Friday, July 10, 2009

The Mystery of Work

Work has once again got in the way of an appropriate blogging schedule, with the tawdry necessities of feeding and clothing my family forcing me to prostitute too much of my precious time for the interests of others.

I'm very lucky in that I actually enjoy my job, and don't mind going to work, although one or two shifts a month would be preferable, just to keep my hand in. In the absence of a lottery win (made even less likely because I only did the lottery once when it first came out, and gave up as I didn't win even one million quid), I have to make my presence felt three or four times a week, for twelve hours a time. And because I'm a bit skint at the moment, I have to go in even more for the overtime.

It's not very fair, when you've got blogs to write, ukulele's to play, the park to mess about in and camping trips to go on, but the powers that be seem oblivious to the emotion in my emails on this subject. "Not our problem" they reply, and "Please stop emailing the chief exec with your rants." they opine.

I would complain, but they threatened to pay me what I was worth and if they did that I'd probably have to live in a hedge and lick the insides of abandoned crisps packets to survive.

I'm not greedy though. I could get by on just one billion.

Pounds, not crisp packets.

Work then. My presence was felt, and we were clearing the garage out because one of my colleagues is pregnant and therefore has decided that she can't bear the thought of any clutter on the premises whatsoever. It's called nesting, I think.

She was initially threatening to throw all the personal mugs out, including mine, simply because it's washed so infrequently that the build up of tannins inside has left an almost solid block of cup, with a small hole down the centre where the next brew goes, like pushing a test-tube into a cylinder of soft clay.

My argument that it gives a beverage some character if you only rinse a mug out every couple of months or so didn't have quite the appeasing effect I was hoping for, so we diverted her by saying how cluttered the garage was at the moment, and perhaps she should go and have a look.

She did, and then announced that it was no good, it needed clearing and we would all just have to chip in and do it.


So, there we were, finding paperwork that had been stored safely in a box under the sink and now resembled something you'd put on a plinth in the Tate Modern and call 'Essence of Chaos", mucking out the cleaners cupboard which is paradoxically the filthiest space in the area, and tentatively opening sacks of bulging items with the faint but tangible fear of finding the King of Rats holding court in it.

There was quite a lot of crap.

There was quite a bit of unidentifiable crap as well. Some of it from vehicles that we hadn't used for years, some from equipment that was now seen as a potential health and safety risk, and the occasional abandoned Tupperware lunchbox with labels proclaiming them to be the property of long dead colleagues. Opening them was a bit like the final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where tormented, screaming souls erupt from the pretty box and tear apart Nazi's in a blaze of of mediocre special effects, but apparently can't get through Indiana Jones's closed eyelids.

There was also a BabyBel cheese, which was still edible. Well, as edible as they ever are.

One thing I did find was this:

It felt sort of heavy and expensive, and looked like it belonged to a kit of some sort. If I had to describe it in terms that everyone could relate to, I suppose it was like holding the spine of a robot monkey that had overdosed on diazepam.

I passed it around for people to have a look at, hoping to be enlightened as to it's function. In return, I recieved various explanations ranging from a Homeresque "Ahdunno." to the frankly inspired "It's one of those things you use to, you know, thingy."

The mystery wasn't helped any more when I found another one, so they're either a useful thing or they're breeding.

Any ideas anyone?


  1. Yep... I know exactly what it is. It's the old retractable electric aerial off of the Lexus RX350.

    It was replaced in 2008 by a slightly thicker design which now reaches a fully extended height of 36" before blowing away when you hit speeds of over 25kmh.

  2. I've gotta say, if opening Tupperware science experiments was as exciting as opening the Ark of the Covenant, Indiana Jones style, I'd probably clean out my refrigerator more often. (But I'd be sure to close my eyes first.)

    Regarding the mystery item, I'm not sure, but I believe it might be the framework for Steve Austin's Six Million Dollar Arm.

  3. I have no idea what that is. It looks like a candy cane holding a painter's palette.

  4. Jimmy - Sounds feasible, although there aren't many Lexi around our parts.

    CatladyLarew - It's be like a lucky dip for your tea then.

    Thinkinfyou - It's wobbly though. But thanks for the input!

  5. I like Babybel. If you find any more feel free to post them to me.

  6. Hah! I thought I was the only person on Earth that would joke about dried coffee adding character. Great job!

    Someone also had a good idea on keeping sensitive documents under a sink so they can be flood destroyed in the event of audit emergency.

    The device is the spine of an advanced T3000 unit sent from the future by John Connor to support the back of a chair I think. I hope they aren't already breeding.

  7. You need our cleaners. They clean everything out even if it doesn't need it.

    This is probably from a cylon. We're all doomed.

  8. It looks to me like Picasso's interpretation of a Slinky.

  9. Mr London St - Second class all right? Only the second best for my blog chums!

    Eric - I work for the NHS, who are known to be efficiently proactive like that.

    Mdme DeF - Your cleaners are clutter-nazis. Ours are more of the hoarder variety.

    Douglas - I read that as stinky first. Then I wondered if I really wanted to click on the link.

    I did.

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  11. Oops, messed up..Tee hee!
    They're sheep ear tags, we have millions of them in Australia... though they're usually some pretty bright colour so you can pick the bits out of your sausages as you eat. Sorry about work, maybe you'll get lucky and get sacked..or poisoned from the sound of your cup. LOL

  12. Miss A - Thaaaaaaanks. Cleared that right up for me!

    Pash - Tasty ovine ear decorations? I can see that catching on in Jamie Oliver's trough hut.

    Also, drinking out of my cup has given my immunity system a boost. Like a cocktail of innoculating bacteria and lice.

  13. Unfortunately, I know exactly what that device is. It is a slightly smaller size instrument than the model they used at my last colonoscopy.

  14. I, too, was thinking robotic monkey spine; and damned if I'm not going to stick to it.

    I can't believe you haven't won a million by now in the lottery. I've won several million and I haven't even bought a ticket.


  15. Well duh! ... It's one of those things you use to, you know, thingy.

    Or it could be a sardine filter-tree.

    It's fun to play with junk.


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