31 Aug 2004

Bank Holiday Blues

New research by the Investors In People says that people don't like going back to work after their holidays. I know. It's remarkable isn't it.

Here's looking forward to the outcome of their "Where to bears go for a shit?" research.

Apparently, bosses should make an effort to say "Welcome Back" as 44% said that it would make a difference.

Some of my team came back today looking tanned and disillusioned after their Summer break.

I nearly welcomed them back, but given that there's less than half a chance that they'd give a toss, I couldn't be arsed.

26 Aug 2004


The Ron Tikki Man was on full volume today, giving me grief about the inordinate laminate use in the office. Apparently the Bolton office uses as many laminates as the rest of the sites put together.

He muttered, mumbled and stumbled over dire warnings about the landfill time bomb and my responsibilities to future generations, “do you realise that the plastic will last for a 100 years, while paper will rot in a year.”

It’s a sobering thought when you consider that our office is to leave a legacy of pointless signs for our descendents. There are splendid laminated examples of Word Art on every wall:

“Leaving this door open causes a draft and is a Heath and Safety issue that may lead to dismissal.”

“Please leave this photocopier tidy – your mother doesn’t work here”*

“Please flush and brush before you rush.”

And of course there is my wipe-clean Dannii Minogue collection. I’m sure that the people of the future will forgive me.

* John Doe’s mother actually does work here (in accounts). I suspect he ignores this message.

25 Aug 2004

It’s not easy being green

I’ve been busy this week. The Ron Tikki Man has been on a visit from Birmingham. He’s the ecology representative and he’s been sat with my team wearing a little ethnic hat and smelling of essential oils.

He’s given me a ticking off about the rate the office goes through plastic cups. He pointed to Martin’s “The Best Boss in The World” cup, complete with its layer of grime.

“That’s more like it. You should all have one of those.” He said.

“I think you’ll find that if we all had one it wouldn’t be grammatically accurate and “the Better Boss in The World” doesn’t have the same ring.” I replied.

Being green brings out the worst in me.

19 Aug 2004

Venus the Fly Trap

Simon, the Craig David looky likey, spent the morning flicking rice crispies into the fly zapper.

It kept him amused between calls for hours until he started to get over confident and used an elastic band and a paperclip.

A misfire hit Bess from Janice’s team square on the arse.

It caused a diplomatic incident that rumbled on all afternoon.

I don’t think I helped matters by saying “I think the lady doth protest too much.”

There are times when Hamlet doesn’t help matters.

18 Aug 2004

Can Can

When I tentatively presented the SELL-A-THON to my team they were uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the idea.

Unfortunately, they misheard what I said; they thought we were having a STELLA-THON and launched in to an impressive flurry of sales expecting to be furnished with lager.

Simon, the Craig David looky-likey, was enraged as I handed over a mars bar for his efforts.

“Reassuringly inexpensive…” I added.

17 Aug 2004

The Prize is Right

Bernard is opening his cupboard this week to fund Martin’s SELL-A-THON with prizes.

Martin has calculated that we can boost our sales by tempting the staff with various goodies. Bernard is excited at the prospect and he has transformed his office into a cornucopia of sales incentives.

Martin looked disappointed at what was on offer. Bernard’s cupboard has not been open for quite a while, nevertheless, I expect sales to soar when they find out what they could win:

First Prize – Hear’say (Popstars) CD – Their first (and best) album.

Second Prize – A Dairy Milk Easter Egg.

Third Prize – “As many Refresher chew bars as you can carry”

It’s a winning formula.

16 Aug 2004

Now I could drink Hot Blood

I watched Hamlet at Strafford over the weekend. I don’t know why I’m drawn to a drama about an overly introspective genius who is stalled by in-action while being surrounded by manipulative, corrupt fools, but I do find it compelling.

Ian was wearing a Garfield tie today. The orange cat was being squashed by MONDAY carved out of stone. He laughed off our ‘living in the eighties’ jibes, “It’s the only one that the dry cleaners didn’t mangle. Besides, he’s back in fashion.”

Martin spent the afternoon in Bernard’s office plotting something or other. It turns out that he has convinced him to have a SELLATHON week to shift the latest promotion: battery operated Fly Zappers.

They have been testing them out in the office causing an ultra-violet glow to radiate from the office like an overactive sun bed.

Martin was grinning from ear to ear as he emerged with the plan.

Smile, smile and be a villain!

10 Aug 2004

Sod’em and Tomorra

From one extreme to the next. After yesterday’s mugginess the heavens opened and poured a river through the Call Centre.

Everyone was clamouring for a seat at The Fridge yesterday, today people were quietly steaming by the radiators.

I was drenched. Soaked right through to the undercrackers. I squelched in my socks throughout the day.

“Wet enough for you?” Thrush said as I wiped my specs on my tie.

Tune in tomorrow for the locust.

9 Aug 2004

Sweltering Sky

It’s been really hot in the call centre. Fans have been clicking and paper has been wafting in a bid to compensate for the poor air conditioning. A missive from the premises manager did not help matters. They said that the problems with the air conditioning was caused by the inconsiderate use of monitors.

A memo has been sent to all Team Managers to insist that any unwanted monitors should be switched off.

What am I meant to do? How can I constantly shuffle my in-box if my monitor is not on?

5 Aug 2004

From the chaff

Thrush alternated “Glad you’re back?” with “I bet its like you’ve never been away,” throughout the last couple of days.

I have been a man on a mission since my return. I have been clutching my luminous ‘Things To Do’ pad as if my life depended upon it. I have been switching on my empathy too and trying to get to grips with the various neurosis of my team.

I don’t like to make light of these matters, and if you are suffering from stress yourself, you have my ‘empathys’ – but bleedin’ hell - I think the world is going mad.

Consider my team: a few months ago Joan needed to blow into a bag to calm her down; Fido through a wobbly at the canteen manager because there was too many carbs on the menu (I had to go and break it up – he was off for three weeks because he was ‘tired and emotional’ following the incident); even Barney, the big gay bear, left his previous job at tetrapak because he couldn’t hack it, “I could never get into a box” he said.

Tizzy came back into work again today following her ‘stress related illness’ that was brought on by losing her little grey book. “I don’t think it was just that,” she said.

“What do you think it was?” I said, managing to resist saying ‘get a grip’.

“Dave brought home a Warburton’s toastie loaf and I think it triggered my wheat allergy.”

I am glad I’m back.

3 Aug 2004

Waking Up!

I’m back.

I feel refreshed following a week lapping up the sunrays in Rhyl (you should see what they’ve done to the prom – it’s fantastic – (irony free brackets)).

But, I was tossing all night prior to going back to work; I had a dream about work and I never dream about work.

I dreamt that I had my own office. I had a dream that I had my own cupboard full of goodies with Team Managers queuing at the door while I doled out sweets in exchange for sales statistics. I had a dream that I listened to daytime radio all day under the illusion that I was listening to calls ‘for training purposes’. I had a dream that I could sign off stationery expenses and had top of the range ‘Paperchase’ stuff.

I am resolved. I’m no longer content trying to become a ‘made’ Team Manager – I want to become a capo-regieme - I want to have Bernard’s job.

I’ve had a dream.

While I’ve been off, Tizzy lost her little grey book full of contact numbers. It’s the second time this year and as a consequence she’s been signed off with ‘stress’ for two weeks.

Ah well. I’m sure that Martin Luther King had similar set backs at the beginning.