Friday, 19 March 2010


Well then, my friends, here we are. This is definitely it, because I gotta disassemble and pack the computer tonight.

It's been a strange week. Strange 'good', really. The Noob started on Monday. Don't ask me for any details because I won't divulge any. And yes, the Noob was hired before I told y'all about it, because I couldn't risk somebody being crazysmart. And make no mistake, this worries me; some of the comments, you're making me a little nervous. Let's get this out of the way now. Please don't try to find out who I am or where I work. Talk to me personally via the available channels if you want to, I'm amenable to that, but please don't try to be 'smart'. This is my life we're talking about here, please don't fuck with it. Just read and enjoy.

The other side : Wow. Are you guys bored with me thanking y'all yet? Once more, with feeling. I'm blown away by you people. It's beautiful. I haven't managed to get time to say even 10% of the things I wanted to say to you, but I have read all your comments, and I have smiled so many times. Jesus, I don't know how to say what I want  to say. You have been the best audience ever.

So hey, the Noob started on Monday and has been doing damn well, and The Boss has been being pretty sane, pretty together. She has made the effort. I've been a goddamn nervous wreck, but sometimes that's when I'm at my best. I've been solely left with the task of training the Noob, while also doing my job, while also already doing my new job from here, and then going home to try and sort out moving my whole life to a different place. Hectic. Insanely so. But that sort of works for me, in a way; I'm always scared that I'm only a few inches away from being an asshole when I'm bored, but when I get going,  I guess - if I may say so - I can make things happen, I can deliver. Whatever that's worth. I don't know. But that's what I do.

So here we are, my personal possessions leave on Sunday, and I leave in one week; in one week from now I'll be in my new apartment. I think I've got it more or less sorted; clothes and furniture and stuff are easy to pack but computers and musical equipment and instruments are a motherfucker to sort out, mostly because as a person who works in the freight industry I'm scared shitless about all the things that might happen to my stuff; Christ, I see related horror stories every day, and now I must entrust everything I possess to this insane system. But hey. I've done all I can do, and now it's up to Lady Luck. Please, Lady, let my instruments all arrive in the same condition in which they departed. If I had a god, I'd pray. As you must know by now, of course, I have neither religion nor much by way of politics; in place of these, I have Coughlin's Law and Hanlon's Razor.

Ah, fuck, I've stressed enough this week. I've fixed everything I could fix, and am trying really hard to chill out now.

This, I suppose, may seem harsh to you, if you work in, uh, let's call it a "gentle" occupation; and us, we, the shipping guys, sometimes we take ourselves quite seriously this way, because we deal in success and results and "did you fucking get it sorted!??", only. Shit must happen. Shit must arrive. I know there are many occupations that take this attitude, but hey, this one is mine. So yeah, all arrangements for moving my entire life at short notice were left to me to arrange, naturally, because if I couldn't arrange that then why the fuck would I have this job? So it's ok. I'll make it work. It's what I do.


May I open up a little?

Ah, it's a crazy time for me, the now, as you can imagine. How the hell did I get to be here?

I wanted to be a writer, when I was in my mid-teens I guess, for years; I remember one of those moments now, the things that we cringe about in retrospect; when as a fourteen year old my mother found me writing short stories instead of doing my homework and I angrily retorted "I AM doing my homework - I'm doing the homework for MY FUTURE CAREER!". Red face now, when I remember it. But then I discovered music and it's great many associated pleasures and follies, and abandoned the idea of further education in favour of being a rock star, and that lasted until only a few years ago, and somewhere in the middle of all this I accidentally became 'a guy who works in shipping'. And then in the last year, 'a blogger'.

And now.. it's good. I feel open minded about the future, younger than I did five years ago; things are good, people, it's all ok. Maybe when I get settled over there I'll spend some evenings playing some tunes, or maybe I'll write some stories - whatever the hell I feel like doing, really, that's what I'll do. Life has a way of beating our dreams out of us and we know in our hearts that eventually it will always win, but it is vital, fucking vital, that you still dream, because life is short and pain is long and if you aren't willing to dream then you might as well go home right now.

On those who have most kindly complimented me on my writing - thank you - I write some serious things, which the greater public knows nothing of; I guess I maybe fancy trying to write something serious, or to even let the greater public read some of the things I've written. Or maybe I won't. But it doesn't matter so much any more.

I get scared about the future, in brief moments, usually at two a.m. when I'm unable to sleep; but hey, it's just life. Let's see what it holds, and let's see what we can do with it. But I get excited too, and the line between excited and scared is nothing more than the briefest flicker in the angle of incidence.

So... yeah, I'm losing the thread. You still reading? ;)

It's been a funny week. And I've been running around like a madman, but I like that. So my worldly possessions are leaving at the weekend, and I'm leaving on Friday next week. I have a few good friends who have helped, and a really good long-time buddy who is going to fly over with me for the weekend and help me pack. This man was my tour manager back in the day and knows how to make shit happen, and will be invaluable. So anyway today it came down to the stage of booking flights.

So today, busy as hell, I also had to try and get The Boss to arrange flights.

This was even more difficult than usual due to the fact that our internet connection in the office was playing sillybuggers, and I was trying to do three jobs, and some arseholes planted bombs all over the country - ok, politics aside, if you plant a bomb or generate a bomb scare you are nothing more than a fucking arsehole - which makes my job quite interesting as I often must rely on having a functioning intrastructure in the country to achieve things - and also I'm trying to make calls to sort out my personal arrangements in between. I actually have a red sore on my left ear from where the phone has been firmly pressed against it. Seriously. And wishing like hell I had time to deal with my actual personal life, and hoping like hell the people involved in same will understand.

So - good. The Boss managed to book me on the right flight. First time. Excellent.

Bad - instead of booking my friend on it too, she booked me on it twice.

Then the internet bit the dust completely.

So I just said fuck it. It'll work out. It'll be ok. I went and had a couple of beers after work with The Boss and The Noob, and went home, and a while ago The Boss phoned me to tell me she had made the correction to the flight details, at whatever cost. And I said, hold on a fucking minute, I told you he needed the nine PM return flight on Sunday, not the nine fucking AM return flight. And she went, and she fixed it, at a cost of a further £56, and now it's sorted.

If it was a different time, I'd be annoyed or frustrated by this, but now, what's the point? The Boss?

Kids, The Boss is crazy.

But.... The Boss is, in many ways, alright.

When I told her I'd got this job, to answer a question many of you have asked - "what happened? what did she say?"

I'll tell you, and I'll tell you the pure truth. Her words to me when I broke the news that I had got it, verbatim -

- ' I got it' -

"I'd'a been amazed if you hadn't".

I'll leave you with that.

This is the Silent Koala - not sayin' goodnight. Just sayin'.

Love you.


'goodbye' is such an ugly word. I prefer au 'revoir'.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

End of Level Boss

Ah kids, chums, buddies.

Friends, Romans, Cunts.

Fetch y'selves up a drink and sit the fuck down.

Here it is.

I don't quite know how to do this one.

OK. Drink, breathe, etc.

Right then.

The question has often been asked round these parts - "why the fuck do you still do this?"

I've deflected it, mostly, but in essence - Well, because it's a good company to work for. A fucking great company to work for. I like the company, and I like the work itself.

Alright then, where are we.

An opportunity arose. A big one. A big job, high level job. I took a stab at it - with the encouragement of a small pocketful of close friends. This was a couple of months ago. I didn't tell you, yeah. Apart from other reasons, I didn't think I had any real chance at getting the job.

Those of you that pay close attention to my farcebook will have noticed that I've been spending a lot of my weekends jetting over to England lately.

