Friday, June 30, 2006


Please sir, can I have some more work?

It seems like I report to everyone in the organisation at times. Today alongside my usual tasks, I had to assemble sets of promotional materials for people going to conferences (involving much humping about of cardboard boxes in hot weather) and run around putting together the pieces for a funding bid that my manager offloaded onto our boss at approximately half past seven the night before... with a deadline of Monday.
Finally I got everything we needed for the bid, after I'd pointed out the rather odd requirements regarding un-audited accounts. I set off to the Post Office clutching my precious package. I got it guaranteed to arrive by saturday afternoon for the monday deadline, and then started ambling homewards...

What then happened was a sequence of events worthy of Frank Spencer

Halfway between the station and post office I realised that I was supposed to take copies of the application form... Failure to do so would not ake me look good at all, particularly given that I need to re-apply for my job soon as the contract finishes in August

I sped back to the Post Office. 17.30: it hadn't gone yet.
I explained the situation and was told that it would be collected at 17.45. We extracted it, my money was refunded and I ran back to the office. Can I just say the people at Russell Square Post Office are absolute saints - if you're ever down that way needing a stamp, pop in and say hi...
Let myself back into our office, did the copying, re-packaged the application.
Ran back to the post office where I was beckoned to skip the queue, as the van driver was gathering sacks. The new sticker was attached, I handed the money over again, and Once more the package was on its way. Phew.

I have established a new Olympic event for 2012, the WC1 triathlon involving 2x300m sprints on concrete with a rapid photocopying session in between. To be executed in smart shoes and an impractical [for sprinting] jacket. The record currently stands at 13 minutes 45seconds...

Stepped out of the post office... pocket feels a little light... Ah. No wallet. Hadn't left it on the desk at the post office... which means it must be in the office... with my swipe card inside... Bugger.

Didn't have the number of anyne likely to be in the office... no-one around... had I really left it in the office? Could I survive the weekend without my bank cards? Thankfully when I was about to give up I met someone coming out, who let me in. So all sorted, but a lot of sweat and stress expended, and I don't even think we'll get the funding.

Only one duty this weekend, the local Race For Life which shouldn't be too stressful [famous last words], heat & blisters probably the main events needing our attention. Should be more comfortable now I finally have some non-winter uniform (no thanks to our supplies officer)

A post about trousers is brewing, stay tuned.

Friday, June 23, 2006



YouTube Joy.


Just what do you do with them?

Working in a charity's fundraising dept, cheques make up a large proportion of our incoming mail. Occasionally however we get those large cheques, 2 feet long or more that people seem so keen on having for photos of them handing over said oversized cheques. The big cheques are just for show (which I thought was a great shame when I discovered I wouldn't be depositing a 3ft cheque for 3k in our finance dept's intray)
What does one do with the bloody things? Answers on the back of a postcard (oversized) Or the comments section.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006


Patronising the patronising

As many will be aware by now, one of my personal bugbears is having people think I look younger than I really am. This is one of the reasons I'm working on a beard. [That, and it's also a low-maintenance hobby, and could save me loads in razors and shaving gel]. When people think you are much younger than they are, they will sometimes patronise you.
My solution: Fight fire with fire.

Whilst attending to the injured and inebriated of Hertfordshire University's ball, I had the displeasure of the following run-in with a member I hadn't worked with before. I'd been asked to help him out by a more qualified member, and so I duly obliged by offering to do the paperwork, which consists of an A3 carbonated form, designed to cover every eventuality from a blister, through major trauma and spinal injury, to a heart attack (Some debate exists as to whether, in the event of a birth whilst in our care, a new form needs to be started for the new arrival, and whether we would classify it as 'self-referral' or 'called to scene' At least we could be sure of the date of birth. But I digress)

The exchange went as follows:

*In the calm, gentle voice one might use when guiding the elderly through fiddly computer procedures - if you consider anyone over 60 to be automatically of below average IQ*
"And then you can write in that box what we found, we didn't do that so tick the 'no' box, and write down there what we used..., yes that's good. This bit here's really useful for adding any additional information.. And then we sign it off"

With the patient gone and the form finally completed after I'd been meticulously guided through all 18 boxes, I turned to my new colleague...

*In my calm, gentle but frank, 'I'm really not bullshitting' voice*
"No offence, but I've been a member for 3 years, ran a unit for 2 years and trained the entire unit in how to use these forms when they came out, using the national guidelines and training pack. I've filled out more of these than I can remember at several large events, and one of my forms was considered clear enough to be admissible evidence in court for an assault case. So I do know what I'm doing with these"

I didn't get much of an apology, but I think it was his best attempt at one, and the expression on his face was rather enjoyable.

It reminded of me when an nPower guy came round to where I was living in my second year of uni to try to sell electricity:
nPower guy: "Oh, hi there. Is Mum or Dad in, or the person who pays the bills?"
Me, deadpan: "I pay the electricity bill, can I help?"
*without breaking his salesman's stride*
"OK, did you know how much you could save if you switched..."

A true professional.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I don't know...

whether to laugh at this woman for appearing in an awful photo, or run away screaming at the sight of that thing that's trying to kill her. Oh, her name's UKM@X apparently.

Friday, June 16, 2006



Our chief executive popped into the office a little while ago, asked how I was getting on... and then commented on my beard. It was a positive comment, and I explained it was a low-maintenance hobby. So, the moral of the story is, grow a beard and get noticed (that's a message for the ladies too - though you it may not be the kind of attention you were hoping for)

Later on I'll be heading over to Hatfield for the Herts uni summer ball. It's going to be a late one, but I'll be goign back to my St. John roots of picking up over-indulging students.
The line-up's fairly decent, better than anything we ever had at York (Hellooo? Liberty X? Booked because they were between record contracts? That's YUSU ents for you)
Best part has to be the website address:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Recycling... TO THE MAX!

When I was at university, many aeons ago, there was a computer recycling project on campus. They did a great job of trying to avoid putting serviceable IT equipment into landfill. I don't know if they ever offloaded their stock of 200 AT keyboards, but I think they missed a trick by not giving into their artistic side and thinking 'outside the box'

What to do with your old PC
[Things you don't see every day]


A biscuit... the first person who can identify what links the following albums, all of which nestle in my MP3 collection.
Terms and Conditions
Prize consists of one (1) digestive biscuit dispatched under plain cover under cover of darkness to the winner. The promoter reserves the right not to supply the biscuit or replace the biscuit with a biscuit of equal or higher value or one with chocolate on it. The promoter's decision is final. Winners wil be cleverer than I because I sure as hell can't figure out why I like all of the following albums. I just do.
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