Friday, 29 January 2010

Fight The Power (Supply)



presenting

"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.

The Boss : "EYE-TEE PROBLEMS ARE FOR THE EYE-TEE DEPARTMENT."

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?"

The Boss : "MY FILES ON MY COMPUTER!"

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.

The Boss : "IT SAYS ANTI VIRUS IS OUT OF DATE!"

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.

SK

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hostility Towards The Opposition





Ah, Jesus, I'm tired.



I'm a horrible bastard when I'm tired. Y'know, when you're tired in the brain, just? When you're just worn down? When it feels and sounds and tastes like your brain is just this fucking full of white noise that's screaming at you?



Oh aye, I'm fucking Drama Central when I'm tired.



Ah. Anyway.



There's a scene in the movie Fight Club in which the narrator character remarks something to the effect of how hard it is to start a fight when you're actively looking for one. It's quite true, on any level you care to take it. People can smell it off you and nine times out of ten just decide to leave well enough alone. I was in this kind of a form all day yesterday, as a result of the scanning episode. Viewed from a certain perspective, you could say I was being a bit of a shit; I was waiting for The Boss to ask me about it, specifically waiting for her to say "Did you scan that stuff through to the accountants?" so that I could become a glorious human Vesuvius. But by three in the afternoon, it still hadn't happened; plainly she knew something was wrong, as she was staying out of my way as much as possible.

So by around this time, the atmosphere in the office was one of palpable tension. I'm starting to think, all this fucking shit yesterday - I don't know if it seems like a big deal, but this is a time-based industry and wasting time is the cardinal sin herein - every stupid question, every bit of wrong-footing; this creates more work for me. I spend about four hours of my day doing anything that approaches something productive, if that; the rest of the time I spend dealing with mentalism and acting as a peripheral equivalent of memory and processing power for The Boss's demented fucking brain - this fucks me off. It fucks me right off.

Royally.

So, yes, I derailed myself there - like I said, I'm tired - but, so, yes, I'm starting to think that she's actually fucking forgotten about it. I am ready to give her ten bells of hell over this issue and it has slipped through one of the myriad cracks in her demented fucking skull. She has wasted yet more of my rapidly dwindling mortal lifespan, made me look like an utter fucking knobhead yet a-fucking-gain, and worst of all, been as usual a cheeky bastard about the whole thing, and now when I am just dying to get into a full on fucking row, she cannot even remember the conversation we had yesterday afternoon which I want to have a row about.

So I'm pacing around the office like a total and utter arsehole caged animal, generally being even more terse and sarcastic than usual, and I'm trying to find paper to put in the photocopier. In all corners of the office there are boxes and packets and so on that look as if they should contain paper, but upon inspection all of them are found to be empty husks. So I start gathering these up, with, I now realise, rather more flourish than is strictly necessary, and start putting them all in The Boss's waste-paper basket. Yes THE fucking waste-paper basket. After a few minutes it is full, and still I continue to lift these empty cardboard boxes and empty packets and start piling them around and on top of the Boss's bin. I am vaguely aware of both that I now have her full attention, and also that I am behaving oddly.

The wastepaper basket is now full and piled up roughly four feet in height and radius with the shite I have collected from all around the office in my hunt for virgin paper. Finally, she cracks.

The Boss : "Are you in a bad mood?"

Here's me, still throwing things around her bin : "Yes."

The Boss : "Why?"

Here's me : "Because I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning."

The Boss knows me well enough by now to know I do not normally give this kind of answer to any question, and I can perceive that she is now very on edge, but still she will not actually give me the feed line I require to get started on this. This is how I operate, in work. Possibly in life too, but if I start thinking about that right now I'm going to get into very dark territory very quickly, so I shan't.

Here's me : "Is there any fucking paper in here? Or just empty packets? Do you know where your fucking bin is? Can you see it? Do you put empty milk bottles back in the fridge? Yes, you do. Where is the fucking paper?"

The Boss, theoretically, would be within her rights to pull the I Am The Boss card round about now, but doesn't - you can speculate upon thy whys and why nots of this for yourself if you so desire because I'm not going to - instead she just quietly tells me that there's paper in the third drawer down of a desk at the far end of the room. I angrily stomp over and fetch it and ram it into the photocopier, again, yes, I am fully aware that this is utterly arsehole-ish childish behaviour.

I start (angrily) copying whatever it was, and it arrives.

"Oh, did you scan the book?"

Here's me, quietly : "Yes."

The Boss : "Did you send it through?"

Here's me : "No."

The Boss, now warming up the pilot light of her own anger : "Why not!"

Here's me : "read the fkn e-mail"

The Boss : "IT SAYS TO SCAN IT!"

Here's me : "read the fkin e-mail"

The Boss, after a brief pause : "oh"



And right then, do you know what I did?





Absolutely fuck all.





Yes, that's correct. Well what the fuck was I supposed to do? Seriously, what the fuck am I supposed to do? Stand there and scream at and belittle a person? I mean, I wouldn't say I wouldn't do that, but not unless somebody really deserves it. The Boss isn't actually what you'd call a 'bad' person, she's just a total and utter fucking arsehole; there's a difference. She is kind to children and small animals, for example; do you want me to make her cry, seriously? For fuck's sake. It wouldn't make me feel very fucking good about myself, would it now?

Basically, the woman is out of her depth, but it's just the particular cocktail that this makes when combined with certain other attributes. 'Stupid' people can be more dangerous than 'bad' people sometimes - actually, stupid people are regularly fucking lethal. Even very smart 'bad' people at least won't act outside of their own self-interest so therefore the way to deal with them is already mapped out for you - dealing with people who are offensively fucking stupid is nigh-on-im-fucking-possible, as anyone who's ever somehow gotten into an argument with a fundie or a hardcore racist or some other kind of dicksplat-made-flesh will know. Agh, what the fuck am I gibbering about now? I don't know, and it's late and I'm tired.

