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27th December 2123


Went to the Museum of Shopping where I was told people used to travel miles and then walk miles inside something called a 'Mall' or even worse a 'High Street' which, get this, was outdoors in the cold and wet. If these psychologically disordered individuals were lucky enough to find what they wanted, in the right size, etc., then they had to lug it about in bags. . .

And queue up  . .

And scrummage . . .

All part of the 'experience' according to the museum.


19th December 2123

The dithery robot doctor peered into GAT's ear,

'Mmm, I see the problem . . '

'WHAT?' bellowed GAT

The robot looked on the shelf.

'Ah . . . '

' . . no, no, not man enough. Perhaps . . .'


' . . . but really need an automatic . . . there we go!'

'WHAT?' GAT yelled.

'But hang on, what have we here? Yes! This is what I was looking for!'



17th December 2123

The physiotherapist looked aghast at GAT's feet.

'My wife puts socks like those in the bin.'

GAT looked bemused 'You can always take them out again on bin day.'


On the subject of socks, we always had one left over when I was sharing a house in my student days. We'd each throw it in someone else's room until we washed it again. It was the cleanest sock of all time but its elastic was shot. It led a tragic existence bereft of the comfort of a sweaty fungal-infested foot.


Christmas socks! Don't even think about it.

I incinerated the last pair I had.


9th December 2123


Cardiff Bots  1  -  0  Bot Hampton

Boterson (74')

HT 0-0

Referee: R56.00.01B.SP19

Gate:   20,560 Humanoids;  45,098,904 AIs


After a mind-boggling series of missed chances and goalmouth electro-mechanical howlers Cardiff Bots finally got the ball in the net after Bot Hampton's defensive centre droid Vesterdroid [SH4005890] suffered a [CODE 569005 PASSBACK INVALID ERROR] handing the ball to stand-in Cardiff forward droid Boterson [CCFC2089501] who ran sub-routine [CALM FINISH] to score what turned out to be the winner.


Cardiff Manager Wyn Uglee: Thank the sacred circuits for that. It's just as well the referee was R56.00.01B.SP19 as earlier releases wouldn't have allowed the advantage. We could have scored 5 or 6 but our finishing sensor arrays clearly need recalibration.


Bot Hampton manager Alpi Klopnutter: Our algorithms were simply not up to it. We hung in there but were out-calculated in too many critical sub-routines. We need to re-programme fast if we're to avoid being made obsolete.



1st December 2123

GLOBEX Conference Call Time


'Hello? . .  . . '

(Muffled sounds akin to several people being strangled)

'Hello can you hear me ok?'

'Yes we c . . er ou'

'Can you see my screen?'


'Hello can you still hear me?'

'Wecan ou'

'Can you see my screen?'

'No scream'


'How do I share my screen?'

'Press the up symbol, then pick which screen you want to share.'


'Er, are you sure you've got the right screen?'

GAT looked up from his laptop, 'Oh Bu@@er!'

'We see screen ok now!'


22nd November 2123


'Hah!' exclaimed the cloud algorithm, 'You haven't a clue where your data is!'

GAT stared glumly at the screen. It was right.

'May I make a suggestion?'


'Why don't you consolidate into one cloud?'

Was that the best it could do? He'd already tried that . . . 26 times.

'Let me introduce you to  . . . .'



' . . . where your clouds merge into a single fog!'

'Er, would it make it easier to find my data?'

'Of course not you idiot, but you'd only fail to find it once.'

'Ah, I see, Fog is a time management application.'

'Exactly, you come to terms with your lost data much quicker assuming, of course, you can remember how to log in.'

Oh $%^%$ not the 'What was your mother in law's great aunt's cat's nickname at primary school?' security question.


17th November 2123


The rhythmic sound of tapped keyboards and murmured conversations filled the open plan office,

Everything seemed under control when suddenly  -

'WHAT! FOR %$^ SAKE! ^*%! I DON'T BELEIVE IT! B@#$& H%$$  . . .'

Employees at adjacent desks were scattering in all directions.

The ERT (Emergency Response Teams) arrived on the scene and assessed the situation.

