Wednesday, 30 December 2009

He Shoots, He Scores, It Is Probably An Own Goal

The upshot of this last communication, it turns out, is that we have a shipment arriving into Dublin today and the charges on it, some several thousand dollars, have to be paid before we can release it to the customer, who of course needs it urgently. The Boss is panicking because at this time of year a bank transfer could take until next week, and so the shipment would be delayed, the customer upset, and so on.

Now that I have figured out, after much ado, what in the flying fuck is going on, I have just rectified this entire panic attack by calling someone I know in the shipping line's local branch and asking very nicely "Hey, could you sort this out with your Dublin people for us please, so we have a credit account and can just pay for this in January?" to which the reply was "No bother mate, I'll sort that out for you, Happy New Year".

So some sort of GODAWFUL END OF THE WORLD BOSS PANIC is resolved by a simple friendly phone call, the downside of this being that when she comes in tomorrow, I already know in advance that she's going to be furious about me having done this in the quick, efficient and friendly way. She will, I already know, take great exception to this. Arse-biscuits. Honestly, I've had her on the bloody phone all day and "nails down the blackboard" doesn't even begin to cover it, it's the conversational equivalent of having my scrotum trapped inside a dot-matrix printer.


Good after-morning!

I hope you had a pleasant break and such, if you did indeed have one. I had a quiet one myself, but quite nice.

So anyway I'm alone in here today, The Boss had some days off left to use (a fact which I find highly suspicious, but never mind) and so is sitting at home sticking bits of newspaper clippings to the walls or whatever it might be that she gets up to on her days off. Several things will happen, pretty much without fail, when The Boss is off. The first is that she will phone me at around 9.05 in the morning, largely I suspect to check that I'm in the office (fair enough) - she will ask me if everything is alright, and I will try to get her off the phone as quickly as possible. She will then call back at around ten in the morning as she remembers various things that she 'needs done'. This could be almost anything, and it's kind of like a game; the tasks will be hidden at various locations around her desk and the office itself - I mean, my desk is ok, occasionally it has a few more rizla packets lying on it than is strictly professional but for the most part it's quite tidy, but The Boss's desk, as you can imagine, is this scene of unmitigated horror, it's Project Fucking Mayhem over there -

The Boss : "Can you do a rate for Martin. Mark. Keenan. Ronan. To Piraeus, Limassol. From Portbury. Southampton. Tilbury. Dublin. Can you get it from Cork. It's in the file, but not in the file. Not in the file itself. See if you can get it."

This is how arguments start, y'know.

Here's me : "Uh, seriously, I have no idea what you're talking about, just so you know; I mean, if you come in here tomorrow and ask me why I haven't done this, it's because I haven't a single fucking clue what you're on about."

The Boss : "I sent you an e-mail about it last week!"

Here's me : "Did you?!? When?!?"

The Boss : "Before we left on Christmas Eve."

Can you dig this. We were both sitting here on Christmas Eve and The Boss at some stage that day e-mails me about something she'll need done on 30th December; I mean, apart from the obvious 'why didn't you just do it yourself, instead of e-mailing me?' there's also the fucking crazy notion of e-mailing someone who sits across the room from you to tell them to do some work for you next week... ok, never mind, anyway -

Here's me, looking through my e-mail, and I can't see anything that seems to be instructions from The Boss. There is one titled "SANTA", but I assumed this was just some sort of Christmas-spam-bollocks-wank of the type that The Boss loves to forward, you know, the sort of e-mail that goes around in Comic Sans and tells you to spread the joy and goodwill or else your knob will fall off, so I sez : "I can't see anything from you except some 'Santa' e-mail?"

The Boss : "That's it!"

Here's me : "-"

Indeed, on closer inspection, the innocuously titled 'SANTA' e-mail, sent on Christmas Eve, is actually a lengthy missive of instructions from The Boss, which she has sat and typed to me while we were in the office together on Christmas Eve, and I now paste for your perusal :

Sorry about this

The middle file on my desk is all the Shipments. Can you please look at
the following 2 urgently at least

Vessel : Santa something????
Shipment due in around 30/01/09 is arranging customs / delivering Bill of Lading. Can you please ask (Number inside of file) to let us have delivery notification / invoice. Charges are written inside of file as we dont have credit please ask to forward payment. Also raise an invoice to forwarding - no release until Bill of Lading / Payment has been received/ Please also ask Umesh for details again.

Dublin - 

Container arriving in around 30th / 31st December. Ask Dublin for
invoice or at least rate of exchange. Raise an invoice to name
on file. I have also sent her an email with charges. Again check and see
if we have credit - if not please ask to pay this one asap as well.

Thanks and
all being well, see you Thursday


I mean, I feel stupid now. I should have known that a 'SANTA' e-mail sent on Christmas Eve referred to a vessel (the 'Santa Catalina', I have since found out, should you care) and not the fat God-lookalike in the red suit. If anyone, anyone, can tell me, even approximately, just what the hell I should be doing, I will buy you a large drink. Yes, the above makes no more sense to me than it will to you, which is to say it makes not one fucking iota of sense at all.

On another note, thank y'all very much for the many comments & kind wishes and so on - you rock.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Appropriate Response

"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane"

Philip K. Dick

I'm sitting here with my brain running out of my ears. Honestly. I'm pretty sure that's a liquefied part of my temporal lobe I can feel coming out of my right ear, just now. If it really is, and seriously, I fucking think it is too, it'll diminish my perceived enjoyment of music, I'm almost certain.

So anyway, I'm trying to operate this fucking wankstick whoredog of a system which I may previously have described as, uh, intuitive and well laid out or some other optimistic bullshit, and it probably just seems so difficult and time-consuming because I'm new to it and so on, yes, this must be the case but fuck me this would all be so much easier if The Boss would please, pretty please, just shut the fuck up, just for a few minutes, please PLEASE PLEASE JUST FUCKING SHUT THE FUCKING FUCK UP. FUCK.

I've withstood 'La Cucharach-A!, La Cucharach-A!, doop dee dooby dooby doo', for most of the day, I've witnessed another escalation in her fucking crazy waste-paper-basket-Ju-Ju, I've suffered the inane questions and random statements without (much) complaint, I've told her what fucking date it is at least three fucking times, I've refrained from smashing the fucking office up when a short while ago she calmly asked 'are you busy?' but I swear, I swear I FECKING SWEAR TAE FECKING FECK, one more fucking attempt at a fucking helpful fucking suggestion and I am fetching the fucking fire axe.

The Boss, hovering behind me : "Click that."

Here's me : "Look. I'm working through it, ok?"

The Boss : "What are you trying to do?"

Here's me : "Add an empty container."

The Boss : "Click there."

Here's me : "Where?"

The Boss : "There" - jabs finger - "where it says 'add empty'".

Here's me : "That says 'add entry'. That is to add a whole new consignment."