If you could call my not stabbing her in both eyes right there and then a good deed, then you could invoke the cliché that it did most certainly fucking not go unpunished. 





To be continued.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Song Of The Day

The Boss is singing, approximately to the tune of Copacabana :

"My name is Lu-KA!
Se-cond floor show-GIRL!"

There's something intensely disturbing about that.


All other issues remain floating and unresolved. In the meantime, if you haven't already, feel free to add your Koala on facebook.Further, feel absolutely free to nominate me for this, if you feel like doing so.


I'm trying very hard not to just walk out of here today as the depths of bullshit in which I am sinking are, um, deep. Hopefully I will get clear of this and attempt to be funny or entertaining or something again at some point.

English? Do you speak it?

The resolution of the scan farce has not yet happened as I haven't yet been asked "Did you get that done?", and certainly I am going to wait until I am asked, certainly, and then I am going to go fully fucking batshit.

Currently The Boss is blethering on about a booking from someone called Hercules going to Mantovani.

I can't bear to listen to much more of this shit, seriously.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Fuck. Everything. Immediately.

Oh fuck me.

So further to last. If you haven't read that, read it first.

I realised that I have now scanned this whole thing and I have no idea where to send it. So I called head office and told them, hey, I've scanned in the years accounts, where do you want me to send this all?

The lady in head office I spoke to was both confused and bemused. She forwarded me an e-mail which was the one from which The Boss had gleaned her instructions to me, which I shall now reproduce part of.


The accounts are progressing nicely with our year end audit.

I have been asked to provide a total of missing invoices on all files.


Can you please scan through your accounts books and let me have details of any missing invoices not received from suppliers.










Do you see? Do you see what has happened? Do you understand? Fucking DO YOU??




AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH




AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGH














AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH

Unaccountable

All was silent in the Halls of the Damned, when suddenly :

The Boss : "FUCK!"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "BASTARD BASTARD BASTARD! God forgive me!"

Here's me : "God doesn't care. What's the problem?"

The Boss, screeching in her sudden panic : "I haven't sent off the accounts!"

Here's me : "Oh."

The Boss : "They were supposed to be with the accountants for yesterday latest!"

Here's me : "Oh."

The Boss : "Can you send them for me?"

Here's me : "Yes. What do you want me to send?"

The Boss : "November 09!"

Here's me : "Just November?"

The Boss, as if I'm stupid : "No, November through to October!"

Here's me, staring at her, eyebrow raised.

The Boss : "WHAT'S THE PROBLEM!?!?"

Here's me, veerrrry sloooowly : "You just said 'November through to October'. November 09 to October... what. Try again."

The Boss : "No, November before! A fullancial year! And I have to go early! I have a dentist's appointment!"

Here's me, ignoring that little pormanteau : "OK. Do you have their address handy, I'll post it to them tonight?"

By 'post it' I refer to posting one of the A4 hardbacked ledgers which I have previously mentioned constitutes our accounts system (along with the pencil and my still-missing shiny new fucking rubber)

The Boss : "You'll have to scan it!"

Sigh.

Here's me : "You want me to scan this whole book?"

The Boss : "YOU HAVE TO!"

Here's me : "If I scan this whole thing it'll be an e-mail the size of Manchester."

The Boss : "JUST DO IT!"

Here's me : "Gah. Give it here."

So I take it, and step up to the plate, and start tinkering with the much-hacked photocopier/scanner device. The book when opened is two sides of A4, naturally I want to set this on the scanner and just scan an A3 sized document each time, yeah? So I'm just checking this is all lining up correctly and so on, running a couple of test copies to check I'm scanning the appropriate area and such...


The Boss is outraged.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING PLAYING WITH THAT THING!"

Here's me, sadly shaking my head : "Never mind."

The Boss : "START SCANNING THEM!"

Here's me, still calm but only just : "Calm. Down. I am spending a couple of minutes setting this up in order to save about half an hour. Just leave me to it."

The Boss is momentarily placated. So I'm standing there at the scanner/photocopier thing, putting a hardback book on it and scanning each page, lifting it, turning the page, repeating this process, and generally wondering just where the fuck my fucking life started to go so badly wrong and thinking it was probably that time me and a friend drink a bottle of his mother's Bacardi one night when we were fourteen.




a reconstruction of the crime scene, for the reader's perusal


So, I race on through this process, and stop briefly to remove the few test copies I did from underneath, which I then drop into The Boss's bin, which regular readers shall know is just beside the copier. 


Mistake.


The Boss was previously merely "outraged", now it is fair to say she is fucking apoplectic.

"YOU CAN'T JUST PUT THOSE IN THE BIN THOSE ARE OUR ACCOUNTS!", she actually fucking yells at me, then reaches into the bin, pulls out the papers I have just deposited there, makes a great show of ripping them up and then actually fucking throws them down the side of the fucking bin.




not a reconstruction. actual scene. FML.


I'm pretty sure my mouth is hanging open and my fists are clenching in a manner that would make most people quietly walk away, there very well may be steam coming out of my ears actually.

The Boss's life and my employment here are both saved by the phone ringing. I return to my desk and froth quietly, and The Boss starts shouting inanities down the phone. The call ends a moment later when she slams the phone down.

"THE STUPID BASTARDS!"

I don't even look round.

"THEY'VE MOVED ME TO AN EARLIER APPOINTMENT BUT THEY PHONED DUBLIN TO TELL ME!"

Can't help myself now - "They phoned who in Dublin?"

The Boss screams our company name at me.

Here's me, once again a perfectly tranquil mask of calm hiding the murder that lies at the heart of me : "That is us."

The Boss : "THEY PHONED THE DUBLIN BRANCH!"

with which she seizes up her bags and runs to the door, leaving me now a bizarre mixture of confused, angry and amused. Not least because we don't have a Dublin branch.








