Monday, December 19, 2005

tis the season to be jolly

It's the time of year when we are all loving, giving and merry. The spirit of generosity courses through our veins as we forget the grey meanness of the year behind us and look forward with a sense of well being and fondness for our fellow man. How then did the following conversation come about?

Roz: (happily humming a Christmas ditty while making a pot of tea for us all)
Boss: How many tea bags are you using in that pot?
Roz: Three - why?
Boss: That's far too many. No wonder we get through so many tea bags. Use two in future.
Roz: ...oh...ok.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Colleague collection etiquette

oooh I struggle in this complicated world. Following from my query regarding workmen etiquette (Monday 5th Decmber) I am now concerned that I may be about to commit a faux pas at work.

Now, here's the thing. In the past fortnight 2 members of staff have had babies, and one is leaving. We had a collection for the girl who had the baby and I gave a fiver. I like her alot and she did actually give birth, an unpleasant experience I am led to believe.

I gave £2 to the guy who is leaving and instantly felt mean. I like him too, but he didn't go through the pain of childbirth, doesn't have to spend every spare penny on nappies, and is probably getting a hefty payrise at his new job.

The other baby was born to a guy in the office. He is neither leaving, nor went though the pain of childbirth, but WILL have to buy nappies. What should I give to him?

It's difficult being a modern woman in the working world. I should be at home baking cookies, hoovering, and encouraging Junior to practice the piano.

Obviously I stole this picture off the internet. I have not been on a midweek trip to somewhere snowy. I have no reason to post this picture other than I loved it, and I have nothing better to post.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Worlds worst labourer

Last night Nick tried to get me to help rewire the phones through to the extension. After a demanding day at work my brain was shot. He would have received more help if he had enlisted next door's cat.

Nick: pass me the pliers...
Me: where are they? I can't see them.
Nick: they are in the tool box right in front of you.
Me: Where?
Nick: Right in front of you (points with his nose cos his hands are full of stuff)
Me: what colour are they?
Nick: look! For gods sake! They are bright red and they are on the top!
Me: Oh yes. (Pick up pliers, try to walk backwards in slippers. slippers fall off. trip on slippers)
Nick: thanks - now can I have some electrician's tape please
Me: where is it?
Nick: In the tool box right in front of you.

etc etc etc

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ok I'm wrong

Roz has shown me photographic evidence of her 'city shorts' and I admit: they aren't that bad.

However she has banned me from broadcasting the actual image so here is the next best thing to show you the shorts to their best advantage:


I have taken things into my own hands and improved my day considerably by a liberal sprinkling of retail therapy. I am now the proud owner of new, lovely, brown suede boots with a fur trim round the top, ahhhhhh.

During this lunchtime shopping trip Roz admitted to me sheepishly that she has recently purchased of a pair of tweed city shorts. Obviously I roared with laughter. Roz however had the courage of her conviction and maintained they looked great with her brown shoes, and wine coloured cardy. Even so she said she would not be prepared to wear the outfit to the office.

I will give her the benefit of doubt but may require photographic evidence to be entirely convinced.

Help me please

Any tips on dealing with anger and frustration in the work place without actually blowing my top, putting my boot through the monitor, upturning my desk, ripping up paper and screaming?

I need help before I need blood pressure drugs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I heard yesterday that killer whales are being found with worryingly high amounts of flame retardants building up in their blubber. This is a bad sign as a measure of the pollution that exists in our oceans.

On the plus side these whales would be very useful in displays at Sea World when jumping through hoops of fire.


Sorry for not posting for a while but I have been having a hellish time at work. It seems as though everything is going wrong, just to make sure that I really appreciate the upcoming holiday.

Firstly my client is on the war path. She has complained about me, sacked the interior designer, and would sack the builders were it not for the fact she needs them to finish the job. Secondly a colleague with a small amount of knowledge of Computer Aided Design has been meddling in my carefully set-up drawings and has totally buggered them beyond retrieval.

(For CAD users: she has ruined my x-ref structure by binding then exploding them all, exploded all the blocks and hatches, deleted text that wasn't to the scale she was currently working in, changed all the text to single line Mtext (why?), drawn a load of new stuff in weird random layers and ignored the saved UCS's resulting in no parallel lines anywhere - total carnage.)

Nick will tell me off for writing this in the public domain but frankly I don't care. The way my work was treated was disrespectful in the extreme. Half an hour of fiddling so a few toilets could be moved around was not worth the 10s of hours it will take me to put the drawing back together again.

Rant over.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dead mouse

We have a dead mouse decomposing somewhere in our office. This happened once before; one was stuck under the floor boards so we recognise the smell.

Last time the whole cycle of life took place beneath our feet, ending in the hatching of 100s of flies that had obviously been maggots and munched their way through the mouse. Revolting. Rentokil come regularly every 2 weeks but they don't trap the vermin, they poison them, leaving them to crawl away to die.

The smell seems to be emanating from around John and Zoe's desk. Credit where credit is due, they are taking the insults about their personal hygiene with great aplomb.

tic tacs / world peace

When eating lime and orange tic tacs are you supposed to eat them one at a time to savour the fruity flavour individually, or eat them in pairs, one of each colour, to enjoy the delicious combination? If the latter is the case what happens when, inevitably, there are more green ones than orange ones?

These little things puzzle me. I embrace it though, because it stops me pondering over the big important things I should be worrying about. I can easily catagorise my problems into 3 sections:

1) Things that don't really matter i.e. how to eat tic tacs to enjoy them to the maximum.