The Boss : "That's close enough, isn't it?"

Well fuck me, you've only just gone and revolutionized fucking computing with one fell fucking swoop.

Here's me : "Look. I need to concentrate. Give my head peace."

The Boss : "You should have been listening to Thurston."

Here's me, I think I actually just bit part of my own tongue off : "Fuuuuuuckkkkkkkkk....."

The Boss : "Call him and ask him."

Here's me : "Pleeeeease. Just. Please. Leave me alone. For five minutes. Please. I'll work it out."

The Boss : "Well, you'd better."

Here's me, suddenly actually listening to the woman, you understand this is not delivered as a question, it is a warning shot, a chance to recant : "what"

The Boss : "You'd better be sure you understand everything about this."

Here's me : "whatdidyousay"

The Boss : "Well I hope you do, because as soon as I have a booking to put on you'll have to show me how!"

The endtimes are surely upon us.

(actually probably just upon me, no need for alarm)


Fucking Crazy Waste-Paper-Basket-Ju-Ju

- remains ongoing.

I Wouldn't

picture is not entirely unrelated

The Boss : "Stella... Wang."

Here's me : "Uh... no?"

The Boss : "She says machine fourteen is..."

Here's me, I'm losing it today : "Wait. Wait now. Who the fuck is Stella Wang? Wang? Is that what you're saying, Wang? Wink, wing, when, what, wang? What?"

The Boss : "Yes. I just got an e-mail from her. It says machine is fourteen, blah blah blah is it possible to pick up from Armagh?"

Clarification : I am not putting the 'blah blah blah' in just for jollies. The Boss actually said 'blah blah blah'. The Boss has recently taken to just filling in parts of her own sentences with 'blah blah blah' instead of actual words. I mean, fuck. Fuck. What the fuck. Fuck me. Help. Send help. I take it all back. Send help now.

Here's me : "Fuck."

The Boss : "Theres a link, do i click on it?"

Here's me : "Fuck. Fuck. What?"

The Boss : "CGI Ebay?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "What happens if its something thats going to kick into this? Kick us into this? Should I click it?"


Continuity Error

(Yes, yes, I know what I said. But I'll go mad alone in here, mad I tell you)

The Boss : "Was last year after Christmas or before it?"


Monday, 14 December 2009


Follow-up to this.

Now. This may take some telling, so please, fetch yourself up a drink (preferably a strong one, unless it's earlier than 11 a.m. at your current location, in which case a beer is better for the constitution) and make yourself comfortable.

The time was 3.50. Everything was in place. I had the system up and running and proudly displaying on my monitor, and the number and access codes for the conference call on hand, ready to join in at 4. I had spent some time earlier today having a look inside this system, and to my pleasant surprise, found it to look quite simple, cleanly laid out and seemingly intuitive. Now. For about twenty minutes The Boss had been telling me "Now make sure you're ready for this! We can't mess this up!". Woman - I have never been more ready. I have two notepads beside me, one for my notes on operating this system, and a second, which I now relate to you from - notes on you, Crazy Boss Woman, on YOU.

I have been, yet again, sorely tried this day, and thus these are my intentions :

1. I am going to emerge from this knowing how to operate this system.
2. If The Boss begins to drown and/or make a fool of herself, I am not going to interfere.
3. To facilitate maximum entry of knowledge to my brain with minimum fuss, and in the interests of being carefully unhelpful to The Boss, I am going to say the absolute bare fucking minimum that I can get away with saying.

OfficeTime : 15:55

The Boss, obviously stressed, shouts over from her desk : "It's went into my deletes!"

Here's me : "What has went into your deletes?"

The Boss : "The container number!"

Here's me, quietly chuckling : "The container number?"

Of course I know what she means. So do you by now, I imagine.

The Boss : "The con... the conference number! The number we have to call Thurston on!"

Here's me : "Stefan. Not Thurston. Stefan. Here's the number."

I call it out to her.

The Boss : "And do we need a password? Or do we have to change the password? But I don't know the password! It's went into my deletes!"

Here's me : "Your del-ee-ted iiii-tems. And things don't just 'go in there' by themselves. Look, just follow my lead, ok? Dial this number - " - I repeat it again - "then, when prompted, enter this code"..

The Boss : "PROMPTED?!?"

Here's me : *sigh* "When it asks you for your code, enter this code."

OfficeTime : 16:00

We dial out to the conference number. We enter our codes. An automated voice instructs me to press the 'pound sign' after entering my code; I consult my inner dictionary and remember that this is what we on stage right of the Atlantic call the 'hash key'.

Brace yourself.

I glance around and see The Boss frantically stabbing at her computer keyboard and looking at me with such an expression of abject terror and misery that I cannot help myself breaking Directive #2 immediately. Honestly, she looks like a battered and hungry puppy and is so utterly forlorn that I feel if I didn't set her straight I think I'd be the biggest bastard in the world. I cover the mouthpiece and direct her accordingly.

Stefan greets us. He is confident, well-spoken and very friendly. 

Stefan : "Hi guys, how are we all doing today?"

Here's me : "Hi Stefan, very well thanks, how are you?"

The Boss : "Hello... Thurston."


Stefan : "So what are your first impressions of the system?"

Here's me : "Well a lot of seems fairly straightforward, I'm..."

The Boss, seizing the reins : "I take it we have to change our password?"

Stefan is easy like Sunday morning : "Not just yet, that'll come later. First of all I'd like to ask one of you to read me out your status code, which will show to the bottom right of your screens."

The Boss : "It goes.. blahdy blahdy blah status."

I need to check myself. I need to be sure that the language-processing centres of my brain have not finally caved in, folded up and died, and that I have actually just heard The Boss read a number off the screen as "Blahdy Blahdy Blah."

Stefan : "Ha ha.. yeah, I will need that code in full."

I look around to The Boss. From the far side of the room, I can actually see that she is shaking. Her knuckles are white upon the phone receiver. I fill in the blanks, quickly; this is just too embarassing.

Here's me : "L I, E X, 299133009, PUBLIC."

Stefan : "OK, the first part of that code means that you're..."

The Boss : "Does public mean that anyone can see this?"

Stefan : "Yes ma'am, any live user in the system can see your input, which is what the first part of that code.."

It's hard to be certain from this range but it looks like she's sweating. My god, she's holding that phone so tightly to her head I'm thinking she might injure herself.

OfficeTime : 16:30

We have moved through into the tutorial on how to actually enter data into this system; in this case, a name and an address. Stefan's easy and confident manner is starting to slip. He's holding up well, still the epitome of polite professionalism, up to a point, but I can sense it; there's a little too much by way of nervous laughter on his part. Due to the way this call is being conducted, with Stefan remotely accessing our network, only of us can be the 'operator' - of course it is The Boss. I wouldn't want it any other way at this stage.

Stefan : "OK, that's good, but we prefer to use proper case."

