laughed when he said that he was going to put them with his collections of bus tickets and beer festival flyers and beer mats.

Piercing surprise

To my surprise this morning Jason came in with a lip piercing in his bottom lip. He complained about how much it hurt and how swollen it was.
“Did they give you a local anaesthetic for it?” asked Lee.
“No just an antiseptic wipe.” …he continued “I went in and asked how they did it, and she explained she just sticks a needle in.”
He went on about how he wasn’t d fond of needles and how he had to keep his eyes shut. Then he went back on to how swollen it was. Lee said that it should settle down after a couple of days. Then he told us how he had felt like he was talking like Bubba off Forest Gump, followed by a really good impression which left us all in fits of laughter.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Getting bigger?

I had to answer the call of nature this morning after breakfast. John was in there washing his cereal bowl and mug.
Yesterday I had noticed him pouring his cereal into his bowl when I got in and had asked him "What are you having for breakfast?"
Before John could answer, Andy shouted over "Everything by the look of him!"
Back to this morning. I had entered my cubicle and doing my business, while John had finished his washing up and gone to the urinal. I'm not sure if he was at the urinal or was over at t he mirror when I heard him say to himself (I think) "Oh no I think it's grown."
This was followed by a second "Blimey, it has as well."...which I'm fairly sure was said looking in the mirrors by the sinks.
It has remained a mystery what he was talking about, or how big it had grown.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Sadly, this week we are all having our counselling interviews to see where we might all fit in with the new structure, or if we want to volounteer for redundancy. Lee came back from his interview around 1 o'clock looking flustered and a little red faced. I asked him how he had got on. He said it had gone alright, but he had ended up having a bit of an argument with the new manager. I asked how he had managed to start an argument and he told me that he had disagreed with one of the guys answers. He had asked what was the main reason for one of our processes and Lee had said that the main reason was safety. The new manager had pressed him and carried on asking forn the main reason. The one outcome was that we all know what one of the questions is now, and the answer the boss is looking for is actually cost. I agreed with Lee though, and tried to make him happier by telling him that he was okay to disagree and question the boss on their first meeting.

Looting law

Being a little older than most of the rest of my team I am often asked for my opinion, as the voice of reason. So with the rioting and looting going on last week, a few of the guys were thinking they were missing out being stuck at work. They were looking at the photographs of the looters and laughing that they hadn't got the sense to cover their faces. The biggest laugh came from the picture of a woman looting Poundland for a multipack of crisps.

I was shocked to be asked by one of them if looting was legal. He thought that if the shop was open, out of hours, then it was his civic duty to keep the contents of the shop safe from any unsavoury characters. It was a good job that we'd kept him off the streets for thye day.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Oppressed by ball difference

With it looking very likely that everyone is going to break-up as a section, Ned has been trying to organise one last team event away from the office. His favourite idea involves a pool tournament, which he has organised in the past. He has been asking everyone if they are intereseted without actually telling them when he is proposing to do it. Jason has been winding him up about the last tournament, where Jason lost the final to Dan. Ned has been explaining that everybody pays £5 to go, part of which goers towards entry into the club. The rest of it being prizemoney for the winner. Apparently there should have been a play-off between the two of them, being a final, rather than Dan winning on "ball difference"-having potted more balls. It was late by the time of the final and people were leaving, so they decided to award the winner on "ball difference". Ned had got it all typed out, with spreadsheets of all the previous tournaments, with the results of all the games, stretching back years.
Dan came up from the other end of the office to talk to me about preparation for his counselling interview. He used to work with me on my old section, but now works in the furthest corner of the office away from my current section. Jason saw this as an opportunity and quized Dan about what he remembered about the tournament, which wasn't much. Dan went back to his end of the office while Jason continued moaning. Then he came out with his - "my people are used to being surpressed" -he meant oppressed, being mixed race; he like to be black when it suits him.
"You're oppressed?...he's Vietnamese...his family came over on a tiny boat to escape the oppression." I pointed out.
I went on to tell them about Lee's family coming over as refugees, and his story about staying in a fenced off camp for weeks before being dumped in the dodgiest area of the city when they were housed where nobody else would live.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

New Era

Jason was amusing us with some of his warped morals when he came out with the fact that he keeps losing clothes. What he does is leave some of his clothes and other items at various girlfriends houses, which he imagines keeps them happy because they think he means to come back at some stage, which he doesn't always do. I asked if it was some scheme whereby he gets rid of his old clothes instead of taking them to the charity shop, but apparently not, he leaves some good stuff like addidas tracksuits, and his latest "New Era" hat.