I got the word, people, I got it. I got the word and the word says I got the job. I'm being shifted out of my position, to go and do some serious hardcore kind of shit; I'm fifteen years younger than everybody else that is doing this kind of shit, it's that fucking serious. It's serious. It has paid off; it is the jackpot. It's fucking brilliant, it is fucking excellent, can you dig this? Your Koala just got the BIG JOB. He's going to join the A-Team.My head is spinning. EXECUTIVE FUCKING KOALA. And it's all happening very quickly. Very quickly. I not only have the job to think about, but I have to move from my native island to that strange foreign land known as England, and not only that, but I have to do this fifteen days from today. This is nuts, crazy, mad fuck shit nuts.

It's great. It's sad. I'm drunk, now, when I write this; I've been in a drunk condition for writing many of these posts, but now I'm drunk. But I gotta tell y'all. Coz I owe ya. Listen.

I started writing this just as a development of emailing three close friends every day to tell them how nuts my boss was; and mostly, I just did it for stress relief, and to make my friends laugh. It's fucking nuts to me that so many people are reading it; that so many people give a shit. You guys don't even love me, you love the fucking Boss - meditate upon that, my friends, consider it.

This is trippy. For me. I guess it's funny, this blog, some people have suggested to me that it's funny. OK, this is real. This is my real life. It's funny to me, too, a lot of the time; or sometimes it's just fucking lunacy. Doesn't matter. I have won, kids. For now, I have won. I stuck with it, and I knew the right opportunity would come along in this company, and I waited, and when the opportune fucking moment arrived, I took it. Allow me a moment of standing here on the pedestal with my dick in my hand, would ye?

It's over, then. This blog thing. It's been... wow. Where the fuck did y'all appear from, Jesus fucking Christ like. I didn't ask for this. (tongue in cheek kids, tongue in cheek)

Ah, shit, my friends, this is weird shit. I couldn't have done this without you. That is not a platitude. I could not have done this without you. I really could not. I would'a quit. I've been so close to it so many times, really. But I knew I had to hang in there, to get the Big Job. I'd buy each and every one of you a drink for your help, your support, your shared tales of your own workplace insanities.(mind you I'd prefer it if you paced it, and didn't all arrive at the bar together) -  I would have quit, without this outlet, without you people. I know some of you are gonna be sad about this. Don't. Just don't. I'm so glad this whole fucking thing has some kind of happy ending. It's been like having virtual-workmates. Hesus. How emotional do you want met to get:? I fucking love you, and I fucking owe you. 


I'd name names except that I'd fear for leaving some out. If you feel like I'm gioving you a salute here, you're probably right.

Ah, come on. Nothing lasts for ever. This is good, this is wild and crazy. I have won, friends, I have won. This is it and that is that and that's all she wrote. Somewhere in the middle of the Boss lady singing, the fat lady sang. I owe an apology of sorts to some of the readers that I know IRL that are just hearing this news now - fuck, folks, it's been a crazy couple of months, with minimum personal headspace. Phone me. We'll talk.

Shit, that's it. That's it. that's it and that's all, folks. I am happy. My future looks bright. What else can I say?

Thank you. A big, fucking serious, heartfelt THANK YOU.

He who laughs last, my friends.


Friday, 12 March 2010

What's In Your Drawers?

Tell you what, I've just had a look through mine, and from a detached perspective, some of it's a bit weird. My inventory of just one of my desk drawers is as follows :

6 lighters
1 tube of toothpaste
1 toothbrush
1 pair of nail clippers
1 packet of nicotine-replacement gum
2 packets of KFC salt
1 packet of brown sauce
1 packet of Bachelor's "Chicken & Country Vegetable" soup
1 mostly new box of co-codamol
1 packet of anadin
2 novelty shotglasses
1 copy of Metal Hammer, January 2001 edition
1 bottle of covonia cough syrup
2 packets of filters
1 packet of ibruprofen 400 mgs
2 Damanta gig flyers
1 bag of small pebbles
1 small bottle of ouzo
1 sheet of blue carbon paper (what century is this?)
1 canister of deodorant
1 almost depleted box of Turkish Delight
1 copy of "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre
1 broken section of shatterproof ruler
1 stapled collection of receipts, various
4 packets of rizlas in various states of usage
1 plastic spork
1 packet moist wipes
2 rolls of surgical tape
1 CD containing jpeg artwork for a comedy t-shirt
1 ancient lemsip
1 packet of marbles
2 pairs of sunglasses

Feel free to share yours with me. Is everybody like this? I want to know.

Your Panic Is Not My Emergency

Ah, it's a fucking great line, but I wish it was true. 

OK. So I arrived into work this morning and discovered, pleasingly, that the office facility has installed an espresso machine. I availed myself of this facility and proceeded up to my office, at the outside I was an absolute of 25 minutes late. 

The Boss was in a bit of a mood. Not with me, but obviously under pressure. I sat down and commenced to work ferociously, and about ten minutes into this was interrupted.

The Boss : "26035428"

Here's me : "Brilliant."

The Boss : "Well?"

Here's me : "Well.. fuck... what?"

Yes, well-spotted, I have a very very slight hangover. Don't fucking judge me. I've had a lot of coffee too, so actually, just get the fuck out of my face you fucking fucknut.

The Boss : "Fill in the blanks."

Here's me : "Wha? You fill in the blanks."

The Boss : "The blanks in the accounts."

Here's me, getting it : "Ah. Remind me of what two six whatever actually is, would ye?"

The Boss : "Jude. Nigel."

Listen, I am resident in this crazy mental country now, I speako del fucking lingo at this stage, truly to fuck.

Here's me : "Yes. I know it now. OK. What's the problem?"

The Boss : "You need to bring the accounts up to date."

Alright, so here is what is happening here - The Boss has been going through the handwritten accounts ledger and has found some job from the past in which the accounts of profits and loss do not look complete, and she is asking me to rectify this. 

Here's me : "No sweat."

The Boss : "Now."

Here's me : "No."

The Boss, escalating slightly : "I need it done now."

Here's me : "I'm right in the middle of something here. It's urgent."

This is no lie.

The Boss, making ein Critical Error : "NOW. I was supposed to have these figures sent by yesterday and I need this done now."

Further info - ok, I had no idea she was working on figures for HEAD OFFICE, and there is this old kind of maxim in this time-sensitive industry involving the concept of how if you have fucked up by a whole day you can surely wait another five minutes for my help.

So I finish my current business and she's by now wound up to a very high number of revs per minute, but is not actually being directly nasty to me and besides I'm too wrecked, tired and shitty feeling lately to be overly sensitive about this kind of shit. So I announced that, having finished my urgent tasks, I am going to once again avail myself of a fine doppio and also smoke a feg. This goes down every bit as badly as you would imagine it might, but nonetheless, this coffee is quite fucking delicious and I fully intend to drink what we quantify here as "a fucking shitload" of it.

I carry out the next step in my masterplan, i.e. I have a double espresso and a fucking cigarette, and then I return with the intention of submitting myself to being a slave of The Boss's insane whim for an hour or so before proceeding with the serious business of  being an insane capitalist wanker for fun and profit. Whom's fun and whom's profit, exactly, remains to be determined, but I'm hardly alone in that sort of existential discomfort, so let us proceed unhindered.

So I sez, give me the job number again, and I'll fix it all up. And she does, and I do. However.

As I am sitting working on these figures, I become aware of the fact that The Boss is staring at me, watching me closely as she spoons yoghurt into her mouth, checking that I am actually Doing What She Has Demanded.

Anyway, I study the entry in question, and it's a big mess of scrawls and pencil lines (some of these scrawls are mine, ok) and so I  go the storeroom, which in my huffy mood last week I totally sorted out, and find the relevant file and set about making it accountable-for in the ledger.

Now, what unfolds before your eyes next is a cunning smoke-and-mirrors trick, and you must watch closely.

Here's me, coy : "Do you have a rubber?"

The Boss, scaling it like Richter : "I GAVE YOU A RUBBER WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT?"

Here's me, smug : "I threw it in the fucking bin."

