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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)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

My local primary school was built under the marvel which is PFI
The cleaners are bussed in once per week from Glasgow, a hundred miles away.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 18:54, 1 reply)
For about 6 months I worked for a large electricity company.
I worked in the section that dealt with large commercial customers.
We each looked after a couple of accounts, I looked after two high street chains. My job was to make sure the bills for these chains were all in order before sending them out. Each store was billed separately with the whole bill being sent to the company each week.

Now the corporate idiocy involved was my job. To this day I'm not quite sure what I did but it seemed to consist of this:
Each month the system would generate an estimated meter reading for each site. Once a year or so a meter reader would go round and take an actual reading. Different stores would have their meters read each month. This is where I came in. The reading would get flagged up if it was unexpectedly high, I would tell the system it was fine and to get on with it.
It would also get flagged up if the reading 'went round the clock', by which I mean if the last reading was 98567 and the new one was 00056 the system would get upset thinking that the new reading was lower. I would tell it that it was fine.
And that was it. That was the sum total of my job. To go through a load of meter readings that the system flagged up as being wrong and telling them it was fine. I had two bills to do each month and this was a full time job.

I got paid £14000 a year to do this.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 17:58, 2 replies)
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, 4 replies)
The universal justification
for any obtuse, grossly inefficient, or blindingly stupid dog-fucking* activity in the Canadian Public Service is
- It's all pensionable time -

The sad thing is I am a cheerful participant.

*slang term for egregious time wasting. I have not personally observed any inter-species copulation during my term of employment.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 16:45, 4 replies)
IT policy.
My employer's policies and procedures manual is generally full of dry and to-the-point documents of do's and do nots. One exception however is the recently-added IT, internet and email policy, an epic, vibrant and often misguided work of genius by some anonymous drone at Head Office.

Considering its message boils down to little more than "Don't do personal stuff at work; don't get viruses", this eight-page treatise begins with an ostentatious "initial statement", featuring amongst its four paragraphs such nuggets as:

"In these days when we are relying more and more on Information Technology (IT), the internet and email systems..."


"Email has revolutionised the way we communicate in the same way that the car changed the way we travel"

Yes, thanks for that. I now feel like we're in 1996.

The opus continues divided into sections and subsections, like it was the declaration of human rights or something. Occasionally there's relevant stuff like not installing unauthorised software, but most of it is just IT-context version stuff that is covered more succinctly in other policies, like "Don't bully colleagues via email".

I'm genuinely not sure whether the following passage is trying to patronise us by advising on out-of-work matters, or is simply trying to scare us off using online chat at work:

"3.7 Staff should have no requirements to access online chat during work hours. However, be aware when chatting online with strangers you can never be sure who you are talking to. Never give any personal details out or arrange to meet someone you meet online."

Oh well, guess I won't be coming to the bash then.

Then there's this confusing little section on the company's official confidentiality signature for emails:

"8.7.1 [If you are sending confidential informaion attach the folowing as a signature]: 'The informaiton contained in this message and any attachments is confidential [...] If you are not the named recipient please notify the sender and delete the message from your computer, destroying any paper copy.'

"The recipient is then put in the position of being subject to the second area of confidentiality, that of liability for breaching another's confidential information."

What?! Are they suggesting that if someone else buggers up and sends me a confidential email, I'm held responsible? And what is this "second area of confidentiality"? The mysterious policy-writer does not elucidate further.

The absolute jewel in the crown of this tome however has to be the section on Publication of obscene material:

"There is a great deal of material on the internet which comes within the legal definition of obscene - namely material which is likely to deprave or corrupt."

- Hmmm. They're presumably referring to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, which is notorious for its wooly definitions and is becoming virtually obsolete these days. But fear not, our humble author is here to clarify:

"The test of 'obscene' is an objective one - it is what the right thinking reasonable person thinks, not what individual staff think."

So there you have, in black and white. My colleagues and I are neither right thinking nor reasonable. Unfortunately, the document gives no guidelines on how to track down a right thinking reasonable person to tell us whether or not any material we publish is obscene. And so the moral degradation continues...
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 15:18, 5 replies)
A client I work with
asks us to run regular reports off a particular software system, then painstakingly transfer all the data into another software system unique to themselves (there's not really a reliable way to automate this so it has to be done manually), although the second system is in no way better than the original, commonly-used reporting system we used to run the original data. Still with me?

