Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

It’s rather disheartening for me to find after a good few months of not posting anything to this blog that during the time I haven’t added anything new the numbers of my readers has inexplicably doubled!
I suppose I find myself in good company, Vinnie Van Gough, Van Gof or Van Hoof however you want to say it would probably be lending me his ear over a pint of absinthe, after all he too wasn’t appreciated in his lifetime or even his lunch time.
At this point I’d like to reassure my readers that I am neither dead nor insane or so the voices tell me, of course by the time you read this that status may have changed. Just keep watching Sky ‘breaking news’

That leads me on to next perplexing conundrum – who does actually read this stuff?

Does my boss? I don’t think so, not unless there is an internet connection in his colon which after all is where his head seems to be most of the day. If you are reading this and you know who I am don’t expect me to come quietly, I have a stapler and I am not afraid to use it!

Does my Mum? Yes she does, hi Mum. Actually she doesn’t. Mum thinks the internet is used for fishing and webs are for spiders. I think the internet is for porn and the web is for, well, more porn. Let’s hope we don’t meet in a chat room which luckily is highly unlikely as a chat room is something they have at old people’s homes for the Grannies to watch television and play pass the colostomy bag.

Is it more of my Chechen friends from last year? Somehow I doubt it, if it is they happy Jihad guys, spread the word and thanks for all your support. Of course if it is my beardy friends then I get double bubble because I can include the people who follow this lot around the internet and kick down doors in the middle of the night. Please note I have a new front door, if you are going to pop round for tea and a spot of interrogation let me know and I’ll leave the keys under the flower pot.

So who are you, where are you and are you willing to donate large amount of cash to my ‘lifestyle’ fund? My Uncle the Nigerian General would be very interested to hear from you and for a modest finder’s fee I can put you in touch, THIS IS NOT A SCAM.

Anyone that replies saying something nice will be added to a free prize draw – prize to be donated by my Chechen fan club.

Over (the hill) and Out.

PostScript – Yes I know the ‘Chechen’ bloke is actually a British copper but I liked the picture…..alright?


The notice boards in the corridors here are used as some sort of Orwellian method of brain washing and for communicating propaganda to the masses. Anyone stupid enough to stop and read them will either immediately fall into a bullshit induced coma, or in rare cases assume the identity of a chicken and have to be talked down from the bike shed roof. This has always been the case and I would imagine will always continue to be so until the end of time or total financial Armageddon, which ever comes first. This topic has so far slipped below my blogging radar because I try my best to totally ignore it, if I can possibly help it, but it’s fast getting to the point where their campaign of puerile patronisation and pedantry is even beginning to burn through my shield of cynicism and world weariness.

Usually I embellish these diatribes slightly to try and make my banal work existence seem interesting but I am going to let the following announcements stand up and speak for themselves – remember reader, someone out there gets paid for creating these genius Goebbelsesqe pieces of propaganda gold!

Exhibit A – A poster showing an elephant with 5 legs emblazoned with the question ‘What do you see?’

Well, I see a 5 legged elephant the same as anyone else from planet earth who looks at it. I suppose if I stood and stared long enough maybe a metamorphosis into something useful would occur, maybe like a 4 legged elephant. The worst thing about this is it’s supposed to be something to do with disabled people in the workplace, personally if I were down on my personal quota of 4 limbs a poster showing an animal with an extra one could be construed as rubbing salt into the stump!

Exhibit B – An order from the third directorate, thought Police.

The football world cup was somewhat of a damp squib (which is an excellent description of Wayne Rooney) but instead of using the opportunity to improve staff cohesion and morale by giving into the inevitable and allowing staff to watch / listen / swear at the football, it was decided to send around a very tersely worded email to the effect of anyone caught even thinking about football would be taken out into the car park and personally introduced to three very real and very hungry lions. The email, which I will not be quoting because it would give away my employer and more importantly because it was a crime against grammatical sentence structure, essentially encouraged all staff to only watch world cup football games using the facilities provided by the company, the rub…… there were no facilities provided by the company – genius!