The Boss looks at me, stricken. I look back, beatifically blank.
I can hear Stefan's nerves twanging in the silence.

The Boss places her hand over the mouthpiece yet again, and hisses at me : "Proper Case? What does he mean?"

Here's me, mostly speaking to the wall : "He means caps lock is not cruise control for cool..."

The boss : "What?"

Here's me, sort of feeling pleased and vindicated that she might finally believe that this is not the done thing : "Stop typing everything in block capitals!"

The address is re-entered.

Stefan : "And, uh, because the name field is what we call the matchcode, which everyone else will search by, we, uh, we, we like to make it look as nice as possible."

Silence. I savour it.

Stefan : "By which, uh, I mean to say, without the random spaces in the name."

Towards the bottom of the address boxes we are looking at is a field marked "STATE". At this stage the conversation is unfolding akin to a very complex Mandelbrot-like equation; one tiny little flaw could send it spiralling into the abyss in a most ugly fashion. This "STATE" field is just such a flaw.

The Boss : "There is no states. I.. we don't have states."

Stefan : "That's fine, very few countries outside of the US use this field, so we just..."

The Boss has missile lock : "We don't have states."

Stefan : "That's ok, we just move on to.."

The Boss has missile lock on her own exhaust : "Only the states have states. In... in the U.S."

The woman is breaking down right before my eyes. This is painful.

OfficeTime : 16:45

Stefan has moved through 'confused' and into 'irritable'. There is a slight tremor in his voice when he speaks. He has my sympathy. Apart from interrupting him every time he tries to speak, The Boss is also now randomly jabbing keys and moving the mouse as he tries to remotely control the system. I can sense his nerves fraying like the cables on a badly-made suspension bridge during an earthquake.

Stefan : "Now we need to enter the route..."

The Boss, hand over mouthpiece, frantic, to me : "Route?"

Here's me, I mean do you not own a TV or something? : "Root. Route, Route, Root, Route."

The Boss tries to re-assert some authority : "Raaaut is destination."

Not a question - just a bold and lethally fucking madly incorrect and irrelevant statement, just like that, hey.

Stefan : "Uh...

... I guess."

He is broken. I can sense it.

OfficeTime : 17:10

At this stage, Stefan's mind is almost certainly looking for the easiest raut, root or route out of here and he's probably very close to breaking down and confessing that he is Thurston, or at least would seriously like to be Thurston right now, whoever the fuck Thurston may be. He is audibly upset and is starting to sound quite angry.

At this stage he is explaining some part of the accounting end of things to us, and says : 

"Now, the system has a limitation here where it's only possible to work in a maximum of four different currencies. But not too many people meet this limitation, I mean, do you use more than four different currencies?"

The Boss, instantly, confidently, stunningly incorrectly : "Yes."

Stefan : "Uh, really? How many do you use?"

The Boss : "Three."

A beautiful thing happens. For just a brief moment, Stefan's (surely world-class) professionalism slips, along with his pleasant but neutral accent, and he drops straight into classic New York, which is surely one of the most ruggedly beautiful accents on the planet :

"Say WHAT?!"

I cannot bear this, it is too much suffering for such young eyes as mine. It's not much, but I have to throw him a frikkin' bone here - just the bare bones of a bone, but goddammit could you sit and watch this without running to help? I AM NOT A MONSTER! -

"We use a maximum of three currencies Stefan."

In this moment, I know it, Stefan loves me. His love will pass as the fear subsides, down to a more realistic 'I'd like to buy that guy a drink' kind of feeling , but I can actually hear his relief from here. Probably lots of people can. Probably right this moment a ray of fantastically fucking beautiful sunlight just cut through a despair-laden black cloud somewhere over NYC. Might have happened, you never know. He regained his composure enough to be able to simply and calmly reply "In my experience many Asian people prefer to be identified by their specific country of nationality" some moments later when The Boss referred to the entire Asian continent as 'India', at least - I mean, many people would have just started crying at this stage.

OfficeTime : 17:15

"Thurston, to my mind 'public' means that 'everyone' has full access. I'm not happy with 'everyone'."

Realisation: I'm out of my fucking depth here. In this job. In life. This woman is neither stupid nor crazy, this woman is some sort of Mad Savant of the Beyond, she is Lovecraft's Azathoth; I am not only out of my depth, I am out of my fucking gourd for working here. She entered this bumbling like a lost lamb and is emerging from the far side triumphant, a seething dark mass, having leeched he-who-was-known-as-Stefan's very essence and spat him out, half-digested, a withered husk of a man, she has absorbed him, sucked out his life-force and filled him full of her own special distilled blend of fucking mental and oh for fuck's sake is this nearly over yet, I am, I shit you not, going to chew my own fucking leg off if I don't get a drink VERY fucking soon.

OfficeTime : 17:40

Stefan is done. Stefan has had enough. All understanding has broken down. At one stage The Boss actually threw the mouse away, and then had to meekly retrieve it by pulling the cable back towards her. I imagine Stefan has probably crushed a cup of coffee in his hand by now, an enamel one. He should get the rest of the day off, for sure.

He terminates the call in wonderful fashion. He cuts across The Boss mid-sentence, and raps out the words, all politeness gone, showing his exasperation  - the following, I can tell you, It Made My Day :

"Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd.... and a bunch of other stuff goes down below. That's probably all we can do today, I think we need to end this call."

And signs off in short order.

And that's all. I wish I had some kind of dramatic epilogue, some fantastic closing statement from The Boss, some coup de grâce with which to finish. But I don't. Sometimes reality just doesn't deliver the narrative needs, and on this occasion it failed to.

The Boss looks at me at the end of the call. Her face is unreadable.

Here's me : "Well."


Here's me : "Well. That seems alright then. Have a nice weekend, see ya on Monday."

Folks, with being, as a result of this and the time of year, very busy over the next couple of weeks, I might not be around much; I should probably knuckle down and so on, and, uh, possibly spend some time thinking about my life. Till then.


Tell Me No More

We have been extremely busy today and as a result The Boss's brain is almost totally seizing up. I'm expecting to see broken springs and bits of rusty wire explode from her head any moment now. I hope you don't think me cruel if I tell you - I have never in all my bloody life heard one person talk so much utter shite in one day. I swear her gob is like a fucking busted u-bend this day. As I was making to leave, like literally half way to the door with my coat on, she did this thing that annoys the hell out of me - it would annoy the hell out of any right-thinking person, I hope - she's talking (shite) to someone on the phone and snaps her fingers at me to get my attention. Yes, actually. She actually raises an arm in the air and snaps her fucking fingers several times while glaring at me as if she had ordered the foie gras but I've just set a plate of steaming fresh turds in front of her.

Here's me, I can't even dignify this with words : "-"

The Boss : "Speak to Simon. Ast him. I don't know. Pre-advice. Pre-manifest. I need you to... " she slows, falters... "I need... I don't know. I give up."

You and me both.