The Boss is at Defcon 4 : "WHY!?!?!?!?"

Here's me : "Because you drew all over the fucking thing and broke it in half."


Here's me, getting into it : "I haven't."

She actually threw the empty yoghurt pot behind her. Seriously. It hit the wall right over and behind the much-maligned Bin. I meant to check but I forgot, but there's probably yoghurt on the wall.


(keep it in your mind. she is referring to sorting the accounts which she is supposed to sort and which she was supposed to have sorted by yesterday)

Here's me, happy, having fun : "I would bring the accounts up to date.. But I haven't got a fucking rubber."

The Boss rummages for a few seconds, then whips something out and hurls it in my direction.

My mind spins. It spins. It becomes relativity; it becomes the Large Hadron Collider;  it becomes Schr√∂dinger's cat; I am become unto Dave Bowman, I am Koalavatarotron, destroyer of worlds and bars;

It lands a few feet in front of me.

I stare at it for a while, and then I make a move, and pick it up.

It cannot be.

Yet... it is.

Yes it is.

It is my Shiny New Fucking Rubber.

I examine it for a moment with mixed feelings. It is somewhat frayed around the edges and so on but otherwise in much better condition than I expected.

Until I turn it over and see that she has actually, actually, actually, taken my Shiny New Fucking Rubber, and taken a pen, and has written her name, in ink, thus staking her claim, marking her territory, no seriously fuck me how old are we both, she has actually written her fucking name on the back of what-used-to-be-shiny-new-fucking-rubber. Her name, her first name, she has actually inscribed it in large blue ink block capitals upon MY FUCKING SHINY NEW FUCKING RUBBER.

Thou shalt reap the whirlwind of my vengeance.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Bad Rudolph Rising

All week, The Boss has been singing the first line of Bad Moon Rising. This annoys me a bit more than her usual medleys, mostly because on this occasion she's butchering a song that I really really like.

Today it stepped up a gear when she sang :

"Don't go out tonite -
- making spirits bright"

The tune was approximately correct for the first line and veered off key a bit for the second.

She then proceeded to sing this sporadically for the rest of the day but slowly the tune morphed until finally she was, actually, singing lines from Bad Moon Rising to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Have pity.

Boss Lee

There's a building across the street being renovated and as such it is filled with workmen. I can see them cracking up laughing several times each day when The Boss does her boxing-type moves. It's usually when she's standing waiting for a print-out, she'll say "put em up!" to no-one in particular then fire off a volley of punches at an imaginary foe.

This has been going on so long I don't even notice it any more, but the reaction of the workmen, who usually momentarily down tools to stare across into our office for these demonstrations, has reminded me that it must indeed look pretty hilarious.

They miss the best bit though, where she makes loud "SHOOP SHOOP" karate-movie style overdub sounds with each punch.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Otherwise Engaged

My desk is this large L-shaped sort of affair, with the computer and so on at the front end and a bit of space over to the right of me. When I've got my head buried in figures or whatever, I like to swivel my chair away from the screen and it's distractions and work at the bit of desk to my right hand side. This has the dual advantage that I then have my back to The Boss and therefore have a higher chance of concentrating.

I was in just such a position today, and very much lost in thought, when out of nowhere, and to my great shock, I felt something pressed against my left ear.

Now, The Boss, it is fair to say, does not normally move with catlike agility, and there is a reasonable distance between her desk and mine. I don't know how she covered the distance between the two without making a sound, except to suppose that she in some way employed the dark arts to cloak herself or perhaps somehow fold space.

Anyway, in a state of mild shock, I whirled about quickly, managing to strike myself quite squarely above the left eyebrow with the item she had snuck up behind me with and pressed against my left ear. The item in question, her mobile phone, clattered to the floor, and I recoiled in shock and a certain amount of horror at this unexpected proximity. The Boss in turn recoiled at my recoiling (um, recoilation?) and we were left then both staring at each other with the mobile phone lying on the floor between us.

Here's me, a bit shaky : "What the fuck are you doing?"

The Boss : "Is it engaged?"

Here's me : "What??"

The Boss : "My phone. I'm trying to phone Brazil. Do you think their engaged sound is the same as ours?"

Why does everything that happens in here have to be so... weird?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


I'm sick. Bleh.

I knew something was vaguely wrong last week when I awoke to discover my vulva had swollen to enormous proportions. I just assumed whatever was wrong would go away by itself but it hasn't and now I have tonsils like golf balls, can't swallow, and my temperature is so stupidly high it feels like the perpetual drizzle of the green land is evaporating a few inches above my head.

(I'm shit at being sick. Really poor at it. It doesn't happen very often but in the last few months I seem to have had more than my fair share, which pisses me off. Possibly I am stressed, possibly my body is attempting to tell me that I'm not 18 anymore, the cop-out lightweight bastard that it is.)

So anyway, yeah, I'm still going to work through all of this because it's too busy with various things at the minute not to, but I'm pretty much coming home and collapsing into bed at the end of each day then lying there twitching until it's time to go back in; nothing feels like it's worth blogging about anyway, partly because I'm quite spaced out and partly because I can't even really speak so it's hard to get into a row.

I've finally admitted that I might need some sort of outside assistance and booked a bloody doctor's appointment, which I always feel in some way guilty about - Ferris Bueller I am not - and hopefully will feel less shit shortly.

Mainly I am pissed off about feeling absolutely bloody starving while having to live on thin soup. I am compiling a mental fantasy list of things I am going to eat once I can swallow again. It's going to be obscene and brilliant.


Friday, 26 February 2010

Payday Payback

Well chums.

Today passed pretty much peacefully and uneventfully. Fuck am I glad. Good spirits.

I feel honour-bound to relate the following conversation to y'all.

The Boss : "When do we get paid?"

Here's me : "Monday."

The Boss : "Is it not today?"

Here's me : "Nope. Definitely not till Monday."

The Boss : "But today's the 26th?"

Here's me : "Yeah? So payday is Monday. The 29th... aahhaa fuck!"

We laughed. I hope you do too. Have a great weekend folks, and thank you for your continued support and commentary. Thanks also for nominating me for the Irish Blog Awards - much appreciated!

So anyway despite me being obviously a dunce in the area of knowing the number of days in February, that means I just got paid, and it's Friday, and I'm gonna hit the town.

Hope you all have a great one. I mean it.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Unintended Consequences

So yes, today. I went to work feeling like a condemned man, absolutely bloody dreading it. Just before entering into the office I decided that it was in the interests of my sanity to attempt to broker some sort of peace here; there's only so much you can take, especially when you can't win.

So I sat down and busied myself and when The Boss arrived in I was all "Good morning! How are you today? Take the dog for a walk this morning?" and all this shit. To little effect.

The Boss turns to me and says "I see you tidied the store."

This moment is precarious; it could go either way.

Here's me : "Yes."

The Boss : "Glad to see you did something useful while you were out there huffing."

Nine past eleven, peace talks disintegrated, ceasefire in tatters.

And so it went on. Bitching, silence, general WOE. At around eleven in the morning, The Boss developed A Problem.

The Boss : "The printer isn't printing!"

I look dully at it.

"No. It isn't."

The Boss : "WHYYYYYYYY!???"

Here's me : "I don't know."

I do know though. I've just looked in the print queue and there's 6500 page document jamming it. How in the fuck she managed that I do not know. I remain silent.

So The Boss phoned the IT guy, but he wasn't available. I quietly slipped out and went to lunch, and returned to find The Boss in a state of misery. Which I must admit, did not entirely displease me.


Here's me : "dunno"

The Boss : "Can you do something?"

Here's me : "no"

The Boss : "I can't get (the IT guy)"

Here's me : "meh"

The Boss : "Should I phone Thurston!??"

Here's me, suddenly alive : "YES!"