Exhibit C – Random emails about people I don’t care about nor will ever meet. If my career was any more stagnant I’d appear on maps as a pond so I do not appreciate this newly emerging trend of mailing every man, his dog and his dogs vet to congratulate some arse kissing salesman in the Guatemalan office and laud his pointless accomplishments to all and sundry. Frankly it’s the corporate version of spam although if I am totally honest I have far more use for penis enlargement creams and cheap Prozac than I will ever have for Juan and his impressive quarterly sales figures! Bottom line is no one apart from Juan and his mum could give a shit.

Exhibit D – Begging Letters
Some genius somewhere upstairs has decided that sending what amounts to begging letters to the staff extolling them to apply for current vacancies and using such words as ‘exciting’ ‘talent’ and ‘career’ and the like is a good idea.

Its not….

We all already work here, we know what its like and those ‘new opportunities’ have only arisen because the bloke sat next to you has been made redundant. It’s rather like a poultry farmer asking his chickens if they’d like to apply to be a dipper instead of a Kiev!

Exhibit E – Faux concern about our health and well being.

We are slave labour, that’s fine and we accept the situation. Without slave labour the Egyptians could never have built the pyramids which just goes to show you they need us as much as we need them. They don’t make us wear stripy pyjamas and nor do they insist your id number is tattooed on your forearm (yet). But even so everyone here knows someone who has cracked under the relentless pressure and ended up being forcibly moved from the battery farm to the funny farm.
Emails extolling the virtues of work life balance and telling us that smoking is bad and lettuce is good are constantly arriving in my inbox. Filled with twee nonsense such as ‘invest in yourself and your health, we think you are worth it!’ might ring more true if they hadn’t closed the gym and made it into offices and didn’t insist on phoning me day and night to ask puerile questions instead of letting me spend quality down time with the internet and a take away!

For years then I have managed to let this wash over me, on the Moon there is the sea of tranquillity, sounds nice, here what washes over me is the antithesis of that, lets call it the sea of idiocy…..either way I need some arm bands because I can feel myself going under – I thought drowning was supposed to be peaceful!

I have been evicted from my old position as the neighbour, confidant and sometime nemesis of Gary(th) and have been forcibly relocated into the far corner of the battery farm we call the office. For those who saw that Hugh Fernley Whittingfool documentary on cheap chickens I am stood on one leg below the far water feeder by the CD hanging from the roof, and for any of you who know this place I am now in the corner opposite our change control monkeys……. In other words and you can’t sugar coat this (if you did the woman that doesn’t do anything would have eaten it before I could publish it) I have been relegated to remedial central.
I have no idea who I have offended, and the list is long, but clearly I have upset the apple cart and now the smiley HR bailiffs have moved me and my pitiful box of belongings from my nice comfy desk with the beautiful people, and Gary(th), and forcibly relocated me into a dark corner with the lost, the lame and the loony, none of who seem to be toilet trained. It’s comparable to moving from a nicely sized Surrey country house, nothing too ostentatious, no heli pad or indoor pool, into a Leeds tenement that you have to share with drug addicts, the homeless and that annoying twat who presents Deal or no Deal. And before you think it, yes I do know his name I just can’t bring myself to type it.
So in keeping with my wish to involve you in the trials and tribulations of my career such that it is, here are short biogs of my new cell mates. If you recognise yourself in any of these descriptions then the fiendishly good looking man sat next to you might well be the world famous RLD. Oh and if you think it is you and someone keeps leaving packs of Tena lady pants, the odour eating ones on your desk, maybe you should take a hint and strap one on, please!

So then, in no particular order we have;

Kenneth Battleship

Kenneth, never Ken or Kenny, is the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back, assuming you were swapping it for several thousand pounds and a better shirt. More fashion unconscious than fashion conscious he has been in this place long enough to know that advancement is unlikely and resistance is futile. Keeps an Evian bottle filled with Gordon’s Gin in his desk that he thinks no-one knows about and has a mysterious predilection for mouldy fruit which he stacks up in neat piles like some sort of sexual homage to the man from Del Monte. The cleaners threw some of the more furry bits away recently and Kenneth’s wrath was awesome to behold.

Kenneth does not smell of his or anyone else’s wee.