Then he told us about this one girl who he had bored with. He had been round her flat and "Done what he had to do". Then left to go to the takeaway for some food, but decided he didn't want to go back. So he didn't, but he did want to get his hat back. So he decided to tell her that he had "lamped some geezer who was touching his car while he was in the takeaway." He then told that they had called the police and he had to spend the night in the cells.

A very complicated web.

Monday, 1 August 2011


Last week we had to complete a form to say which positions we were interested in for counselling purposes, to see who was going to stay and who was going to be made redundant. Most people had got theirs filled in and sent on time. Jason however was not particularly organised, asking anyone who came near him if they would fill in the form for him. Ned got so annoyed he agreed to do it. On the Tuesday morning we came in and Ned had filled out a form for Jason, along the lines of "Why are you interested in this job?...Because nobody else would employ me."
There was some other stuff, I'll have to sse if I can get a copy and scan it in to put it on the site.
We were in fits of laughter...he must have spent some time thinking about it.
Jason was flitting between just putting down that he wanted redundancy, and filling out his form properly in order to stay. He ended up going for the speedy option of saying he had no skills or training that would suit any of the vacant positions.

After maternity

One of the Debbies came back to work today after 6 months of maternity leave. She seened to spend most of the morning having her passwords all reset and even having software re-installed. Then just before dinner Sue started asking her how she was finding being seperated from her baby. She said she was okay today because the kid was with her mom, but Friday she was going to be concerned because the kid has to go to a nursery. She had wanted to return to work part-time, but with the redundancy thing going on, she wasn't able to get part-time.
Then, just before dinner, they had a terrible conversation about nappies. These days apparently they are so tight, with elasticated seams, that the doings stay put. However, this can make the nasty business all compacted. Then Sue went on about the fact that when she had her kids there was no such thing as disposable nappies, and she had to wash them all & re-use them. Not what you want to hear about just before dinner.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thumbs up

Cam came in to work on Tuesday with his right hand in a plaster cast. He had pulled a tendon 4 weeks ago, but not done anything about it. In fact he had been carrying on training with weights at the gym, until he decided it wasn’t going to go away. Apparently the hospital had x-rayed it to see if there was anything broken, then the doctor had told one of the nurses to take him to have a plaster put on it. As he was walking down the corridor he asked the nurse “Where are you going to put a plaster?”
She explained that it wasn’t going to be a “band aid” plaster.
The funniest part of it was that they had plastered it with his thumb sticking up, so he looks like he’s giving the thumbs up to everyone. Of course he now has the trouble that, with his thumb in such a position, he can’t get the sleeve of any of his shirts over it. He only has one sweatshirt which has enough give in it to get the sleeve over his thumb. So because he’s got to keep the cast on for two weeks, he’s got to find some new shirts with baggy arms, or cut some of the shirts he already has.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Clive's rule

Clive was sitting at his desk at dinnertime with his scale ruler near his mouth.

"Are you still hungry?" I asked.

He grinned back, "No."
What am most bothered about is if he's trying to measure anything off his computer screen rather than using a scaled drawing.

Euro millions jackpot £160M

Everyone has gone Euro lottery crazy, even though there are so many people buying tickets that you are less likely to win than ever before, or have to share your prize. Each little clique has set up their own syndicate, but where people move between cliques there is an overlap, so you don't want to turn down any offers of being in their syndicate, in case they win and you're left in the office on Monday with everyone else being millionaires. So it's all proving very costly, having to cough up £2 a pop.


