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Showing posts with the label Fail

Bad Toilet

I was in the toilets at work.
I had enough time for a quick wee before my lunch break, after all I didn't want to go to the toilet in my own time, that would just be wrong. I went to the downstairs toilets in the basement, There are no offices in the basement, so as a result they were not used as much as the ones on the second floor.  As I entered the toilet downstairs all was quiet, I looked at both cubicle doors, both were showing the green flash on the lock meaning vacant.
I breathed a sigh of relief, there would be no need for small talk whilst washing my hands. I felt I always had to say something if I saw a work colleague there, although I never really knew what to say in this situation, and I couldn't hear them over the incredibly loud air-blade hand dryer.
Better to bump into a client, or someone from the other offices at the top of the building, that way I could do a manly nod at them, without the need for making conversation. I opened the door on toilet one, and wa…

My Train Nemesis - The race for the last seat is on, and i don't want to lose.

We stood side by side at the edge of the platform, both taking our places near the yellow lines signifying the edge.
I hoped and prayed that today I would be the lucky one, that I would be in the correct place when the train stopped and doors opened so that I could grab that perennial last seat in the carriage.
I had already taken my place so knew I couldn't change position again. You can't just change platform position once you have picked your spot, not without making the people next to you think you are quite strange, and knowing you were preparing yourself tactically, not just by chance like we all pretend. The only way to change your platform position is to do that thing where you pretend to take a few steps back to look at trains arrivals board again, then start all over again and take a new position, apparently oblivious to the fact you were standing somewhere else a few seconds earlier. The morning commute is full of these kinds of pitfalls and silent secret plans.
On tha…

Who is Smirrell?

I’ve had many nicknames over the years, Pringle, Poodle, Pricey, but this is the story of my first nickname, and how it would come to affect me one day later in life when I least expected it.  So where shall I begin? When I was young we lived in a small quiet cul-de-sac.   At the end of the road was a tiny patch of grass, it wasn't a park, there were no swings or slides, and was about the size of a small school football pitch, which was exactly the boys around my age used it for. The older kids I had been playing with moved away, which left me playing on my own, kicking the ball repeatedly against the wall, like a small footballing Steve McQueen. Then one day another boy appeared who lived in the next Street.  He was about the same age as me, ten, and  was called Mark,  he asked to join in, as you did at that age, and I said yes okay then,  as you also did at that age. We played for a few hours.  And then again the next week. And the week after that.  And so it continued. We usually played…

3 times a night

Road Rage

We'd found the house we were going to move to in lovely picturesque Ely, and just had to head back to London to start the packing nightmare.
We'd been joking all weekend about the lack of traffic, and enjoying actually being able to drive a car, not stop start stop start driving in constant traffic like we were used to in London.
We'd bought coffee and I put them up on the roof while I moved my coat from the passenger seat, and climbed back inside the car both of us smiling and happy, a real sense of calm over us both.
I took a sip from my coffee, too hot, always slightly too hot.
We edged out of the car park and into a line of cars at the lights. No more than 6 cars.  "This is probably like gridlock to them all" I joked  And as I laughed I made eye contact with a man in a white van. He was near the back of the queue, but was the car closet to us as we edged out of the car park, looking to join the flow of traffic. I looked down quickly so he didn't think I was…

Interrogation

Toilet Troubles

The toilet was broken, and I was the man to fix it.   I knew I could fix it. I was mostly sure I could fix it. The plastic pipe letting the water into the cistern had stopped working, and I had already bought the replacement, still flying high from successfully putting up a venetian blind the day before, with minimal errors. I was surely in the black in man-points, a toilet would be no problem, after all it was only two screws to undo and tighten up again. Then what could I do next? Maybe service the boiler, maybe build a new shed, solve the Middle East peace process? The world, or maybe the flat and garden was my oyster.
But first the job in hand, I had my replacement pipe still sitting in the Homebase bag on the side, my spanner in hand I began, I imagined emerging from the bathroom in a matter of minutes, another man-job completed more man-points on the board. "Do you think you'll be able to do it though?" asked my girlfriend Kat. "I'm sure I will be able to, after…

Turning Australian - When you pick up on an accent, and just can't stop.

Alan arrives at our flat.  Alan is an estate agent who is here to talk to us about renting our flat when we move. He steps in wearing the customary estate agent shiny suit, I laugh inwardly. Earlier I had predicted this to Kat, "He'll definitely be wearing a shiny suit” I'd said. This night is going to go exactly as I thought it would I'm pretty sure. But then something happened that changed everything.  I sit and listen as he shows us pictures and information on properties he has rented for people in the recent past, and then he starts with the jargon and estate agent talk. Estate agent talk is something that troubles me, where they always try to make something very negative sound like a positive. When you are searching for flats or houses on Zoopla or Rightmove you really have to read between the lines of the comments they say. We all for example know when they say "easy to maintain living space" it means "It’s very very small",  "The property has …