EPILOGUE :

About ten minutes after leaving The Boss phoned me and, very bright, breezy and cheerful, said "I thought I'd just to give you something to do while I was away!" and proceeded to give me instructions on something she needs done which would make a funny entry in and of itself but I'm too utterly fucking pissed off to go there right now.


If you're looking for me, I'll be in the office here, kicking the shit out of everything in sight and screaming myself hoarse.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Get Me The Internet On Line One

The Boss : "There's too much on the internet."

Sigh.

Here's me : "What are you looking for?"

The Boss : "The dimensions for a New Ford 88880."

Here's me : "Google 'New Ford 88880 dimensions'".

The Boss : "But there's lots of them."

Here's me : "Just pick one."

The Boss : "How do I know which one?"

Here's me : "Just pick one of the first results."

The Boss : "Why are there so many?"

I have no idea how to answer that sensibly, so didn't bother trying.

Here's me : "It's just the way it is. Just pick one."

The Boss : "It would be better if they just had one answer, for each thing."

Gulp. Take a breath.

Here's me : "You should tell them that."

The Boss : "Should I tell I.T.?"

Here's me : "No, tell the internet."

The Boss : "Who are they?"

Here's me : "Google them."

Friday, 22 January 2010

Doesn't Scan

The Boss : "How many columns of scans do you have in your inbox?"

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "In your network."

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss : "In your folder?"

Here's me : "What's the question?"

The Boss : "I have seven."

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Exterminate! Exterminate!

The Boss : "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. I'm so tired. I need to sleep. Something woke me at ten to four."

I look over and raise my eyebrow.

Here's me : "The dog?"

The Boss : "No, it slept in my room. This was downstairs. It's the mouse, it was jumping. Jumping up and down. Smashing about."

Here's me, cautiously : "Uh... big mouse, then?"

The Boss : "Must be."

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Do Not Ask For Credit

Often when The Boss is having a day off, she likes to spend some time the day before making a list of things for me to do while she's away. I don't really understand why the fuck she doesn't just do them, rather than sending me lengthy cryptic e-mails, but hey.

This morning that pile was refreshingly absent. One thing only - some documents to be sent out, special delivery, the customer needs them by tomorrow. Excellent, sez I, and carries on with my day, as happy as a dog with two danglers in my Boss-Free-Zone.

It was all going pretty well till round about lunchtime when a different customer phones me in a mad panic. He is having a major problem. Uh.. how to explain this. If you don't know what a "Bill of Lading" or a "Letter of Credit" are - actually don't worry about it, it's boring as fuck and knowing won't enrich your life any. The two need to match up, where they both exist, and if they don't people start to get very edge about often very large sums of money. And this customer, his don't match up, and he's just realised, and he has to lodge these documents with the bank before close of business tomorrow.

It's a tiny mistake. There's a six digit number missing from one of the documents. These documents are always checked and re-checked because mistakes in them are so costly, but on this occasion a mistake was made - and thank fuck, not by me.

So anyway I need to find the original document, to find this six figure number, and I have no idea where the hell the Boss might have put it, so rather than look through the huge, teetering piles of documents, files, folders and what have you that are both all over her desk and the floor for a good few metres all around it, I phoned her to ask her. I'm not exaggerating, it looks a troop of chimpanzees had an orgy in a stationery shop over there.

Here's me : "Where are the documents for that Bahrain shipment?

The Boss : "In the file."

Here's me : "Yes. Which file, and where is that file?"

The Boss : "On my desk."

Here's me, looking over at her desk forlornly : "It's fair to say that your desk looks like a fucking bomb site."

The Boss : "Don't worry. Just phone Martin. He'll give you the reference."

Here's me : "Who's Martin?"

The Boss : "Tom."

Here's me : "Oh, fuck."

The Boss : "Just phone him! His number's in the file!"

Well that's a big fucking help, thank you.

About an hour later, in between trying to find off the customer who by now sounds like he's having some kind of embolism, I found the file. Inside is a good half inch of paper. It has been stapled together maybe fifty times, and not just in one corner, just randomly all round the fucking edges, so when you try to actually turn a page it turns into this madly fucking clever origami concertina.







Just what the fuck is all this stuff, I wonder. My files are about ten pages or so. How the hell has she got half a ream of paper worth of information on one job? I look through and the answer becomes clear. Imagine you get an e-mail from a customer, a booking. You print it, and open a file. You reply, then print your reply - which of course prints the customer's original e-mail in the file - and then put all of that in the file, too. You do this over the days and weeks that a booking runs for, until the file itself contains page 1-18 of an email exchange, followed by pages 2-18 of the same exchange, and so on.

Fuck.

Me.

So finally in the midst of all this I found the bloody thing, placated the customer and got the necessary corrections sorted out and everything is mostly ok. It took all bloody afternoon but it's mostly ok.

On the way home I was thinking to myself, y'know, there's a certain tact you should use when you're dealing with situations like this, I've found, because nobody likes to have serious fuck-ups thrust in their face, so it's better to be fairly helpful about the whole thing wherever possible. Anyway. It was sorted, at least, and hopefully The Boss would in some way appreciate this tomorrow rather than trying to nail me on some charge real or imagined purely so the focus is not on her.

Round about this stage was when I realised that I'd forgot to post her other fucking documents.

I'm considering just doing a runner.


p.s cheers Stewart ;)

Happy Hump Day

So, yes. The Boss is away collecting Pomegranate, the air-conditioning is at a reasonable level, some pleasing music has been put on and the office is my oyster, so to speak.  I intend to spend a pleasant and productive day clearing up some shite, making the odd sale here and there, generally pushing gently wherever possible in attempt to get this ship on some sort of even keel and last but certainly not least finding my fucking shiny new fucking rubber.