Earlier on in the week the office was boiling hot. With the air conditioning being turned off, waiting for the 4th floor to be renovated, we had all the fans on and all the windows open as wide as we could. Then, towards dinnertime I saw Lee lunge at the window to shut it. A pigeon had landed on the ledge, and apparently another time a pigeon actually flew in through the window. It had to be chased round the office by the security man with a mail sack. LOucky escape this time round.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Harry Potter - kids film

So it appears that the last Harry Potter film is released tomorrow. Lee brought up the subject, telling us that the local cinema has nothing but Harry Potter across all 14 screens tomorrow. Kerry and myself admit that we have never seen a whole Harry Potter film all the way through. Lee is a bit of a fan, but says that the first one came out around the same time as the first Lord of the Rings film, which he preferred. He went on to say that the next one of those is out sometime soon:

Me: "The fourth film in the Lord of the Rings trillogy?...Did someone write a fourth one just for the cinema?"

Lee: "No they're making The two/ two hour films. It's all about him finding the ring to start with. I don't know how they're stretching it into two films."

Me: "Oh,...The Hobbit,...we had to read that at school."

Kerry: "Me too. The book was about this thick." (gesturing with her hands at a fairly big book thickness)

Me: "It takes all the fun out of it if you have to read it for school."

Vits: "Is it that old then, the Hobbit?!!"

Kerry: "Thanks. It's not that long ago"

Me: "Yes, it is that old...there weren't any printed copies...they were hand written by monks."

Lee: "On parchment."

Monday, 4 July 2011

Office double act

I got in this morning and John and Lester were at it.
Lester; “We do thinks together, we’re a family.”
John: “If I was to say to you “let’s go sailing for a week…”
Lester: “Well I wouldn’t fancy going sailing anyway.”
John: “Well how about if I said I’d managed to get tickets for the rugby 6 nations.”
Lester: “She wouldn’t let me,…not stop over ..she knows what I’m like,…or what I used to be like.”
Vits was ear-wigging, the only other person in at that time down our end of the office;
Vits: “I love their conversations.”
Me: “What are they on about today…what’s started it all.”
Vits:(Whispering) “Well… you no Adam is leaving today. He’s going to work in Brighton for 4 days a week.”
Me: “I’d heard that.”
Vits: “Well the money he earns should pay for bed & breakfast accommodation…but he’s leaving his girlfriend here. Then Lester says that he couldn’t do that, because he’s got a family. Then John asks what they got up to last night. Lester said she was ironing in the kitchen while he was watching television , drinking his beer. Then John pointed out that they don’t actually do anything together."

Adam came in on his last day. John asked "Have you sorted out any digs down there yet?”
Adam explained that he hadn’t, but that it wouldn’t be a problem.

When the conversation kicked off again Lester said that he wife was going down to London today:
Lester: “She’s going with the school.” (I had forgot his wife is a teacher).
John: “What are they going to see?”
Lester: “Don’t know…the sights…didn’t ask her.”
Then as a comedy finish:“Stopping over for the night.”

Beware of the dog

Some of the field staff have difficulties with customers out on site, so they often get the admin team to add comments on the database, against certain addresses. I assumed that this was informing staff that there is a dog which might cause them harm at the address, rather than a comment about the owner.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Jason's holiday

Jason had gone on holiday to Ibiza, taking his mom and brother. Apparently his plan was to leave his mom on the quiet side of the island, while he went over the other side to party. We had been discussing the fact that he wanted to take severance, although I had heard that he was moving into a new apartment.
Lee: “He is…but it’s his auntie’s apartment…he’s paying her rent. He can’t stand living with his mom anymore.”
Me: “I thought he was actually buying somewhere.”
Lee: “No, renting off his auntie.”
Me: “So he’s taken his mom on holiday with him? But can’t stand staying with her?”
Lee: “ I’m not sure if he’s told his mom he’s moving out yet. I think this is a sweetener, before he tells her he’s moving out.”
Kerry: "How's that going to work? If he picks up some woman and takes her back to the hotel and his mom's there?"
Lee: "Well, it depends how drunk he gets them."
Kerry: "Yeah, the sort of girls he attracts."