The client checks the data painstakingly by... comparing it with the data from the original system, which they also use, and actually prefer as it is generally more reliable.

There is therefore someone in my team, who is an intelligent, hard-working 22 year old who spent three years and several thousand pounds getting a degree from a top University, about 75% of whose job it is to transfer data from one system to another, in order to send it to a client who will check it and bollock them if it is wrong, despite the fact that they are actually using the original system anyway, because it's better.

We'd flag it to them, but then they'd probably stop paying for it and we'd have to lose him.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 14:26, 1 reply)
Broccolli's Bank
A few years ago I had a letter off barclays saying that a company from the netherlands had recently taken money out of my account and that they thought it was suspicious. On the phone to them later in the day and it goes as follows...


*Indian Call Centre: "Hello Barclays **#### speaking how may I help you?"
Me: "Yes I had a letter in the post this morning that there was suspicious activity in my account?"
ICC: "Ok sir can i take your accounnt number please."

*gives them account number and other related bollocks*

ICC: "Ok Mr Speed do you have an Xbox Live account?"
Me: "Yes I Do."
ICC: "Well the company that deals with Xbox Live membership is based in The Netherlands so there is no fraudulenty activity present on your account."
Me: "Ok if that is the case then why didn't you know that before you sent me the letter then?"
ICC: "Don't know sir, Goodbye."

*hangs up*

promptly called them fucking retatrds and carried on eating my Dominos pizza.

*Probably for all I know

** It was some Indian girls name, still don't know how so say it without sounding like a GELF from Red Dwarf
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 13:17, 6 replies)
I don't dare post pictures, descriptions will have to do.
There exists a minority that understands that marketing/advert agencies are filled with oppressed workers seething with rage. And that this rage boils out in ways that usually manifests itself, as numerous examples this week illustrate, in rude corporate acronyms of the insulting or scatalogical sort. And, as many realise, in rude logos that evoke goatse or sodomy, paedophilia, and the sort.

I'm apparently in that minority, and as you are reading this here, I wager you are also in that minority.

I have a special talent for spotting the socially-unacceptable in logos. This talent is not appreciated by the Boards of Directors of the corporations for which I have worked.
--Who hasn't seen a logo reminiscent of goatse and known instantly that the resemblance was no coincidence?
--The stylized figures, one tall one behind a smaller one? Approved despite my pointing out its worthiness for Paedo-bear approval.
--The interlocked, styled body whose legs formed a circle that was the head of the figure below? I said the graphic artist should be sacked for proposing a logo that looked like one man's head in the crotch of another, complete with motion lines, described as the line of people behind. The Board loved the artist's explanation, full of symbolism about working together in caring and supportive ways. Indeed.

I always refused to put the logo on my cards, said it was badly-done porno, which the boss acknowledged with a snort but still didn't warn off HIS bosses (if it was done better, maybe, but who wants badly-done porno on one's cards?).
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 11:55, 8 replies)
Authorised suppliers
When I worked for Salford Uni in the media school, we would also have to deal with all the IT department's fuck ups and hardware failures too as the management were completly inept (they once asked why we couldn't install Final Cut Pro onto Windows XP to save money on "those fancy Mac's").

One day the head of school's laptop power supply failed and he asked me if I could source another one. No problem, it was an older model so I went on E-bay after the usual channels failed to provide one. It cost £11, new. I send in a purchase request.... it was denied for the following reason 'you must use a university authorised supplier'. They don't have any says I.....but I was forced to ask them to source one anyway.

They did......from ebay. They marked up the price with.....and I kid you not:

Postage & Packing
Electrical saftey testing
Compatibility testing

The whole unit now cost £65. The IT manager then went on to buy 10 more from the same source..."for spares", even when I told him all the other models were decomissioned across the university 4 years ago.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 11:51, 2 replies)

One of the biggest selling medical practise management software suites, over here in Oz, has some interesting features. I first became aware of this when I was sorting a network problem out for a surgeon mate of mine. He came into the office, got out a DVD and stuck it in a machine then printed out a whole series of full colour images, on photo-quality paper, from an operation he'd just done. Then he took the images, went to the scanner, and scanned the images into the practise management software. Then he shredded the images he'd just printed out. I was gob-smacked.

It turns out that this software has no facility for uploading images to a patients record directly from media. But it *does* have a scan function.