Good Craic

The Boss : "Where can I get crack data?"

I've had my suspicions for a while...

Here's me : "Wha?!"

The Boss : "Where can I get trawler crack data?"

Here's me : "Aye, whatever."

("Crawler Track data" - I'm sure you could figure that out by now)

Just About

The Boss : "Will I fit into two 40-foot containers?"

Here's me, smiling despite myself : "You'd probably only need one."

The Boss twigs and sez : "Smart ass. Would I fit this machine into a 40-foot container?"

Here's me, weary : "What machine?"

The Boss : "A twenty foot."

Here's me : "A what? A twenty foot what?"

The Boss : "A twenty foot forty foot?"

If you want to know what this conversation was actually about, I'm sorry, I still have no idea.

You Don't Need A Map To Work Here (But It Helps)

The Boss : "How do I get to Lipsig?"

Here's me : "Leipzig?"

The Boss : "Yeah."

Here's me : "It's fairly central. It doesn't make much difference which port you go through, similar distance from either Hamburg or Rotterdam area."

The Boss : "Is Antwerp ok?"

Here's me : "Yeah.

The Boss : "Is Rotterdam ok?"

Here's me : "Yes. Antwerp or Rotterdam are fine."

The Boss : "Zeeburger?"

Here's me, wincing slightly : "Yes."

The Boss : "What, it's the same distance from all of them?"

Here's me, feeling my life slipping away : "Yes. Rotterdam, Antwerp, Zeebroooooge, they're all pretty close together."

The Boss : "I thought they were in different countries?"

Friday, 11 December 2009

Silence Is Golden

Ever had one of those moments in life when you walk into a room and just know in your gut that something is just not right?


Such a moment greeted me this morning.

In a sauntered from the mist and drizzle, not exactly full of the joys but certainly in pretty reasonable form, with that "hey it's Friday!" thing going on. I smiled at The Boss and chirped "Morning!", but even as I said it I knew something was amiss.

No greeting was returned, merely an icy stare.

Ohhhh-kaaaaay then.

I stare back. I've got this general-purpose stare that I use in such circumstances, it's more or less a completely blank look, I think. The Boss cracks first :

"You haven't booked Statesville."

Minimalism works for me in these situations.


The Boss : "WHY NOT?"

Here's me : "Because I knew nothing about it."

The Boss : "I told you before I left here on Wednesday morning to book it!"

Here's me : "Firstly, that was yesterday. Thursday morning. Secondly, you said something about 'Lakeville', which is in Minnesota, and mentioned nothing about 'Statesville', which is in North Carolina. I did provisionally book Lakeville."

The Boss is enraged.


Here's me : "Respectfully. Sometimes what you think you're saying and what is actually coming out of your mouth bear very little relation. Sometimes in fact.."

The Boss is now livid and screams at me to interrupt me : "GERRY!"

I must at this juncture advise you, the reader, that my name is not, in fact, Gerry. I remain silent and stare at the mentalist while waiting for her ears and brain to process what has just happened.

Not to be derailed, she storms over to me.

"I saw you write this down as I was saying it! GIVE ME YOUR DIARY!"

It's true. I write in a large A4 desk diary key details from pretty much every conversation I have either in the office or on the phone. It's a handy habit I got into many years ago. She seizes up my diary and flicks to yesterday, where indeed I have written what she actually said, pretty much verbatim. There is an edifying moment when her eyes widen, presumably taking in not only my attention to detail but also just how insane the instructions I have apparently failed to act on were.

So now she is sulking and refusing to talk to me. Which, if I can get past the fact that you could cut the atmosphere in here with a knife, sort of works for me.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Satanic Bin

An update to this.

See here :

I fucking told you she was dabbling with the Occult.

You Are Entering : The Boss Zone

The Boss is going out today to deliver some Christmas gifts to customers. The on-going process of organizing this quite frankly melts my fucking head. It's this kind of token, corporate gesture that ultimately nobody gives all that much of a shit about, but a right-thinking person could have the whole process organized in about twenty minutes or so. The Company says : Give 30 bottles of wine to customers. You take your list of clients, and issue 30 bottles of wine amongst the people you have done most business with. Simple, yes? No, of course it fucking isn't.

For weeks now, The Boss has been deciding, un-deciding, re-deciding and generally dithering over this. We could have just bought the thirty bottles of wine direct from a wholesaler, thrown them into some gift bags and left them in the boot of The Boss's car, but NO, that would obviously be TOO FUCKING EASY. At this stage I'm frankly just utterly fucking sick of hearing about it; stop changing your bloody mind twice a day and it'll all be easy for the love of all that is holy woman!

Instead, in the interests of saving the company about £3 and losing a day or three due to sheer buggering about, the wine was got from a supermarket in the city centre that is inaccessible by car and led to The Boss then going into the shop with a suitcase (with the Koala in tow) and then wheeling the suitcase of wine across the city to the office; if you were in D****s Stores a couple of weeks ago when a crazy lady with a suitcase full of wine got stopped by the security guards amidst the ringing of alarms (the checkout attendant, obviously under the great pressure that a first meeting with The Boss can generate, forgot to take the security tags off some of the wine) while a bemused and embarassed marsupial stood nearby wishing the ground would open up and swallow him, that was us.

Anyway, today is delivery day; I rather helpfully planned out The Boss's route last night, taking into account various factors, and left on her desk last night maps and directions from each point to the next. She announced that Google Maps' chosen routes were foolish; I cannot be bothered to argue this at this stage. I offered to help take the wine to her car last night, which went something like this :

Here's me : "Why don't we put all the wine in your boot tonight, then you can just head straight out to the customers from the house tomorrow?"

The Boss : "I don't want to do that."

Here's me : "Why? It makes more sense then coming in here first then going back the other way?"

The Boss : "I don't want to leave it in the car overnight."

Here's me : "So when you get home tonight, take it out of the car and put it in the house?"

The Boss : "That's too complicated."

Here's me : *sheesh*

Anyway, so The Boss arrives in here this morning at 9 AM in a state of total and utter panic, and Panic brings out the Very Worst in The Boss - she warbles :

The Boss : "Right, I need to get moving right now or I won't get round everyone! Help me take the wine to the car!"

Here's me, leaping up from my chair "Right! Where are you parked?"

The Boss : "Right outside!"

Here's me, seizing up armfuls of wine : "Alrighty then!"

The Boss : "No wait!"

Here's me, setting down armfuls of wine : "Why!?!?"

The Boss : "I need to run through some things with you first!"

Here's me, sitting back down : "Oh jesus."

The next half an hour consisted of one long monologue from The Boss, in which she started to tell me about god knows how many different things but never got more than one or two sentences into each before interrupting herself with the next item, a la -

The Boss : "I need you to phone him and ast* him when his containers will be back on quay..."

Here's me : "Wait, phone who?"