He had taken a couple of days holiday at the last minute before he went on holiday, and no-one was taking any bets about him phoning in yesterday to book another day off. Sure enough he phoned in with a story about not getting back home till 3am from the airport and can he have another day off. I told him we were expecting him to phone in anyway and asked how is holiday went. He laughed at us talking about him, then went on to tell me how hot it had been and that he had got sunburnt. I was shocked because he's mixed race. He went on to tell me that he was covered in calamine lotion, and that he was peeling, leaving him a mixture of coloured patches. He also had white eyes, because he had been wearing sunglasses all week. He reckoned we would all be laughing at him when we saw him.
Then today we were expecting him to phone in again because it was daft to come in for one day. So sure enough, we weren't suprised when he did. He told me he wasn't sleeping too well with the sunburn and finding it difficult to get comfortable. We are all looking forward to taking the pee out of him when he turns up on Monday.

Cherry time

I saw this story in the news about bumper crops of cherries, and thought of Ned, who has booked next week of to go and visit his parents and harvest the cherry crop from their cherry tree. Last year he spent days up the tree with a bucket around his neck, then selling them to the local grocer.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Sue's stain

Sue came back from the loo, having dropped a bit of her dinner down her:
Harmi: "Sue, what's that damp patch on your skirt?"
Sue: "I dropped a bit of cherry yoghurt down me, and I didn't know if it would stain, so I rubbed it with some water.."
Then feeling she needed to say more:
Sue: "I haven't wet myself!...I know I'm a certain age now, but I'm not incontinent yet."


Rachel, from the other end of the office, e-mailed me. She used to work near me and Dan, and knows I carry some hayfever pills around with me, in case I forget to take mine in the morning. Dan used pinch some off me when his hatfever was bad. So the mail read something like:
Rach: "Have you got any allergy pills?"
Me: "What are you allergic to?"
Rach: "HUMANS."

Rabbit stew

John was looking at walking and cycling maps again first thing this morning when I got in. Later, Lester came in and handed him a plastic container of food.
John: "What's that?"
Lester: "Rabbit Stew."
He went on to explain that it was a sample of what he was going to be cooking "on the road".
John: "So you're bringing pots and pans with you?"
Lester: "Yeah. I've got a stove, some pans, and a rabbit snare."

We've now got visions of them sitting at the roadside like Elmer Fudd or Wiley Coyote, waiting for Bugs Bunny or roadrunner to come along.

From the way John spoke about things up till now, he was finding pubs for breakfast, dinner and tea.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Learning from life

Joss came down from the 6th floor to talk to one of the girls, and told us about her harrowing driving lesson. The driving instructor had told her to drive down by the park, and they had just started doing a 3 point turn in the road, when out of nowhere came a strange acting local. He started banging on the car, then the instructor told her to lock the doors. After he had tried the doors, unsuccessfully, he started shouting at them to get out of the car. So the instructor told her to put her foot down and get out of there. Obviously being stressed, she jerked away hitting the kerb.

She thought that the guy looked like he was either drunk or on drugs. I suppose driving scholl cars aren't a bod target for robbery, after taxis, because they must drive around with a fair bit of money in.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Since the idea that Lester and John are opting for early Statutory Voluntary Redundancy, they have been planning what they are going to do with their time. John has suggested some rather challenging walks, some of them for days, even weeks. these would include camping out wherever they got to on each day. Lester had said that he wasn't used to camping. John had been trying to tell him that it was fine.
Lester came in yesterday and told John "There's something that my wife and you afree about."
John: "What's that?"
Lester: "That a should pitch a tent in the garden and sleep out there."

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Did I mention we are facing some redundancies? It's very odd, with most of the office depressed and not sure if they are going to have a job and pay their mortgages; and the other half (the oldies that have worked there for years) rubbing their hands together, hardly able to wait to get their voluntary redundancy and early retirement. I've never seen some of them so happy. Sue and John down my end of the office are the only ones with any energy, thinking that these are the last few weeks of their working life.
Other than sorting out my CV and vaguely looking for alternative jobs I've had to start taking a look at what rubbish I've got on my work PC, to see what I want to keep. A lot of it is little blogs which I had written at work, and used to e-mail to myself to post on here. I did find quite a few I don't think I had posted and so, tried to e-mail a bunch over to myself. Unfortunately one of them got stopped by the profanity detector, and quarrantined. So I'm going to have to read through them all before sending them home. There were some good ones, which were worth saving and brought back some happy memories.