(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 9:45, 7 replies)
I have to be moderately careful what I say.
EDIT: Alt: The wheels of industry need to be greased.
Our facility needed a new medication trolley. This a trolley that the RN trundles around doling out meds daily. It's made of steel, has 2 lockable drawers and a bench top which also has a swing-arm with a touch-screen computer connected to it.
I was there when the regional manager told the RN that she could have AUD$500 for a new meds trolley.
Our facility manager went and got an old 1 from another site. Without my or the RN's knowledge or say-so.
2 days later the top drawer drops out of the cabinet nearly de-toeing the RN. As it's an OSH (Occupational Safety & Health - I am the OSH representative) issue I organise for a contractor replace the drawer runners (for both drawers as the the bottom drawer is dodgy as well - so it seems). That cost $460 inc. parts & labor - I could've put the runners in myself but the organisation "insists" on having contractors for this type of thing and the runners for me at cost would've been $240 anyway.
The manager then miraculously managed to find $500 for our Staff Christmas Party - a meal and piss up @ the local pub. It was fairly ok. I didn't drink but the food was quite yummy.
Penny-wise and pound-foolish.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 8:11, 1 reply)
Go green
A few years back my then-employer implemented a "great idea (TM)" - all emails were to include, in the signature, a little picture of a tree and the message "Help save trees - Please only print this email if you really need to"

Every day at 5pm the printer would be littered with countless discarded sheets, containing solely that line, where its inclusion had pushed a printed email from one page to two. And yes, while thinking it was a great idea to include that line in people's signatures, no-one had thought about the possibility of double-sided printing.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 2:17, 4 replies)
"Hello Mr cs1ca"
"Hello Mr email. To what do I owe the pleasure? Have you come bearing news of an exciting or informative nature?"
"Not really, mr cs1ca, you are at work, after all. I come bearing the dictates of the head office of the bit of the branch of the government you work for"
"Does it relate to people in fluro jackets painting railings?"
"No, mr cs1ca. It has come to their attention that people it employs are using social networking and other internet sites in a way that might bring the organisation into disrepute, or worse put them at risk of possible reprisals, due to our justice-dispensing ways. Here's a list of rules they've come up with"
"Hmmm. It would appear that this set of rules is rather draconian, and, if followed, will severely impact and limit my internet use. 'Don't display or make prominent where you work, for your own safety'? I don't do that anyway. Looking at this, you might think that they thought of the internet as a dark, sinister mass of anarchy and nonces"
"Yes, you might. Bye now!"
"Bye, mr email"

"Hello mr cs1ca"
"Hello again, mr email. I haven't seen you for a couple of months, not since you turned up with that bunch of rules. What do you have this time?"
"Well, mr cs1ca, I bring news. Head office has discovered social media, and now has a facebook page and a twitter feed. I come bearing instruction that you are to 'like' the organisation and forward their output to your friends, whether they care about what you do or not"
"Have they repealed the rules on internet usage?"
"So I'm forbidden from using my facebook account for anything I want, but I'm compelled to spam my friends with their dreary PR?"
"Essentially, yes"
"Mr email: Go back to head office and tell them to fuck right off"
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 0:40, 5 replies)
Of mice and trains
In the early nineties, my old man was running a company that sold the advertising/poster space owned by now-defunct British Rail. One day he got a call from a large, not-defunct American purveyor of animated mice, deer, lions and genies. They wanted to hire and run an 'exhibition train' to tour the country for a month to promote their fabled holiday resorts and films. "Sure" says my dad, eager to impress a potential source of massive business by responding to a request he knew would be pretty easy to fulfill -- his firm had been spun off from British Rail and most of his staff had worked for the railway. All anyone would have to do would be to roster some drivers to move a train full of foamex Mickeys and Bambies from town to town at night. The company and BR would make shed loads for next to no effort.

"What do you think this would cost?" asks the man in Burbank, CA. Think Michael Lerner's character in Barton Fink.

"What can you spend?" asks my dad, in an office nestled among the country's engineering firms on Newman Street W1 -- until today the most bizarre address in UK advertising.

"We'd be looking at about three hundred thousand of your English pounds."

[gulping - this was 1991] "Hmm, well, that would probably be just about OK. I'll let you know in the morning, your time." He then made a couple of calls, shut the office and they all got drunk.

Fast forward a few days, and the man from Burbank calls again. "You asshole!" screameth he down the horn. "I just got off the phone to some guy from some backyard outfit called British Rail! I asked them the same I asked you and guess what?!"