The Boss : " Raster, Rast.. Restoration charges, there will be restoration charges. It's going to Adelaide, Papua New Guinea... from Lakeville. Lake Worth. Fort Worth. Phone..." - and, quite terrifyingly, instructs me to phone myself - "and revert. Restore. There'll be... wait, have you... have you... can you pick me up a jiffy bag?"

Here's me, staring on like I'm watching a car crash : "Uh... a jiffy bag?"

The Boss : "Yes, get me a jiffy bag, and send it out."

Here's me : "Uh, send it out? To who? Containing what?"

The Boss : "I need to get a jiffy bag to send out an envelope."

I don't even want to know.

The Boss : "And phone Lassie. Lanzarote."

I actually even know what that means, I've been dealing with a lady called Lyndsay Lazotti recently, but The Boss then, I mean FUCKING SERIOUSLY, phones someone, I know not whom, and leaves a message on their voicemail presumably, FOR ME TO CALL HER. I'm watching this with mounting horror from my side of the office. This is no car crash, this is a goddamn train-wreck. This is a high speed train carrying raw sewage that has broken free of the tracks and is now ploughing down the hillside towards a small farming village.

At around half nine my nerves were twanging like banjo strings, so I stood up and said "Look, if this is going to take you a while to, uh, organize your thoughts, I'm just going to grab a coffee, ok?"


Here's me, cracking up : "Well ALFUCKINGRIGHT THEN."

"Right now" of course being "almost an hour later", anyway, The Boss finally managed to get up and move towards the door, left and came back because she had forgotten the directions I printed out last night, left again, came back again because she had forgotten her "Phone Book" - yes, she keeps her phone numbers in a book, yes, I've told her that one of the many functions of the mobile phone is that it will store these for her - and finally now at around half ten in the morning has managed to get out the door and on the road.

But in the midst of all this chaos, this strife, there is VICTORY :

"...and call Thurston. Roy. Thurston Moore. No, Stefan. In Antwerp. Hamburg. New York! Thurston in New York!" she almost screams in the apparent triumph of having been able to scrape together a quorum of neurons - "Call New York, and find out what they want to do about this call tomorrow!"

Oh yes. I shall indeed.


* The Boss cannot pronounce the word "ask", it comes out "ast". Bugs the shit out of me. I'm petty like that.

Multitasking : You -Can't-. Give It Up.

The Boss : "Would I be right in saying...."

(stares distractedly at monitor)

"... that I..."


that you what? WHAT?


..."Am I right to assume...."


oh, i seriously doubt it..


... "...did I close the door?"


Wednesday, 9 December 2009


This will probably be the death of me. I can barely contain my horror.

Allow me to elucidate.

Recently, in a moment of Great Success, we were appointed as Irish agents to a US-based company. This can be described as "very good". For a few weeks we've been going through all the details of what this actually involves, and part of it is that they have some kind of in-house system for tracking their cargo which we must now have access to.

This, already, spells Trouble.

Anyway, I came in on to the office to see an e-mail from our contact at said company, advising that their system was now up and running in our office and we would soon be expected to be entering bookings and so on to said system.

With a sensation I would describe as "dread", I sez to The Boss :

"Apparently their system is now installed here, but I can't see anything on my PC."

The Boss : "Oh, I got them to put it on my computer."

Ah, fuck.

I don't know quite how to politely say "That's fucking mental, you're a fucking disaster-waiting-to-happen around anything more technologically advanced than a lightbulb", so I try a lateral approach :

"Uh, would it not make more sense to have it on my PC, as I'm sure you'll probably not want to get bogged down in updating their system and so on?"

The Boss : "No, you'll be doing it. But I want to see everything that happens with it."


Here's me : "So, uh, you want me to operate this system, whatever that might involve, from your desk?... uh, you don't think that might be.. inconvenient?"


The Boss : "No."

Oh, well that's cleared that up then.

So... I'm thinking, this is completely fucked. But it can't get any worse OH YES IT FUCKING WELL CAN!

The other company's IT person is going to phone us on Friday from New York and spend "around an hour" explaining how to use this system. And The Boss has laid down the law - she will be taking that phone call. She will spend an hour having the system that I am to use explained to her and then.. she will "explain" it to me.


I have considered my options; reasoning with her is out, of course, simply ridiculous; quitting in the current economic climate seems unwise; stabbing her to death with a pen seems potentially messy. I'm thinking I might try and get hit by a car on the way home tonight, maybe, if I can get one at just the right speed; I don't want to die, but I'm thinking probably having two broken legs and a bit of concussion seems like a reasonable way to get out of having her "explain" this system to me on Friday afternoon.

I cannot allow this to happen. Something must be done.

Checkpoint Total Charlie

The Boss : "Where's the checkpoint?"

Here's me : "The checkpoint?"

The Boss : "The euro checkpoint?"

Here's me : "I have no idea what you're talking about."

The Boss : "The checkpoint going from UK to euro."

Here's me : "Uh, what?"

The Boss : "Is it near the City Hall?"

Here's me, sinking into the mire : "What? What the fuck? What?"

Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning, you know.

(Turns out she was asking me "Where can I find a Euro-dispensing ATM?")

Mickey Fucking Mouse - pt II

Leaving a message for The Boss, transmitted by her favourite medium, the "post it note stuck to your monitor" method. I shall report on further developments as they occur.

Mickey Fucking Mouse

The Boss : “Will you have a price for Nicola today?”

Here’s me : “I did it on Monday.”

The Boss : “And?”

Here’s me : “It was too expensive. I offered her £1800, she says she’s getting it for £1500. Our costs are £1600. I’m looking at other ways of getting it there.”

The Boss : “You should look at other ways of getting it there.”

Here’s me : *sigh* “I am looking at other ways of getting it there. Doing it direct with a haulier seems to be the best way.”

The Boss : “She’s probably doing it direct with a haulier. You should look into that.”

Here’s me : *sigh* “I am looking into that.”

The Boss : “She’s probably using Mickey Mouse.”*

I’m just picturing this for a second.

Here’s me : “Mickey. Fucking. Mouse.”

The Boss : “Morris Rice. Reese. She’s probably using Morris Reese.”

* This happens all the fucking time. You may be familiar with the usage of “Mickey Mouse” to refer to a small or amateurish business operation – you know, as in “They’re a Mickey Mouse outfit” – this has always struck me as slightly bizarre usage in any context, for the obvious reasons – I mean “They’re a Mickey Mouse outfit” – what, so they’re an internationally recognisable multi-billion-dollar global franchise? That’s not what you mean, I’m sure. But anyway, with The Boss, this phrase has entered her lexicon and she now believes it is acceptable to use “Mickey Mouse” to refer to any company she can’t currently remember the name of.

Ah, SHIT! I can’t believe I didn’t include "Mickey Mouse" in the Wankword Bingo. Dammit.


I mean, I've only been in work for an hour today. I'm so going to win.