Monday, 20 June 2011

No holiday

Meanwhile over the other side of the office, Lester was getting to grips with the company portal holiday booking system.
John: “You’ve booked the 20th & 21st. That's two days.”
Lester: “No, I’m only booking off the 20th. I’m coming back on the 21st.”
John: “You need to book the start date as 20th & end date as 20th.”
Lester: “That makes no days doesn’t it?”
John: “No you twonk, it’s one day’s holiday.”
Lester: “What do I have to do if I want no days off then?”
John: “Don’t put them on the portal then!!”

Strange parents

We felt a little sorry for Jason when he was telling us what he was up to at the weekend. Jason had spent the weekend with his small boy and the mother of his son, I stress –not girlfriend or anything like that. He met her on some night out up north, and didn’t have what you could call a long term relationship with her. He complains about her all the time and thinks she is only out to get whatever she can. He took them both into town and bought the kid a £100 D & G tracksuit for his first birthday, and two pairs of trainers. He showed us some pictures on his phone, and then told us about his mate, who they met up with, who also has a small son. He winds Jason up, and was doing this by asking the mother of his child if she had considered moving down to live with, or near Jason, to be like a real family. Kerry asked what Jason’s mom had thought about the kid. Apparently she has not seen him. Jason said that she was particularly maternal. She went on to ask about his dad.
“Oh, he’s likely to spoil him rotten, like me. Although he’s not spending any money on him until he’s had a DNA test.”

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Get out of jail

Like many workplaces at the moment we have bbe threatened with redundancies for some time, since being taken over around April time. Sadly today, they anounced that they wanted to loose around 700 staff, which left everyone in a mood.
Jason managed to cheer us up though, as usual. He'd been looking around for jobs for some time anyway, and a couple of his mates work as prison guards. He had tried joining the police, but they weren't taking people on. His mates had told him that there was a new prison being built not far away, and he would almost certainly be able to get in, as a guard.
I asked if it wouldn't be a very depressing environment to work in. Jason reckoned that it was like a "youth club, but for older people..." according to one of his mates who he went to see inside, six months back. There was a big rant from Elaine about sentencing, and people given 5 year sentences being told they only actually serve 2 and a half, before going on to suggest that Jason would be open to bribery, and would probably be smuggling stuff in for the inmates. That, coupled with some of his dodgy-dealing, buying and selling schemes, he would be more likely to end up on the inside rather than outside.

Here's Bob

Ned and Lee weren't about when Bob was telling us about bumping into Elaine on a tube in London. We asked Elaine as soon as she got into the office and she was all "Oh my god, Bob tapped me on the shoulder on the tube!!".
She had to give a repeat performance when Ned and Jason finally got into the office. They hadn't heard earlier on in the week, when Bob had told us his version.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Surprise, it's Bob

Towards the end of last week a few of the staff have taken holiday, while the kids were off school. Elaine had told us that she might be going to London, but we didn't realise that Bob was taking his family to London to watch the Switzerland vs England match, and do some other stuff over a long weekend.

So we were quite amused when Bob said "Guess who I saw on the tube on Saturday."

He had seen Elaine with her husband and kid. Which is quite a feat, considering how many tube trains there are, and that they were going to completely different destinations. Even ending up in the same carriage.

He told us that he only realised it was them as he stood up to get off the tube, and tapped Elaine on the shoulder and said "Hello and goodbye".

We are now dying to hear how shocked she was to end up meeting Bob in London.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter Chocolate showdown

Lester amused us this morning telling us this his wife are not currently talking. Sue had asked if he was up to anything romantic with his wife over the bank holiday.

Apparently they had been given a large box of Thorntons chocolates for Easter to share; other brands of confectionery are available; so they decided that his wife would have the top layer, and he would eat the bottom layer. However his wife had taken some from his layer. Not being very happy about this they had an argument, and at some stage he had put a post-it note in with the chocolates saying "Fat B*tch".