My dad winced, guessing that the man he spoke to had the business sense of, well, a BR traffic manager -- ie had given an 'at cost' quote. "I don't know, what?"


Length? Well the train was about five carriages.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 23:16, 16 replies)
Many years ago I worked for a well know high street opticians
who will make you glasses in an hour.

I worked for them for about 5 years and was a well trained and knowledgeable member of staff.

Everyone on the shop floor joined the company on £1 over minimum wage. You then went on three training courses over the years and gained an extra 50p an hour for each course you passed.

So lets imagine that when I join the company the minimum wage is £6 and hour, I then get paid £7 an hour. Over the course of 4 year I go on the training courses and get paid £8.50 an hour.
And that's it. There are no more courses and there is NO cost of living pay increase. There is no further way to increase your wages.
Now as well as that being shit, the bigger problem is that someone else, who knows nothing can join the company, say two years later and start on the wage of minimum wage + £1. Now assuming the minimum wage has go up with inflation, to for example £7, that new person is on damn near the same wage as you.

Not long after I realised this the company decided to create an intranet for some unknown corporate reason. There was a section where you could ask questions. It was meant to be about the actual job but I decided to ask why I was expected to take what amounted to a pay cut every year.
I was taken to one side by the manager one day who said that they knew the message had come from our store and that I was the only person she could think of who could have sent it.

I never did get an answer, or a pay rise. For all I know they still do this.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 22:23, 15 replies)
NTL twats
Pearoast from 2009...

When my emails weren't reaching me, I had to call their "help" line (read "fuck all help line"), which I could only call during office hours.

Me: I'm not receiving my emails.
NTL: It's probably Outlook. Are you in front of your computer?
Me: No, I'm calling you from my place of work as your helpline closes at 5. And I know it can't be anything to do with my computer because when I check on the webmail there are no emails.
NTL: Let's just check Outlook first.
Me: No, my PC can't have anything to do with it for the reasons I have just explained, plus I have also explained that I'm not at home.
NTL: But we need to make sure Outlook is working.
Me: No we don't. Did you hear what I said just now? I log into webmail and there are no messages, so they aren't there for Outlook to download.
NTL: Can't we just check Outlook first? It won't tale long.
Me: Look, I know you have a script to stick to and your boss may be listening in, but I'm sure he won't mind us skipping the Outlook stage.

And so on, until I finally persuaded the guy to send a test email which I could check from work. It didn't arrive.

I was sooo glad to get shot of the useless twats, and have never again relied on an ISP for my main email address, thus allowing me to switch if they're shit without having change email addresses.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 18:27, 3 replies)
Asda - Always Low.
About 145 moons ago, i worked for a security firm. I was posted to guard the rear yard of the ASDA SUPERMARKET in STOCKPORT. Not much to do but pretend to look vigilant when the gates were opened for the big delivery trucks dropping off stock. Other than that, i'd sit out of the way in the corner shed with a telly.

The yard foreman was a dick for trying to make ME do his work, sweeping up the skanky place etc.. (Not in my job description, even the Asda night monger - i mean manager - was at it (he was quickly told to "FUCK OFF!").. Over the two weeks i worked there, i reported all the crap i got from these twats to control every night, soon the contract was terminated and i had it cushy elsewhere.

One night before then, when the delivery truck was in, the yard-arse was doing his usual F1 driving in his forklift whilst unloading a full pallet of meat. He over did the turn and sent the meat crshing down everywhere. Onto the floor, splitiing the packaging and into the puddles of oil and the stream of way-past sell-by-date, rotten food and blood that leaked from the rusted waste-produce skips.

The night monger then told him to pick it all back up so they can repack it in the warehouse..

I never shopped there before and will certainly NEVER shop there - EVER!
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 16:48, 5 replies)
My entry into the working world meant that I surfed right on the cusp of the dot-com boom.
My early CV reads like a fucking graveyard; companies collapsed around me left right and centre, and I rarely managed to hold a position for longer than six months.

At one particular company, each desk of four of us - and the company was about 100 strong - had its own colour printer. Even printing off an email for a meeting was done in colour.

They put money behind the bar each month for a "Staff Meeting", at which the MD would say "Well done" then we'd all get absolutely fucking hammered.

Unsurprisingly that company, too, went tits-up in six months.