Thermodynamics, Debunked

The Boss : "Can I open the door?"

Here's me : "Uh.... I would guess you probably can?..."

The Boss : "To let some of the heat out."

Here's me : "Just turn the heating off?"

The Boss : "But I don't want the heat to escape."

Here's me : "Um, just turn the heating off."

The Boss : "It'll still be too warm."

Here's me : "Turn the heating off and open the window?"

The Boss : "No. I'll just open the door. I don't want the heat to escape."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Tomorrow I shall be playing a special game of wankword bingo. I will give myself a small prize when I win.

Screw The Changes, We'll Fake It

Ah, Jesus, the things you start doing to keep your marbles.

Y'know, if you work with any more than about ten people, there's probably at least one of them that is totally batshit-crazy and a further four or five that are pretty fairly unhinged, and assuming you're not one of the afflicted you'll probably just try to keep your dealings with the unhinged and the batshit-crazy to a minimum as much as possible.

This is the big Axis of Mental in here; there is nowhere to go, no way to avoid, and perhaps worst of all, no-one sane to talk to so I tend to spend a lot of my week having batshit-crazy conversations. Not all of it, you understand. A bit more than I tell you about and a bit less than you might think. I mean, it's a 45-hour week. Many hours of it are either silent or comparitively sane. But a fair amount of it, let's say 20%, is pretty much batshit-crazy, and a good amount of the rest is certainly letting air in.

I mean, for three and a half years, like.

Anyway, I try to deal with this in various ways; I've tried acting completely stupid - like -

The Boss : "Do you need customs for Egypt?"
Here's me : "Don't know."
The Boss : "Oh, yeah, you do."
Here's me : "Wouldn't know."

But there's only so long you can keep that up for. I went through a phase for a few weeks there of just making up answers at random, and actually it worked quite seamlessly for a couple of days -

The Boss : "Where is Lemon Refresher?"
Here's me : "Lemon Refresher isn't a place, per se, it's an autonomous city-state. It's in Tanzania."
The Boss : "What's the nearest port?"
Here's me : "Antwerp, although Liverpool is closer by 8 miles but technically Antwerp. Did you know that in Lemon Refresher, musicians don't have to pay income tax?"

But it started to get old quite quickly when it had no effect at all.

I've even, and this is fucking desperate, tried to mentally fill in the blanks in the conversation, think them through quickly and try my best to give correct and helpful answers - sick, yes, I know - but even that has a habit of backfiring completely.

The Boss : "How much.. Immingham or Liverpool?"
Here's me, thinking quickly : "Of the two, Liverpool is closest to us."
The Boss, breaking my heart again : "No, from Rotterdam?"

Honestly, I've tried all sorts of approaches. I'd speak exclusively in Bulgarian for an entire week if I only knew how, it wouldn't make a difference. There is nothing that makes any difference. The Boss is in some bizarre way utterly formidable. She cannot be stopped. She cannot be reasoned with. She is Juggernaut.

I even hid her bloody bin today, and she didn't even notice, just ripped up the paper and threw it round where the bin used to be.

We're onto A4 envelopes now, with the ripping.

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Madness of King Boss (may be contagious)

I have been observing this saga unfold for some time and documenting it for your perusal, but in truth I have no idea what the bloody hell it's all about. If you have a theory, do share it.

Our story opens some weeks ago when I happened to look over and see that there was a pile of ripped up paper scattered around The Boss's waste-paper basket. I didn't think much of this at the time, just put it down to her being a bit messy.

The following day, I noticed that the same thing had happened again, and casually remarked to The Boss that her aim was a bit off when throwing stuff in the bin. So far this is all still within the realms of the sane, yeah?

But... again. And again. After observing a few days of this I remarked that she might want to try hitting the bin as the cleaning lady would probably not relish having to pick this up each morning. The Boss assures me that she gathers up all the little bits and puts them all the bin herself before she goes home, and you know, I actually do believe her.

So it's got to the stage where I have to say something. Why, I ask, do you not just put the paper in the bin? I don't know why this is bugging me so much but it's really starting to get on my nerves. The Boss complains that the bin is too far away. Here is the chair-to-bin scenario :

I feel that this is not an unreasonable distance to travel, and yet every day, I see this happening again.

I could hold my water no longer. I tried asking why The Boss was ripping pieces of paper into tiny little bits before binning it, every bloody day, but received no clear answer and her manner, I can confirm, was decidedly evasive. Try to follow the elusive white logic rabbit here :

Here's me : "OK. Why are you scattering paper round the bin every day?"
The Boss : "Because I can't reach the bin"
Here's me : "So move the bin closer?"
The Boss : "I don't like it closer."
Here's me : "Okkkkkayy why not just put the paper in the bin without ripping it up?"
The Boss : "I don't like putting whole sheets of paper in the bin."
Here's me : "Why not?"
The Boss : "Because it's a waste of paper."

And so on. Anyway, by this stage I had become morbidly fascinated by this process.

The part of this that is really fucking with me is that I never once have seen the paper either being shredded or being thrown. Which leads me to believe this is happening while I'm not in the office.

So while my back is turned, The Boss is conducting The Ripping Up And Scattering Around The Bin Of Papers ritual, and her devotion to it appears to be reaching frenzied heights.

I mean look. Actually none of it is going in the bin. It's just right there, every day, right beside the bin, and it's slowly driving me completely bleedin' mental for reasons I don't fully understand.

THIS IS JUST NOT RIGHT says a voice in the back of my mind. Who sits ripping every piece of paper they use in the office up into tiny wee bits before scattering it around the bin? WHOM DOES THIS!! WHAT KIND OF OCCULT RITE IS TAKING PLACE IN MY FUCKING OFFICE ON A DAILY BASIS! It's got to the stage where I can see The Boss in my mind's eye, sitting there when I go out for lunch, her eyes narrowing and staring into the beyond as she hears voices only she can hear, and as she tears the paper again and again, I wonder, does she hear it scream as she rips it...

... such thoughts will rouse me from my sleep some night, drenched in sweat and shaking like a shitting dog, of this you can be sure.

Look you here, in the orgiastic abandon of the paper-ripping-and-throwing-ceremony this particular set of shredded bits actually somehow got launched about a metre through the air and wound up behind the photocopier:

Now it's getting quite artistic, as in addition to the paper, she is now branching out into other media, specifically any old bit of rubbish going :

I call this "Urban Decay & Capri Sun" :

Now with empty KFC chip packet in foreground. Classy. It's like a fucking Banksy or something :

Now who does this, every day, while their colleague is out for lunch, then tidies it again that evening after the colleague has left? WHO DOES THIS?

Brace yourself before looking -

- yes, that object in the lower right area of the picture above actually is a human fingernail clipping.

And this is apparently all building up to some kind of crescendo, as it intensifies, but where it ends I cannot guess. Is she trying to see if she can actually completely wall herself in with crap during the course of my lunch-hour?