More news as it breaks.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Brilliant Spam

Class bit of spam I just got here :




To Whom It May Concern,

The H1N1 virus has drowned out the noise of the Mad Cow Disease, but that did not make it disappear. Here, at Disease.com (a non profit website), we are dedicated to spreading the awareness of disease preventions and treatments. After I read through your website, it is clear that your organization shares the same passion, that we do about Mad Cow awareness. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon, we can expand minds; while changing the medical landscape.




--
Lisa Hope
Editor/Writer
Disease.com

The Only Gay In The Village

Some things you should know :


1. Ireland is, in many ways, a cultural backwater.


2. The Boss is from a town which it's fair to say much of Ireland would consider to be a cultural backwater, which for the sake of establishing a placeholder name I shall refer to as 'Ballybackofbeyond'.


3. What passes for 'politics' in Northern Ireland has recently experienced a (totally fucking delicious, brilliant, life-affirming) sex-scandal which, (possibly) apart from the possibility of collapse of what passes for 'Government' in the North as a result, is absolute unadulterated pure and refined epic fucking WIN.


So anyway we were talking about this last item, me specifically in light of my 'Ha hah fucking ha, slap it up the hypocritical cunt' stance on this, and off the back of it came this conversation :

The Boss, seriously : "There's a gay fella in Ballybackofbeyond."

Here's me, sarky : "What, just the one?"

The Boss : "Yeah, he comes into the bar on a Saturday night. I feel a bit sorry for him."

Here's me : "Uh, why?"

The Boss : "Well he had a... partner, years ago. But he died. So now there's no-one for him to really... pair off with."

Here's me, mocking, slightly, I'm only human : "So, eh, is he like, the only gay in the village?"

The Boss, seriously : "Yeah."

Here's me : "I seriously doubt that, y'know."

The Boss : "No, he is."

Here's me : "Are you being serious?"

The Boss : "Yeah."

Here's me : "I guarantee you there's a fair few gay men in Ballybackofbeyond, Jesus like, come on!"

The Boss : "No, really. I'd know."

Here's me : "You'd know?"

The Boss : "I'd've heard. He's the only one."

Here's me : "Get a grip. I wouldn't put money on the exact figures but if you took a figure of 2% of the locals being gay as a very fucking conservative estimate, then there's about twenty gay men in the village. Come on."

The Boss, looking a bit nonplussed : "Really?"

Here's me : "Yes, Jesus. Jesus, like, Boss, seriously."

The Boss : "Ha ha. You seem to know a lot about this. Are you one?"

Here's me : "No. What, wait - what? Am I one? What? You know it's the twenty first century, yeah?"

The Boss, indignant : "I have nothing against them."

Here's me : "OK. The 'them' bit - you need to work on that. But ok. Look, the law of averages suggests there are probably a few thousand gay men living in a ten mile radius of where you live, ok?"

The Boss is silent for a second. I cannot fathom what she might be thinking.

"Then..."

I look on, and wait.

"...I...."

And further, I hope that she is not about to say something, y'know, really bad.

"Really?"

I nod solemnly.


And then she smiles. Beams, actually, seemingly genuinely pleased.

"I have to tell him! Where would he go to meet them?!"

Why?

It's a bit distressing and depressing but I have come in this morning to discover that The Boss has borrowed my shiny new rubber, drawn all over it with a blue pen and broken it in half. I don't know just why she has done this but it feels like some sort of threat.




Monday, 18 January 2010

Pencil Pusher

Note : Our 'accounts system' consists of a big hardback A4 book, in which we write down each job, the amount we charged out, and details of the invoices received against it. Being that it's not the 1970's anymore this bothers me a bit but I've long since given up caring about such things.

The Boss has been out somewhere at lunchtime and has returned to the office with an air of a person who has things on their mind. This, naturally, scares the shit out of me.

The Boss : "We need to keep better track of our accounts."

Here's me : "I... totally agree."

The Boss : "We need something that can give us what our current profit is likely to be."

Here's me, thinking yes, we're moving forward here : "I totally agree!"

The Boss : "And so we know what charges we're likely to expect against a job. What do you think?"

Here's me, actually quite excited about the prospect of finally dragging this operation kicking and screaming into the 1980's : "Definitely! Yeah, I don't know if it warrants something as comprehensive as Sage but there's probably similar but simpler programs out there, so let me take a look and see what..."

The Boss, coldly, with a deadly air of finality : "No."

Here's me, hitting the wall : "Wha?"

The Boss : "I don't want nothing fancy."

Oh Christ, I've been blind-sided here. Oh fuck. IT'S A TRAP.

Here's me, fucking terrified : "You haven't been in Excel have you?"

The Boss : "No. Because I don't want nothing fancy."

Here's me : "So, ah, uh, what are you thinking of?"

The Boss makes her way over to me and sets some small items on my desk. I stare at them, then at The Boss, then back at the items, trying to keep my expression completely neutral.



The Boss : "So when you put a job in the book, I want you to write in, in pencil, what charges you think will come in. Then when the real invoice comes in, rub it out, and fill it in with a pen."

Here's me : "Ha ha! Very good! Ha!"

The Boss is staring at me.


I can do nothing but stare back.

The Boss : "Understand?"

Here's me, now staring with naked horror at the 'new accounts system' : "Is this a fucking eyeliner pencil? Is this stump of a thing I am looking at on my desk here a fucking eyeliner pencil?"

The Boss : "NO! I went out and got those special."

Here's me : "Did it come, like that, already drawn on?"

The Boss : "Don't be smart with me."

Here's me : "Could you have got a proper grown-up sized pencil?"

The Boss : "But there's lots of them."

It's true. There are. She reveals a handful of two inch long pencil stubs.

Here's me, with some nameless suspicion in the back of mind : "Where did you get these?"