And indeed she did. She phone him and she kept him on the phone for a full half hour, and the snippets of conversation I heard contained such amazing statements as :

"Should I reboot my container?"
"Blocker unblocker keep blocking... Are you ignoring me?"
"Turn it off at the power or at the internet?"

and so on. Stefathurston/Thurstefan, the poor guy, is some sort of credit to his profession and the human race, for despite it being absolutely sweet fuck all to do with him he actually ended up fixing the printer.

Somehow, bizarrely, in the midst of all this, The Boss's mood changed completely, and she emerged from it... changed... once again. She then once again tried to initiate conversations throughout the day and after about an hour or so of this I cracked and by close of business we had both ceased hostilities and even managed to finally go through our joint effort of checking last weekend's lottery numbers.

(We didn't win anything)

So it was ok. Less stressful that I thought it was going to be. And tomorrow's Friday, so fuck it. Why worry.

And It's Ending, One Minute At A Time

So yes. The rest of yesterday.

We finally managed to stop dancing around it and had a HUGE BLOODY ROW.

This might get a bit technical, bear with me.

About six months ago, one of the shipping lines we do business with started a new procedure. One of the many things we do here is ship various pieces of machinery. When the machinery is delivered to the docks, the shipping line would measure it, and charge us according to the measurements. To save much time and effort, they requested that for any machine we book, we provide a manufacturer's diagram with the booking. This makes sense; they're easy enough to obtain, and then we often ship the same types of machine week after week and so we would then only have to send the diagram once for each type of machine and it would save much costly man-hours of fucking about with measuring equipment.

I suggested, at this point, that we needed to keep a record of which machines we had sent diagrams for. The Boss, natch, said NO. I said, and I remember saying it very clearly, that this will be a really good thing to do, because if some issue should come up at a future stage, it will make it very easy for us to ascertain what's happening, whereas if we leave it for a few months and try to back-track it will be impossible. The Boss said NO THAT IS A WASTE OF TIME DO NOT DO IT. We had an argument about it at the time and the more persuasive, reasoned arguments I gave for keeping this data, the more she dug in and basically just told me not to be stupid.

So, naturally, yesterday we had an issue, a dispute with the shipping line of over the measurements of an item; a potentially very costly dispute. For the sake of a placeholder, let's call the machine in question an X1

The Boss : "Have we sent a diagram for an X1?"

Here's me, knowing it's all about to kick off : "I don't know."

The Boss : "WHY DO YOU NOT KNOW!??"

Here's me : "Because, if you recall -" and I quite tensely recount the conversation from six months ago during which I was told in no uncertain terms not to keep this information.


Here's me : "We ship about thirty things like a month. This has been going on for six months. You expect me to remember which units I've shipped, by memory alone, out of a couple of hundred random serial numbers?"


Here's me : "As discussed a moment ago, you explicitly instructed me not to keep notes on this."

The Boss : "MENTAL NOTES!"


and so on, for quite some time. It got very heated and got to the stage where I had to leave the room and go for a cigarette lest I trail her down the street by the throat, and I returned, not much calmer but a little -

- and of course it all kicks off again. And I get to the stage where it's pointless arguing, and instead just end up saying things to the effect of "I cannot fucking believe that you cannot just turn round and say 'maybe you had a point there', I honestly cannot fucking believe that you are not capable of doing that when you are so very clearly totally fucking wrong."

And The Boss just continues to insist that firstly I should have programmed this information into my memory, and then further that I trawl through six months of e-mails to discover if this unit has previously had it's spec sheet sent. Which as it turns out, it hadn't, anyway.

And of course, therefore, we spent the rest of the day once again not speaking to each other in an atmosphere of utter, total bloody awfulness.

Total, utter fucking shite.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


So around the middle of the day, The Boss has a PANIC.

She yelps aloud : "MY COMPUTER'S GONE MAD!"

I am thinking, I don't fucking blame it.

She squawks : "IT'S GONE CRAZY!"

I am thinking, ha ha.

She cries : "HELP?!??" so desperately that I am moved to lower my metal weapons and go over to investigate.

Yes, it has indeed gone mental. She moves the mouse slightly, and windows ping open and shut all over the show. Interesting. My first thought is that she is once again leaning on the keyboard, but she doesn't seem to be; I take the controls and quickly come to the conclusion that something in the keyboard has gone awry. A look at said keyboard confirms my suspicions. Basically, some keys appear to be knackered. So the machine is getting endless "returns" and "escapes" or something. If you've ever accidentally leant on your keyboard, you know what I mean.

Here's me : "Your keyboard is fucked."

The Boss : "What? No! How??!"

Here's me : "As in, some of the keys are damaged. The springs or whatever have gone. That's all. You need a new keyboard."

The Boss suffers from this kind of terror about these things.


I stroke my little beard pseudo-thoughtfully and then calmly say :

"Probably.. at a guess, just a guess now... when you were beating the living shite out of it yesterday."

The Boss, a mixture of angry, indignant, confused and terrified : "I WASN'T!!!"

Here's me, pleasantly : "OK"

And I go and sit back down.

So she wrestles with this in her mind and then asks me what to do. Naturally, I respond :

"I don't know."

In the hope that the IT guy has to come over from England to replace a keyboard.

So this amused the balls of me, really, as you can imagine I was practically in tears with the laughter. Until I came back from lunch, and went over to more closely investigate the much-abused keyboard. And this is what I saw.

Now sadly a phone photograph does not do this justice. The lettering is not just worn away, if you look closely, you will see :

The keys are very deeply scored with a series of scratches that look a bit like photos of cliff erosion. The photo, as I say, does not really convey this. This looks like she has actually been sitting using the keyboard like a cat a scratching post, repeatedly digging her nails into held-down keys.


The Downward Spiral

So I arrived in this morning full of, shall we say, utter fucking dread. But it is the nature of this industry that the unexpected can and does happen all the time.

In my inbox was another tasty, delicious, horrific bollocking from the United States. Honestly, I grow weary of these, but having it in e-mail is preferable to being alternately patronised and shouted at on the phone for twenty minutes, at least. However, very helpfully, these documents were copied into myself, The Boss, some of our collective superiors and a bunch of other people in various U.S. Departments of Bureaucracy.

Because it's always great fun to be publicly made an arsehole of.

These terse e-mails concerned documents. Jesus, these people love their documents. Mostly it concerned how the documents sent on the 3rd February were, in laymans terms, a fucking abortion.

And when I looked at these, there was not a doubt, not one doubt in my mind, that I had absolutely fuck all to do with creating these documents. The immediate giveaway, a dead ringer, was this habit of coming off the shift key a fraction too late and writing things like BEst regards. Regularly. I don't do this. I do not.

But I know someone who does.

So, sez I : "I didn't write these documents."

The Boss : "Well your names all over the e-mails!"

Here's me : "Yes. But I didn't send these."

The Boss : "Well you must have done!"

Even as I'm speaking, I'm looking at the calendar, and then flipping to my diary, and slowly becoming incredibly, unbelievably calm. Yes.

I did not send these, because on the day when they were sent, I was in London.

Now, let me condense what has happened here. I usually send these docs each week, but on the day/week in question, I was in London. So The Boss had to send them. And, for whatever reasons, you may speculate freely, the utterly half-assed (I mean, really, seriously badly half-assed) attempts at said documents, she sent them from my e-mail address, on my computer.

So I very calmly, probably smiling a little, replied to this effect :

"Dear all,
Apologies for any inconvenience caused but I must advise that there appears to be some error here; at the time of sending of these documents I was out of the country on business and so can only assume some mistake has been made. Please advise if I can assist further."

Yes, "reply-to-all", of course.

And then I watched, with a certain amount of enjoyment, The Boss's jaw hit the desk about thirty seconds later.

So I acted very innocent and pointed no fingers, and The Boss hurriedly then replied-to-all to explain that she had made an oversight and had worked at my desk briefly and e-mailed said documents from there for convenience, apologies all round.