Now plainly at least one of us actually is a bona-fide lunatic. The worrying part is I've just spent two weeks furtively photographing a bin so I think it's probably me.

I Don't Like Mondays

I fucking hate Mondays. I really do. I hate Mondays so much it actually ruins Sundays for me because I spend the entire day pre-emptively hating Monday. This massive tsunami of loathing often causes me to get drunk on a Sunday evening thereby making my Monday morning this crawling horror of an affair, as I stagger into work feeling a pint of hammered dog snot.

Even worse, at this time of year the streets are festooned with an endless parade of gormless twats hell-bent on buying every piece of useless shit their tiny little monkey-hands can carry.

I hate Mondays and I hate Christmas and right now I hate my life and I want to die.

Along with the lurching parade of utter ass-hats trying to break my ankles with ballistic pram-pushing or grimly determined maniacs trying remove some skin from my head with the corners of their ridiculously sized umbrellas (someone is going to end up needing surgery to remove their umbrella from their intestinal tract round here, any day now), as the mass frenzy of consumerism blinds everyone to their fellow human beings, my passage through the streets of the city is further hindered by no fewer than seventy seperate attempts per minute to part me from my money. I was crossing the road earlier today and this grinning fuckwit leapt out in front of me, shook a collection jar in my face and barked "Suicide please?" at me. I came very close to saying "Yes please, how much?".

And I forgot my ipod, in my frantic dash to drag my aching frame out of the house; one of the few coping strategies for my general daily penance in here is to listen to blisteringly loud rawk as I stomp around the city like a small angry furry bullet. But today, no, there is no relief for me, as I heap suffering upon myself with some sort of masochistic frenzy.

Yes, in case it's not clear, I really do quite dislike Mondays.

The Boss : "Have you done Ronan Keating?"

Consider if you will the possible implications of this sentence.

Here's me, dully, not even questioning, just stating it : "Ronan fucking Keating."

The Boss : "Kielty."

Here's me, in a bit of a delirious haze, shaking my head sadly : "Ronan fucking Keating."

The Boss : "Gary Kielty."

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "Have you done him?"

Here's me : "Have I done him? What do you mean have I 'done' him? What?"

The Boss : "Have you done his rate to Setubal."

Here's me : "Yes."

The Boss : "No you didn't."

Here's me : "I bloody did. I copied you in on the e-mail."

The Boss : "You did Lisbon."

Here's me : "Ah. Yeah. There was no service into Setubal itself, it goes into Lisbon at the moment. It's pretty much the same place, they're just opposite sides of the river."

The Boss : "If Ronan Keating asked for Setubal you should..."

And some tiny part of my brain snaps.

"Stop! Fucking stop already! Stop with this Ronan Keating shit! His names not even fucking Keating! KIELTY! KI-EL-TY! GARY FUCKING KIEL-FUCKING-TY! And I haven't given him a rate to Setubal because there's no fucking boat going to fucking Setubal! It goes to Lisbon! Setubal is practically in fucking Lisbon! Look at the fucking map!"

The Boss is utterly unruffled by my fit of pique.

"Not necessarily."

I am sort of bulging in the eyes now, possibly panting slightly, certainly red in the face.

"What the fuck do you mean 'not necessarily'?"

The Boss : "It isn't always."

Here's me : "What, so Setubal is right next door to Lisbon Mondays through Fridays but then buggers off to the Algarve for the weekends, what the fuck are you saying?!?"

The Boss : "Ronan Keating says..."


The Boss, with uncharacteristic perception and calm : "Do you have a hangover?"

I stop, take a deep breath and compose myself.

Here's me : "Yes. Yes I do."

The Boss : "I thought you did."

The Boss holds up a tenner.

"Go to the shop and get bacon sandwiches."

So sensible and reasonable is this suggestion that I am utterly taken aback; totally and utterly derailed.

I have now had a bacon sandwich and the urge to beat myself to death with the telephone receiver has subsided. Somewhat, anyway. It's the little things in life that make or break us.

The Boss, staring at the map : "Is Lisboa near Lisbon?"'s the little things.

Friday, 4 December 2009

I'm With Stupid

Whenever I am plagued by doubt and uncertainty, I try to keep a hold of this one unassailable fact - people are often bloody stupid. Hanlon's Razor is about as close as I get to having a religion or all-encompassing philosophy on life.

I was in Nottingham a couple of months ago with a couple of friends, went to see the very excellent Masters of Reality at the Rescue Rooms. Nice place, by sheer good fortune the day we were there also happened to be an ale festival at Nottingham Castle, which was nice. So anyway we went to the show, had a good time, swanned about the town and got absolutely stinking drunk, as you do. Managed all this without being stabbed or shot at, not even once, so either we're incredibly lucky or the Daily Mail is just a BIG FAT SMELLY SHEET OF DIRTY FUCKING LIES FOR REACTIONARY FUCKWITS. In fact I think they could actually change the name of the paper to that without affecting the readership figures at all.

Anyway, I digress. The next morning, slightly the worse for wear, the three of us made our way back to Nottingham airport for the flight home, and at the terminal gate were boarded onto one of those big runway-bound bus affairs. This process took about twenty minutes, by the time a bunch of human specimens managed to drag themselves in, remembered to seize the children, generally faffed about, etc. - the big bus then pulled off, drove about twenty yards forward, and stopped beside the plane.

As we got off the bus and wandered up the aircraft stairs through the thick hangover-fog one of my friends wondered aloud "Why in the hell is it necessary to put us on a bus to go fifty feet across this empty stretch of tarmac to the plane?" and the answer came to my lips with no pause for thought at all :

"Because we're stupid. Because we are so fundamentally fucking stupid as a species, that in all likelihood this sixty-person group of us could not manage to walk the 30-second long journey from there to there without at least two fatalities. We are only allowed to walk the ten feet from the bus to the aircraft because any further we are simply too fucking stupid to manage." (That may seem a bit negative, admittedly I was the person getting on a plane with a head that felt like it had been stood on by a hippo)

My misanthropic musings were interrupted by the sound of a man tripping and going arse-over-tit over the single large and luminous bright orange traffic cone that had been set to indicate "this is a jet engine, stay the fuck away from it, stupid".

Because we're stupid. We're very clever, sometimes, certainly, yes, but we're definitely quite bloody stupid in any given cross-section.

And I'm probably stupider than that again.

So anyway, I must give a shout to the very fantastic spEak You're bRanes which sort of corrals up stupidity and displays it for the amusement of others. By analyzing our stupids in great depth, perhaps we may becomes less more stupider than we was. And hey, it's Friday. Have a bloody great weekend. I'm away for a drink.


Baker Taker Milly Over The Moon

So it turns out that this actually does have a grain of reason buried (alive) deep within it; The Boss was supposed to attend a conference on the day in question, arranged by the accountants (Baker Taker Milly Maker Moon Raker Moore, or STHG), regarding imminent changes to the VAT laws. I only gained knowledge of this when I received a mail from them just now questioning the lack of attendance.