Rupunzal Granola

The Doyenne of the department, she puts the ‘pun’ into Rupunzal alright. Rupunzal keeps pigeons, in a loft and races them, for fun. I shoot at pigeons, cook and eat them, for fun. I am not expecting an invite to visit Chez Granola anytime soon, and that’s fine, but I do wish she’d see the funny side of me attaching pigeon wings to her cycle helmet (she looked a little like a very angry Asterisk) and not keep hiding pieces of glass in my lunch.

Rupunzal does not smell of her or anyone else’s wee.

Sara Beetroot
I have mentioned Sara before; she steals tea money from me. Fanatical about the imaginary divide between my desk and hers the East German border police could have learned a thing or two about protecting the Berlin wall from this lass. If so much as the corner of a post it note accidentally crosses the great divide its like world war III but with tutting and eye rolling instead of real war stuff.
My dear old Gran used to say, anyone who has an ‘America’s next top model’ mouse mat at work needs to be treated with healthy respect and whilst I might not want her awards for gymkhana displayed on the wall next to my chair at least it shows she has interests outside of work other than taxidermy. Sara has a somewhat obvious crush on Kenneth and rumour has it she has a copy of his staff pass photo laminated and hidden under the sun visor of her car.

edit – no smell of wee – ever ever ever – Sara smells lovely, too nice sometimes in fact – it makes me all red faced and breathless!

It’s always been adapt or die in the big brother house that is this place, but if any of you had told me last year that in 12 months time I’d be pining for Gary(th) and his technology fetish then I would have slapped you round the face with a wet fish and called you a liar but here we are, no wet fish, no Gary(th) instead we have the heady aroma of gin and last weeks wee. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

In the interests of fostering discourse, generating measured debate and hopefully getting the old synapses popping I want you to ponder on the following question;

‘Do you by dint of your social, educational and work place experiences become a twat or are you born that way?’

In my job I interact on a daily basis with all sorts of people from all walks of life and I like to consider myself to be something of a student of human nature. The good, the bad and most definitely the ugly have all at some point or another crossed my path but fat, thin or sporting a definite face for radio there is one thing that many seem to have in common and you might have guessed it – they are twats.
My father once told me that people use swearing to make their points only do so because they have a fucking shit vocabulary, and I do try to keep that in mind when I write this stuff but sometimes only one word or phrase fits and after much soul and thesaurus searching, twat was the only word that seemed to fit this merry bunch of miscreants.

Twat – ‘Someone who is a stupid incompetent fool, a despicable person, used as a term of contempt and hostility’ (Definition courtesy of me)

Take a moment and close you eyes, let yourself relax and let your brain wander to its happy place. Now visualise the word ‘twat’ and you’ll soon start seeing their faces parade through your minds eye like a who’s who of vindictive misery – surprised at how many your subconscious fits into that bracket? You shouldn’t be, they are everywhere. I am not interested in the numbers though, I am more interested in what has made them the way they are, how do these people turn out differently to us, at which crossroads do they turn away from ‘normal’ and tread down the well worn path to Twatsville?
I personally don’t think you pop out of the womb or in the case of Ginger Bernard the test tube this way, and I don’t think your parents make a conscious decision to bring you up as such a loathsome creature, so it stands to reason that the metamorphosis must occur at school or in the work place.
To me there is an undeniable correlation between the office twat and those who were bullied at school. In the old days they were shipped off straight from boarding school to the Navy where they could hound the French to their black hearts content, but now they seem to be leaking into all facets of society. For example, I am positive my boss had his head flushed down the bog and ‘kick me’ notes stuck to his back on a regular basis and now I have to pay the price for his miserable but thoroughly deserved formative years.
Martinets throughout history have been bullied at school and then as soon as these people get any sort of responsibility or power the beast is unleashed and the price is paid by the innocent as well as the guilty. Hitler had his pencil case stolen by the Jewish kids, the librarians at his school used to hold down Pol Pot and use their spectacles as magnifying glasses to burn him on the nipples till his little creased face puckered in agony and from the photos I have seen he seems to have stayed that way.
I feel then that I have satisfactorily answered my original question, its nurture that creates these horrors and then it’s their own festering nature that turns their lives into a self fulfilling prophecy. But now that’s clear what can we do with them?
Aside from lobbying for a national ‘throw stuff at the twat’ day, and no before you say it St Andrews day does not count…. really…. I can’t see what else we can do, aside from maybe a pre-emptive cull of anyone who applies to be on the Apprentice or wants to work in Insurance.
On that cheery note I’ll bit you all adieu and see you in a few weeks – I am off on holiday!

