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This is a question Corporate Idiocy

Comedian Al Murray recounts a run-in with industrial-scale stupidity: "Car insurance company rang, without having sent me a renewal letter, asking for money. Made them answer security questions." In the same vein, tell us your stories about pointless paperwork and corporate quarter-wits

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 12:13)
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The marvels of contracting
Some years ago I was working for an agency that was sending people to Braintree (a small town in North Essex, about twenty miles away) to distribute wheely-bins to homes on behalf of the council. They came back after the first day saying there hadn't been any work for them to do. It turned out that, due to the council sniffing out the cheapest labour it could find, four different companies were involved in getting these bins to the people of Braintree. As a result, it wasn't the most co-ordinated effort going on over there.

Now, you would probably assume, like I did, that wheely-bins and their lids, being made of the same kind of plastic and being part of the same finished product, would be made in the same factory. But no, the bins were made in Birmingham, if I recall correctly, while the lids were being made somewhere in the south of France. On a Friday, the driver with the bins had apparently driven to a town with a similar name in Yorkshire, not realised his mistake until it was too late and only had time to head back to Brum. His error had then not been handed over, and a different driver set out on the Monday and done the exact same thing. The lid delivery men from France on the other hand, despite having to come a lot further and apparently not speaking any English, seemed to have no trouble finding Braintree, and a lorry was turning up every day (including the weekend) full of lids. Meanwhile, there were three blokes from Cornwall who were supposed to be there to attach the lids to the bins. But what with the cock-up, all they had done was spend five days living in a caravan, with nothing to do but stare at an ever-growing pile of wheely-bin lids.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 17:02, closed)
On the other hand,
since the bins are hollow and the lids aren't, they would probably have been made by two different processes - namely, blow moulding and injection moulding. Unless they're big names in the industry and have a lot of site space, plastics manufacturers generally do one or the other but not both.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 17:20, closed)
I believe they're both injection moulded
One of our local bin men explained it to me once. Just one of those things, I'm almost pathologically interested in learning about stuff I don't know about and he appeared to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of bins, bin lorries, compactors, macerators, ejectors and other such tools of the refuse-handling trade.

"You know so much about this stuff," I said, "how come you're not working in the depot instead of out here doing this?" as I helped him lob my old office desk into the back of the bin wagon.

"Work in an office?" he asked, incredulously, and tapped the Big Green Button on the control panel. He looked at me for a couple of seconds longer, and turned to look at the compactor as the lorry's 250 horsepower diesel shuddered under the load of two 10' long 9" diameter hydraulic rams smashing the steel-and-MDF desk to fragments just like you'd flatten a beer can.
"Why the fuck would I want to do that?"

Why indeed...?
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 18:22, closed)
Aye, and he probably made more money doing that job than he ever would have done in an office.

(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 23:06, closed)
I'm from there... and this story surprises me not one jot :)
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 12:18, closed)
Woo! *Does secret Essex handshake*

(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 16:58, closed)
Braintree is 20 miles away from everywhere?!
Who knew? What a geographical oddity.
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 14:07, closed)
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 14:25, closed)
It's actually part of hades, the Greek underworld
It's a bit like Sisyphus and his rock. People who've lead a bad life have to travel there and spend for ever on the road as Braintree looms on the horizon but never actually gets any closer.

Of course, the people who've lead a really bad life are actually allowed to arrive...
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 16:57, closed)
I usually address letters to my parents as "Braindead" rather than Braintree
They always get there. Hohoho, what an amusing chap I am :)
(, Tue 28 Feb 2012, 16:38, closed)

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