Thursday, 29 October 2009


I've just overheard The Boss on the phone repeatedly telling someone who is undoubtedly as baffled as I usually am that the destination is "The States, U.S.".

OK. I sincerely hope that's all I have to report for today. See you next Tuesday.


Licence To...

Spoke to soon, didn't I?

A short while ago The Boss was messing about with the fax machine. I mean messing about, y'know, jabbing every button on the thing and suchlike. Being a kindly sort of a soul, I enquired as to whether I could help, but was told in no uncertain terms to mind my own business, and The Boss did this curious (and after all this time, I'll admit it, somewhat endearing) manoeuvre whereby she tries to hide whatever it she's doing with parts of her body. If you ever tried to stop another kid copying your work in school when you were around six years old you'll know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I decided to just let that go, because really, life's too short, but just now a run of the mill phone call appeared to get somewhat heated.

The Boss, speaking into the phone.

"No, I won't."
"No, I've faxed it three times and I'm not going to e-mail it."
"I've darkened it, I've lightened it, and you still can't read it. I'll fax it again."
"NO I am NOT going to e-mail it."
"Because I'm not happy doing that."
"Because it's not secure."
"I just think it's not secure."

Intrigued? I was.

"I don't care how secure you say it is, I don't trust it."

She is by now visibly upset.


and slams the phone down, then screams "FUCK!".

This is uncharacteristic for The Boss, plainly someone has really ruffled her feathers here.

Cautiously, here's me : "Uh, having problems?"

The Boss, fuming : "He wants me to e-mail my licence."

Here's me : "He who?"

The Boss : "Ford." (the Boss is in the process of buying a new car)

Here's me, sidling up to it : "Why does he want that?"

The Boss : "For the finance company."

Here's me (I am Good Cop) : "And it won't go through on fax?"

The Boss : "He says he can't read it."

Here's me : "So, uh, why don't you scan and e-mail it?"

The Boss : "It's not secure."

Here's me : "Uh, what?"

The Boss : "I wouldn't put my driving licence through on an e-mail. Sure you hear about all these things..."

Here's me (I am Bad Cop) : "But... you know if you fax it to him, that he's going to scan it in and e-mail it to the finance company?"

I'm enjoying myself a wee bit. I'm a bad Koala.

The Boss looks deeply perturbed for a few seconds, although I suspect it's more at being derailed than anything else.

The Boss : "It's our e-mail in here I don't trust."

Here's me, innocently : "Why?"

The Boss : "Because it goes through downstairs..."

I raise an eyebrow...

The Boss : "... and they.. keep..."

Oh come on come on, tell me, woman, I'm sure it's bloody brilliant.

"... hacking into our photocopier and stuff."


I could probably have gotten so much more lunacy out of this conversation but to be honest I started to feel a bit sorry for the woman and decided just to let it go.

Trick Questions

It is with some relief that I can report that there is nothing too insane happening this last couple of days, no major dark plots being uncovered. I shall therefore regale you with some snippets of conversations from the last couple of days, questions of sorts, the answers to which would defeat many a Zen master.


The Boss : "That man, is that... the man?"

Here's me : "What man?"

The Boss : "Don't know his name."


The Boss : "What do you call Walter Graham?"


The Boss : "Do you know anything about mars... marsey... marseybuh... meh.. buh.. na... Marsey Shannon?"

Here's me : "What?! Who?!"

The Boss : "Equipment Texas. Do you know anything about Equipment Texas?"


Anyway. I'm taking a few days off. Happy Hallowe'en folks, see ya next week.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


The Boss : "P&O Freight Ferries is just basically..."

She waves her hand vaguely in the air, as if it finishes the sentence. It sounds like a question, but I'm not sure what the question is. I wait.

The Boss : "Isn't it?"

Here's me : "Isn't it what?"

The Boss : "Except we don't have it."

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "The address."

Here's me, through the throbbing pain developing in my head : "Are you asking me for the address for P&O Freight Ferries?"

The Boss : "Yes..."

Here's me : "OK! Now we're getting somewhere! Now, which branch of P&O Freight Ferries would you like the address for?"

The Boss, staring at the screen : "Uh... King George Dock, Hedon Road, Hull."

Here's me : "aaaaaaaaaAAAaaaghhh......"

Monday, 26 October 2009

How Many Waiters To The Dollar?

The Boss : "How many diners do you get?"

Here's me : "Is this a joke? Are you sure you're telling it right?"

The Boss : "Don't be funny."

Here's me : "OK."

The Boss : "So?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "How many diners do you get to the pound?"

The penny should have dropped for me by now, but I'm very tired.

