Mr Useless strikes again….

Today we have a department meeting to discuss the actions we were given for the big audit at the last department meeting a few weeks ago. We were all given pages of things to do except for Mr Useless who was given one task. One. Uno. In the singular.

This morning he swans into my office, "Did you take minutes at the last meeting?"

"No. Why would I?"

"Well it's just that I've forgotten what procedure it was I was meant to alter."

"You only had ONE thing to do!"

"But I didn't write it down and neither did you."

Of course, I'd completely forgotten that it was my responsibility to ensure a man ten years older than myself did what he was supposed to do. How remiss of me. 

Then Boss Lady comes into the office.

"Vicola, would you mind taking minutes at today's meeting because it turns out some people have forgotten what they're supposed to be doing".

So now I have to write down everything because one member of the team is too stupid to do it himself. A member of the team who, I might add, earns more than I do. Give me strength.

I can only assume that there's someone on site stood next to him all day reminding him to breath in and out on a regular basis so that he doesn't keel over and die.


UPDATE: Boss Lady has just sashayed into my office and informed me that I need to tidy my workspace, get a bit of feng shui going on in here. My look of incredulous rage and curt reply that between dealing with all the subcontractors, holding Mr Useless's hand through life, doing sections of Mr Useless's job because he's incapable and doing all the other work that I have to do or no one else wants to do doesn't leave me with a great deal of time to feng bloody shui the office hasn't been lost on her. She muttered something about busy, scarpered and is now avoiding me. Tidy the fucking office? Are you on glue woman? I tell you what, you give some of the shit that always gets dumped on my desk to some other poor twat to do and I'll make my office beautiful. How does that grab you?

For fuck's sakes. It's 9.30am and I require the services of a gin and tonic already.

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Votes for women

I would like to ask a question of our local MP, who is standing for re-election in the forthcoming election. why do you keep sending reams of election and campaigning material to our house addressed solely to Mr Vicola? I can think of only three possible reasons:

1) You are not aware that woman now have the vote. If this is the case let me enlighten you – back around the turn of the last century a group of determined women called the Suffragettes campaigned to ensure that women were not placed in the same voting category as minors, criminals and lunatics and were allowed to voice their views via the ballot box. Thanks to their efforts women over 30 were granted the vote in The Representation of the People Act of 1918. In 1928 this was extended to 21, the same age as men and in 1969 the voting age was lowered to 18. So there you go, we CAN now vote. You might want to spread this news throughout your party because The Brother's Wife has been irritated by the Labour candidate in her ward who is doing exactly the same thing so also obviously doesn't realise either. This gives you a whole new batch of people to aim for but since you've only got a week and a half you might want to pull your finger out of your arse and get moving. We are after all a key marginal constituency and so pissing off 50% of the residents by not acknowledging their importance may be considered a little unwise.

2) You think I'm just the little woman indoors and don't need to be targeted as I'll just vote how my husband instructs me. If this is the case I can assume that your secretary never passed on the letter I sent you about my feelings on your government's performance and the Civil Contingencies Act. Perhaps they passed it straight to MI5 to be filed under 'Dangerous Subversive', who knows? Anyway, the upshot is that I make up my own mind. Mr Vicola has long since worked out that the safest way to ensure I don't do something is to instruct me that I have to do it and it's about time you learned the same. We women are allowed to think for ourselves these days, we're even allowed to have jobs! What a brave new world of emancipation you're encountering today eh?

3) You don't give a crap how I vote. This is technically possible since your government has shown time and again that they couldn't give a flying rat's arse what the electorate thinks as they assume we all have the IQ of a polystyrene ceiling tile and are quite happy to be shafted from all directions by our ruling elite however I will point out once again that we are a key marginal constituency and so the rules of the game instruct that you have to at least PRETEND not to have utter contempt for your constituents until the polling stations close at 10pm on 6th May. Play the game sir, play the game.

Oh and if anyone from the BNP is reading this, could I please request that you send me a large box of your campaigning leaflets? They are on that non-glassy paper you see and so are superb at soaking up wee from the bottom of the guinea pig hutch, saving me the cost of buying a newspaper. Thanks.

And if anyone from the 'English Democrats' is online – If you're going to stand on a platform of 'England is great' then you need to get someone with at least a rudimatary grasp of English grammar to proof read your election leaflet before sending it to the printer. 'Form filling' is two words, not one and the guy in your party is 'Mayor OF Doncaster', not 'Mayor OR Doncaster'. Also note, the comma was created for a reason.

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Emirates and the Foreign Office – somewhat less than helpful.

So, the parentals are stuck in Delhi because the Icelanders have decided to get us back for dissing their banks by opening up the earth and sending clouds of ash into our airspace, meaning all flights to and from the UK were grounded. They were meant to fly from Delhi to Dubai yesterday and then on to Manchester from Dubai. Still, when they couldn't fly they were transferred to a lovely 5 star hotel by Emirates where my mum was perfectly happy because she'd found two young travellers to look after and my dad was happy because he was drinking beer on the terrace and watching the world go by. However happiness was short-lived when a representative of Emirates arrived this morning and announced that as of midday, Emirates had discharged its duty to provide them with accomodation for 24 hours, they were now required to vacate their rooms and leave or speak to the hotel about booking in and paying for it themselves. Needless to say this went down like a lead penguin and they are now, along with the 22 other UK-bound passengers, staging a sit-it in the lobby of the Jaypee Vasant Continental. Apparently the hotel aren't that concerned because the militant holidaymakers are buying drinks however whether they'll be so cheerful about it when the sun goes down and they still refuse to move or when they've been there 3 days in the heat of Delhi and they smell like a tramp's slipper is anyone's guess. Emirates are being somewhat less than helpful. The passengers in India have been given no information other than that they definately won't be flying before the 18th April and if you try to phone Emirates you get a posh sounding chap announcing that they're very sorry but they are experiencing a high volume of calls and so you should ring back later. Helpful, thanks for that Emirates. Eventually I managed to get through to Emirates customer services and I found out something interesting – that no one in the call centre has a fucking clue what's going on or what's going to happen. In fact I knew more than they did, which seems to be a rather arse-about situation. Possibly the call centre staff should have been instructed to read the BBC News website before starting shift, since it would not have been an unreasonable guess that people might be ringing to ask about this.

Given that Emirates clearly didn't give a fuck, I decided to ring the Foreign Office for information. I got through to a posh sounding chap called Nick. I'm sure that all people who work for the foreign office are called Nick, Charles or Fiona. After hearing the explanation Nick came up with the following invaluable advice.

"Well if the airline have discharged their duty then the passengers are on their own and will have to pay for private accomodation and food until the airline will fly them back to the UK".

I explained that it was ok for those like my parents who could afford to do this but there were some young backpackers on the flight who didn't have any money. Nick didn't seem overly bothered about this, I don't think he really likes backpackers because he repeated the word as if I'd just said 'camel-turds' and informed me that they'll just have to find some cheap hotel to stay in at their own expense. Very helpful, we pay how much to have consulates across the world whose main function seems to be to tell you to fuck off and not bother them. Presumably they're too busy fantasising about the days when you were allowed to use natives as a hearth-rug and getting dressed for dinner with the colonel. They'll be sitting up and taking notice if my mother arrives at the Delhi Consulate I can tell you. My vocal abilities were inherited from a master. Currently my brother and myself are trying to figure out a way to get them back into Europe so they can travel back overland. Once that is done, I will be sitting down to write a sternly worded missive to both the foreign office and Emirates airlines. There's nothing quite like writing a sternly worded missive for warming the soul….

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