The Boss : "It doesn't matter."

It does though, and in the back of my mind I think I'm starting to realise something important, some key familiarity here -

Here's me : "Did you steal these fucking pencils from fucking Argos?!"

The look on her face confirms that I am correct. Fuck.Ing.Hell.

Say What?

The Boss : "Where is the Middle East, for imports?"

Here's me : "Uh, what?"

The Boss : "If you're importing to the Middle East, is that westbound or eastbound?"

Here's me : "From where?"

The Boss : "From the east. West. Eastbound imports?"

Here's me : "Stop. Wait. What's the question again?"

The Boss : "Where's the Middle East from here?"

Here's me : "East."

The Boss : "So if it's from the Middle East, where's here?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "So it's 27%?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "Do you not read your e-mails?"

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

The Boss : "Oh never mind. I haven't sent it yet."

What? 

Because All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

I've only been and gone and created myself a farcebook profile. I may or may not bother to sporadically update this with reports Live from the Lunacy here. Work away.

Damned If You Do

In a reversal of the usual state of affairs for a Monday morning, I was in work on time today and The Boss was late. Almost half an hour late, which is quite unusual for The Boss - oftentimes when I arrive in here (normally between five and ten minutes late), I get the distinct impression that The Boss has been here all night.

The Boss : "Sorry I'm late."

Here's me : "Hey, it happens. And you don't really need to apologise to me for being late anyway, you know."

The Boss, snidely : "I take it you were late too?"

Here's me : "No."

The Boss : "Because I was phoning you."

Here's me getting defensive : "Oh really now?"

The Boss : "I was, and you didn't answer. So you must have been late."

Here's me : "The phone has not rung."

The Boss : "Only because I couldn't remember your number."

Here's me : "Wha?"


Happy Monday.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Hickory Dickory Dock...

The Boss : "Where would I get mousetraps?"

Here's me : "Uh, dunno exactly. For the house is this?"

The Boss : "Yeah. Haven't seen them but I know they're there."

Here's me : "Been finding wee poos everywhere?"

The Boss : "Noooo....."

Here's me : "Seen one then?"

The Boss : "Noooo...."

Here's me : "How do you know you've got mice then? Things nibbled?"

The Boss : "Noooo...."

Here's me, with trepidation : "You're being strange about this..."

The Boss : "I have an old clock on the mantelpiece. The sort with a... thing... that hangs..."

Here's me : "A pendulum?"

The Boss : "Yeah. It hasn't worked for years but in the middle of the night it starts up and I can hear it banging from side to side..."

Here's me : "Uh, sure it wasn't just, I don't know, a breeze or something?"

The Boss : "No, it happens at the same time every night, about two in the morning. The pendulum starts banging off the side of the clock like crazy, just for a few minutes then stops. They must live in it."

Here's me : "Uh, like in the nursery rhyme?"

The Boss : "Yeah."

Here's me : "How long has this been going on for?"

The Boss : "A few months. Every night at two a.m."

Here's me : "How do you know it's mice?"

The Boss : "I just know."


Now is it just me or there is something not right here?

CSI Bossville

So yeah we had a break in. The whole building, really. Two fellas climbed up via the car park out back in the middle of the night, and got in via a first floor window. They then went into every office in the building, smashing through the glass panels in the doors with a fire extinguisher to unlatch the doors by reaching through. Nothing much taken really, one company had four laptops taken but that was pretty much it. Our office was broken into but nothing taken, since there's pretty much nothing to take.

As I walked into work, reception were handing out those disposable surgical-type rubber gloves to everyone coming in, to wear while we opened doors and so on on the way into our offices. The Boss was already in the office so I came in, looked disgustedly at the pile of broken glass beside the door, and sat down thinking "Well, at least the little fuckers didn't trash the place, or start a fire."

So I started to work and The Boss shouts over "PUT THE RUBBER GLOVES BACK ON!"

Here's me : "Wha?"

The Boss is trying to type with rubber gloves on and seems to want me to do the same.

Here's me : "It's only for the door handles and that. I don't think your keyboard is going to matter too much."

The Boss : "But they could have used the keyboards!"

Here's me : "What, you think they interrupted the burgling operation to rattle off a few e-mails? Updated their facebook status while they were here, maybe?"

The Boss : "YOU NEVER KNOW!"

Oh well. Anyway, about an hour or so later, the fingerprints guy turned up, along with a suited type from CID to take a statement. CID guy has the wonderful job of interviewing The Boss but he's having difficulty holding her full attention because she's busy telling fingerprint-guy how to do his job.

CID Guy : "First of all, is there anything missing, that you're aware of?"

The Boss, talking past him : "Aren't you going to do the door latch? They would have had to touch the door-latch."

Fingerprint Guy : "We actually can't prints from that kind of surface."

I am, as usual, embarrassed by association. Only The Boss would think of telling forensics how to do their job.

CID Guy : "Ahem. Anything taken, that you're aware of?"

The Boss : "No, but things have been moved."

CID Guy : "Moved?"

The Boss : "The tin I keep my stamps in. It's at the other end of the desk."

CID Guy : "But nothing missing?"

The Boss, re-routing the conversation : "Aren't you going to take footprints?"

Fingerprints Guy and CID Guy both stare at her.

The Boss : "In the broken glass. They must have stepped in it, because look there, you can sort of see a shape of a foot."

CID Guy : "No, we don't take footprints."

The Boss : "Well I would have thought you should have at least taken footprints."

CID Guy, plainly rattled, turns to me : "Anything taken, that you're aware of?"

Here's me : "No, nothing at all has been taken."

CID Guy, visibly relieved : "OK, well if anything should come to light here is my card..."

The Boss, gabbling : "Well I would have thought you should at least, put up some tape...."

All three of us are now staring at her.

"... and, uh, secured the area, and, um, isolated.. a crime scene."