Here's me : "I wish. Just for once. That I knew. What in the flying blue fuck you were talking about."

The Boss : "How many Arabby Diners?"

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "Durham?"

Here's me : "Wha?"

I'll spare you the rest of this exchange but it turns out the question I was being asked was "What is the exchange rate of (United Arab Emirates Dirhams) to Pounds Sterling". For fuck's sake, like.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Abby Normal

The Boss : "Abbydabby?"

Here's me : "Abu Dhabi?"

The Boss : "No, dabs?"

Here's me : "...oh for fuck's sake. What?"

The Boss : "Have we any?"

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "For the phone."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "Have we any phone wipes?"

Here's me : "Seriously. What is 'abbydabby'? And how does this relate to phone wipes?"

The Boss : "I've sneezed on my phone and I need some wee... abbydabby... thingy... phone wipes. I couldn't remember the word."

Over the Top, Lads!

I'm not sure exactly what has been going on here, but I suspect The Boss has been reading some sort of Management-type wankspeak-oriented literature. This sort of thing I believe to be distinctly unhealthy bullshit at the best of times, but in the hands of The Boss it is some kind of dangerous blunt implement. I have no idea what is being actually suggested here but already I can tell you I'll do damn near anything to avoid whatever it is.

The Boss : "We need to do a big push."

Here's me : "Uh, wut?"

The Boss : "We need to do a big round on all fronts."

Here's me : "Um, hey?"

The Boss : "We should do a round robin."

Here's me : "A what?"

The Boss : "A big proc.. pro.. sell front."

Here's me, nonplussed : "Oh?"

The Boss : "Start phoning round."

Here's me, sinking into verbal quicksand : "Round who?"

The Boss : "A round robin."

Here's me : "What the fuck does that even mean?"

The Boss : "When you... do a round robin. And call round, and do a push."

Here's me, staring out the window and wondering if I'd survive the distance to the street if I just jumped straight through it : "Ummm... ok..."

The Boss : "We have to. We need to... do a... a check and trace. A pick in the... "

She falters, lost in a soapy mental bubble.

The Boss : "...A pick in all shipments. Shippers. On all shippers. We need to get started right away."

Here's me : "Uh, m'kay. What is it that you're asking me, exactly?"

The Boss : "It's swings and roundabouts."

At this point, the unfathomable becomes the downright bizarre.

Here's me : "Quite honestly. I have no clue at all what you're talking about here."

There is a momentary pause, and for a fleeting second I dare to hope that some sort of straight answer might be forthcoming, although in truth the only answer that would really help is 'I'm sorry, I'm talking total bollocks, please disregard everything I've just said'.

The Boss : "Catherine is an imbecile."

What? Hey? Who the fuck is Catherine, and what does she have to do with The Big Push? I can't even speak at this point, so confused am I.

The Boss : "I asked her for two toast, and she gave me two rounds. But I always ask for two."

I am agog.

The Boss : "What rate are you going out at for Dubai?"

I cannot summon one single word of reply to my lips. The room may start spinning any second.

It can't get any stranger than this surely, surely.

Surely not.

But The Boss's Mind loops in mid-air once again, with the mind-bending ballistics of insanity -

The Boss : "Where's Donegal Street?"

While in the greater sense this does not ease my confusion at all, it is at least some sort of sentence that while utterly out of context I can grab on to, like a drowning man seizing a piece of driftwood -

Here's me, in a daze : "...over there...." indicating the street adjacent by pointing.

The Boss picks up the telephone and starts dialling out. I am left alone for a few moments, waiting in a fashion that I suspect is not unlike the subject of an interrogation waiting for his interrogators to return to the room.

The Boss (to the phone) : "It's over there." and, stunningly, points with her finger, in the opposite direction to where I just pointed, for the benefit of a person (presumably) who has just answered her call.

The Boss (to the doubtless equally nonplussed person on the other end of the phone) : "Donegal Street. It's the next one along after Wine Street."

This is fascinating because not only is it not the next one along after Wine Street, but furthermore, there is to my knowledge no Wine Street anywhere in this city. Perhaps it is some kind of code-word being used while discussing The Big Push?

The Boss arises from her desk and makes for the door.

"I have to..."

She erupts into a fit of coughing. I am mesmerized.

The coughing fit terminates and she waves her hands vaguely in the air to indicate... what? I have no idea : "...before they get here."

Add 'terrified'.

And with that, she sweeps out of the room.

A few moments later, reception phones me to tell me that there are two gentlemen down there waiting for a meeting with me that I until just now knew nothing about, which presumably is either what the above was all about in the first place, or alternatively they are Agents of some kind, here to discuss The Big Push with me prior to me going Over The Top.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

What's In A Name?