Contrary to general opinion most people that work here are generally pretty skint, Sara Beetroot who sits across from me actually keeps a spreadsheet to monitor her daily in and out goings (money, not the other sort) and if things fall in the red she pleads poverty and a bad foot and forces me to buy her tea and food. Bearing this all in mind you might be unsurprised to realise that it’s not uncommon for staff here to augment their income using other means.
There are those who choose to make jewellery from bits of old rabbit hutch and hawk them on e-bay as examples of original San bushman shaman regalia. There are those who choose to give massages with or without happy endings behind the bike sheds (yes we do have bike sheds, yes you can get behind them, no there is generally no happy ending) and there are those who take an altogether more perilous route and open up their homes to foreign students.

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle which in my case is quite accurate. My house is falling down, I have birds nesting in the ruined chimney and my porch bears a frightening resemblance to a drawbridge that has been ravaged by a marauding band of Vikings. Take all that into account though and I can heave a huge sigh of relief that what I do not have is a lost fourteen year old Columbian boy in national dress wandering round at night looking for the toilet!
The thought of having my house invaded by homesick foreign teenagers makes me want to pull my teeth out…….through my arse! Teenagers are rather like the Albanians, lazy, surly and smelly with random mood and opinion swings and a penchant for never changing their socks. Imagine all that coupled with an inability to speak our language and the need to clean up after them and make their breakfast and dinner everyday and you are starting to see how the marauding Vikings are looking like the more attractive option, not that I find blonde beardy men in armour and pointy helmets arousing I’d like to add!

So anyway I have decided to come up with some fun uses for foreign students, aside from the money of course that could make their stay with you constructive and enjoyable, for you at least.

Dress them up and fight them – for example if you have a Spaniard and a Russian staying (they tend to split up nationalities by the way) you could dress the Ivan as a bull and give Pedro a cape and some skewers, hours of fun! Bored with that then you can play Chechen insurgents…. All you need is a fur hat for each of them, some sharpened spoons and a media blackout. You could always ask for specific nationalities for a specific historical event, do you have a hankering to re-enact the battle of Stalingrad? Simply ask for a German (or Hungarian) and a Russian …..simples……

Teach them the wrong words for things – They are here to learn and learn they shall, its just funnier if you teach them that the name for a kettle is ‘Darth Vader’ and the way to ask someone the time is to say ‘please, my buttocks hurt, do you have any margarine?’

Hire them out – no, NOT for that! You could hire them out to your friends and relatives as cleaners, chimney sweeps or to play the parts of foreign child sized chess set pieces at garden parties.

Play Mind Games – hide fake body parts in the fridge and a chainsaw behind the sofa. Measure them up with a measuring tape when they arrive and start to build a coffin in the lounge. After the first day when they arrive back from school dress up as a pirate and pretend you have no idea who they are. You are only constrained by your imagination and how quickly the police can find someone to translate the 999 call and send a car round.

When I started writing this I was dead against opening my doors to students and wanted to poke fun at those who do, but the more I think about it the more uses I can find for them and the more I am warming to the idea of being paid to have a pet that I can give back when I get bored. The only sticking point, not sure Mrs. D will have the same outlook as me.

