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Waterstone’s sacks employee over blog

This 181st post was filed under: Headliner, Homebase.

Cash incentives for volunteers

This 129th post was filed under: Homebase, News and Comment.


I still don’t know who my babies are. They must be well overdue by now.

As a response to Jack, I went through my whole first year without a saucepan. It’s really not needed. Just whack things in bowls and in the microwave, much easier. A good baking tray is essential though. Come to think of it, I don’t think I actually ate beans during my first year, either. But there ya go.

It turns out that udder oitment can give you acne. So if you, erm, like cows, then don’t go rubbing their udders on your face. Or something.

I still have the best part of a month left of my holidays, so I expect I really won’t be doing much that requires posting.

As an update on my housey-housey (oh, how I miss Mr Evans and Ms Roslin in a morning – acutally, I really don’t) it is pretty much finished. I’m in the downstairs bedroom, which is at the front of the house and so incredibly handy for being nosy at the neighbours (especially since the window is fitted with funky one-way glass like in the Big Brother house – and a ‘stylish’ net curtain). The bathroom is finished (finally). The kitchen sink drains directly into the back yard, which is possibly problematic. And the stairs are unfeasibly steep, but as I have no reason to go upstairs that shouldn’t be a problem. We also have a very comfortable leather suite. And two fridges. So if you’re ever in the North-East and want to drop by….

I went in Homebase the other day, and found that I didn’t get that sense of dread that I’ve always previously felt. I was served in Tesco by a friend from college too, who told me that she’d been offered a job at Homebase (before the one at Tesco) but turned it down because of how bad I’d made it seem. I think the mental scars are healing, a year after I left.

Oh. and I don’t think you’d be able to fit an ASBO on your face. Nor is David Blunkett a qualified tatooist (at least, I hope not).

In the saddest of possible admissions, I’m off to read the BMA News now. Good bye.

PS – I also have GMail invites. Email me if you want one.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 112th post was filed under: Homebase, University.


This is it. The end has come. The four horsemen have sailed idly by. And so have four Norsemen, the inventors of fish and chips.

I have now nearly officially left Hombase. Tomorrow is my last day. This is something I really shouldn’t dwell on, as it would upset poor, poor JRC who has no immediate plans to leave. I have much sympathy for you. For those of you who have noticed my habit from the last few posts of , whereas for those of you who haven’t, well, you won’t know and you’ll also miss out on other stuff. So ner.

Coincidentally, this happens on the same day as the last scenes of Brookside are being filmed. What does this mean? As someone who has never watched an episode of Brookside in his life, I have absolutely no idea.

It also corresponds with this, my official Silver Jubilee Post. My 25th. I’ve polluted your mind in 25 little stages.

Worst joke I’ve heard all week: A man goes to a fancy dress party dressed normally, but with his girlfriend on his back. Someone asks what he’s come dressed as. He replies “A snail”. He is then asked who his girlfriend is. “Michelle”.

Worst West Wing Joke from seasons 1 through 4: “Why do French people only have one egg for breakfast? One egg is un ouef.”

How that was relevant is unclear to me, but never mind.

Today’s Sky News vote is: “Is it socially acceptable to smoke cannabis?”. The results are around about 50:50. This surprises me, as if the question had omitted the word “cannabis”, I bet quite a large majority would have said “no”, as that’s pretty much been the result of every survey that Sky have done on the issue.

I have received a new debit card today to replace my expired one. It’s a slightly different design, and includes a leaflet telling me that there is an area on the card in which I can have printed whatever text I like, up to 15 characters, to help me to identify the card. I just have to go into my branch and order a new one with my chosen text. I cannot tell you the effort it is taking to stop me going in and ordering one with “SWIPE IF A MORON” or “IDIOTS SWIPE ME” or similar on it.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll return, as if from the dead, in a few days time though (as I always have before).

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 26th post was filed under: Homebase.

A New Post!