The Boss : "Who's Clive Owen?"

Here's me, knowing it's not the right answer : "An actor."

The Boss : "No, Clive James."

Here's me : "Australian bloke on the TV."

The Boss : "No, Clive Alexander."

Here's me : "WHO already, WHO??"

The Boss : "Nelson Alexander."

If this mind was a building, it would be condemned.

p.s. I have no fucking idea who Nelson Alexander is, either.


For some reason these conversations always seem to rise out of the ether whenever I have my head buried in a large pile of work. A more suspicious person would, um, suspect something.

The Boss : "Say he said a yellow Hyster truck. What would we do?"

Here's me : "What are you possibly on about?"

The Boss : "What's your man's name Sean Connery?"

Here's me : "Uhhh...."

The Boss, angrily : "You're obviously not completely au fait* with this."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "Derek."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "Did Derek Convery call you about a Hyster truck?"

* At some point in recent months The Boss has picked up the phrase "au fait" and is now using it at every possible opportunity, and generally completely out of context - y'know, I'll say 'Would you like a cup of tea?' and The Boss will airily say 'No, I'm too au fait here'. FUXAKE.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Blowin' In The Man

I've mentioned this before, but The Boss is one of those people who will sing misheard lyrics tunelessly at every possible opportunity. Normally I don't comment much on this because everybody has their irritating little habits and I wouldn't like to say she couldn't have hers just because she's a fucking mentalist, but today's is a bit special.

It goes something like this :

how many years must a man walk down
before they call him a man
how many doves must a white man walk
before he blows in the sand

the answer my friend is a man in the wind
the answer is a man in the wind

It's the best number she's written since we did a shipment to Callao in Peru a few months back and then for about 6 weeks afterwards she kept singing "Call-A-o! call-a-a-a-o!"to the tune of the Banana Boat Song.

Now that I've heard it about 37 times throughout the course of the day it's starting to grate on my nerves a little.

I'm probably going to end up choking her, you realise.

Shut it Down? Shut the Fuck Up

The essence of this issue is probably familiar enough to anyone who has worked at all in IT, or even helped a relative with some computer-related issue. Unsurprisingly, herein it has been taken the Nth degree.

I have arrived in to discover my computer is a bit fucked. Just that non-specific kind of fucked that is the Joy of Windows. Our computers are left on 24/7 because during non-business hours the (remote) IT staff do... whatever is they do. I can't really say since we don't run any software beyond e-mail (ooh, it's a lie... I have spreadsheets... but keep it quiet, such things are frowned upon in here) . But anyway the poor bastard of a thing needs reset, so I do this, and sit back to wait for it.

The Boss : "Why are you sitting there doing nothing?"

Here's me : "Had to reset the computer."

The Boss, apparently shocked : "You're not supposed to turn it off!"

Here's me : "Wasn't much choice. I don't think it'll be a problem, like."

The Boss : "It's your own fault anyway."

Now. What the fuck?

Some people, smarter, wiser, better people, at this stage would just say to themselves, internally 'Aye' (or 'whatever', or 'yeah right' or whatsoever your local equivalent may be) and let the matter rest there, but sadly I have all my life been the kind of koala who cannot resist probing the loose tooth, from stirring the hornet's nest if you will. And at times, I will confide this, I feel tested, sorely tested.

Here's me, actually turning round 90' to make eye contact for a change : "Now. Tell me. Explain. Why would that be my fault?"

The Boss : "You don't turn it off at night."

Incredulous, I am. Petulant, I become.

Here's me : "We're not supposed to turn them off at night. You just told me we're not supposed to turn them off. You just said that. Just now."

The Boss : "You're not supposed to turn it right off. But you should shut it down."

Here's me : "Shut it down without turning it off?"

Does she shut down the PC but leave the power supply connected to the wall thinking the IT department can sneak in through the mains supply? Does she?

The Boss, sagely : "On the computer. You should shut it down there."

Here's me : "As opposed to?"

The Boss : "On the hard drive."


Here's me, coming the innocent : "So should I shut it down at night?"

The Boss, pleased at having the reins for once : "Yes. But just shut down the computer, not the hard drive."

She demonstrates by pressing the on/off switch on the monitor that sits in front of her.

Here's me : "Ah. Right. OK."

The Boss : "Ha ha, SEE you don't know everything!"

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Rumours Of My Demise...

Well now.

I must admit that for a while there, the weight of this daily lunacy had dragged me down, and I had felt disinclined to relate my tiny tragic tales. However, I must report to readers old and new that I am still here, The Boss is still crazy, and updates detailing the events since my silence began shall commence shortly.

With much furry marsupial love,