2) Things which I really should address and will affect my life if I don't i.e. sorting out a pension.

3) Things I could be worrying about, but even if I could take some action I wouldn't really make much difference i.e. the war in Iraq

I promise that once I've sorted out all the problems in section 1 I will move straight onto sorting out the stuff in section 2.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Aging rocker eeks out career

I have it on good authority that a member of the rock band Iron Maiden has started up a new band. You've gotta love the name: Maiden Scotland.

Dear oh dear.

handy hint of the day

Here's something useful I learned today for all you techy geeky boys.

If you get something electronic delivered in a sealed plastic wrapper, let the thing warm up to room temperature before you open it, otherwise you will get condensation forming on the copper bits.

I equate this fact to the goldfish rule you should always follow. If you buy a fish in a plastic bag of water, put the whole bag in the pond for a while before letting out the fish. This lets the bag water slowly equalise to the pond water temperature and avoids giving your new fish a shock and killing it. Luckily you don't need to worry about getting condensation on your new fish.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

colour scheme debate

Our new bedroom is chocolate brown and cream, thus launching the debate:

Brown and cream: devastatingly contemporary, or dreadful 70's throwback?

Your thoughts on a post card please.

Another top joke from the advent calendar

My oh my, we had another excellent joke from the office maltesers advent calendar today:

Why does Santa come down the chimney?

Because it soots him.

The problem with this joke is that it only works if you are Scottish or Irish. You see, in the Scots accent 'soots' rhymes with 'suits' but I (in my quaint Scunthorpe accent) would say 'sut' for soot and 'sooot' for suit, thus rendering the joke pathetically meaningless.

Needless to say this brought about a long discussion on accents. The best example we found were the 4 words:


If you are Scottish or Irish then all these 4 words are distinct from each other in the way you say them. English people make little or no distinction between the first 3 words, for which I was ridiculed mercilessly.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Imagine my disappointment...

After the resounding success of last year's malteser advent calendar, imagine my disappointment when we discovered that the interesting malteser based facts and jokes were exactly the same as last year!

The cheek of it!

And to top it off, they included the same worthless fact about the height of the worlds tallest man being ABOUT 181 maltesers tall, thus rubbing salt in the wound of my ignorance about the EXACT size of a standard malteser (see post dated Friday November 18th)
I just want some answers, god damn it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Film review

We went to see Flightplan last night and my god it was the biggest load of unrealistic PAP I have seen in ages.

There were so many holes in the plot that it kept Nick and I occupied for the whole journey home exclaiming how ridiculous it was that (and I'm about to give away the ending so look away now if you are planning on seeing it) not one of the 425 passengers on the plane saw the girl at ANY time, even though to kidnap her the bad guy had to carry her down the central aisle, squash her in a cupboard, force her down a tiny hatch, then down a ladder and into the nose cone of the plane, where she obligingly fell asleep and didn't wake up for the whole episode.

There were many other stupid things about the plot (like the fact that they killed her husband on the slimest chance she would quit her job and decide to fly back to america and oh! she's on the same flight as the dodgy air-hostess! phew, a small staff rosta cock-up could have foiled the entire evil plan.) that I really can't be bothered to write about them all now.

Workmen etiquette

I'm searching for workmen based etiquette solutions.

We had a carpet fitter in our house on Saturday doing the entire first floor and staircase. He was there for 5 hours. After making him a cup of tea and giving him a plate of hobnobs I really didn't know what to do with myself.

I didn't feel I could sit on the sofa for 5 hours watching telly while he slaved away on the staircase 2 metres away from me. I didn't want to go out in case he was a burglar posing as a carpet fitter, and there is only so long you can pretend to bustle about in the kitchen washing up and wiping down the worktops. Frankly I could have done with a nap but I thought that would have been super rude. Besides, he was on my bedroom floor on his knees and I might have had trouble nodding off.

So, my query is: what is an acceptable way of passing the time while men are working in your house?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Advent excitement

We have 2 chocolate advent calendars in our office. We are on a strict rotation between the 6 of us, meaning we each get a chocolate every 3 days. The best thing is that on Monday we will ALL get a chocolate!

You see, for me, that is what is so nice about Christmas these days. I am not a believer, and yet is totally acceptable for me to pick and choose between the traditions of this religious festival.

Chocolate advent calendars: check, going to church during advent: nah. Parties: check, Praying: er, nah. Materialistic orgy of shopping, eating, drinking: check, Devotion to the son of God: no, cheers for asking, but I'd rather be sipping mulled wine and settling down to watch 'Only Fools and Horses'.

I have dispensed with the slight feeling of guilt I used to get about Christmas and now revel in the fact that I get 2 weeks off work, see all the family and loads of mates, and generally recharge my batteries. And boy do I need it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Drinking clay is good for you

I was at a site meeting today and, knowing I had been under the weather, my client suggested a guaranteed general pick-me-up.

She made me drink powdered green clay mixed with water. It didn't really taste of much but had the strangest texture. It was milky and really silky but once I had swallowed the liquid I was left with a mouthful of gritty bits. Very odd indeed. Apparently it will balance my digestive system and neutralise excess acids and alkalines and soak up impurities from my body. I am still waiting to feel better.

It can't have helped my brain function much because half an hour later I reversed out of her drive and into a skip, smashing the light and denting the corner of the car. I took it to the garage and it will cost £400 to repair. That is an irritating figure - too much to pay without an insurance claim, yet too little be worth loosing 5 years no-claims-bonus over. I am annoyed.
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