It’s a title that’ll only be relevant the first time you visit. But at least it’s a title, and at least it is relevant to you. If this is the first time you’ve read this. Otherwise, sorry about the title, but thanks for coming back for more. Here’s a little puzzle to screw with your mind (not literally) and start my post for today…

You are on a game show. The aim of the show is to win a car. You are stood in front of three doors, one of which has a car behind it, two of which have goats behind them (for no other reason that it’s traditional in this particular puzzle). You are asked to choose a door. The presenter then opens one of the unchosen doors to reveal a goat, and asks if you want to change your mind about which of the remaining two doors you have chosen. Here is the question…Should you switch doors?

Well, the answer is yes. This fries my brain, as I couldn’t grasp the fact. I could only see that there were two doors left, one with a goat and one with a car, therefore it’s 50:50 and makes no statistical difference whether you change or not. But it does make a difference. See here for a detailed explanation as to why it matters.

What did you do on Saturday? I got hot and sweaty serving the every whim of complete strangers. I was even asked to punish one person, but had to get someone to help me (It’s not something I’m too experienced in). When one lady invited me to her car, JRC came with me to help me get it in there. But he seemed strangely quiet when she invited me back to her house, and positively ran off when we got the rope out. The joys of working at Homebase .

Sadly (not really), those joys are to soon end. I handed in my notice on Saturday. Please don’t cry. My last contracted day is Saturday 13th September. The reason for this can be summed up thus: BAAAAA. Not the bleating of a maniac murderous sheep, nor the start of a familiar refrain ending in “humbug”, but actually my A-Level grades. Yes, I did six A-Levels which classes me officially as a geek. But I’m a geek and proud. This also means that the sporadic posts here will be coming live from Stockton as of 4th October, as the good people of the North-East attempt to make me more, well, doctorish. In just five short years I could be operating on you. A thought that should, at the very least, make you think “BAAAAA!”. Unless you’re a mental patient, who might be thinking that anyway.

Joy of joys, the DTI has published HASS figures again. These are published annually, and are records of accidents people have in the home which cause them to end up in hospital. I used to rely on them heavily in my high-school years for public speaking competitions. Now I see them more as a stimulant to the medical mind. I would personally like to meet the single person who landed in hospital last year following an accident with a cape. Clothing can be hazardous, as any male who’s done their fly up too fast whilst drunk will tell you (strangely, I know on a personal level three people who have done just that). I would have been willing to bet that a sponge would be around about the safest thing in anybody’s home. Oh how we all laughed at Mr Burns’s demands for a spherical sponge so that the corners were not so painful. And yet, last year, almost three times as many people ended up in hospital from a sponge-related incident (11) than accidents with high voltage cables (4). If you’re into home security, here are some cold, hard facts: Padlocks? Pah, they only landed 13 people in hospital last year, they must be crap. And newfangled burglar alarms don’t fare much better – only 16 people hurt themselves. Try installing – dum dum dum – a doorbell. 62 people were admitted last year in doorbell related incidents, but that still doesn’t top the home security chart. Want to keep intruders well out of your home? Want to cause some Tony Martin style damage? Then equip your burglar with – a key. 87 key related incidents last year.

As I’ve used enough stats now, I’ll leave the HASS figures there. Except to wonder how 11 people injured themselves with artificial limbs. Or how 3 caused an accident with talcum powder.

For all of you people who were worried about my toe – come on, I know you’ve had sleepless nights over it – I’m happy to report that it’s feeling much better, and can now answer your questions and is happy to read your get well messages emailed to toe@sjhoward.co.uk.

You see, I’ll have a lot of sympathy for broken toes when I’m a doctor. In fact, I’ll be sympathetic to almost anyone. As long as none of the twelve people who arrived in A&E with sex or marital aid related accidents aren’t referred to me. Because then I’ll just point and laugh. Really, I’m sure I’ll be very good. Trust me, I’m a doctor (well, on my way at least).

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 22nd post was filed under: Exams, Headliner, Homebase, University.

Toe Sucking

No, this is not going to be a post for the more perverted among you…or is it? Frankly, no.

I’ve hurt my toe. My little toe. And it is at the point where it has become painful to walk.

Is there any less respectable and masculine an injury than breaking your little toe? Well, possibly (breaking a nail or damaging your limp wrists, being cases in point), but I did feel something of an idiot saying that I couldn’t do my normal job at work (walking round and helping customers) because I’d hurt my toe. So instead, I went in and answered the phones.

