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.