None of these people are stupid, bear that in mind.

Anyway. Naturally this turned about as wise as painting a big day-glo bullseye on my forehead, but hey, I think those involved will remember this little episode for a while.

The curve is headed now to the median point and this could be considered the highlight of my day.

What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

If you could create some kind of mood-measuring-machine and hook us up to it, I think it would represent the mood in the office currently as a sine wave. The up/down curves represent "The Boss is furious with me" and "I am furious with The Boss" respectively, and the centre line that it briefly crosses for an instant each day is the bit where we grudgingly cease hostilities and manage to speak civilly to each other for about five minutes.

It's not, really, very enjoyable. It tends to leave me arriving home, as I have just done, with this horrible burnt-out sort of feeling, and badly in need of a drink. Which I am now having.

Anyway, continuing yesterday's antics.

I returned to the office proper, sorted out what needed to be sorted out, and left The Boss investigating the filing cabinets. She returned visibly pissed off (yes, even more pissed off) but even for her it's very hard to start on somebody for taking a total messy fuckup and putting it into proper order. So instead she said nothing. Not a word. Not like I expected a 'thank you' or even any kind of acknowledgement.

So by now the sine wave is shifting and she is gradually realising that I am, in fact, both absolutely bloody livid, and am not talking to her any more than the absolute bare minimum necessary. So she commences, attempting to be coy or something, to undo some of this damage, but without actually acknowledging it. The standard technique here is to ask me questions, in the hope of prompting some sort of conversation, but at this stage I am just not fecking having it. Such things as :

The Boss : "Liverpool and New York... how far are they from Minnesota?"

Here's me : "I'm afraid I don't know."

or :

The Boss : "How low did the euro rate get this week?"

Here's me : "I don't know."

and :

The Boss : "What's happening with that one stuck in Lagos?"

Here's me : "I don't know."

The Boss : "Can you find out?"

Here's me : "I will try."

The Boss : "When."

Here's me : "When should I do it?"

The Boss, slightly nonplussed : "Um... whenever you're not busy."

Here's me : silence.

The Boss : "So when will you do it?"

Here's me : "Whenever you tell me to do it."

The Boss : "Will you do it now?"

Here's me : "Yes."

The Boss : "But not if you have other stuff to do."

Here's me : "Ok."

The Boss : "Do you?"

Here's me : "Do I what?"

and so on, because if I hadn't known how to act the cunt before, I'd surely have learned by now. So anyway this is far from an ideal way to spend the day, but at least that sine-wave was on the side where I'm not a nervous wreck, and in this fashion yesterday afternoon passed.

Of course, the nature of this balance, is that when I arrived in this morning....

...gah. To be, sadly, painfully, once again continued.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Follows on from this.

There are days, y'know, when I think she's ok. And days when I think she's ok but just a bit mad, a bit ditzy, maybe a bit crazy even. And then other days, like today, when I'm pretty convinced she's something that took form in one of Stephen King's worst nightmares that was too dark for him to commit to paper and somehow crawled out his head and was then made flesh by Satan himself. She becomes inscrutable and emits this tangible wave of some species of horrific darkness that's hard to describe.


So I'm not big on 'filing', generally, partly because it's godawfully tedious and partly because I don't like our store-room. It's a horrible little messy, cold, dusty chamber down a corridor from the main office, and apart from that, it's usually in a state of utter chaos, so I tend to leave it alone as much as possible. Also, between you and me, I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I suspect that The Boss gets up to some sort of filthy arcane black magic type shit in here; strange occurrences that lead me to believe that this closet might in fact contain a few skeletons. In short, it gives me the creeps.

But today it has an air of sanctity about it, because anything beats sitting in there with that woman right now. She is fully batshit today. I could see the veins in her head from the far side of the room, and was pretty sure that she was clenching and unclenching her fists while talking to me in a manner that I do not like to see in supposedly civilized mammals.

I arrive into the dingy little store with my armload of files, and set about trying to figure out what goes where. In theory, this room should contain a year of files; that's the legal requirement. After that they just get boxed up and removed and taken who-cares-where. The files have an eight digit reference on each, the first four of which indicate month and year and the last four of which indicate job number within a given month. Easy, right?

You know better, by now, I'm sure.

I start looking through the filing cabinets. They look like this, for indeed this is they :

You'll notice she takes the ju-ju to a higher level out here, but never mind. My main problem, my main fucking problem here, is that I can't find a single folder that relates to anything about April 2009. They start at 2006 and run to early 2009.. And the cabinets are full. So where the fuck am I supposed to file these files, which comprise most of our work in the second half of 2009? Where? Bear in mind that to get it wrong is A PAINFUL DEATH, and that seemingly, there is no way to get it right.

Ah, shite. I'm going to have to go back out there and ask her. I can actually feel my testicles shrivelling up just thinking about this, but I have no choice.

Nervously, I return and look around the door. She's still sitting there, glaring like a boxer before a fight, bashing the keyboard like a lunatic.

Here's me : "Uh, ahem. I'm... trying to file these files, as requested. But I can't seem to find where 2009 should go?..."

The Boss : "IN WITH THE REST OF 2009!"

Oh my God I think her eyeballs are actually bulging. Really bulging. She's going to sprout hair from her forehead any minute now.

Here's me : "Well, I can't seem to find the second half of 2009... I can find 2006 through to then, but there is not a single folder labelled later than about April 2009, you see..."

I say this like I'm delivering news of a terminal illness or something. Or maybe like telling a really big, angry man with a gun that I've just got his daughter pregnant.

The Boss stops mashing the keyboard and looks at me with utter contempt and coldly states -

"They do not corrugate."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss barks at me : "The folders do not corrugate to the files in them. You'll just have to look through to find them."

Again, today is no today to pick a fight, I can sense. So I quietly return to the store.

Now on most occasions, I'd be the one going fucking mental right now, but today, actually, this is ok. OK, so there are three filing cabinets full of mis-labelled files. OK, I am going to have to totally deconstruct and re-construct 12 drawers of files, and re-label them, and it is going to be very boring, very tedious, but most importantly - it is going to take me several hours. Alone.

So I set to work. There's a certain joy to be had in this, once it starts to come together; out of chaos, slowly, emerges order, and in this I find satisfaction, as I sit alone in here with a good dose of heavy music blasting through my earphones, writing wee white slips of card with JAN 09 and similar and putting everything in good, proper order. I imagine this sort of pleasure wears thin pretty quickly if this is what you do every day, but for now, it's a sweet mercy; it's relaxing. Not so bad, eh? She can sit in there, banging the hell out of the keys, with nowhere to direct her anger, because she's actually sent me in here, ha ha! This is all fine, this has played right into my furry wee hands and oh mother of fucking jesus she's now standing right behind me. 

I have to tell you it really did scare the shit out of me.

I remove the earphones and get to my feet.

The Boss, blocking the doorway : "Did you do his insurance?"

Here's me : "Whose insurance?"

The Boss : "Ronan Keating's."

I swear on my left fucking nut : I am not making this up.

I just stare.

The Boss says the man whose name has never been Ronan Keating's actual correct name after a very long pause.

Here's me, staring back, because this woman is neither just stupid nor crazy, she is plainly both, with a smattering of pure refined evil : "Well, no. Not from in here. There is neither phone nor computer in here. In here where I have been. As you can see. As you know. So obviously. No."

The Boss, her explosive anger all the more nerve-jangling because I'm now trapped in a tiny room with her blocking the doorway : "GET IT DONE YOU CAN'T JUST LEAVE THINGS LYING DO HIS INSURANCE NOW AND STOP PLAYING ABOUT IN HERE!"

To be, sadly, continued, again.

The Boss is Coming - Look Busy

I knew something was wrong quite early on today. I have a nose for these things, at this stage I think I'd have met with tragedy by now if I didn't.