His son told him that he was being a bit over the top argueing over a bit of chocolate, and not talking. So he had a bit of his son's easter egg without being offered, to show his that it was a big deal, and his son isn't talking to him now either.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Junior's hols

I was very amused when Mark from the 5th floor told me that he had bumped into Junior and Cat (his lady friend) in Albufeira, Portugal. Apparently they were in some bar watching the English football. Cat told me that she had seen Mark looking at her and she thought she recognised him, but couldn't think where from. She thought he might have been off the TV. Junior recognised Mark from work, but couldn't think of his name. Mark had gone on a golfing holiday, and told me that he had been drunk for about 7 days solid.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Keeping up the grown-up behaviour; Jason had spotted that Ned had been doodling on his desk-pad. He'd drawn a crocodile, and a cartoon, self portrait. Jason asked if Ned had too much time on his hands, to which Ned replied that he drew them while he was on the telephone.

So later on, when Ned had walked off somewhere, Jason drew his own little doodle on Ned's desk-pad. Ned didn't notice when he got back, so Jason had to say "what have you been drawing now?"

Ned laughed, Lee laughed, so I had to get up and walk round to see what he had done. He's drawn a cock & balls next to his self-portrait.

"I'm going to have to start a new sheet now," said Ned.

Then he forgot, until the boss came over to talk to him. So Jason was watching as Ned was talking with the boss, trying his best to keep the has hand covering the cock & balls all the time he was talking.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Mom date

Jason made us laugh this morning, telling us about how he has got complained about by a buyer on Ebay, apparently by sending threatening e-mails. He told us that he was selling some chairs on ebay, and because the bloke buying them was going to be picking them up in person; Jason asked him to claim on the site that he no longer wanted the items. That way Jason wouldn't have to pay Ebay the £20 fee. Jason explained that he wouldn't give any negative feedback, and he would keep his 100% status.
The bloke wasn't happy with the suggestion, telling Jason that "you have to pay Ebay fees".
So he left his mom at the house when the bloke was supposed to be picking up the chairs. This is what led to the funniest part:
"He asked my mom out on a date!"

She apparently turned him down, but this got Jason worked up.
We told him that he should should have got his mom to accept, and then get him to take her out for an expensive meal. Jason was more bothered about getting his £20 back.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Missing workers

I had last Thursday & Friday off on holiday, so when I got in on Monday I asked if I had missed anything. "Yeah, you missed loads", was the comeback. I thought they were being sarcastic, but as it turned out it was true.
Apparently on the Thursday, Jim (the quiet one) went missing at about 10.30 in the morning. Only it wasn't until about 2.30pm that anybody noticed.
He's usually quiet, so you imagine he is just working away quietly, as he does. Then he normally goes home for dinner for an hour or so, not returning until 1.10 usually. Usually you can set your clock by him.
Apparently one of the girls had heard him take a phone call, which is unusual in itself, then he just left without saying a word. Ned noticed he wasn't in at 2.30 and asked where he had gone. Nobody knew, so Ned got worried in case he had been in an accident on his way to or from dinner. He tried ringing the numbers we have as contacts for him, none of which got an answer. So they had a big conflab, and Ned and one of the other managers decided they should go and do a home visit, as he didn't live far away anyway.
As it turned out, he was at home, fine. His sister had rung him to tell him that his dad had been in some kind of traffic accident, and she had called him a taxi, or was in a taxi, waiting downstairs to take him to the hospital. His dad was okay. I couldn't find out why Jim had stayed at home instead of coming back to work. He reconned that he didn't tell anyone because the taxi was waiting for him. Also I'm not sure if he took the Friday off work too.
When Ned got back to the office his boss had asked if Jim was going to make up the time or was taking it as leave. Ned told him that Jim was fine, not answering the bosses question.

Then on Monday, when he came in, Jim looked like he'd got conjunctivitis. I had never seen anyone with redder eyes. I told him he should go to the doctors, then when he started complaining about them stinging and not being able to stare at his screen for long, I sent him home.

