Your Problems Solved, With Holly Harper

Dear Holly
I am terribly lonely and can't seem to make any friends. Whenever I try to engage a colleague in one of my favourite topics such as  ornithology, or Heraldry, their eyes seem to glaze over and they make excuses to leave. I recently invited everyone in the office to come over to mine to eat a ploughman's lunch and watch David Dimbleby's excellent documentary, The Seven Ages of Britain, but no-one turned up. Am I doing something wrong?
Great Yarmouth

Dear Tim,
Oh dear. Haven't you got any teddy bears? Or a dolly? Whenever I am feeling lonely I get all my toys together and have a lovely tea party in my bedroom, with real orange juice in the teapot. Perhaps if you're too poor to have teddies you could think up an imaginary friend to keep you company. However, if you decide to take this course of action, I'd advise against letting anyone else in on the secret. A boy in my class, Gregory Brown, had an imaginary friend called Jingo who lived in his coat pocket. Jingo and Gregory did everything together, like drawing lots and lots of pictures of dead cats and scary ladies with no eyes. I think maybe Jingo didn't like girls because he left something terrible in Olivia Tate's plimsoll, and told Gregory to chop off Francesca Young's ponytail during silent reading. Gregory didn't come back to school after that for a long time, and the teacher told us he had gone to see a special doctor. Thinking about it, maybe investing in a nice teddy and a Barbie doll would be a lot less complicated than making friends with someone like Jingo who'll only end up convincing you to put the end of your winkie in the big pencil sharpener.  
Hope that helps!


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Workers 'need more pretend training with overpaid bullshit merchants'

WORKERS are being asked to attend more pretend training sessions in a bid to increase the amount of bullshit there is.

New workplace regulations mean all employees must spend at least 14 days a year in a Travelodge meeting room while an orange woman called Jan gives them biscuits and asks them to shout out random words.

The new laws were backed by training providers including Nathan Muir, a former car boot salesman who is now managing director of the career development firm Effectualize.

He said: “Our most popular course involves dividing delegates into teams and asking them to brainstorm the ‘concept’ of ‘owls’.

“But we also do some very intensive IT training which is basically learning how to use Google stretched out over four days and 48 cigarette breaks.”

He added: “Today I’ll be writing the word ‘diversity’ on a whiteboard and asking everyone to say the first thing that comes into their head. I then choose one answer at random and treat it like it’s the Theory of Relativity.

“And that’s a grand.”

Call centre team leader Roy Hobbs said: “My most memorable courses were Introduction to Turning Things On, Thinking for Beginners and Intermediate How To Do Your Job Module 3.

“But for me, training courses are a vital opportunity to re-engineer my career environment and work out which of my female co-workers I’d like to fuck.”

Business park office unit Nikki Hollis added: “Going on work-related courses has helped my team and I to bond in the shared realisation of the utter futility of everything.”