There was, shall we say, an Atmosphere.

It's hard to say just why, subtle little things, but one of the main giveaways is the way The Boss types when She has a Problem. She pounds away at the keyboard will all of the aggression and total lack of any kind of grace of a very bad drunken teenage death-metal drummer. Who has maybe just been dumped by his girlfriend or something. Anyway, I detected this vibe, and not feeling really up to this today, was trying to just keep my head down and lay low. 

But no, despite not wanting trouble, trouble plainly wanted me.

The Boss : "Did you send those bills to Caroline today?"

Here's me : "What, more today?"


Here's me : "Uh, no, she asked me yesterday morning, and I did send them at that stage. Uh, you were copied in..."


Here's me : "I didn't get asked for any more today, honestly."

The Boss : "NO."

Boss Says No, then. I do intend to tell her right before I leave here that it's not as useful a multi-purpose word as "awayandfuckyourselfyoubatshitcrazyoldbastard". 

I wait.

The Boss, barely scaling down from the summit of Mt. Angry : "The ones she asked for yesterday!"

Here's me : "You said... nevermind."

About a year ago, I'd probably have argued this. Then I'd probably have asked her what the hell her problem was and asked her kindly that whatever the fuck it was not to take it out on me. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Such is the WAY OF PAIN.

Here's me : "I sent them yesterday?"

The Boss is obviously wrestling with some sort of blood clot in the brain. I try to look too intensely busy to be spoken to. It is very nearly the truth. It does not, however, work.


Here's me, looking at the files which she is indicating, which are sitting on the desk between us, totally unable to help myself : "Those files? Yeah."


Plainly the woman is actually about to have a meltdown, and also the prospect of spending a while in the store-room out back right now seems, for once, rather attractive, so I seize up the files and my iPod and head on out to the store-room, fully intending to try to make this last the rest of the day if I can.

To be continued.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Catch 22

Yeah. Jesus. The United States Customs & Border Protection Agency honestly do not fuck about, when it gets down to it. There is not really very much of the whole give-and-take with them. They are, I must advise, Quite Fucking Serious People.

So I spent most of today trying to complete a number of documents to their requirements. I don't really enjoy this sort of shit; I wasn't born into this world with the soul of a clerk, and I don't really get a hard-on from being shouted at, therefore Me and They do not mix all that well.

Anyway. I'll spare you the unutterably fucking boring details, but suffice to say I'm having a diseased dog's rancid cock of a day. I think, I hope, that I have finally got these manifold documents into some sort of condition whereby I won't end up in Guantanamo or wherever it is They put people that make mistakes on official documents, and I am now missing only one vital piece of information.

Here's me : "What's our contract number?"

The Boss : "You should have it."

Here's me, tetchy : "If you recall, you wouldn't tell me it, because after three and a half years, you still don't trust me."

The Boss, slightly cowed : "I'll look it up"

Some time passes, during which I work my bollocks off in a state that is honestly rapidly approaching abject terror while she watches Meatloaf videos on Youtube with the sound off - true story - anyway - an hour later the threat of late delivery of documents looms over me like a starry stripey eagle with rabies -

Here's me : "Did you find that contract number? I can't send these documents until I have it and the deadline is approaching in terms of minutes."

This is my life.

The Boss : "I told you it."

Here's me, rising : "You did not."

The Boss : "I did so. I said it out loud."

And it's ending one minute at a time.

In the middle of an hour of random mutterings, questions, bizarre expletives, I actually believe she probably did say it, too, in the midst of this, but seriously, in the middle of this lunatic stream of conciousness, I am expected to both recognise and remember a particular four-digit-number, bearing in mind The Boss has not really grasped the concept of "tone of voice" as it relates to "context of conversation"? Get fucked, hey? What do you reckon?

Here's me : "I must have missed it. Can you tell me again?"


Here's me : "And yet I do not know. Please tell me."


Here's me : "Very well. They will fine us a huge amount if I don't submit this before open-of-business at Houston."


Here's me, with an internal fucking rupture happening : "If you don't tell me this reference right now we are fucked."



Here's me : "I COULD SAY THE SAME FUCKING THING EVERY TIME YOU ASK ME FOR A SPEC OR AN EXCHANGE RATE OR DIMENSIONS OR THE MEANING OF A GODDAMN WORD I MEAN I swear to fuck information? Inforfuckingmation? The fucking google is available on your fucking computer just as fucking much as on mine and I spend half of my fucking life trying to fucking help you out and now I ask for one goddamn fucking number and it's a problem? This is FUCKED! Our relationship is FUCKED! WE ARE FUCKED! THIS IS A FUCKING FUCK UP! WE ARE A FUCKING UNEQUAL YOLK, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"

And now she is not talking to me, again, and the atmosphere in here is absolutely fucking stinking, but I have to go to England on business once again in the morning so she can frankly just fucking sit there and stew.

See y'all when I get back.


I Don't Rate It

The Boss : "I don't like the way you do your rates."

Here's me, internally : Oh My Fucking God What Now Woman.

Here's me, out loud : "Eh.. how so?"

The Boss : "Because you don't show your working."

I'm having flashbacks to second-year statistics class now.

Here's me : "Uh.. I thought they were pretty well laid out...."

The Boss : "No. You need to stop letting these.. spreadsheets..." - she almost spits the words out - "do all the work for you."

Let me explain this to you. The rates for shipping cargo are based upon, by and large, the size of the cargo. A rate might then be X amount per cubic metre, plus certain flat-rate surcharges, with some currency conversions involved. It's not exactly fucking calculus, like. It's quite simple. You could, honestly, do it with a calculator, if you so desired, but if you sat at a computer doing several hundred of these a day, you'd probably at some stage get tempted to take the odd fucking shortcut, if you were halfway sane. I do. Of course I do. My rate calculations look a bit like this - actual example -

I use this standard little template I have set up for myself in Excel, and change the details, and it takes me about nine fucking Earth seconds to work out a rate, as compare to TB's hour-per-shot. OK? Got it? Yeah? OK? You're smart people, I know you understand.



I am being told I shouldn't do this, because it doesn't 'show my working', unlike The Boss's calculations, which look like this (actual, fucking, fuck me, fuck my life, christfucking example) :

Alright, so this is fundamentally the same process with the same results, except that it takes me about thirty minutes a day to process all of my rate requests and it takes her several hours to do the same, but hers, somehow, show her fucking working in a way which mine do not. Because apparently writing out the same shite each time and punching it into a massive 1970s speak-n-spell-lookin' calculator is somehow more fucking valid than my 'fancy' approach that takes ten times less time. 

Have yourself a little scream, if you wish; I'm having one over here.


The Boss : "What's a starfish?"

Here's me : "Uh..."

I mean, wha?

The Boss : "Starflush."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "Starfresh."

Here's me : "Context. Please. Context."

The Boss : "It's some sort of container."

I hit up the google. Everyone should know how to do so, at this point in human history, surely?

Here's me : "It's some kind of fridge container, used for fresh fruit or something, 'starfresh' is what Maersk are calling their new frozen fruit or veg containers. Why?"

The Boss : "Yeah... that's where I read about it. Why can't you ever give me a straight answer?"

Monday, 15 February 2010


Just reading blogging chum Manuel's latest entry about his failure to win the lottery, and have realised that I am very, very stupid.

The Boss and myself have been playing the national lottery for a couple of years. Yes yes, I'm aware that it's a tax on people who are bad at maths and so on; I wouldn't bother but it's something mildly entertaining to do in work, ok? And anyway, on the off-chance I became a multi-millionaire, I'd probably rather like it. To hell with these people who say "Ah, but you'd be bored" or "You wouldn't know how to spend it" - they seriously lack imagination.