Then because Ned wasn't around, we then decided not to tell Ned until he noticed he was missing. Ned asked about Jim as soon as he walked back into the office, so we had to tell him.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

No new job for Ned

Ned had been noticably moody for a couple of weeks in the build-up to his latest interview. He'd applied for a higher grade managerial job which 5 or 6 people had gone for. It was actually in the department that Alan had gone to, and of course Alan was favourite for the job.
We had given him a bit of stick about how he wasn't going to get it, and smiled when he came back into the office after his interview in his fancy suit.
Today was the day they were announcing who had got the job. Ned had asked me to go and see Alan on the sixth floor, and just ask in passing if he had heard anything. As it ended up, Ididn't have time to go and see him. Ned got a phone call around dinnertime confirming he hadn't got it, and that Alan had.
Having finished the whole process he told us how much he appreciated his current job, and it seems to have given him a new lease of life to try and do his current job better. If anything, I think he was relieved he hadn't got the job. Although he got a bit of stick from Jason when he heard he hadn't got it.
Sadly I didn't get a chance this afternoon to go and congratulate Alan

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Bad hair day

Lee mentioned to me that he was going in to town to have his hair cut after work. I asked him where he goes. He told me Francesco’s; which I thought sounded a bit pricey. I told him that I used to work with one bloke who had his hair cut somewhere pricey, because they gave him a bottle of beer while he was having it done, and possibly because of the dolly-birds doing the cutting.
“Oh”, said Lee, “…they give you beer at Francesco’s, and I like it because they give you a head massage before hand.”
“How much do they charge?”
After that I kept a bit quiet, thinking that was a bit steep. It does account for the dodgy cut he normally turns up with the next morning, obviously not wanting to upset the girl doing his hair.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Run down

One of the Steves, as I said previously, turned up on Monday with a black eye. Not just a black eye, but some nasty scabs as well. As it turned out, he had been off since the previous weekend, when he had got run over on the Saturday night. He was apparently very drunk & can’t remember a thing about it other than being picked up off the pavement, or road, by the paramedics. He had spent a couple of days in hospital & the rest of the week recuperating. From the sound of it he is lucky to be alive.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Junior's nose job

I hadn't seen Junior about for some time. Asking Eric; I was told that he had taken some time off to have an operation on his nose, & time off to recover. Only a polyps operation, to stop him snoring, like Nige had some time ago. We joked about how it was a cosmetic operation to sort out the hideous shape of it.
Anyway, when he returned last week I asked him how his nose was. He was quite happy with it, except for it being dry and scabby inside at the moment. He told me that it was actually because he was throwing up most mornings that he had the operation. Apparently his nose was so blocked that when he was asleep all the mucus was gathering at the back of his throat, so that when he woke up in the morning he was being sick.
On the day he did come back, one of the Steve's had turned up with a black eye (I will explain this in a later blog). I metioned he looked like he'd had reconstructive surgery too.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Early leaver

Just after half past two on Wednesday there was a bit of a commotion down the office. It was Les, looking out of breath, talking about having just driven around the car park.

As he explained things further, it turned out that he had left the office at 2.30pm thinking it was 3.3opm (the earliest he is able to leave). He had got a doctors appointment at 4.00, and was fretting about leaving on time. He had left the office, having turned off his computer. No had twigged this, because it was nowhere near leaving time. So apparently he had got into his car and started to drive off, until he noticed nobody else was leaving, and checked the clock in his car.

He was very embarrassed coming back into the office. We weren't sure if this accounted for his red face, or if it was the running back up the stairs.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Marital duties

Les came in this morning a little later than normal. He was a liitle flustered because the closest printer had been out of action waiting for a yellow cartridge for over a week. Everyone had complained that this was an amazing length of time to wait for a cartridge to be delivered. They all suggested going to Staples and buying one off the shelf and claiming it back on expenses.
"I've got some DVD covers I need to print off", he tells everyone.
This is before any management get into work.

He changed the subject a little by telling us that the reason he had been 5 minutes late was that he had to carry out his "marital duties", then walked off to the coffee machine.

Sue: "I bet he means something like washing-up."

Louise: "Yeah, he just likes to make it sound a bit dirty."

He came back with his coffee.

John said: "Five minutes you say...were you bragging, or was that

Les laughed: "At least that's something I don't have to do at the weekend

John: "Yes, one less job for the weekend."