But, alas, that was not to last. For after two hours, I was sent home as they realised that if I wasn’t supposed to walk on it (I’m not), and I did so at work, it might make it worse and I’d sue them. So I was sent home. However, they did say they’d pay me for the day, so it’s not all bad. But it was noticeable that it took three people two hours to come to this conclusion.

So, peeps, you are to be deprived of my weekly Homebase missive. Unless you count the above, which I wouldn’t if I were you. I spent the time I gained building a sidebar for my browser. If you want to see it, go here . If you don’t, don’t.

If you’re wondering how I managed to do my toe: I slipped down the stairs. I was not drunk at the time, although this has been insinuated or just asked outright by, I would estimate, 90% of those who know about my toe. How this resulted in me hurting my little toe is a mystery to me. And I was there.

I really can’t express how surprisingly painful it is. I would’ve thought that it’d only be a little pain for a little toe, but, alas, no. Having never broken anything before, I’ve nothing really to compare it to, but if pain is related to bone size then I have great sympathy for those with massive broken bones. You – at the back – stop giggling, there is nothing funny about discussing bone size. I mean, it must be agony to break your leg or something. To be honest, it’s not actually that painful, but it’s more painful than you would expect, in my opinion.

That’s about all I’m going to post right now, because I feel completely stupid, frankly. And if you were expecting some mention of sucking in this post, you will be disappointed. Sorry to get your hopes up (Really, I’m not). The pain you experienced through your disappointment is your punishment for not having sympathy for my toe.

Good day to you.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 20th post was filed under: Homebase.

House Alarms and Homebase

At about half eleven this morning, we had a power cut. Many house alarms went off. One is still going off , and I am beginning to have violent tendencies – or at least get a little angry.

Why do alarm manufacturers not include some kind of timer mechanism? I mean, is burglar Boris really going to hang around for three hours after the alarm has gone off? Is burglar Boris going to hang around for three hours even if there isn’t an alarm?

(Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything wrong with people named Boris per sé, I just wanted the alliteration and burglar Bob, burglar Ben and burglar Barney all sound…well…wrong).

There was nothing that particularly annoyed me at work yesterday. Amazing, though I put it down to the fact that I really didn’t care about anything yesterday. Though the thought of Sir Fat Tony running amock with a chainsaw festered somewhat . We’re still chronically short staffed (‘…we have no-one on DIY, Power Tools, Plumbing or Building today so if you could look after those as well as the wallpaper I’d be grateful…’) but I’m used to that. I still have little or no idea about anything I’m selling :

‘…I’m looking for an oogaboogawhatsit’
‘Follow me!’
‘Why are we going to the electrical section, I’d have though it was in plumbing’
‘Oogaboogawhatsits – won’t they be in plumbing’
‘Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you asked for a light switch! Silly Me!…Now…Can you see one?’
‘Yes, they’re right here’
‘Oh, I didn’t see them there. I must be blind, they’re right in front of me!’
‘Do you think this’ll fit my oogaboogerer?’
‘I couldn’t be sure, really. Does it look about right’
‘Take it then, you can always bring it back if it’s wrong’

I even had a customer ask me if I knew what the thing he was asking for was…
I said ‘Yes, it’s that erm…you know…you err…’ whilst gesticulating wildly.
‘It’s sticky plastic’ came the response.
‘That’s right, you can put it into words so much better than I can’

We even had a letter of complaint from someone who’d bought a sun lounger and couldn’t use it because it hadn’t been sunny. And someone came in to complain about not having all the bits for a gazebo he’d bought. Turned out that he had only taken one box, despite the clear ‘BOX 2 OF 2’ labelling.

But the point is, there was nothing which especially aggravated me. I wasn’t asked to do anything inherently pointless, and no customers had a go at me for things outside of my control . In fact, no customers had a go at me at all.

So, all in all, my hellish day at Hombase was more…purgatorial than hellish this week.

But that damn alarm is more than making up for things.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 18th post was filed under: Homebase.

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