Bloody good fun, mind.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 16:11, Reply)
Tried to be witty......Lost!
Sat in the house one morning......Phone rings.
I look at the number and don't recognise it but answer anyway.
"Hello. This is British Gas. (My supplier)......I'm ringing today to give you some information about our products."
Feeling super witty, I reply "Gas?"
"Yes, this is British Gas".
"No, what I meant was, your product is Gas"
"I'm ringing to tell you about our new product."
"Yes, I know. You produce Gas, that is your product."
Well sir, if you're just going to give me stupid replies, I'm not talking to you."......Click......Brrrrrrr.......
Hung up on me......WHAT!!
*Stunned*......What happened there?
Still irks me a year later.
MY stupidity, their industrial scale "Win".
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 15:19, 3 replies)
I'm quite surprised I haven't seen more NHS stories so far this week...
...as I'm sure stories of our beloved health service could fill a qotw on their own.

However - I'm just going to focus on appraisals. What a complete, utter, hopeless waste of time and effort. I have to prove to my manager that I'm doing my job. The one he sees me doing every day, and never has cause to discipline me for not doing.

The analogy I always use is that it's like me having to prove to you that I've made you a cup of tea by showing you that there's a teabag missing, and the kettle's hot, and the milk's been opened... rather than you just looking at the cup of tea I've just made you.

Massive cuts to save the NHS? A little common sense would be a big help...
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 15:01, 6 replies)
Insurance company lunacy, part two...
My dad's leather jacket was stolen in a pub a few months ago. Since this was covered under his house insurance he made a claim. After telling them that the council had changed his locks free of charge so he didn't need to claim for that and his wallet had been in his jeans so he didn't need to claim for that, he would *just* be claiming for the jacket, the company asked him for a receipt. Bear in mind this is for a claim of around £200, and that my dad’s been using the same insurance company for years and years without making any claims.

After telling them that he'd had the jacket for several years, bought it from (probably) Debenhams but couldn't remember the exact price, date he'd bought it or whether he'd bought anything else at the same time, they told him to phone Debenhams and get a copy receipt. When my dad queried this they told him Debenhams would definitely have a copy receipt, they have to keep them all for several years, by law.

When Debenhams (exactly as he'd expected) told him not to be so ridiculous, the insurance company asked for proof of how long he'd had the jacket. He told me apologetically that he'd got a bit annoyed on the phone, and told them that he had a photo of him wearing the jacket in the company of his daughter-in-law (Jessie), and he could provide a death certificate for her dated May 2010. At this they'd backed off a little, but still requested a photo.

A couple of days after he'd emailed them a photo of him wearing the jacket, they phoned him and asked for a hard copy. Upon being asked why they needed a hard copy, they said:

"So we can blow it up and examine it for signs that it's been photoshopped"
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 15:00, 8 replies)
Insurance company lunacy, part one...
The future Mrs Kenny Martin renewed her car insurance recently. She was with Direct Line, who were advertising loads of deals - phoning them, she was told that these were only for new customers, so she wasn't entitled to them.

After telling them she didn't wish to renew her policy, she took a new one out with - you've guessed it - Direct Line, taking advantage of the now available deals.

...and then got a phone call a couple of weeks later saying "We're still waiting for your proof of no-claims bonus from your previous insurer"
When she told the guy that Direct Line was her previous insurer and why, he told her that it happens all the time...
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 14:56, 1 reply)
More of a Question about this weeks Question of the Week
Just wondering why everyone is behaving like they work at the BBC (or should I say, "that UK TV broadcaster that does not have advertisements like the commercial UK TV stations") and are not mentioning company names or products but alluding to them with phrases like "a telephone company 'TB' but the letters not in that order".

Is there a gagging order out that I am not aware of? Are the lawyers watching closely?

Come on, stick it to the MAN - BIG PHARMA killed Whitney - FACT!
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 13:50, 7 replies)
On line banking is so convenient
Opened an on line account but the cards and cheque book failed to appear. Speak to call centre who inform me I need to pay £100.00 minimum in. I point out that I have transferred more than ten times that amount in. They'll look into it. Weeks pass. More money goes in but still no debit/cashpoint card. At the third time of phoning I am finally informed that I have to pay the minimum £100.00 at a branch. It worked.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 13:21, 6 replies)
Pain in the arse.
Now....This story does hinge on the fact that I am too stupid to fill in a form....but....