CID Guy Is Beautiful : "No ma'am. I think you've been watching too much CSI."

Friday, 15 January 2010

Best/Worst Ever

This is probably the best/worst thing the Boss has ever said to me. I really didn't know where to look.


So in the middle of all this I finally went to see a doctor about this sleep-related problem I've had for some time. Specifically, it seems that I have fairly severe sleep apnea, which apart from the long-term health risks means that I generally feel quite tired and shitty a lot of the time, as I spend my sleeping hours trying to murder myself by asphyxiation - so anyway the doctor told me this was unusual in people who aren't overweight (I'm closer to the skinnier end of the range, hey) and took a look into my throat and reckons the problem probably lies therein. I have big tonsils and what's called a double uvula, crazy mutant freak that I am, apparently this is the root of the problem. The doctor told me that this is probably a case for surgery. Great. So anyway :

The Boss : "So what did the Doctor say?"

Here's me : "Well, apparently it's going to need surgery. Problem is in my throat, I have what's called a double uvula and for starters that's going to need surgically trimmed..."

The Boss, doubtfully : "Oovuuula?"

Here's me : "Yeah, you know that dangly bit that hangs down at the back of your throat?"

Doctor Boss, scornfully : "It's called a vulva."




-


I couldn't even speak one word in reply. Think I nearly swallowed my own tongue.

10+2

Just what is 10+2 filing?

A HUGE BLOODY ROW, is what it is.

Unable to get anything approaching sense or information from The Boss, I made some enquiries. The enquiries I made led to me making an utter dick out of myself, which is not the sort of thing that I really enjoy. Occasional bollockings from customers are par for the course but bollockings from the United States Customs And Border Protection Agency are frankly no fucking fun whatsoever.

10+2 filing is yet another part of the ongoing system of mind-melting bureaucracy very stringent security requirements from US Customs. To spell this out for you, the United States is the single most complicated country in the world to ship anything into, by a long stretch. Complicated, difficult, and immensely powerful in this sense - the US reserve the right to turn an entire ship out of it's coastal waters if there's a single piece of cargo in a single container on board that hasn't had every necessary document completed in good order. No-one is really mad keen to be the person who costs a shipping line a few million because they didn't send the right number of copies of the right forms, hey what? A quiet word with a chap I'm friendly with on the far side told me the bones of what I need to know, or more specifically what I needed to know about a year ago. This system can into place in January 2009 but no penalties were being issued for a grace period of one year from then, from which point on the intention of the powers that be is to hammer the life out of any transgressor, both with fines and an attempt to physically bury the guilty party in paperwork.

As with nearly every piece of new legislation in the freight industry this century, if you ask anyone "but why?" the answer is generally the short and far from simple : "Nine-eleven.". The global transport industry has taken nine years just to decide what forms need to be filled in as a result, think about that in your own time if you want to.

Anyway, I digress. It won't happen again, in fact I didn't really want it to happen at all but hey. Exports to the United States more or less account for our existence here in this company, and as such You Do Not Fuck About With Them.

I can't even type this out in a funny or amusing way, I'm trying to put a spin on it but it's not happening; basically, all the rules just changed and the World has had a year to get used to it, and I didn't know. Why didn't I know? Because, quite simply, we are a fucking shambles. We may be doing ok financially but in terms of being organized we are an utter fucking bollocks.

Three days of trying to understand while playing some sort of weird, inverted game of cat and mouse over the whole fucking thing.

Here's me : "So wait, do you actually understand this stuff?"

The Boss : "You should."

Here's me : "Well I only fucking found about it last week, I mean when the fuck did you find out?"

The Boss : "I told you about this."

Here's me : "Bollocks. Fucking. Bull. Fucking. Shit."

That's not a verbatim conversation because I've forgotten the details of this three-day-long-argument and the above is certainly toned down but suffice to say we both absolutely lost the fucking plot and our respective rags and as this is just too bloody serious to let go head office have become involved and we have both been summoned to go to a meeting with the upper echelons, which promises to be interesting I'm sure. Having to fly back home together afterwards should be a fucking riot, apart from anything else. This is very fucking serious indeed and I am not going down for this utterly fucking calamitous fuck-up.

I don't think I've managed to convey what's happening at all, but so much of it is technical and the conversations around it were disastrous. By coincidence or whatever I ended up getting sick and took a few days off to recover, during which I still managed to have arguments with The Boss via telephone while I was lying there in bed, and these are not our usual to-and-fro stuff, it's been full on bloody warfare. So something may happen in the not-too-distant and what that all means I can't even really think because I'm still not feeling the best and I'm stressed to the fucking neck over the whole thing. More news as it breaks.

Who You Gonna Call?

As you can imagine, various conversations have been had in the industry in recent weeks concerning the knock-on implications of some arsehole blowing up his underpants. There is a very definite chain of events that occurs after any security-related event, a chain which more or less amounts to 'if this ever happens again you can be damn sure we'll know exactly who to blame for letting it happen'. Yes, I'm flippant about this, and I think in a lot of ways that's the correct position, but that's a different story.

Airport security. I have not since nor probably never will again see airport security like we had here in the 1980's. We were doing "terr*rism" here long before it started really selling and getting to number 1 in the charts and stuff, doncherknow. Forget putting your toothpaste in a wee polythene bag, you had to pull into a lay-by with a sort of army checkpoint thing going on a couple of miles down the road from the airport itself to get your car searched, for starters, and were then body-searched for the first time before you even got inside the airport building itself. It was a bit of a o_O moment for me the first time I walked into an airport somewhere else and realised it was just a case of walking in straight off the street, with the same ease as one would walk into a shopping centre. Actually at that time the shopping centres here probably body-searched you on the way in - I can't remember for sure, I was only wee.

