Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Walk of life

Why is it that bloated office baboons are so intent on avoiding physical exercise?
There are many blogs, tips and hints on how spinning around in your chair or only eating dust during work hours can help yourself beat the bulge. If you are reading this at work STOP. Get up. Go on! GET UP! Now run, jump and cartwheel around the office encouraging others to do likewise with you. Think about how long you have been sitting festering in your office chair. Years probably, you disgust us all. I jest of course. We all fall foul of spending too long in the saddle in front of a screen, but some executives go to great lengths to avoid exercise.
Office behaviour I have observed recently:
Someone using their chair to scoot across the floor to get to the biscuits rather than walking.
Horrendous squawking at a poor choice of music on the office stereo - without walking the 1.5 meters to change it
8 hours worth of moaning about the office temperature (too cold) without turning up the air con. This did not stop several offenders from switching on personal heaters though.
People who regularly get the lift down one floor. Walking down stairs is not even hard! Simple outright pleading with others to walk and get things for people.
I am one of those people who thinks that waiting on an escalator is a waste of time. You could be getting to your destination quicker and getting a miniature work out at the same time - Talk about two birds and one stone. Industry experts predict that climbing two flights of stairs can help office workers lose up to 4 pounds of weight per day. So come on, change your bad habits, the NHS depends on it.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Soldier on

Executive ailments, there are so many of them.

Those of importance (Directors et al), tend to have less time and less inclination to think about imaginary illnesses, and exaggerated bodily woes.

We all get ill from time to time. You are reading the ramblings of an executive who took their first ever sick days last year. Once you stay at home to recover from a virus (or bad case of man-flu), you realise that it is often better to recuperate, rather than grind yourself down by continuing as if you are not under the weather.

These 'Executive Pains' can be put into two categories:

Firstly the in office ailments:
Halitosis, Headache, sickness, dizziness, tiredness.

These are for the most part entirely fabricated to gain sympathy or relieve boredom. All can be cured with a glass of water and a five minute break from the screen. It's not that all office workers are hypochondriacs, but feeling less than perfect is yet another welcome distraction from the monotony.

The second category of illnesses are more serious, and often need setting up a day early, like a looping ally-oop basketball pass ready for the slam-dunk of a day off.

Having been sick - has no after effects unless the executive is actually ill, so no reason to stay off.
Migraine - jumped up headache
Food poisoning - not real unless fluids are gushing from both ends.
Stomach bug - dickie tummy. Toughen up by training it with chillies.
Diarrhoea - The all time classic that is so embarrassing the powers that be daren't ask any more questions.
Back problems - one of those things that older people say - 'always look after your back'

An old boss of mine once strolled into work at 12:30pm and simply declared 'What? . . . I was drunk!'
The director was so shocked at the honesty that no punishment, or even ticking off, was forthcoming!

I'm not sure what my point is here, maybe I'm just bitter that some people feel it is OK to take more time off as employers owe them. This executive adopts the 'Soldier on' approach, that may show favourably on your report card, but usually goes unnoticed.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Flirtation for the nation

There is nothing more cringe worthy and sickening than learning of a colleagues flirtatious exchange via electronic mail or text message.

Things that co-workers might say to alert you to how desirable they seem to be to the opposite sex:

Oh my God, he just texted me saying that he isn't a performing monkey, but he bloody well is.

I emailed her saying I had a good time, but she hasn't replied yet.

"They are sooooo cheeky, I can't believe they said I've got chunky thighs"

Stifled laughter up to 5 times a day from flirtatious texts. You know it isn't a joke, as they are a bit too embarrassed to share the details

"I don't fancy him, but I'm going to give it a go anyway"

Ways in which you can respond -

Say something like - 'it's good to feel loved'.

Send snide emails to colleagues about how you don't want to know about other people's romantic interludes.

Simply walk over to the offending colleagues desk and shower their keyboard, monitor and other belongings in projectile vomit.

Executives need to keep their sexy business to themselves.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

World Cup agony

I would rather spend an whole week discussing tactics in this man's tactics truck than feel the pain of another day at work without the splendour of the World Cup on TV.

Capello's boys are yet to crash out, but I am already feeling the growing agony, frustration and that sickening feeling you get when England face anyone in a penalty shoot out . . .

I can't seem to get the online streams from the two World Cup broadcasters to work properly.

What with the modern wonders of the Internet, you would think that Executives all around the country could watch Slovakia vs New Zealand in blissful peace (in addition to getting on with whatever eye-gougingly painstaking work you have to), but no.

Its bad enough for us office schlubs to miss out on 9 hours on the sofa parked in front of the TV reaching through the festering beer cans trying to find some live crisp-packs. Offices should cater better for the most earth-shatteringly important event every 4 years.

BBC streams seem to work fairly well, only with intermittent interruptions, although they are ruined by the comments box on the left of the screen. The BBC obviously thinks it is a good idea to intersperse text commentary with idiotic tweets from Tittish twonks saying things like:

"more boring than work"
"Can I see more of the BBC World Cup Bus?"
"My ears hurt, Vuvuzelas are loud"
"When is the Premiership starting again?"

The other feed simply does not work. ITV have already committed several crimes against humanity

- ruining Adrian Chiles' career (although he is also to blame for this)
- allowing Andy Townsend to stay in gainful employment
- Big Ron-gate
- Showing advertisements during games (instead of England goals)
- ruining a lovely song by Jonsi of Sigur Ros.

I could go on.