Anyway, in two years or so, we have not won. Not once. Not anything. Not so much as the bare minimum three numbers that nets you a tenner. And now my mind turns to this, and I think : this is, at this stage, in defiance of the law of averages. Every week, we play. And never have we won anything. Most people will win the bare-minimum-keep-you-playing-tenner one time in ten tries, maybe. A couple of hundred goes, and nothing.

Each Monday, when we remember, we check the results, which is to say, I look them up online, and shout them across to The Boss, who checks them against the ticket, and invariably announces that we have failed yet again. It is a brief moment of camaraderie in the office, as week after week we continue to be statistic-buggeringly unlucky.

I've only just realised the major logical flaw in this whole operation.


Edge of Darkness

The Boss : "How would I get an out-of-gauge piece from Dublin..."

Here's me : "Yes?"

The Boss : "To Dublin?"

Here's me : "No no no NO NO NO. To where? It's not from Dublin to fucking Dublin, so from Dublin to where? To Felixestowe? To New York? Rotterdam? The North Pole? To Russia, maybe? To fucking Xing-Gang?!?"

There might well be spittle hanging from my mouth here. Enough is enough.

There is a tense stand-off. Our eyes meet. Mine are probably still swivelling slightly. Her own are a terrifying dead-calm. What is she thinking, in these seconds? What machinations is her brain conceiving, what terrible revenge? What shall she say, to punish my outburst and the sin of losing my fucking rag over being asked yet again a fucking nonsense question? I can't bear it. The seconds seem to stretch away into hours. Still we stare at each other, and her features betray no emotion; her eyes are the abyss Nietzsche spoke of, into which I have gazed for far too long, now gazing back at me.

The Boss, now smiling, breaks into song : "Xing-Gang-Ging, Gooly-Gooly-Gooly, Xing-Gang-Ging, Xing-Gang-Ging, Xing-Gang-Ging, Gooly-Gooly-Gooly, Xing-Gang-Ging, Xing-Gang-Ging, Xing-Gang-Ging!"

..and, now very happily singing this, she seemingly forgets all about the above exchange and turns back to her computer.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Search And Destroy

The Boss : "Did you book reference KLU0014?"

Here's me : "Hang on, I'll check."

I type this into the 'find' box and start rolling a cigarette.

The Boss : "What are you doing? You said you'd look for that reference!"

Here's me : "The computer is looking for the reference."

This shuts her up for all of three seconds.

The Boss : "You should know yourself if you booked it!"

Here's me : "I tend not to commit a couple of hundred strings of digits to memory each week, ta. The computer will find it, if I've booked it."

The Boss : "Look for it yourself!"

Here's me : "Quite frankly, no. Be patient."

Outlook finds the reference but only in a mail from The Boss to someone else that I was cc'd on.

Here's me : "You booked that reference. The search has just pulled up an e-mail from you."


At this point, having had an odd week, I stood up from the chair and laid my upper body across my desk. After a few seconds I was, quite fairly really, denounced as a cheeky bastard, and went over to The Boss and explained the situation.

The Boss : "How do you know?"

Here's me, the sarky little shit : "The computer told me..."

Her face says to me that this will not be a good way to proceed.

Here's me : " if you take a look, I assure you, you will find details of KLU0014 in your e-mail."

The Boss stares at the screen for a few seconds and then looks at me and says : "But that'll take ages!"

I guess it maybe takes the edge off this a bit but in the interests of fairness I must report that she both asked me how to get Outlook to find the relevant e-mails and also did apologise. 

Enjoy your weekend folks.


The Bloody Boss, Her Bloody Computer, The Bloody Photocopier, The Bloody Firewall. My favourite things, they are not, honestly.

OK. *sigh* In case you don't know already, our photocopier/scanner/fax machine links into the network and there are two folders set up on my computer for this, one in her name and one in mine, a shortcut on her desktop points to her folder on my computer and when you scan a document you select which of the folders you'd like to scan it to and it's very simple and very handy. In theory.

The Boss : "My scan folder has gone!"

Here's me : "Have you deleted it?"

The Boss : "No, it's just gone!"

Here's me, who can't be arsed to get up : "It hasn't. I can see it here on mine."

The Boss : "What's it doing on yours!"

Here's me : "It's... nevermind."

I go over and investigate and the shortcut to her 'scans' folder is right there, staring at me. I point this out.

The Boss : "But that's a shortcut! I don't want the shortcut! I want the proper folder!"

Here's me : "You've never had the proper folder. It's on my computer. Just go into that, it'll take you to your document."


Here's me : "You did not. Just go into it through there."


Here's me *sigh* : "I haven't."

The Boss : "Put it back to the way it was before!"

Here's me : "I haven't fucking touched it! Just go into the shortcut! You couldn't possibly have been going into the folder direct because it is and always has been on my fucking computer!"

The Boss : "IT WASN'T! I went in through 'my network places' before and into it that way! I WANT TO DO IT THE WAY I ALWAYS DID IT AND NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS!"

Oh, for fuck's sake. I give up with this conversation, as of right now.

Here's me : "I cannot help."

The Boss : "Fix it."

Here's me, neutral : "I'm sorry, I don't know how."

The Boss : "Is it in the firewall?"

Here's me, I could get angry if this goes the wrong way : "We've talked about... that... word... before."

The Boss : "Would it be in my recycle bin?"

Here's me : "Yes, possibly, yes."

The Boss : "Which one?"

Here's me, reeled back in : "What, you have more than one?"

The Boss : "Yes of course!"

I look. She actually does. How the fuck she achieved that one I do not know.

So anyway I'm at something in the middle of the room. I need to be very specific here. I am not near her computer, I am not even near my fucking computer.

The Boss : "It's back now!"

Here's me, dully : "Brilliant."




Clocking In

Hello chums.

Sorry for the lack of posting, I was away for a couple of days then managed to contract the godawful bastard of a thing which is the "Winter Vomiting Bug". Jesus. Talk about sick. I still feel pretty run down now but am at least on solids again. Although I'd really like some liquids, hey.

But anyway. Have since returned to work and The Boss has of course went even madder in my absence, which I have a certain amount of sympathy for because it's not that easy when your only other colleague is missing unexpectedly. Pleasingly it's been more the amusing end of mad rather than the "I'm going to end up beating you with a hammer" kind of mad, which is good because I think the latter would have killed me in my weakened condition.

Sit back, I'll tell ye.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Fight The Power (Supply)


"Fight The Power (Supply)"

by SK and TB

being an comedic farce of errors 
featuring an cast of idiots

I got drunk last night. By accident. It happens. As a result, I went into work today with a belting red wine headache, not terminal in the hangover stakes but when combined with my daily existence certainly enough to make me wish that I could believe in a deity purely so that I could pray to the bastard in question for the sweet release of death.

The drama started almost immediately, when shortly after nine in the morning The Boss's computer died, with a terrible ratcheting sound. I spent a couple of reasonably pleasant and boring years back in the dark mists of time working in the field of computer repair, and while my knowledge of most things is now effectively useless, I can just about do a diagnostic in reasonably simple circumstances. The power supply was gone. Fan packed in. The terrible amount of fluff, human hair, shredded paper and bits of bacon trapped in it were my primary clues in my investigations.

Here's me : "No sweat. Fan has packed in on your power supply. There's that old PC in the storeroom, I'll just swap it over."

The Boss : "No."

Here's me : "Thought that."

I've given up trying to use "sense" and "logic", as you may have noticed. Five minutes or so passed, until The Boss realised that nothing was going to happen by itself.


I mean, don't let that fucking Hewlett Packard certification on my CV, which presumably you did fucking read before you hired me, in any way make you think that I'm capable of taking out four screws and plugging a couple of cables in. Drown in it you harpy's bastard, drown.

The Boss, after several minutes of trying to figure out how to send an e-mail with a stapler or whatever : "Should I phone IT?"

Here's me, not feeling very helpful today : "I don't know."

If you are in any kind of dire straits, I have to tell you that's one of the most useful phrases in the English language.