This is unusual, that The Boss would arrange to attend such an event herself - normally, tedious shit of this nature is saved for me; however it appears that it was an all day thing at a nice hotel involving a couple of free meals, therefore I knew nothing about it.

So at some point it must have flickered like the light upon the head of a tiny lone senile pilot fish, swimming forlornly through the whirling maelstrom of The Boss's conciousness, but like so many such fragile little thoughts it never managed to break the surface of the murky waters therein, and sank instead into the depths.

I believe the appropriate term is "D'oh!".

I don't know as yet whether she made it to the movie though...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lawnmower Boss

Right, here's the deal. We have one of those photocopier/printer/scanner/fax machine jobs that plugs into a network point in here. Because the whole building is on a shared network of some kind, occasionally something happens that leads to, for reasons I don't really understand, the scanner function not being able to see the network. It appears to happen just randomly sometimes and I have neither any clue as to why nor any inclination to try and figure it out. I'm pretty sure no-one is actively trying to hack the photocopier, at least.

So anyway I went for a smoke, and upon my return am greeted with hostility and accusation, thusly :

The Boss : "Are you turning the photocopier off whenever you go out?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "Are you messing about?"

Here's me : (sigh) "What are you talking about? What? Just what can it possibly be?"

The Boss : "Every time you go out the scanner stops working."

Here's me, slowly, deliberately. I'm chewing this idea over in my mind : "Every time I go out, the scanner stops working. You think that the scanner stopping working is somehow linked to me leaving the room. That is what you're saying to me, right?"

The Boss, verging on manic : "Are you doing something to it!?"

Here's me, steadily ascending in volume, steadily losing my grip : "Yes! Yes I am! I have this... little... fucking... fucking remote control button, in my pocket, and every time I go for a cigarette I push it so the scanner stops working! Ha! HA HA!"

The Boss : "Well if it's not you what is it?"

Here's me : "Well fuck me, you've got me there. You're like Sherlock Bloody Holmes, ruling out the impossible first. Brilliant."

The Boss, possibly realising that this is epic lunacy, retreats somewhat : "Well have you any idea what the problem might be?"

Here's me : "I think... and it's just a theory... that someone in the conference room is using a machine for whatever, and whenever it gets turned on, for some reason it either hogs that network point, or it's an IP address thing, and somehow boots our scanner off the network, so it can't see our shared drive anymore when we try to scan. But I don't know for sure, ok? It's just a thought."

The Boss sits down at her desk and telephones reception, and more or less screams "Koala says your conference machine is disappearing our scanner!"

I am holding my head in both hands, trying not to hyperventilate.

The Boss replaces the telephone handset and turns to me once more.

"They want us to send theme a description of the problem by e-mail so they can forward it to the IT guy."

Here's me : "No sweat, I'll do that now."

The Boss : "No, I want to do it."

Here's me : "Oh fuckkkkkkk...."

The Boss : "Well?"

Here's me : "Well what?"

The Boss : "What should I say to them?"

Here's me : "Just let me send them the e-mail."

The Boss : "NO."


Here's me : "Riiiiiight. OK. Tell them, uh... that we recently installed a new printer and scanner unit that connects via network point six"


Here's me : "Oh, gawd, no, I mean it connects to network point number six. The point in the wall."


Worth mentioning, The Boss writes all her e-mails like this, in block capitals with no pronouns in sight; they pretty much all read like war-time telegrams. I'm serious, fuck Neo, if The Boss had been plugged into The Matrix the machines would have released the humans and slunk off to be subservient but untroubled pocket calculators and iPods instead.

Here's me, pretty much giving up : "And... at various points through the day, randomly, the machine can't see the network. Not the firewall. Forget the firewall. The network."



Here's me : "Just so, yes."

Glint in my eye.

Here's me, and I'm not joking when I say I deserve a fucking Oscar for how I deliver this : "You should let him know it happens every time I leave the room, too. In case it's anything to do with my phone."

If I can get a hold of the response from the IT guy I'll certainly share it with you.


The Boss : "Have you got Baker Taker Milly Moon?"

OK. I can take a wild stab in the dark at this - I'm guessing it refers to Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, our accountants. As to what the question itself means, your guess is as good as mine I'm sure.

Here's me : "Have I got them? What do you mean have I got them? Have I got their number, is that what you're asking me?"

The Boss : "Have you seen them? Seen it?"

Here's me, slowly : "Uh, what? Have I seen the accountants? Um, yes. During the last audit, I think?"

The Boss : "I'm going to see it tonight."

Here's me : "What? You're going to see the accountants?"

The Boss : "The moon."

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "It's... full moon... tonight. Going to see it."

Here's me : "Are you on something?"

The Boss : "New Moon. I'm going to see New Moon in the cinema tonight."

Friday, 27 November 2009

I Mean What.The.Fuck

The Boss : "Give me Ken's email."

Here's me : "Ken who?"

The Boss : "Ken... key.. Keating."

Here's me : "Who is Ken Keating?"

Is this shit getting as old for you, the reader, as it is for me?

The Boss : "Ronan Keating."

Here's me : "Ronan fucking Keating is the fucking singer from fucking Boyzone. Please. Sort your head out."

The Boss : "Gary Kielty."

Here's me : "Fuck. My. Life."

The Boss : "Read me out his e-mail?"

Here's me : "What, I mean fucking what??"

The Boss : "Read me out Gary Kielty's e-mail."

Here's me, probably spitting : "What? What? I don't even have an e-mail from Gary Kielty! Who the fuck is Gary Fucking Kielty?"

The Boss : "I'll forward it to you."

Just what the fuck. What the fuck. What the fucking fuck.

So, I Can Leave At 9.20 Today?

There are few things as likely to strike dread into the heart of the average office worker as walking into the office of a morning to see The Boss rummaging around at your desk. This was the sight that greeted me this morning.

Here's me : "Something I can help you with?"

The Boss : "I can't find your Russian rate."

Here's me : "What Russian rate?"

The Boss : "To Alexandria."

Here's me : "Probably because Alexandria is in Egypt?"

The Boss : "No, a rate for Alexander."

Here's me : "What rate for Alexander?"

The Boss : "Peter."

Here's me : "Wha? Who is Peter?"

The Boss : "St. Petersburg."

Here's me, broken already at the start of the working day : "It's in the file. Under 'St. Petersburg', oddly enough."

The Boss, frantic : "Well I need to send it to Alexander! And I promised I'd have it through before the end of the day! Now get it sorted! If he doesn't get it by the end of the day we're in trouble!"

Here's me : "Please. Get a hold of yourself. It is ten past nine. I think I can probably fax that piece of paper before five thirty this evening, in fact, almost certainly, I am going to manage to do that."

The Boss : "But the day's already half over!"