We tried to go back to the 20th century in our office and tune in to the analogue service on a battered TV found lying forlorn in the basement. Some kind of government conspiracy means that analogue channels will be switched off soon, and it seems that MI5 had gained control of the last remaining TV in our office. Even after purchasing an old-school aerial the blasted contraption would not show any kind of football in fuzzy black and white.

I must add that we first attempted to plug a coat hanger into the back of the TV with limited success. The steaming turd-box would not even turn on, but the world has one less wire coat hangar to worry about.

Totally Official Reports suggest that morale in the office would rocket by 400% if employers provided adequate screen to show the games. Employees could be made to form orderly queues and intersperse 30 seconds of viewing with 5 minutes of work.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Death by Donuts

It's summer holiday season. You know, the time when good little office workers blow thousands of pounds on trips to expensive resorts in the Caribbean or Asia simply to lie on a sun lounger for two weeks.
Who made the rule up about paying your holiday penance anyway. You MUST bring back some sweets from the country where you were lying on a sun lounger all day for your greedy colleagues to eat.
Donuts are almost always the food of choice, even though a) they are responsible for the 40,000 office workers dying from grease filled arteries every year, b) people get bored of them and c) they aren't even relevant to where you've been.
here are some more interesting ideas for office treats:
Jolly Ranchers
Scotblock cooking chocolate
Fruitinis for all
Monkey Nuts
Yop Milkshakes
Glace Cherries
Lets do away with the ghastly M&S tubs of Rocky road (I am suspicious of what is used to stick the chocolaty components together) and get creative.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Fly away home

We've all been on journeys of discovery to far flung parts of the world.
Before University, after University, after years of money saving.
Now executives love talking about holidays, it is far more interesting than talking about the new eggshell white that has been slapped up in reception.
But holidays are different to longer 'travel trips' or 'gap years'. A holiday is a break from the norm, an escape, a limited opportunity to relax and enjoy somewhere new.
A 6 month trip around SE Asia and Australia is not a holiday. Getting all watery eyed about that night spent under the stars in Cambodia, surviving on packet noodles for 3 months, or getting locked up in a Slovenian Jail is not a story for work colleagues.
Worse still, these post-uni serial travellers tend to team up in the office and proceed to talk very loudly over each other for 50 minutes about where they went, and why they are so good. Its like the terrible antipodean trend of saying that you have 'done' somewhere.
ah yeah? I did Italy, I did France, I've done Europe. Ticked it off, I did Florence.
Did you see the statue of David?
Yeah I did David, tick.
Europe - check, Africa - check, America - check
There are maps online where you can shade in the parts of the world you have been to and tell all you mates. Its like some awful online game of Risk where you can pretend that you are some 21st century version of Alexander the Great, just because you bought a plane ticket when you were 18.
If somebody mentions the danger word 'travel' rather than holiday you know you are in trouble. You don't want to have to sit through the photographs, so get out quick. Run away from that conversation and close the door quietly behind you.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Every executive has to deal with tiredness. We burn the candles at both ends of course.
Each morning when you smash the new alarm clock (prompting another trip to the electrical store), and crowbar the sleepy crust from your tired eyes, you think 'I definitely get an early night tonight'.
The problem is, by early, you mean before midnight, and by 'definitely' you mean 'in the incredibly unlikely even of nothing going on and my friends deserting me'.
I for one think that learning to cope with less sleep is
a) A badge of honour
and c) allows you an extra 15 days per year of leisure time.
Surely this is definitely worth it?
Luckily in media, no-one wakes up before lunch anyway. It makes no sense that Friday mornings are crucial weekly deadlines in most media jobs. If you do have important work to do like this, here are some handy hints:
Get yourself a nutritious media breakfast - A bottle of fizzy water and a fag.
Only drink espressos - at least you will accept that you use caffeine as a drug (and it looks more refined).
Leave your computer running at night and time delay those emails. People think you were working late and won't bother you.
Leave important work until the last minute, the sense of panic will wake you up quickly.
Consumer one sugar lump every 15 minutes for the first three hours of the working day. Granulated, Caster or demorara are all fine.
Arrange 9:30 meetings so that both parties can moan about how tired they are.
Make sure to lambaste the weaklings that complain about still being tired even though they went straight to bed after DIY SOS with Nick Knowles (at 8:30pm).
Well, I'm off out. I'll see you tomorrow - after the third cup of coffee.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Sporting life

Once in every four years, the unique spectacle of the World Cup disrupts offices across the country.

I say once in every four years, but it doesn't have to be football (e.g. the ashes) or even England (e.g. Usain Bolt) to provide a welcome distraction to the nation's disgruntled office based bipods.

When it is a matter of national importance, such as an competitive England football match during work hours, companies usually cave in and set up a screen for employees to watch (rather than running AWOL from the building to the nearest public house, Dixon's, or wherever will take them).

However, for many young males, the World Cup provides a sense of multicultural acceptance, the greatest talent is on display and a sense of ultimate competition.

No game can be missed, if you are to fully immerse yourself in the greatest tournament on earth.

Come Friday, eyeballs, ears and brains will be diverted and 50-75% of the workforce will instantly fall into zombie-like states. Their faces will belie nothing but a thousand yard stare and an encyclopedic football knowledge attempting to burst its way out of their cranium. Internet systems will crash from streaming the games, heads will be buried in Newspaper analysis and any vaguely round object will be picked up and kicked around the office for an impromptu game.

A word of advice to office managers: Screen it or suffer