The Christmas decorations went up in the main office today. The tree is unusual I think it may be a mangrove.
Other less traditional touches include streamers made from colour-coded cat5 cable. I suppose paper tape is just too rare these days.
Mavis has also joined in and a 12ft tall blow-up Santa, complete with illuminated red nose, has appeared in my outer office. He says "Ho Ho Ho" if you pat his stomach. When I suggested that this might not be quite the sophisticated techno-professional image I am trying to cultivate,
Mavis explained that she had already compromised. The matching set of sleigh, six reindeer and four elves had not yet been removed from their packaging. So I suppose I must be grateful for small mercies.
We are not sending any Christmas cards this year. Instead I have made a donation to support local widows at this difficult time. In particular I am taking a Mrs Jones away to a country hotel for the weekend.
Up to London for a presentation at MBI Sloth Bonk on their latest Cistern Eye offering. A man called Gil told us about his problems having to recruit more and more techies until he was in danger of running out of coffee cups.
All his troubles were resolved when a young man on his staff, dressed in school uniform, informed him of MBI's sales line number and he bought a Cistern Eye box.
At a stroke he saved his company more than £1m a year and 30-odd techies are now looking for new jobs.
Back in the office, I am greeted this morning by a grunt from Mavis.
The coffee she brings in at 10am is an evil-smelling liquid with an oily purple tinge. I poured it into the aspidistra. By 10.30am it was a brown and shrivelled ex-aspidistra.
I think Mavis may have got wind of the Mrs Jones thing.
Dave, Charlie and I decided to take lunch in the Flea and Faceache as well, it is Friday.
Last week we installed a new Wi-Fi hotstop in the library next door. Reception and service quality does, of course, need to be properly tested, and we can do this very adequately from the back bar.
So there we were, stacking the empty pint glasses around our laptops until the early evening. This is what remote working was invented for.
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This was first published in November 2006