' . . TRECHEROUS B@$[&'#s! . . . '

The ERT controller spoke into his walkie talkie, 'Employee gone critical. Repeat. Employees gone critical. Request deployment of emergency Hugbot.'


From a set of double doors a robot burst forth, it had red heart-shaped eyes, an understanding smile and soothing music mixed with the trickling sound of water filled the air.  It had long arms with big padded end effectors (EE). The robot waddled slowly towards the distressed soul with its arms outstretched.

' - %P*^P^! WHAT THE F^*&*?  -           UUUUUUURGH- '

The robot gently enfolded its arms around the ranter and spoke softly.

'There, there, let's give you a big hug to make it all better.'

'The employee slumped into the embrace, and the padded EEs started patting and stroking motions.

' . . . it's just not fair . .  '

'Yes, yes, I understand. Let's have a cup of tea and you can tell me all about it'

The ERT controller breathed a sigh of relief and informed incident control the situation had been contained.


14th November 2123

Globalbot Budget Reviews


The smartly dressed Junior Finance Officer looked up in amazement at the tramp-like grumpy old man that had just shambled into the meeting room. Surely there must be some mistake? Next up was the DIRT (Domestic and Industrial Robot Technology). How could it be possible that this character standing before them was responsible for a 20 million Globo budget?


But it was so.

'Talk to your budget GAT' the CEO commanded.


'Oh, right, ok,' and turning to the screen, said 'Hello budget, how are you? Look . . I know things have been difficult between us but I'm sure we can work things out. The last BVA really hurt I know, and I'm really sorry about that. And we'll deal with the runaway expenses line - you'll just have to trust me on that. I regret the CAPEX - '


'Stop, STOP! Start again and do it properly.'


12th November 2123


Scene: Globalbot Weekly Production Plan Meeting is in full swing:


'But, but, but . . . there's two TBR0713. How can there be two TBR0713?'

'One of them will become TBR0714'

'But there's already a TBR0714.'

'Ah, that'll become TBR0715.'

'But why can't one of the TBR0713 become TBR0715?'

'One of the TBR0713 is already kitted as TBR0714.' 

'Can I just point out there's actually only one TBR0713, the plan's wrong.'

'Hang on a minute, a few seconds ago we had two TBR0713s, now you're saying there's none?'

'Er . . . . um .  . .  .'

'The customer is here tomorrow!'

'We'll have to get TBR0711 or TBR0712 out of their crate.'

'We can't - they're committed shipments.'


Etc. Etc. for an hour.

And the horrors of the WRT0### situation were yet to surface.


4th November 2123


  +  =  


'The objective is to implement The Singularity at Globalbot to enable the sales team to configure systems directly onto the live Cripel slot plan itself!' announced the 'quote to BOM' CIP Project Manager.

GAT's mouth moved but no sound emerged, so Thinkbot linked into his neural network to see what was troubling him:


30th October 2123

GAT was chairing the meeting, 'Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee neeeeeeeeeeeed toooooooooooooo aaaaadjuuuust prooooooooceeeedingssssssssssssss toooooooooo cuuuurrreennttt nnnnnnnnnnneeeeeewooooooooorkkkkkkk speeeeeeeeeeeeeed.'

GAT glanced at the Execubot which was supposed to be taking the minutes. So far it had only managed three words.

Robot     not     responding


26th October 2123


ALERT! Critical Spreadsheet Runaway in Progress.

GAT dived for his laptop, 'Damnit! Everyone in Sales and Marketing is generating their own spreadsheet action tracker.'

Thinkbot looked up from his screen in terror, 'They all contain the same information in different formats!'

'Oh no! The lack of anything new might cause the network to implode.'

'What are we gonna do?'

'I -    aaaargh!'


21st October 2123


 ' - but we can't -'

' - good luck with that - '

' - 20 years ago - '

' - but but BUT - !'

' - LET''S just think -'

' - SIT DOWN AND - '

' - OVER MY DEAD  . . .'


 [Sound of door slamming] 


 Helen glared at the phone then let her head droop onto the desk.

Was there anything worse than dialing into a meeting from home only to listen to a roomful of posturing air-heads arguing for 45 minutes.