I am in the unfortunate position of having a birds eye view of the car park from my desk, it’s not even the interesting corner of the car park where the ladies running team warm down at lunchtimes and the work dogging club meets, oh no I get a marvellous vista of the disabled parking spaces near the door (where not much warming down and only nominal amounts of dogging are done)
Anyway in my position of ‘Physically Impaired Monitoring Person’ or P.I.M.P I have been closely observing the ‘Handicapped or Equivalent staff’ or H.O.E.S as they like to be known. Now as most of you are aware companies like my employer love hiring people with defects not because it salves a guilty conscience or out of a sprit of togetherness and inclusivity, it’s because they get tax breaks for every Stephen Hawkins stunt double they employ and all they have to do to accommodate them is knock up a ply wood skate board ramp by the door and install a children’s toilet.
What I want to know is when being a massive fatty became a disability………….I mean these people are assigned parking spaces which are clearly designated for those with disabilities and yet all they have to do to qualify is have a big hole at one end that they shovel food into quicker than they jettison it out of the smaller hole at the other end, more laziness than disability in my opinion.
At least two of every three H.O.E.S are just basically whale sized cake eating machines and it must really piss off the quadriplegic switch board operator Richard, known to his friends as clever dick who has to squeeze his postman Pat fliddy van in between their SUVs to park. That’s not to mention the danger to life and limb (ok not limb) that being that slow moving and made of meat represents around these Megalodon food Hoovers either.

What’s that’s noise I can hear? Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a man on the plane setting his Y fronts on fire?


It’s the chorus of the fatties, and what’s their cry?

‘We have thyroid problems, its not our fault, we have thyroid problems its not our fault’

If it were up to me, and it isn’t but if it were I would make our big boned brethren park as far away from the doors as possible. Disabled spaces by the door for those with genuine disabilities and fatty spaces at the far end of the car park for those who like their cakes, we could even set up a burger van there to furnish them with snacks for the waddle.
To conclude, if you dear reader are sat at home reading this with a coke in one hand and a subway in the other and if the last time you saw your genitals was the wrong way round in a mirror then spare us the tired thyroid line and get out there and do some exercise! As the Arabs would say I declare a FatWar on you!

My boss has invited me to take up the challenge of arranging our department Christmas party, when I say invited I mean ordered, I don’t get a choice – those of you that know me will realise this is about as clever as asking Myra Hindley to baby-sit. This is a ridiculously bad idea for two key reasons, firstly I don’t really like Christmas and secondly I don’t really like the majority of the witless dribbling unwashed masses I am forced to interact with at work, a recipe for festive related disaster me thinks.
The princely sum of £20 per head is available for me to blow on this soirée so an evening at the Ritz is out, incidentally the term ‘per head’ is on the conversational ban list here as it is seen as being derogatory to minorities who were born without heads and also latterly victims of Al Qaeda like that scouse bloke Ken, anyway as usual I digress.
So, I have decided to come at this from a multi faith ethnically diverse and non exclusive approach which for those of you who do not work in directorate three of the thought police (ethnic festival management) means I am going to make it as un Christmassy as humanly possible. Not for the benefit of the PLO sleeper agent in our architecture team although he will be pleased but more because its my party and I don’t like Christmas.
In Bygone years Christmas in an office environment used to be a time of long pub lunches paid for by grateful management, time to bond as a team, to buy each other presents and if your luck is in or you have a spare fiver a ten minute knee trembler in the stationary cupboard with Janet the bike from accounts, all before going home to get ready for the big gratis evening dinner dance, partners welcome.
Christmas isn’t even called Christmas anymore, the ‘Festive period’ is no longer about peace and good will to all men (sexist statement) nor is it about management making that extra effort to make staff feel appreciated and included. It’s all about making sure your dates don’t slip, projects still march inexorably forward and people who know what they are doing are on call over the holidays to assist our offshore friends. As for the knee trembler with Janet well, the stationary cupboard has been rearrnaged into a windowless office with 8 desks crammed into it and even if it wasn’t Janet and her Yule tide duties are now being carried out by someone called Ranjeet in India, at least the post it note ordering part is anyway.
All in all celebrating Corporate Christmas is crap (alliteration mega streak!) its more about making sure work isn’t effected and minority groups aren’t in some way offended, not that any of the ‘minority’ individuals I work with care, the cynical amongst us might say its our paranoid directorate three friends keeping themselves in work and I would have to agree.
All that said at least my boss will be pleased that his year and probably slightly suspicious as I have for once decided to tow the company line, embrace our mission statement and ethos and pull in the same direction as management – in other words I have arranged for our department Christmas to be at our local curry house! Pint of Kingfisher anyone?