b3ta.com user annexed
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I'm not a pro, so I'll stick with a standard file.

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» Easiest Job Ever

Covering a non-job
Easiest job ever was temporary cover for a guy called John who worked in a large disability-related charity. John's job was in reprographics and he'd worked there for 30+ years - he showed me a lovely anniversary album the staff had made for him during our hand-over.

Now reprographics means copying, and copying - back in the day - was, I presume, a time consuming task. Carbon copies, all kinds of hand-cranked mechanical devices for "automating" the process and so on. It was boring job no doubt, but a proper one.

However we now have these things called photocopiers, that as well as allowing us to produce images of our posteriors, do a pretty good job of copying documents. So over 30 years John's job had gone from quite integral to the organisation to utterly obsolete. But John was near retirement age, and he had the disability that the charity worked on, so they obivously couldn't bring themselves to sack him. Despite the fact that his job now involved having two photocopiers in his 'office' in the basement of the building and doing the photocopying of any of the members of staff who were too lazy to do their own (there were photocopiers all round the rest of the building anyway).

So John was going on holiday. Obviously management thought that it would be insensitive not to get a temp in to cover for him, as it might demonstrate that his job was pointless. So I arrived from the agency to do the photocopying.

However no one told any of the staff this - they knew he was off on holiday and sensibly assumed that the basement office would be empty. When one of them ventured down to the basement to leave John some photocopying 'to do on his return', she was shocked to find a gangly youth sitting at his desk, with headphones on, reading Crime and Punishment.

Length? A week and a day of audio-literary employment bliss.
(Thu 9th Sep 2010, 13:15, More)

» Gambling

How to win without betting...and how to risk losing it all again
It had been a long afternoon/evening getting sozzled in central London with three old school friends. Pints followed crips followed pints followed curry...and there was much rejoicing.

During the hours of rambling conversation, I accurately predicted the scorelines of the two footie matches that had been on. This did not go unnoticed, and it was pointed out that I'd been right about some other things (long forgotten) earlier in the week.

One of the guys decided to make the most of my good run of form, and pressed ten pounds into my hand - drunkenly insisting that I pick whatever numbers I wanted for the Euromillions rollover in the coming week.

I too must have been drunk as I tried to refuse the money, telling him the lottery was a waste of time and that I wouldn't do it even if he gave it to me. But it was to no avail and I came out of the night with an extra tenner in my wallet.

As with all great drunken plans, it was completely forgotten the next morning, and no one ever mentioned it again.

But I did recall it later. And did I buy the ticket? Not a chance! I've always thought the lottery was a mug's game and I've just made a tenner without betting!

...(This probably makes me a bad person)...

But having told this story, I should now say that two out of the three guys are b3ta readers. They know my username. We joyfully recall front page images when we're in the pub at the end of the day. They might well remember this...

So you have a moral choice, good b3ta folk. Your clicks could lose me ten quid. I am in your hands.
(Mon 11th May 2009, 13:40, More)

» Customers from Hell

I used to work for a Member of Parliament...
...and it's a cracking job, apart from dealing with the constituents. Yes you, the taxpayers who seem to think that your MP should be at your beck and call 24/7, and be willing and able to move heaven and earth for you because your neighbour's hedge is blocking your sunlight.

No, just no. That's not what the MP is there for, and it's certainly not what muggins here gets paid to deal with (and paid diddly squat because you Daily Mail readers complain bitterly about MP's expenses).

There are priorities. The woman whose daughter is trapped in Beirut during the start of the war in Lebanon, I'll spend half a day on the phone to the Foreign Office for. The pensioner whose credits have gone completely up the spout and is struggling with his money, I'll do my best to fast-track a solution for.

But not for people like this:

Me: "Good morning, office of *****"
Woman: "I'd like to speak to **** please"
Me: "I'm afraid he's not in the office right now, can I help at all?" (true)
Woman: "Well where is he?"
Me: "He's in a meeting, can I..."
Woman: "What meeting? When will he be back? I want to speak to him"
Me: "He's in a committee meeting, then he's going into the Chamber. Look, can I help at all?" (nearly true - he's meeting an ambassador afterwards, I don't know when he'll be back, but damned if I'm telling her that)
Woman: "That's not good enough"
Me: "Look, if you tell me what the issue is I'll see what I can do for you, and get him to call you when he's back in the office"
Woman: "You're just fobbing me off!"
Me: "If he was here, you could speak to him, but he isn't. Can I find out what it's about and..."
Woman: "It's all a big con. All you do is lie to us. I'll never vote for you again..." (I bet she never did in the first place)

This goes back and forth for 5mins or more until she eventually gives up. I get a name out of her, but she won't tell me what it's about and won't give me an address or a phone number - so how am I supposed to get my boss in touch with her? Useless.

You think customers are bad? Try constituents. They take a self-righteousness to a whole different level.
(Mon 8th Sep 2008, 14:12, More)

» Siblings

Making physics fun
Mum has gone to hospital for a minor op, and so it was dad's task to take little annexed and his younger brother out to the playground.

Perhaps the little runt had annoyed me. Perhaps I was worried about my mum. Either way, the two of us were on the see-saw and when I got to the bottom I got off. With predictable results.

So we all went to see mum in hospital and my brother got a cast for his broken arm.
(Sat 3rd Jan 2009, 11:59, More)

» Food sabotage

The spice of life
I’m not a great cook, but at university I decided to show off the best dish in my repertoire, chilli con carne. I invited some mates round for food, drinks and a night of watching Blackadder, because a couple of them had never seen it before (who were these people and why had I made friends with them?).

Now I’m partial to making things pretty spicy, but my friend Mark admitted he wasn’t the hardiest soul when it came to hot food, so I promised to do two batches – one with plenty of chillis in, the other with nothing more than some packet-flavouring.

You can see the temptation when the evening came round, can’t you? One super-spicy, one as mild as your middle-aged middle-class mother…

But no, I’m not a mean person (vindictive if provoked, but not mean) so I gave him the mild chilli that he asked for, and a couple of other cowards had it as well.

And half an hour later he threw it back up. Makes me wish I had given him the hot one…

Length? The good ones are small, wrinkly, and very hot…
(Thu 18th Sep 2008, 16:26, More)
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