Saturday, August 12, 2006


What you don't want early-ish on what is supposed to be your one untouchable DAY OFF per week is some fool ringing you ON YOUR MOBILE to ask 'WHAT YOU DID WITH THE CHEQUES?" But that's what HAIRDO did yesterday, via an intermediary. Bloody woman.

I was too much like half asleep (insufficient caffeine) to shoot back with ... I ate them dear, they're more nutritious than the crap we've got on the shelves. Damn it, I'd only gone in to do the banking to get someone out of a hole. I could see myself putting the damned things in the safe along with the rest of the day's banking for collection in the morning.

After a typically round-a-bout and accusatory conversation she found them, where she'd put them, among some papers to be mailed off to someone in head office. I guess that's why she gets paid more than me. I'm not actually capable of being simultaneously so stupid and so offensive.

I guess I must have rung off before she got round to her apology for disturbing me on MY DAY OFF!

While near the subject of Head Office I had a wonderful conversation with SIMON who is a paper shuffler in Mock Ivory Towers.

As a result of the technological melt-down we've been enduring for the best part of the past fortnight our grasp of our trading position is well ... tenuous. Weekly figures submitted for the previous week (during which the problem emerged) were laced with caveats.

Simon called on Wednesday asking for a copy of the main summary document produced and submitted on a weekly basis. I produced it for him and sent it up.

Simon called back and told me that wasn't what he wanted, so could I please send to him some other document instead. I must have missed his apology for the waste of my time involved in the earlier work.

Simon called a third time to announce that 'our figures agree'. Well gee, Simon, there's a surprise. The figures for the week produced by THE COMPUTER on Sunday agree with the figures produced by the same machine a few days later. Can I explain the discrepency between what the figures should say and what they do say (a matter of a little over SEVEN GRAND)?

I sure can: our entire IT system is a decrepit heap of shit that breaks down with consequences catastrophic for financial and stock management.

Simon went away to have a natter with his manager SAMANTHA, leaving me hanging on and more than a little frustrated. As an aside I would wager a small sum Simon does that to all the girls.

Samantha eventually came on to ask for an explanation of the figures: I patiently went over with her the long history of our ten days of software and hardware failures that have prevented us from gathering in a timely fashion the data from tills with which we assemble our trading reports. I relayed to her the advice from the software management company that the figures would sort themselves out at the end of the following figures; that the discrepency essentially represented 'trapped' sales figures held over from the previous week which would now wash out.

She heard me out before asking "what should the figure be?". Now the answer to this question was "we can't know until the end of the week", so I replied with "I don't know". She came back with "but can you give me a rough idea?". Well yes, a rough idea would be "a bit over SEVEN GRAND". That wasn't good enough.

We went around and around in circles for a little while; an exercise in futility that essentially amounted to me resisting her attempts to lure me into putting my name to an entirely fictitous figure that was A BIT OVER SEVEN GRAND, but wasn't the same A BIT OVER SEVEN GRAND as the one she already has.

After a time we both grew bored and she went away to make up a figure all on her own. I have no idea what happened to SIMON, and frankly I don't care what happened to the little twerp.


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