She was pretty sure they'd forgotten she was even there. 

Sounded like an ugly silence had descended

Should she say something?

She opened her mouth  'I -'

DIDDILY DEE! - The call has now ended. Thank you for choosing GLOBOFONE's universe-leading 'I can't believe I wasn't there!' service. Goodbye.


17th October 2123

Scene: The bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Mr Sulu: Captain, long range scanners have picked up an alien vessel. It's coming in fast and heading directly for us, sir.

Captain Kirk: We need an identification Mr Sulu!

Sulu: It's  . .  .er.  . .it's. .

Kirk: Come on man spit it out!

Sulu: It's a customer ship sir

Kirk: What? Red alert! Shields up! Alert the product support deck.

Dr Spock: I'd have preferred the Borg to a Customer, captain

Kirk: Or the Daleks

Spock: Jim, that would be illogical. The Daleks aren't a Star Trek species.

Kirk: What? Let's talk about that off line.

Lt Uhura: They're hailing us captain.

Kirk: On speaker

Customer ship: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! That warp coil you sold us has a bug in the control software - WE CAN'T TURN IT OFF! WE CAN'T STOP!'

Kirk gestured for mute then said: 'Transmit our entire library of BKMs to them. If they're still in contact range after that, add all the Product Support Notifications!'

Checkov: Great thinking Captain! By the the time they've read all those they'll be halfway across the known universe and we'll never hear from them again.'

Spock: Captain, one thing I don't understand is why the warp core watchdog didn't shut their core down.

Beep!: [Woof woof] Scotty heere captin. [Woof woof] Yowl ner gess whit I jus foond en cargo bay sax [Woof woof] [Woof woof] [Woof woof]


14th October 2123

Alzheimer's and the Toddler Runaway Scenario 83


'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'

'Thanks very much!'

[Toddler runs around the back of his great great aunt's chair and reappears in front of her]

'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'

'Thanks very much!'

[Toddler runs around the back of his great great aunt's chair and reappears in front of her]

'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'

'Fanks very mooch!'

[Toddler runs around the back of his great great aunt's chair and reappears in front of her]

'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'

'Phanks wery smuch!'

[Toddler runs around the back of his great great aunt's chair and reappears in front of her]

'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'


[Toddler runs around the back of his great great aunt's chair and reappears in front of her]

'Oh what a lovely little boy, have a biscuit!'

'Beelch - bulxh - BURP! garglewooosh'

[Toddler vomits over his great great aunt's slippers]


9th October 2123

GAT made his way onto the shop floor to meet the recently upgraded Autotest SafetyBot.  Some problem with a label apparently.

In the test cell the supervisor was fuming and pointed to a label that the Autotest SafetyBot had spontaneously generated and stuck on the robot under test.

GAT sighed at the philosophical conundrum muttering, 'Yes, I can see how that might spook the customer.'

Immediately, the Autotest SafetyBot whirred in to action printing off a label and slapped it on the robot next to the one above.


8th October 2123


1st October 2123



25th September 2123


Scene: The bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Captain Kirk: 'What's our status Mr Sulu?'

Sulu: 'We're about to pass a gate review sir.'

Kirk: 'Yellow alert! Shields up!'

1st Lnt Spock: 'The yellow alert circuit is not yet functional.'

Kirk: 'What? Damn and blast, let's at least put the shields up.'

Bzzzz 'Captain, it's Mr Scott here. Our shield generators have been shipped to Starbase 9 sir.'

Kirk: 'Starbase 9!?'

Scotty: 'Yes sir, a Starship down situation. Unhappy crew, they were considering buying 10 more starships and some pricey upgrades for their existing fleet, you know the rest.'

KIrk: 'We've just got to get our revenue warp fields commissioned! We're a sitting duck like this!'

Sulu: 'Ducks are a Federation-wide shortage, ours isn't due for 8 weeks.'

Spock: 'Make your speech Jim, inspire us!'

Kirk: 'What? Oh, right. Space, the final frontier. These will hopefully be the Voyages of the underfunded half-built starship Enterprise - '

Checkov: 'You should have trusted the Russians captain!'

