Friday, January 29, 2010


Further to the last post:

I turned up for my HR meeting but no-one turned up.

I advised the receptionist, then waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, I said to her 'No-one has turned up. What should I do?'

'Well I told HR but no-one knows anything about it,' she snapped.

Presumably this was twenty minutes ago, as she had been on a personal call to someone about her shopping since then. She hadn't bothered telling me.

(She is a grumpy receptionist and not a 'people person.' Like many receptionists, in my experience.)

She asked me to see who the invitation letter I had was from. In fairness, it was signed by V, one of the head honchos in my department.

So I went upstairs but V was having a big TOPS meeting with all the other bosses. (Don't ask me what TOPS stands for. Total Operational Performance Standards or some similar nonsense, probably. They have one every day, who knows what they talk about.)

So I went back to work. Later V said she would rearrange it, but she is very busy & forgetful so maybe it won't happen. If anyone asks me about it I shall say, 'Oh don't worry about that. I sorted that out in your absence.'

An absence referral meeting in which the other parties were absent. Kafkaesque.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A twart

I talked to the biggest twart in the world today, a solicitor from Kent county council.

He'd lost his passport & was travelling next Saturday. Still plenty of time to get a new one, but he had a major hissy fit in a train station because:

a) I required him to take time off work to attend an appointment
b) I couldn't guarantee that the passport could be delivered to his workplace (for security reasons we require a residential address and he is between houses)
c) The price of the passport was £112.50 instead of ten pounds.

He was pissing, whinging and shrieking like a little girl. Any time I suggested something to help him, he'd go ballistic and say 'Well I can't POSSIBLY do that! This is effing ridiculous!' He managed to mention that he was a solicitor three times.

I'm not one for hitting kids, but he was a fella who needed a good effing shoeing as a child. Jumped up prick. I know where he works and I know his name. He's just effing lucky he's quite far away. I also know his email address, so I may set up some fake email accounts to spook him.

I may be sacked tomorrow because I've got another meeting with HR to discuss my absences. I hope they have my file handy because I can't be bothered explaining about my mental illnesses again. Ho hum. I'm sure I'll find another minimum wage job elsewhere.

I may return to the joyous world of credit control, or run away to the circus, or lie low in a kibbutz.

Monday, January 18, 2010

We got beat five one

Following on from the previous post - we got beat five one.

Still, the day out was enlivened by:

a) A really crap picture of the Queen, in ermine robes and that, in the Crues social club.
b) A tiny, tiny, wooden shed, about six foot high and two foot wide, in the stand.
c) A Hulk Hogan figurine, and some other wrastler figurine, sitting proudly atop the first aid shed
d) £2.10 for a 35ml whiskey! (I fell off the wagon)
e) The crues being a jolly nice bunch

Our goalie is useless to the power of grayskull, though. Just terrible. He fair breaks my heart.

Friday, January 15, 2010

An anecdote about how Lou Macari towels himself, and the Irish Cup

An anecdote about how Lou Macari towels himself

It's the fifth round of the Irish Cup tomorrow in the fitba (est 1881; 4th oldest cup comp in the world, cup fans.) It's the equivalent of the third round of the FA Cup, when the small fry play the big boys.

1st Division Bangor have been drawn away to Crusaders, top of the premier league ahead of Glentoran and Linfield. Gulp.

Crusaders are managed by Stephen 'Stanley' Baxter, who I think was part of the cabal of born-again Christian players who used to pray in the dressing room before kick off, then go out and put the fear of God into their opponents with bone-crunching tackles back when the Crues won two titles in the mid-1990s.

So a trip to Seaview it is.

I asked the big ranga team leader out of work if he was going to the match.

'If it goes ahead' he replied

'Why, I thought the Crues had a plastic pitch,' I countered.

'Not that,' he says 'I'm off to a shareholders meeting to see if we can put a team out.'

I didn't know things were that bad.