Anyway, there isn't really a point to this other than a vague anecdote I thought I'd share because some light relief is in order for me before I finish telling you about the terrible shit-fest that this last week or two has been. I've been staring at the same draft for a couple of days, it's just too bloody miserable.

It was, I'm pretty sure, round about 1984, which would place me at six  years old or thereabouts. Several very very important things were happening in quick succession - you may at first not see why they are related - firstly, I was taking my first trip 'abroad' with the family, on a holiday to Spain; secondly, I had received for Christmas that year a Meccano set, and finally I had recently seen Ghostbusters.

As any child was at this time, I was Ghostbusters mad, and had pretty much decided that this was my future career right there and then. The other great god in my life at this stage was the Meccano set, which I was utterly obsessed with. Being an enterprising sort of a child, I had decided that it seemed like a simple enough matter to construct my own ghost-catching-ray-gun from the humble Meccano set. Easy because I tell you what it was a magically brilliant Meccano set and apart from all the wee nuts and bolts and girders it also ONLY HAD A FRIGGIN MOTOR IN IT.



Anyway. I had discovered, because I was that kind of child, that just attaching the one provided AA battery was absolutely not where the money was. Instead, you could fashion an ARRAY of POWER for your ghost-hunting device by sellotaping a long string of AA batteries end to end, and the motor then went absolutely dip shit and if you were lucky screamed and whined and emitted smoke.

With this technology I fashioned my ghost-capturing weapon from little metal rivets and girders. And I loved it, naturally, for however many days or weeks my ghosthunting career lasted - it was so cool that the other kids let me be Venkman for a while, and I was a serious nerd - this was like winning the lottery, you understand.

Happy days. So the whole Spain holiday thing loomed and while I'm sure it seemed at least vaguely interesting it didn't really compete in the interest stakes when put alongside my fledgling paranormal containment and disposal service, so I was actually quite bummed I guess about having to down tools on this front for two whole weeks.

But I had a fucking great idea, I did.

If the young Koala had to go to Spain, then he would tackle their ghosts.

At the last minute, once the bags were packed, I furtively crept up to where my parents packed suitcases were stored, and slipped into one of them my protonic-ghost-capturing-equipment. Consisting of a block of various bits of metal, wires and so on, and a bunch of taped batteries. Then happy as dog with two danglers a couple of hours later we all trotted off to the airport with this in one of our suitcases.





Apparently the resulting partial-evacuation episode in the airport was pretty impressive. My dad ended up getting questioned by the army and everything. Brilliant.

Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful

And yet here I sit with my sleeves rolled up and the window open. I think it's somewhere in the region of about -4' C outside right now, and yet I am sitting here sweating like a priest in a Barney outfit. The Boss has one again attempted to exert control over the laws of thermodynamics and has turned the air conditioning up to 29' C before leaving last night. 


I question her on this as we sit slowly dying of heat exhaustion.

Here's me : "Why did you do this?"

The Boss : "It was set to 19. But 19 was too cold."

Here's me : "So what was wrong with, I dunno, 21 or something? I mean, 29 degrees?"

The Boss : "I set it to 23. But that was too warm."

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "23 was too warm. So I opened the windows. But then it was too cold, and I had to turn it up to 29. 29's just right when the windows are open."

I'm going to kill her, very soon.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Nods and Winks

Oh, it's going to get worse. Honestly. Seriously. I'm going to have to wait to tomorrow night and have a drink on hand before I tell you the rest.


Anyway, I must mention the following. Manuel the Waiter, firstly, is back from hiatus. Manuel is frankly beyond fucking brilliant and is probably one of the main original inspirations to start blogging this bollocks. You'll love it, seriously.



Longtime friend, former bandmate and generally top chap Marty is doing this interesting and worthwhile thing of being sober for a year and abstaining from anything stronger than caffeine for the duration. Donations are accepted on behalf of mental health charity SANE and if mental health or issues with substances is something that interests or affects you for whatever reason then you should take a look. 


Back shortly :)

What Really Happened

Happy New Fucking Year. I mean it.


Monday. I dragged my sorry carcass out and into the snow like some sort of pitiful lost lamb and made my way to the office, which was freezing, and depressing, and entirely devoid of sunlight - both the journey and the destination I'm talking about here - and the only thing going through my mind, honestly, was 'please let her be sane today... please...'


But no.


Fuck no.


I was greeted upon my arrival by this bastard thing:











Yessum.


Here's me : "What's that?"


The Boss : "A paper shredder."


Right then.


Our used paper goes to the recycling thingy. It doesn't need to be shredded. We do not deal with anything that needs to be shredded. If you've been reading, you know this. I'm too tired to elucidate too much right now. And at this time on the cold First Monday Of The New Fucking Year, I could surely not be bothered to get into this with The Boss.


So anyway I sat down morosely and set about tidying up. There is a certain amount of, let's call it shite, that you generate on a daily basis on this industry, because the paperwork involved would bore the shit out of any thinking person and anything that looks non-urgent and complicated tends to get re-shuffled to the bottom of the deck, sometimes for years, and so gradually these piles of documents expand and at quiet times, like now should be, I often spend a little time trying to reduce the amount of shite I'm surrounded by. I mean, I'm not too bad that way, I don't have too much. The Boss, as you can imagine, at this stage has spread her shite into every part of the room that is not my desk, and some of these pieces of paper have actually worked here longer than me.


Anyway.


I start tidying my shite and The Boss is sitting happily shredding paper with her new shreddy friend. I'm trying to concentrate and get into a flow with what I'm doing but I can't really quite achieve either because The Boss, having found her personal flow, commences with the questions.


The fucking questions.


The Boss, furiously shredding : "What weight is 1800?"


I merely grunt and continue to concentrate.


The Boss continues with her shredding. It has a button you have to hold down. She's like a cat with catnip.


The Boss : "What are parameters?"