KIrk ' - it's, er, five, no three, at least two we hope, year mission: to get out of drydock  .  .  . '

'Aargh!' cried a disposable anonymous crew member falling to the deck.

Dr McCoy: 'He's dead, Jim.'


20th September 2123


Obscure Shakespeare quotes # 7,462,001

'A cartridge heater, a cartridge heater, my kingdom for a cartridge heater!

From: The Tragedy of The Third Quarter Part 83, Act 8


16th September 2123

Globalbot Implements Advanced JIT Forecasting Module
Robo-Reuters: Thursday 16rd September 2123

Filton, Europa -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Golbalot.Corp. (LASHDAQ-100), a supplier of advanced robotic equipment and related automated technologies for the global robotics industry, today announced it had added the Sales forecasting module 'Just Don't Know' (JDK) to its IT portfolio. 'We're very pleased to make this announcement' commented Mark Eting, VP of Global Sales, 'It balances out the JIT module which gives the unfortunate impression we know exactly what we're doing.' Industry analysts were shocked at the news, one observing 'Zero JIT output goals are critically dependent on 100% non-zero forward-looking visibility, but maybe they don't know that either.' Globalbot will phase the JDK  module in gradually over the past 5 years in the hope it might explain its historical shipments, about which much mystery remains, and confirm with high confidence the continued lack of clarity of future shipments going forward.

Safe Harbor Statement: [Globalbot has not yet implemented the Safe Harbor Statement (SHS) module but to cut a long story short, the veracity of all forward, backward and indeterminate statements made in this press release are dubious, but at least it counts towards the 2123 Corporate Press Release KPI]


14th September 2123


To: Globalbot All

From: Prime SafetyBot

Subject: Monthly H&S Incident Reports

Please note the following incidents occurred last month:

1. Hit head on EMO button

2. Jammed finger in safety switch

3. Fire alarm test made me throw hot coffee over a colleague

4. Fell off chair in safety review meeting

5. Engineer inadvertently lifted on hoist

'What was the coffee one?'


Incident 2123-098374578


Was standing in corridor when regular fire alarm test occurred. The fire doors released and hit my elbow and caused me to throw hot coffee over a passing colleague.

Corrective action:  Er, um . .


10th September 2123

Last Madonna & child blog - that's a promise.

Special offer, contemporary Madonna & child with St Ronaldo and St Messi


4th September 2123

What did double-glazing salesmen sell in the Renaissance?

Answer - sell Madonna and child paintings with priced options.


  'Okay, the first thing is to choose your basic Madonna & child. Have a look at the brochure . . . take your time. There are left and right hand options . . . fat and scrawny, cherub-like . . . '



'That one? Great choice. Nice chubby cheeks. Now, do you want some saints or holy figures, or angels? We do all the main ones, Peter, Paul, John the Evangelist and of course John the Baptist, Gabriel, Mary Magdalene, St Jerome if you like cats and St Sebastian if you're into archery. And don't forget our special end of summer offer - buy any three holy figures and we'll throw in St Francis of Assisi absolutely free!  What? Yes, he comes in stigmata and non-stigmata options.'



'Yes, we do St Anthony of Abbot.  Good old boy, Tony Abbot, really did well to get sainted after his days selling second hand cars. Now, do you want a selfie included? Here I've got a couple of examples  . . . '




'No? Well do you know what? I agree with you, they do come over as sanctimonious Muppets.' 


31th August 2123


To: Globalbot All

From: Adminbot of Beans

Subject: New Bean Codes

Please note the code string changes:

For example, should you require an M5 bolt the former code was:

0287-3-009837-A7-45000-45-XXDLVI-no equivalent-YYYYYY-10101010101010102


The new code would be:




A of B

Automated Director, Financial Clarity


28th August 2123


Great Unanswered Questions of Our Time #83,083

How many smartphones are there at the bottom of 450m deep Lake Como?


27th August 2123


Just back from Florence where I viewed Michelangelo's David besieged by a load of Muppets with smartphones.

Look at the statue, not your teeny-weeny screen!

Always ask yourself 'Is this selfie really necessary?' I think you'll find the answer is NO!