At least we aren't in the position of Lisburn Distillery, managed by ex-Forest stopper Tommy Wright. They are in £250,000 of debt. They were paying their players a total of £20,000 a month! May not seem much, but that's Utaka-like madness in the cash-strapped local game.

Anyway, back to the game tomorrow.

Thanks to an utterly bizarre game in which half the Crues team decided to act like Vinnie Jones crossed with Cantona crossed with Mad Max they'll have four players suspended tomorrow(all the nutty action in the video comes in the second half). Which is nice.

For some reason it's at 2.30pm.

Carrick are playing at 2.00pm because someone set fire to their club rooms.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Passport calls the day

Today was the day for the strange folk of Britain to ring the passport line.

First there was the man who repeated many things I said in loud, robotic phonetics like an alien air-traffic controller. 'That's PAPA - ALPHA - SIERRA - SIERRA'

Then we had the very posh, fruity young lady from Kensington who had her child's passport due for delivery. However, she was currently staying at her country (!) residence in Cheltenham.

(who doesn't move to their country residence at this time of year? Me, I'm off to mine at Balmoral for the weekend.)

'No problem' I said 'I'll just put you through to the Peterborough office. First could you give your child's name and date of birth so I can check the details?'

'It's Ozymandias,' she replied.

Stifling a gasping laugh, I said, 'Oh yes, like the poem by Shelley.'

'Oh!,' she says ' 'Yes! Not many people get that!.'

'It's one of my favourites,' I tells her. And I began to declaim in my rich, sonorous bass tones:

'I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

But I only got the first bit out before she interrupted me.

'We called him that because of the 'King of Kings.'

King of Kings

Not much to live up to then.

His middle name was something like Matheousus too.


Next I had a woman on trying to get a passport for her boyfriend's kids.

Thing was, like, the kids mum, like, had the passports and she wasn't giving them up. She kept on saying they were lost.

'Does the father have parental responsibility?' I asked. (If the parents never married the government only gives official parental responsibility to the mother, pre 2003, in a startlingly sexist piece of legislation that has since been fixed but isn't retrospective.)

'No, like we've never had need for it, like. Can't we just send you our tax credits slip?'

',' I said 'The mother will have to re-apply for the passports if she applied for them in the first place.'

'But she won't talk to us!' she grumbles.

'Well then you'll have to go to a solicitor,' I advised, 'and get a parental responsibility order.'

'But we've never had need for one!'

'Well you do now' I told her grumpily.


I get this a LOT. Father rings up, complaining that he wants to take the kids on holiday but the mother won't give up the passport or claims they are lost. And then the father rings me up and says 'Surely we can do something about this? There must be a way around it.'

Yes mate, talk to your ex missus. And get her to talk to you. I can't sort this shit out. Admittedly I've been guilty of some naughty similar behaviour in the past, but not to the extent that children have been denied holidays.


My last call was most interesting. An eighty-one year old woman rang me looking to trace her father's passport. She was adopted and had managed to track down her birth father. He was a Belgian immigrant who had changed his name, had possibly committed suicide or been murdered, and was buried in Streatham. She had found his death certificate and his grave but had never met him. He went on to have a big family of many other kids and she had tracked some of them down but they wanted nothing to do with her. He spoke nine languages.

I had a lovely chat to her for twenty minutes. Fascinating story, and very sad. She was looking for something no-one could give her.I have no idea where the passport archives are. I had a look at our website and at the National Archives sites. She had contacted them but no-one was friendly. I was more than happy to listen. I wish I could have helped her more.


Oh, and yesterday I booked five emergency passports for five kids for an Irish traveller in the Coventry region. He'd had them seized at Dover because they were all out of date when he came back from Eurodisney last week. He wanted to take them to Holland this week. Poor bloke was illterate so I suppose he didn't realise.

He couldn't remember all his childrens names or dates of birth so he had to line them up one by one and ask them while he was on the phone. It was quite sweet. It sounded like there was a big party going on in his home, at 11.00am at the morning. Voices cutting in everywhere. His kids all had good old-fashioned names that no-one calls their kids any more, like Felix and Anne and Barbara.