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I Phone

This little slip of paper I found trapped in the centre of a magazine from the early eighties, it’s a relic from my first real job in an office. Basically nobody was trusted to remember things so we had these handy little pads to fill in everytime we took a phone call and these were then placed on a spike on the recipients table to be dealt with. They should have worked but it was regularly open to abuse, quite often you would find an unknown phone number to ring with some strange name. I once phoned Twycross Zoo and asked for a Mr G.Wraff much to the amusement of other office members.

Old style phone systems provided quite a rich source of humour for the prankster, I used to use a very small bit of paper to raise the receiver from the base so at a glance it was not being used. I could then dial another desk and carry on working, they would pick up the phone and I would slightly knock the phone to dislodge the paper and cut the call. Do this several times to different phones and pretty much the whole office didn’t get much work done. Another favourite was to swap the receivers over on the bases when two phones were close together. When a call was received the wrong handset was used on the correct base unit, if they realised their mistake they put the receiver back cutting off the call and picked up the other one which was incorrect. Sometimes they would repeat this a few times before realising.

Coffee machines were also regulated with a special card that you received each month that gave you two drinks a day. Basically you went to the vending machine popped in your card and chose your drink, out came your card and out came your drink. The problem was that many of us in the office quickly realised that there was only enough drinks to last four weeks so in the last few days of a month you had to have made sure that you had reduced your intake to last the extra time.

Really it was a problem waiting for a solution, it took a bit of experimentation but I eventually found a way bypass the system. The card looked like a cardboard credit card complete with magnetic strip, on every drink purchase it pressed a small hole about 5mm from the bottom into the card, they were only small and they not very far apart but obviously formed part of the vending machine security.

I cut out three pieces of card of roughy the same thickness and sacrificed a brand new card by removing the magnetic strip and cutting it along its length into three. I placed these on the new cards making sure they were in the centre of where a real strip should be then filled in the gap either side using normal cassette tape. All the cards started with one small pinhole to help the machine count the rest so I placed the new card over the duplicates and carefully punched the first one. Two of the cards worked perfectly, the other unfortunately worked a few times until the magnetic strip came unstuck and decided to tell the machine to stop dispensing cups and continuously dispense coffee until dry, replacing the cups manually with used ones from the rubbish bin I managed to avert disaster and my clever card system came to a premature end.

Looking back I had quite a good time working in an office, we got plenty of work done too through all the pranking that went on, it all added to the atmosphere and was all done with good humour. Ahh, memories!

Anyway, I’m a little puzzled at the moment after downloading out of interest an app called Just Eat. I wanted to see just how many fast food places there was around us and just what they offered. The results were amazing, I can only assume that the places add their own menus and options as the sheer amount of mistakes is perfect blogging fodder. I came across Chickling & Chips, Stake And Kidney Pie and the amusingly titled Vegetarian Meat Pizza With Bacon. One place even specified that the salad contained two leaves of lettuce, a slice of onion and half a tomato and that the beef they use comes from genuine cows.

Here’s another one that amused me slightly, it offered Pies but offered no selection of pies they sold anywhere on the menu. Instead it opened a comment box that simply said to type in the pie of your choice.

The Gnu and Moose pie I ordered was lovely, I’d also recommend the Armchair and Stool pie I ordered yesterday, it went perfectly well with my half of tomato salad.

Have a great Thursday 🙂



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