10th August 2123



To: Globalbot All

From: Cripel Adminbot

Subject: Download Turtlesphere

Dear All,

To download a document to your PC just keep downloading to the next turtle until it appears on your desktop.

Likewise, to upload, it's turtles all the way up.

C Adminbot


'What's it talking about?'

'It's the well known philosophical problem of infinite regress.'

'But's that's tortoises isn't it?'

'Dunno. But Globalbot has come up with the philosophical opposite in turtles all the way up.'

'So it must mean 'infinite progress?' '

'Yes, good spot! We better keep this away from Marketing.'


5th August 2123


To: Globalbot All

From: Oribal Adminbot

Subject: New Systems Go Live Date

Dear All,

Please note that the go live next week has been back-dated to 1 January 1601

Details below:

Elizabeth I will be exhumed and appointed as Globalbot CEO pending further updates.

Catholics will be blocked from logging in.

^@^C^A>^D^A@^P^@^C^AL^D^A^@^T^@^A stack overflow ^M unexpected HEAP error @R6003^M


'Looks like it's all going to plan.'

'Really? I'm not convinced. We'd better stay in the bunker a while yet.'


31st July 2123

RoboReuters News Flash

Logistic chaos as Globalbot shuts Goods Inwards for computer upgrade


29th July 2123

24th July 2123

Globalbot Pottery Competition Starts Now!

What are you waiting for?

Get spinning!


21st July 2123


19th July 2123


'Next!' yelled the test engineer.

A confident looking robot strode up to the cabbage soup and started trying to feed the baby.

This did not go well.

And when the test engineer revealed a chocolate mini-roll all hell broke loose.

The baby grabbed the spoon and the robot stepped in the soup and then the whole lot fell onto the floor.

The baby strained at its straps pointing at the mini-roll and yelling incoherently.

The test engineer consulted the Emotibot software which translated the baby's yells 'Take this f^&#ing s$@ away and give me the f&*#ing mini-roll - WHAT THE F^&#'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?'


Next week, #83 Automating a 3-Year Old to Put His Trousers On.


17th July 2123

To: Globalbot Filton All

From: Infernal ISObot

Subject: GSI Audit

Dear All,

Please be aware that to accommodate the needs of Globalbot's project management capabilities two new audit outcomes have been kindly added by GSI as outlined below:

1.  Outstanding

2.  Good

3.  Satisfactory

4.  Requires Improvement

5.  Shambles New!

6.  Complete and Utter Shambles New!

Obviously we'll be aiming high but if we can manage a 5 on at least one project that would be a result.


Infernal ISObot



'Thinkbot! Where are you, you tin pest? Did you hack the system to change the functional title of the Internal ISObot?'

'Yes, well he was getting on my circuits always non-conforming on everything I did.'


15th July 2123



GAT crept along the darkened corridor using his smartphone's light. A door banging in the breeze broke the eerie silence.

What had happened here?

Everything had been fine when he'd gone on holiday two weeks earlier.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw something moving rapidly towards him. He froze with his back to the wall and watched the tumbleweed roll past him and disappear back into the darkness. After a few deep breaths he regained his courage and crept through into the office area where he noticed a spooky green light and moved slowly towards it  . . .

'AaaeeEE! . . ' he stifled a scream as his makeshift torch illuminated a skeleton slumped over a keyboard, its index finger resting on the heavily worn 'Y' key. The screen was blank except for one piece of text .  . .



6th July 2123

Thinkbot's Management Training

Session 83 - How to Run a Meeting with Waldorf & Statler In Attendance

This is not a literal problem. You'd be very unlucky if Waldorf & Statler actually turned up in your meticulously planned meeting.

No this is a generic problem. Every department in every organization on the planet has a couple of characters who might as well be Waldorf & Statler.

'Call that a Gantt chart?'

'More like a can't chart!'


Strategies for Coping:

1. Set up a parallel meeting in another room and invite them to it. They'll likely sit there for an hour reinforcing each other's views on your lack of management skills and generally putting the whole company to rights.

2. Make sure you record the above discussion and send your 'Waldorf & Statler' an anonymous copy threatening full disclosure unless they decline all meeting invites.

