Identifying your co-workers by smell: Six summer plights of office workers

OFFICE workers struggle through the depths of winter every year, hoping to be rewarded by summer. But the heat brings its own ordeals:

Identifying co-workers by smell

You don’t know the name of the new guy that sits behind you, but you could pick him out of a line-up based on BO alone. Be advised: if you hear him start talking about getting back into cycling to work, you are legally entitled to go on extended medical leave.

Fighting about fans

One person’s too hot, one’s too cold, one hates the noise, one needs the socket for their laptop charger. The ensuing bickering will create an unpleasant atmosphere until the end of September. And if the office has air-conditioning, some twat will always insist it’s set to freezing. It’s one of nature’s laws.

Watching the life cycle of a colleague’s sunburn

If they want to singe the skin off their arms and legs every weekend, it could be argued that it’s entirely their business. However, when you’re the one that has to watch it crust over, flake off, and get all over your desk when they come by for a chat, it feels like you are very closely involved as well.

Hearing about wanky family holidays

You had to put up with your line manager’s smug out-of-office for a fortnight, and your reward is to nod along to their anecdote about one of their many interchangeable offspring being a ‘natural’ at windsurfing for the millionth time. Which is annoying, especially as you can only afford a long weekend in Barnstaple this year.

Hearing your boss’ arse peel off her chair

A two-fold torture experience. Firstly, it’s made you picture just how sweaty her arse is. Even worse, it’s made you realise how soggy your own bum is, and worry about the noise that will be produced when you eventually have to stand up.

Seeing manky toes

Middle-aged men need to learn that only their closest family should be forced to witness them in sandals. Also, why has wearing shorts to the office become acceptable? Their pale bony ankles are almost as horrifying as their disgusting feet.

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Topping up credit in a shop: F**ked-up phone practices from the Nokia era

HAVING a phone is so easy now with unlimited plans on monthly contracts, but it wasn’t always so. Here’s how hard it was when the 3310 was all the rage:

Topping up credit in a shop

Most early phones were Pay As You Go and you could only top up a fiver or a tenner or a time. This meant it ran out as soon as you’d made a couple of longish phone calls or sent a few texts. Conversations were therefore kept brief as you had to physically go to a shop and purchase a card to add more credit. Seems bizarre and old fashioned now, like the Victorians having to buy fresh food every day because fridges hadn’t been invented.

Searching for a signal

Without the proliferation of masts and saturation coverage experienced with 4G and 5G, 2G and 3G phones often failed to connect at all. Calls were frequently cut short and mobile users were often seen waving their phones in the air like salutations to a digital sky god, shouting ‘I’ve got two bars!’

Counting texts

Early mobile plans usually came with limited call minutes and texts, meaning you often wouldn’t hear from someone for two weeks because they’d used everything up and had to wait until a new month started. Texts had a ridiculously low character limit which necessitated the invention of text speak, something some people still annoyingly cling onto even now they’re able to write multiple paragraphs on WhatsApp.

Paying through the nose for ringtones

The phone you have today probably has 100 different ringtone choices, but you haven’t bothered to change it from the old fashioned telephone sound that was the factory preset. However, 20 years ago you would happily pay £4 to get the Crazy Frog ringtone, believing it would mark you out as a funny and unique person. As did every single other dickhead in your class at school.

Tiny screens with crap games

Although sturdy and functional, Nokias and other early mobiles had tiny green screens displaying a fistful of pixels, and the only game available was Snake. This seems a bit pathetic given that it’s possible to play Call of Duty in real-time on current devices, but on the other hand you weren’t so obsessed with your mobile that you developed an attachment disorder and had a nervous breakdown if you couldn’t find it for 30 seconds.