No Christmas Cards For You For 100 Years!

, , , , , , | Working | December 22, 2017

(We are having a training evening. As Christmas is approaching, there is naturally a lot of talk about it. For a bit of fun, one colleague has set a quiz: half the questions are about work and the other half about Christmas.)

Quizmaster: “And question ten: in the 1840s, which decade was… oh, d***, I’ve just given you the answer! Sorry!

(Everyone has a good laugh. The question was “In what decade was the first Christmas card sent?”)

Quizmaster: “At least everyone will get one point!”

(Later, when the answers are being read out:)

Quizmaster: “And question ten: if you get this wrong, you’re an idiot!” *everyone laughs* “In the 1940s…” *realises what he’s said, as does everyone else!* “…no, the 1840s! No points for me!”

Can’t Safely Pin That Job

, , , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

This happened back in the mid 90s. I had recently graduated, and was now applying everywhere I could to get a job with my engineering degree. One such place was a government research establishment, and I was delighted to be granted an interview. It was on the other side of the country, and I was reliant on public transport, as I didn’t have a car. Also, as I was a poor ex-student, I couldn’t afford a new wardrobe. However, the suit I wore for my university interviews was still in good enough condition, so I wore that.

I had researched my connections thoroughly, and arrived in the area in plenty of time. After a pleasant stroll nearby, I arrived at the reception and security block about 15 minutes early. I signed in, and was told to take a seat as someone would be with me shortly.

As I went to sit down, I felt something give. I reached behind me, and could feel a tear in my trousers. I shot off to the toilet to inspect the damage, and was horrified to see that the tear started between my legs and went about half way up my backside!

I decided I needed help. I explained the problem to the receptionist, and asked her if she had any safety pins. She didn’t, but she was able to offer me some paper clips. I retrospect I should have asked to borrow a stapler, but my brain was in full panic mode. I gratefully accepted the paper clips and headed back to the toilet.

Whilst I couldn’t just clip my trousers together, I found that by unwinding the clips I could use them to wire my trousers closed. This now presented me with another problem – sitting down. Fortunately, when I did come to sit down, I found that the metal ended up in my, um, natural crevasse. It wasn’t too uncomfortable, but I was very much aware that I was being jabbed, and as a result my mind wasn’t fully on the interview.

During the tour of the facility, I was glad that the place wasn’t teeming with people, as I wasn’t entirely confident that the back panel of my jacket was covering everything I needed it to. So, I made sure that I was always walking by the side of, or just behind my guide, and I certainly never went up the stairs in front!

After the interview, my ordeal was far from over. Being a poor graduate, I had spent most of my money on the travel costs, and I did not have anything to spare for buying new trousers. So, it was a walk to the bus stop, followed by a bumpy bus ride — not ideal when having metal pressed in places that could lead to a stainless steel enema if the potholes got any worse — and then a lengthy train journey. After that, it was a trip on a very crowded underground ride through London. It was rush hour, which meant that I was stood up for the duration, much to my backside’s relief, but it did mean that my rear was now potentially at the eye-line of the seated passengers. I hope they got therapy afterwards.

Then it was one more train journey back to my hometown, and then a half-mile walk home. There, I received the love and sympathy one would expect from my parents, once they had finally stopped laughing.

I never did hear back about the job. I expect that the interviewers were either puzzled by how someone with an upper second-class honours degree could appear to be so vacant, or they were too traumatised by the visions they received. Whilst I don’t think I did give anyone a full moon, as my boxer shorts did remain intact, I suspect that some people received a partial lunar eclipse.

Christmas, A Time For Giving (Your Opinion)

, , , , , , , , , , | Related | December 21, 2017

(It is Christmas Day and I am cooking dinner for the first time, as my aunt has lost her leg and can no longer do it. She is making it very clear how she feels about it, as she has been doing it 30 years. I hear this conversation taking place.)

Aunt: “If I was cooking, we’d be eating by now. She’s taking ages.”

Mum: “Then go and ask her when it’ll be ready.”

Aunt: *annoyed* “Why should I? It should be done by now; she should hurry up. I don’t know why we couldn’t have it at your house, [Mum]; her house is awful. You can’t even go in the kitchen, because the door’s locked.”

Granddad: *annoyed* “Do you want it cooked properly or not?”

(More complaining ensues. We are now having dinner.)

Brother: “These potatoes are amazing. Are they homemade?”

Me: “Yes. I got the recipe online.”

Aunt: *annoyed* “I could have made these without a recipe on the Internet. You kids are so lazy these days. You could have asked me for a recipe. I don’t see why we should have to do this differently from last year. I could have made dinner, and it would have tasted a lot better than this, and—”

Granddad: *angry* “Would you shut up? You couldn’t cook dinner because you can barely walk. You can’t fit all seven of us into [Mum]’s small bungalow, and there is nothing wrong with [My Name]’s house. This dinner is delicious, and if you don’t like it, don’t f****** eat it.”

(My aunt shut up, finished her dinner, and went into the living room where she sulked for the remainder of the time she was here. It has been three weeks and she is still avoiding me.)

This Mouse Is Getting Bad Reception

, , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

(The woman working the reception and bar at this pub is obviously new.)

Me: “Can I please have table 24 upstairs?”

Reception: “Sure!”

(She then attempts to enter information onto their computer, but the mouse isn’t going where she wants it to.)

Reception: “Huh? What is going on?”

(After a few minutes of watching her struggle I notice what is wrong, but she calls for help before I can say anything.)

Reception: *calling over the manager* “The mouse won’t work properly!”

(The manager looked down, and then up at me, and we both smiled as he took the mouse from her and turned it the right way round. Suffice to say, she was a little embarrassed!)

Sweet Oranges

, , , , | Friendly | December 21, 2017

(My officemate and I are known for constantly taking the mick out of each other, with each of us on separate occasions remarking that if one of us were nice to the other, it would be too weird to handle. I come in on Monday morning.)

Officemate: “Morning.”

Me: “Morning.”

(I walk over to our office swear jar and put £1 in.)

Officemate: “Expecting a bad day at work?”

Me: “Eh. [Girlfriend] broke up with me yesterday so, I figure, best accept that I’m going to be in a bad mood now.”

Officemate: “I’m sorry. That sucks.”

Me: “Yeah, well. At least I can swear as much as I want today and someone will get some good out of it. How was your weekend?”

(We chat a little bit, including once or twice about whether I think the ex-girlfriend and I might get back together. I make some effort to make a few jokes so as not to make the atmosphere too weird and we chat more generally about other things. I eat lunch with another colleague and come back in afterwards. There’s a bottle of orange juice on my desk.)

Me: “Huh? Where did this come from?”

Officemate: “Well, I was gonna get you chocolate but I’ve never heard you talk about what type you like. But I have heard you mention your orange juice addiction so I thought it might help cheer you up, since you’re having such a rotten day.

Me: “That’s incredibly sweet of you.”

(My office mate sort of blushed and waved his hand at me. Normal service resumed later that afternoon.)