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Slow Day

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

The problem with slow days in work is that they encourage me to eat too much. I tend to keep some spare crisps or biscuits in my desk and if work gets a bit boring I sometimes succumb to 'boredom munchies' and start snacking, or head to the kitchen for a 'boredom cuppa'. Unfortunately we are still suffering from a lack of teaspoons in the kitchen. We keep getting more but they keep disappearing.

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Diarise This

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

We received a couple of emails today just dripping with corporate-bollocks-speak. The first one informing us of repair work going on outside the building and telling us to Please diarise this event.

No I don't think I will. I'm not going to do a thing until you use proper English and not stupid made up words in an attempt to sound clever.

The second email informed us of repair work going on inside the building out of office hours. Apparently it will be BAU during the working day. There was no explanation of what "BAU" meant. I think it stands for "Bullshit As Usual".

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Windy Trains

Story location: Home / Blog / birmingham /

It has been very windy today. Whenever it's windy, a strange sound can be heard from the back of our house. It's a low moaning note, sounding like a lower version of when you blow over a bottle top. We hope it is just air blowing past a pipe and not some sort of wind monster outside.

On my way to work this morning, the pavements were blocked by wheelie bins lying on their sides, victims of the wind overnight. The trains were running but were reduced to 50mph for safety. At least they were running. Things weren't so good tonight.

I had heard that the Virgin Trains to London had been cancelled but I got to New Street at my usual time in the hope that I wouldn't have to wait long for a train. I couldn't check the 'Live Departures' website because it was down. The screens at New Street were all displaying a notice apologising for the disruption caused by the weather.

The station was surprisingly quiet. There weren't many trains at the platforms and surprisingly few people standing around. I overheard someone saying that the main entrance to the station had been closed. With no train times being displayed, everyone was milling around on the bridge waiting for an announcement over the tannoy.

Thankfully a train to Coventry was announced. I managed to get a seat. The train was surprisingly empty given that it was one of the few actually leaving. The exercise in crowd control at the main entrance seemed to be a bit over zealous meaning a lot of people couldn't get to the platforms.


Story location: Home / Blog / work /

I couldn't find my wallet this morning - I realised I must have left it in my desk in work. I didn't want it there all weekend so I thought it would be best for me to nip back in to retrieve it. It was a 3 hour 'nip'. There were no trains running from Coventry station (thanks to engineering works) so I had to get onto a rail replacement bus. This decided to stop at every station between Coventry and Birmingham International and took ages. The only consolation was seeing a goat standing on a picnic table, somewhere halfway between Canley and Tile Hill.

Hot Water

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

At long last and after months of waiting, we finally have a new water heater in the kitchen in work. The new one is one of the wall mounted boilers and it seems to work a bit better than the old table-top one. Hopefully this will reduce the amount of time wasted as people stand around waiting for hot water.

Feeling Drained

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

The mobile blood van was outside the office today so I popped down this morning to give them a pint or so. I didn't realise it had been over 2 years since I last gave any. I must have been out of practice which would explain why it took such a long time.

I first started giving blood when I was working in North Wales. When I went to Aberystwyth I decided to continue doing it. It was made easier by the blood donor service turning up on campus every few months. The first time at Aber was a bit confusing because they couldn't get my details from my blood donors card. It turned out to be an English issued card which was not compatible with the Welsh system. Although I'd only ever given blood in Wales, the vans in North Wales were run by the Liverpool service.

Secret Santa

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

We had the secret santa present givaway this morning. Last week we had to draw a name out of a hat and buy a present for that person. I got a Bedlam Cube. I made the mistake of taking it out at lunchtime. I can't get it back in the box now!

Where have all the teaspoons gone?

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

All the teaspoons have disappeared from the kitchen in work. There are usually plenty first thing in the morning but they all go by lunchtime. No-one knows what happens to them or where they go. There are people trying to make cups of coffee using forks.

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Christmas Do

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

It was our work's Christmas Do today. I bumped into one of my office colleagues while I was en-route to the station to meet Emma. We went for a pint at the German Market before meeting everyone else at the restaurant.

The restaurant seemed to struggle with this many people. They had difficulty finding enough seats. Service was a little slow and irregular, it took a while to get served and we ended up with several spare starters and desserts. I think that's why they encouraged all the dancing, to distract people from the quality of the service. The food was good though.

Itchy and Scratchy

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

I had my hair cut on the way to work this morning, with the intention of having a shower when I got to the office. There was a sign on the shower door saying it was out of order so I walked down 2 flights of stairs to the next shower. No 'out of order' sign so I got in and turned the taps. No water. Turned the taps fully one way then the other. Got a brief squirt of water for a second then nothing. I couldn't be bothered walking down 2 more floors to try another one. Looks like I'll be stuck wearing a hairy shirt for the rest of the day.

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Story location: Home / Blog / work /

Someone is trying a little too hard to sound clever. Everyone in work received an email warning about removing the newspapers from the canteen:

These newspapers are provided by Management to utilise within the canteen area and so this property should kept within the vicinity.

We are going out to a restaurant tonight (Wing Wah), otherwise I would probably go home and utilize our television within the lounge area.

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Restoring files from Anchovies

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

We had an email sent round the office in work, describing the disk structure and file archiving procedure. It included instructions for archiving files and also told us who was responsible for 'restoring files from anchovies'. I hope that was a typing error and they haven't invented some fish based storage system.

Birthday Cake

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

There's a tradition in work where people celebrate occasions such as birthdays by bringing in some cakes. My contribution this year was to bring some assorted muffins and chocolate doughnuts, which I placed in the kitchen before sending out an email to inform everyone.

Unfortunately I used the words 'cake in the kitchen' so now I can't get the UB40 song 'Rat in the kitchen' out of my head

There's some cake in the kitchen, what am I gonna do?
There's some cake in the kitchen, what am I gonna do?
I'm gonna eat that cake, what's what I'm gonna do.
I'm gonna eat that cake.

hedgehog cake

Yesterday Emma made a Hedgehog Cake based on a recipe and directions in a baking book. We had a small slice of it tonight. It had to be a small piece because we went out to TGI Friday's for our tea and were both rather full when we got back.

You can just about make out in the picture that the sparkler is in the shape of a letter 'M'.

How not to write a website

Story location: Home / computing /

A colleague in work was trying to log into a website but it wouldn't accept her password. She clicked on the Can't Login? link to see what options were available. This took her to the bug reporting screen which required her to log in first! All rather stupid but she did manage to log in in the end.

That's not the only thing wrong with the website but possibly the silliest thing is to do with the meta tags in the <head> section of the web pages. The meta keywords tag is often used to help search engines index the pages. The only page which is visible to a search engine is the 'log in' screen but this doesn't have the meta tags. These are on the pages which can only be reached after logging in, where they would be invisible to a search engine. Even better than that is the list of keywords. This starts off sensible enough but ends with "Add more here....".

The Water Unheater

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

In the kitchen in work we have a water heater. It's fairly new, only about a month old. It's also not very good, spending most of it's time holding water at around 80°C, not enough for a proper cup of tea.

There's a button to press to force it to reheat the water but it often has the opposite effect. If I press it when the temperatures reading in the 80's, it often drops to 70-odd degrees before slowly climbing.