Ah, but being away from her monitor is freeing up that which passes for the language-processing area of her brain, and so now she is just speaking every random thought that comes to mind. I find that I can actually negate a lot of BossCrazy by just totally ignoring her when she asks a question. It may sound rude but it doesn't take any longer than about thirty seconds for her to forget that she's asked me. It's hard to maintain though, that kind of thing.


The Boss : "Where do I get my unread e-mail?"


Here's me, not looking up : "inbox"


The Boss : "I looked in my inbox but they're not there. Did you fiddle with my x-box? outbox?"


Mr Shreddy : NUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNG


Here's me : "guh"


The Boss : "What do you want for lunch?"


Here's me : "I... it's nine thirty?"


The Boss : "Do you think our server is down?"


Here's me, looking up : "You're... you're not even at the... gah...."


The Boss : "Just wondering. Can you send me what you've e-mailed me?"


NUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNG


The Boss : "What's the exchange rate to dollars today? Euros. Pounds. Dollars?"


Then, without missing a beat, without even waiting to see if I'm going to try to answer -


"What's 'cushion's disease?'"


NUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNG


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


The Boss : "Somebody was talking about it. How far advanced is India?"


Here's me, now giving up any pretence of trying to work.


"Look. Seriously. I'm trying to get some things cleared up here. Don't distract from this for a wee bit and I won't distract you from your hobby there."


NUNGNUNGNUNG


The Boss : "Have you got sars?"


Yeah, that's what I heard her say, I don't know either.


Here's me : "You are driving me up the wall. Seriously."


The Boss : "You should have had it done already."


Here's me : "Had what done? What? Hey? You don't even know what I'm doing over here. Really. For fuck's sake."


The Boss : "Well it's alright for you to sit there clearing things up as if you've no proper work to do."






NUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNG



Here's me, biting : "I am trying to clear up things I could not get done over the last few weeks because I was very busy. If you would like to clear these things up, I will happily shred the fucking paper for you."


The Boss : "Well... if"


Here's me : "...and further I am trying to get some things done when I am really at a bit of a loss here. I'm trying to understand all this shit from Houston and half of these things I've never heard of before... I think I've got the rate filing sorted, the AMS filing, the ISF I sort of vaguely understand but I mean really what the hell is all this 'ten plus two filing' shit about and if you know anything about this I could really use some sensible fucking help because some of this stuff is scaring the shit out of me..."


The Boss : "Do you not know about 'ten plus two'?"


Here's me : "No, do you know about 'ten plus two'? What the fuck is 'ten plus two'?"


The Boss : "Filing."


NUNGNUNGNUNGNUNGNUNG


Here's me : "I'm gonna need a little more than that."


The Boss : "You should know."


Here's me : "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK"


I'm literally inches away from expensive channelled violence, and this is only the fucking beginning.


Here's me, a ranting dribbling mentalist : "Lunch. You said something about lunch. Granted it's not even ten o'fucking'clock yet but sure let's talk about lunch. What would you like for lunch?"


The Boss, furious : "It's too early to be thinking about lunch!"


NUNG












Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

(belatedly. sorry, etc.)

It even sounds better. Two-thousand-and-nine just doesn't roll off the tongue, and every time I heard someone refer to the decade as "the noughties", I felt like punching a clown. But TWENTY-TEN. Sounds impressive. Sounds dynamic. It's definitely the future, twenty-ten. I returned to work on Monday morning for once vital, and full of the joys and so on, and with definite aims in mind. I had a healthy breakfast and despite the cold, it was a crisp and beautiful morning.

I entered the office with purpose, made the formalities and then sat down opposite The Boss and produced a document from my pocket, which I laid upon the table. Allow me, sez I, to run you through this point by point; it is not a list of demands per se, but it may not do any harm for you to consider it as such.
  1. When The Boss feels herself about to speak, The Boss is to stop, and think.
  2. The Boss is to double check the thought produced in (1) and if it seems that my reaction will be 'wha?', The Boss is to not speak.
  3. Even if The Boss is to speak, The Boss is to speak no more than is strictly necessary on the subject.
  4. The Boss is to call all things, including but not limited to persons, places, currencies, and any other object, animate or inanimate, animal, vegetable or mineral, by their proper name. If The Boss does not know the thing in question's proper name, The Boss is to stop and find out it's proper name before continuing.
  5. The Boss is not to say, under any circumstances, ever, the combination of syllables 'Ronan Keating'.
  6. The Boss is not to sing La Cucharacha, neither wholly nor in part.
  7. That line in 'Yellow Rose of Texas' should be sang as 'Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew', not 'Her eyes spar-kel like diamonds, they tinkle like a Jew'
  8. The Boss is not to sing 'Yellow Rose of Texas', neither wholly nor in part.
  9. The Boss is not to sing.
  10. The Boss is not, not ever, ever again, to click her fingers at me to get my attention. I would also advise The Boss that if The Boss also perchance does that at waiters, The Boss deserves everything she gets.
  11. The Boss is not to talk about, think about, use, consider, or in any other way whatsoever involve herself with spreadsheets.
  12. The Boss will agree that no-one has ever tried to hack into us, nor ever will, and we shall not speak of it again.
  13. The Boss is not to borrow my ruler for the purpose of scratching her back. If The Boss wishes to scratch her back in this way, she must order a new ruler to replace the ruler she previously broke while scratching her back.
  14. Nine until twelve - "Good Morning, [company name]"; Twelve till five thirty - "Good Afternoon, [company name]"
  15. The company name, once again, is (XXXXXX)
She read this document a few times through, at my insistence, and agreed that these points were all fair and reasonable, and that she had long been unfair and unreasonable, and that she had seen the error of her ways and would agree to my demands conditions and that she looked forward to moving forward in a forward-thinking manner.
















I can't carry on this lie any longer, I've had The Week From Hell. From fucking HELL. Let me show you it.