The Boss phones the IT guy, who tells her to get me to swap the power supply. She denies him, in similar fashion, and insists that he must come to the office and fix it. She wants it done right. Why get me to swap the power supply in ten minutes when you could wait until next Thursday for him to fly over from Coventry?

The IT guy, commendably, must have told her in no uncertain terms to wise the fuck up, but still she is not having it, and instead of getting me to swap the power supply, insists instead that I fetch out this old PC from the store and set it up for her to use.

So I do, because I enjoy a laugh as much as the next marsupial.

I diligently do as instructed and set up this machine for her at a different desk. Rather disturbingly, it's one that sits opposite me, as opposed to her normal position to my far left; I don't really like having her in my field of vision, but even my depleted mental capacity can recognised that this whole fucking farce is going to be very short lived. To make this even more delicious, The Boss has also set up her phone at this desk, and has got reception to go in and mess about with patch cables in order to connect it up and so on.

The Boss : "Where do I get my files?"

Here's me, as innocent as a bairn : "Files?"

The Boss : "MY FILES!"

Here's me : "What files?"


Here's me, not quite yet wanting to live, but deciding that I don't want to die for at least another ten minutes : "They're on your computer."

The Boss : "So I can't get them from here?"

Here's me : "Oh, in theory, yes, you can."

The Boss : "HOW??!?"

Here's me : "Through the network."

The Boss : "HOW DO I DO THAT?!??"

Here's me : "You can't, without your own PC connected to the network."

The Boss is actually more confused than enraged. Fuck my head hurts.


I completely ignore this, and the ensuing five minutes of babbled panic as she boots up a PC that hasn't been turned on in a year and it displays various messages, warnings, alerts etc. Finally in a state of utter panic about these alien hack intrusions she phones IT again, talks so much shite I can't even be bothered to repeat it, and then covers the mouthpiece of the phone with her hand, looks at me with daggers coming out of her beady little eyes like I'm a mass murderer, and hisses "HE SAYS HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU".

Much-put-upon-IT-guy asks me what the problem is and I tell him. He asks me can I fix it and I say yes, and pass him back to The Boss, and she is obviously incredibly pissed off about this but now tells me to fix it.

It is now about half ten in the morning and we have, as a company, achieved a level of fuck-all so immense in it's magnitude you'd need a fucking quantum physicist to work it out.

I take a look at this other PC and find out that the power supplies are in fact incompatible. I tell The Boss this, and she asks me where can she get the right power supply. I foolishly suggest a nearby shop that are both very good, and I am quite friendly with the staff of.

The Boss : "So what do I ask for?"

Here's me : "I'll write it down."

The Boss : "Just tell me!"

Here's me : "I'm writing it down."

I hand her a piece of paper upon which I have written "ATX POWER SUPPLY".

Here's me, because I'm nice : "Look. Do you want me to go and pick this up for you?"

The Boss : "You're just looking for an excuse to skive. I'll get it myself. I'm not stupid, you know, whatever you might think."

Here's me : "Fine."

The Boss : "OK, I'll be back in an hour."

Here's me : "Uh, it's five minutes away."

The Boss : "I have to get the car."

Here's me, thinking I should just grab my keys and my phone and run like buggery : "Wha?"

The Boss : "My phone is in the car."

Yeah. One of my favourite things about mobile phones is that they are mobile, but n'mind.

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "My phone is in the car and my pin number is in my phone."

Here's me : "Ok, whatever."

So The Boss ventures out and I sit there with glazed eyes and a throbbing head for an hour and a half trying to catch up on about two weeks of work; when she is out of the office is the only time I get to actually work, as you know.

She returns and demands that I perform this task immediately.

This, I do not do. I am mid-flow with an e-mail to a gentleman from Iraq who I am trying, very hard, to get cargo to. You will understand this has it's own difficulties.

Finishing this, I set about replacing her power supply, but find to my dismay that when I put the new one in, it's wrong. That long off-white plug that goes into the motherboard? Too long. I look at the side of the new power supply and see it says "BTX". This is a new one on me; I've been out of the IT loop for many years.

So I go mental.

"YOU could have saved TWO FUCKING HOURS if YOU had let me replace this FUCKING POWER SUPPLY when I SAID TO but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! You had to arse about! You had to FUCKING ARSE ABOUT! AND nooooooooooooooooow, now you come back with THE WRONG FUCKING POWER SUPPLY and what do we do now, eh? where do we go from here? What would you like me to do, because you're in-fucking-charge and this is BOLLOCKS."

The Boss, with a terrifying calmness : "You'll have to go to the shop and get it exchanged. Thanks to you I've already spent more time out of the office than I can afford today."

Here's me : "Fuck you."

Did I actually say that?

Oh fuck, I actually did.

There is something of a staring competition that goes on, and even while the veins in my head are pounding like pistons I am aware that this is probably on the wrong side of the line.

Here's me : "I'm sorry. I'm wound up. I'll go. I didn't mean to say that, but I'm very wound up, it's been a very bad week, my dog had to be put down (this is true, actually - poor wee fella) and I shouldn't have said that. I'll go and fix this."

So I stomped off through the streets and round to the computer shop, kind of vaguely wishing that someone would try and steal my wallet or something so that I could have an excuse for murdering a person, and entered the computer shop to be greeted by the fella I know quite well who works there.

Here's me : "My... fucking idiot... of a Boss, bought a power supply here an hour ago. She, predictably, bought the wrong one. Can you change this for me please?"

Computer Shop Guy : "Nah mate, she got the right one."

Here's me : "No, she didn't. She needs an ATX. This is something called a BTX."

CSG : "There's no such thing as a BTX."

Here's me, trying to stay upright, losing cabin pressure : "Look. The thingy into the motherboard is a totally different shape. Look."

CSG smirks at me, breaks off the little block at the end of this cable which now makes it the correct fit, and smirks again.

Here's me : "I'm sorry. I am the idiot. I am sorry for wasting your time."

I stomp back to the office, with a sort of red curtain in front of my eyes; I walk in and confess all, that I have made a stupid mistake and she got the right power supply. It's always better to admit when you are wrong; this is my firm policy. If someone will not admit when they are wrong, then why the fuck would you believe them when they insist they are right? and so on.

To The Boss, this is like blood in the water to a shark.

"I thought you said you knew all about this, I thought you knew everything, you think you're so smart" and variations on that theme - which continue, even as I crouch, sweating and feeling like I'm having a fucking aneurysm, underneath her desk replacing the power supply.

As I am down there, she comes over and sits in her chair and wheels it in close to the desk. So I am now under the desk with The Boss's legs, her feet are actually touching me. It's fucking revolting down here. Apart from the rest, there are several hundred ripped of scraps of paper and a pair of fucking shoes. I ask her to kindly fucking back off, and continue with my efforts, then poke my head out from under the desk - now within a physical proximity to The Boss I find incredibly fucking distressing - and say :

"I left the screws on your desk, can you pass them down to me?"

The Boss : "No you didn't."

Here's me : "Yes I did."

The Boss : "Well they're not here now."

I can't be arsed with this, so I emerge and go over to the other computer, and take the screws.

The Boss goes mental.

"You can't just... STEAL!... from one, to give to the other!"

Here's me : "Uh..."

The Boss : "You're just robbing Peter to pay Robin!"

Here's me : "Uh..."

I want nothing so much right now as to be in bed, with an overdose of anadin, and possibly a bucket of wine.

I decide the best course course is to ignore the fucking maniac and just proceed to put the fucking screws in, and the remainder of the day passed pretty much unmolested. Sorry, I know you want a better ending, but often in reality endings aren't all they're cracked up to be. Things are certainly coming to a head and I don't know what will happen, but hey, when it happens, I'll tell you.

Enjoy your weekend readers, I do enjoy having you around, and I do appreciate it. Thanks.