Hot desk

Phil, I can't work today – I scalded myself! Crikey! What happened? You remember that variety pack of speciality teas my Beverage Journal editor got me? Yeah. I was drinking one naked, and spilled it in my lap. Red bush? More than somewhat.

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Tome … to you

I see you have the mass-market bestsellers way up on the top shelf. What's that about? High volume selling. I suppose I walked into that, didn't I? I've been waiting years for someone to ask.

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Just what I always wanted

Here you go. Oh! Er … thanks! What prompted that? When I was passing, I overheard you say you could do with a weak coffee, so I brought you one. Okay, cool – cheers. … You said ‘A week off’, didn't you? Yeah

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[Sentiment here]

You think the e-card from management addressed to [Insert name] is bad ... You weren't here the last time they sent us physical cards ... Hang on, I've still got mine – here: That's a lovely nativity scene. Read the message inside. It say, 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.'

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I see the new head of digital marketing we headhunted from Buzzfeed is making his mark. How so? The home page of the Operational Research Academy Journal now says, 'Prof. Dhaliwal calculated a solution for the two-machine job shop scheduling problem – you'll never guess what happened next.' Ah yes – here it is, and the article itself is now spread across 23 separate pages.

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Management insight

If you have followed this strip over the long term, you may be wondering how my production team are still here, considering how the company decided to outsource production to Merlock Services on Titan four years ago. I have achieved this by flying under the radar, and employing a business technique known as 'chiral nescience'. This means, 'The right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.'

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Paige, I was talking to your uncle Iain for thirty minutes about responsive web templates before I found out he's an ecclesiastic architect and monumental stonemason. But I told you he's designing the apse for the new site of the cathedral. He asked me what I thought of Stone fonts and I said I liked how the serif and sans variants work together as a coherent superfamily.

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Here we go round…

We've got an office reorganization scheduled for next Thursday. What, another one? Can I request that you don't play music through the company P.A. system while we're moving our workstations this time? Why? I thought that was soothing. It's just we always suspect that when the music stops, one of us will have had our chair taken away.

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Repurposable content

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Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more

A jolly Christmas! Surprise! It be me, Zork! On Titan, we have similar gifting festivity. It be called,

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The sound of silence

Hello, security? Just to let you know that we didn't hear the fire alarm test in our department today. Uh ... we didn't actually run the test today. Oh – that'll explain it. But we did put out a tannoy announcement to say that we weren't going to... I didn't hear that, either.

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Breakout room … broken

The former stationery store is being repurposed as part of our 'multi-purpose workspaces' initiative. Is it, now? Yes – we're piloting it as a prayer room for our muslim colleagues. How many of those do we have? None. But we can set aside booked time for other uses. Would I be allowed to— Yes. Hang on though, it's still full of stationery. Yes, that's another of its multiple purposes.

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World’s worst pun

What's this in the Dec. issue of Dermatological Review? A bound-in sheet of 180GSM stock with photos of various red skin complaints. Why? It's an eczemas card!

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Frequency asked questions

'Quarterly Transactions in Periotology' seems to be doing well. Everybody calls it Q-TIP. In fact it's getting so many accepted submissions that we're increasing its frequency to five issues a year. Doesn't that mean we'll have to rename it? Er... Oh, balls.

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Be sure always to call it please, ‘research’

Seb, here's the new company ethics policy. Can you put it up on the website? Let's see. Coo, this is pretty good. Who wrote it? I don't know, I just copied it off the Batley University Press site and changed the names.

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Bee serious

This afternoon I'll be meeting with B.D. Klein, the editor of Apiarist Review, to discuss possible strategies for reversing the fall in subscribers. New features to make it more exciting and engaging. Anyone have any ideas? "Readers' Hives"? You do know you said that out loud?

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Air a grievance

Where did the wormhole take you when you were accidentally sucked through the I.T. Portal? To the new offices on Titan. What are they like? They look cool, but the atmosphere stinks. You mean there's no banter or camaraderie? No, I mean the air smells of hydrogen sulphide.

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Silent as the reviewers board

Message from the editorial office at 'Tumour Research': we're to take Professor Hu off the ed board page. Why so? Apparently he's been dead for two years. I've still got two other reviewers with a worse response rate. I'm getting a message through from the spirit world ... it says ... revise and resubmit.

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At the printers

Where are you lot off to? The printers. Wanna come? Nah. I've got three-year forecasting figures to calculate. Okay. Twenty minutes later– Do you think we should've elaborated? Er... Naaah! THE PRINTERS ARMS PUBLIC HOUSE

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The pen is mightier …


Lunatics will be lunatics.

Some of them attach themselves to a religion as a cause.

Their religion is not the source of their lunacy.

If religion didn’t exist they would attach themselves to some other cause.

It is the job of the non-lunatic to investigate the psychological origins of their lunacy, to clean up after them, and (sorry about this) to keep calm and carry on.

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