I am in the process of starting my own limited company...well...it already exists tbh, but requires banking...

So. I apply to open an account with a well known high street bank, no names, but it starts with 'H', ends in 'C' and has 'SB' in the middle. All ID checks and everything passed...account approved...aces.

I'm working away on the Isle of Lewis and the business is based in Leeds so all the letters they send to me go to Leeds, as they would. It takes a minimum of four days to get a letter from Leeds, to me, then back to the bank and then, only if you pay stupid money for 'next day'.

So...when it came to the important stuff, I didn't want anything to go wrong and leave the company without banking for another week. Whilst filling in the mandate about who's authorised to sign what and draw money etc, I rang the business account department of the bank to take me through it step by step to ensure nothing went wrong. We read it, re-read it, filled it in,

"You need to sign there..."

"And there...."

"Not there...."


Brilliant...all done and popped in the post.

It's on its way back to Leeds right now because "You didn't fill out section 4d, Mr Death."

"I was told I didn't have to by a memeber of your staff!"

"Well you do."

Another week without banking....It doesn't fill me with confidence.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 11:50, Reply)
As a fully paid up member of the asthmatical society of Britain,
Every 6 months or so I have to see an 'Asthma Nurse' at my GPs to have a 10 second chat about my inhaler and confirm that I am still alive.

The surgery is about 10 doors down from where I used to work, so I popped in one lunchtime to arrange an appointment. I was informed that they were only arranging appointments over the phone so that people wouldn't have to come into the surgery in the middle of a flu epidemic.

I informed them that as I was standing at the reception in the middle of the surgery already, maybe it would be easier to do it then and there. Nope, rules are rules. If I wanted to make an appointment I'd have to do it over the phone.

I got my mobile out of my pocket and was quickly told that all such devices should be switched off upon entering the building.

So I went outside and made an appointment over the phone with a receptionist I could see through the window standing about eight feet away from me. Upon completion of the phonecall I was invited back into the building to pick up an appointment card, lest I forget the time, day, or even address of the building.

She at no point in all of this gave any sign that she thought this entire endeavour completely ridiculous.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 11:45, 2 replies)
C of E
This is not church bashing. We can all do that in our own time. This is about the corporate side of the C of E. Some of you may be aware that when a church reaches it's 1000th birthday, there is a small cross carved discretely somewhere known as the 'millenial cross' to signify this extraordinary milestone.

Discreet, modest and everlasting. Classical.

So what did the Corporate whores of the C of E do to celebrate the boss' 2000th birthday? Spanking great purple ovals of plastic, bolted to the outside of the buildings they are supposed to be looking after for us. Like fucking nipple tassles on Michaelangelo's David, they managed to make the churches look like they were vying with Poundland for market share.

These vulgar plastic warts will last, what, 10 years, 20 at most before fading and needing to be ripped down. And fuck knows how much they cost.

I am at best apathetic about the church but every time I see one of those purple excrescences it makes me go a little PCMechanic inside.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 11:00, 1 reply)
Hire Purchase
At an old job of mine, I worked with a guy who had a *named brand* 4x4 that he absolutely loved. It was nowhere near the family friendly car he needed, but he liked driving over those little kerbs they put in supermarkets to make sure people can't spread out over two parking spaces. And who can blame him?

Anyway, he'd had this on hire purchase for a few years when he got the call from the dealership. As he'd had it for a few years, and as his agreement was coming up, would he like to buy it from them? It wasn't an amazing deal they offered him- five or six grand, and he knew that it wasn't perhaps the most appropriate car to buy for family life, but he loved it and so he said he'd think about it and call them back. He'd almost made up his mind when another branch of the same dealership called him up and told him that they had a real shortage of that model and would he consider parting with his for just short of ten grand? So he bought the car off them, sold it back to them and got a far more suitable car and a few good nights out with the change. Car dealerships are weird.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 9:57, Reply)
There is a high street chemist..
Who prints photographs for 15p each. Take it to 200 images and the price drops to just 5p
So 67 images cost you more than 200.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 6:51, 15 replies)
My Boss
Called me to tell me he was going to call me after lunch.

Then he called me after lunch to tell me he wasn't going to call me.

Later, he called me to apologize for not calling me.*

*I don't know why he apologized, my only duty was to answer the phone. So essentially he just said he was sorry for asking me to do my job.
(, Sat 25 Feb 2012, 5:35, Reply)

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