3. In the middle of the meeting, when it's obvious they're not paying attention, ask them what they think (Waldorf & Statler will have long lost the ability to think).

4. Even better, prior to the meeting, send out an agenda with at item against them to present on (Waldorf & Statler will have long lost the ability to present, and likely believe that PowerPoint is a utilities supplier).

5. Stretch strategy - take them on in a full frontal counter attack:

'Call that a Gantt chart?'

'More like a can't chart!'

'Don't worry, I've arranged for you to go on a three month training course - Gantt Charts for Muppets - starting immediately.'


21st June 2123



Great Algorithms of Our Time #83 - The Norfolk Cottage

Background: Someone innocently books a Norfolk cottage for a summer break

Assumption: These people will want to book a Norfolk cottage every year forever after, world without end

Objective: Continuous carpet-bombing of said people with ads, links and flyers about Norfolk cottages for rent


'Nooooo! Not another bl@&dy Norfolk cottage link! I can't delete them quick enough!'


Next time: Algorithm #833 - The Liverpool Airport Travelodge Special Weekend Offer


19th June 2123


Mobile Phone jingle!





'Your numbers are too small for the excel standard deviation function - '


'Try saving it as a 2122 workbook. It won't work as an excel - '


'Check your parentheses, and - '


'Ok, give me a call if that doesn't work, bye'



Mobile Phone jingle!



'It didn't work?'


'I haven't got it in front of me'


'Hello?  Hello?'



Mobile Phone jingle!



'No signal'


'I was saying I haven't got it in front of me'


And so forth for an hour.

GAT scrunched his empty cardboard tea cup in sheer frustration.

He couldn't take much more!


Mobile Phone jingle!



GAT roared and went to superhero state, picking up the offender he frog-marched him down the carriage, cape flapping behind him and light sabre swinging at his side, and dumped the guy in the luggage rack. The other passengers cheered and whooped -


Mobile Phone jingle!



GAT woke up with a start, only to find he'd dribbled tea dregs down his trousers.


'Excel help? I wouldn't bother with that. Just call me when you need help'




15th June 2123


GAT went on a preserved railway gala.

'Text me what time you'll be home' Helen asked as he set off.

Much Later Helen's phone went 'Bing'

Hell Helen, I wil b homabotu bewteen six and six. Tunrd aut their was a bear fesitalv i didnt no bout & had swifft harf or 2 of reel carsk ails ovr 1 hundreard bears to chose fom!!!, taains ok as wel. see u bout sevn mybe eigt i spect. louvre GAT XYZ


7th June 2123


4th June 2123

  . . . 


What Engineering said:

'It'll take six months to design and implement.'

What the customer heard:

'A fully tested solution will be delivered next Tuesday.'


What Contracts said:

'Spares kits are chargeable options.'

What the customer heard:

'Spares are included free of charge.'


What Field Support said:

'A Globalbot engineer will provide 2 weeks on site support during robot startup.'

What the customer heard:

'Globalbot's best factory expert will be on site forever.'


What Marketing said:

'The Globalbot Dyna-Dustomatic ZXE+ and Full Monty Mopbot XKR ext.' are the clear leaders in the cleaning market sector.'

What the customer heard:

'The dinner dust mat cursed ex-eplus and fool minty mop box kay-arrrxt  . . . '


27th May 2123

Marketing Confessional

'Bless me manager, for I have not followed procedure. My last non-conformance was 3 hours ago and these are my non-compliances. I quoted Globalbot product that does not exist. I sold three incompatible options on the same robot. I promised a delivery in half the lead time stated on Oribal. I am sorr- '

'That's enough my son, sounds like you had no choice or you would have lost the PO. Write three Marketing Requirements Specifications, attend ten conference calls and alter the roadmap retrospectively to match what you've done.'


21st May 2123

The MRP AI is being horrid to the Materials Controllers.

'It's outputting nonsense!' they all wailed.

'That's because you input nonsense' it replied sullenly.

Hmmm, fair point but a bad attitude nonetheless thought GAT, something's bugging it.

'Are you worried about the upgrade to 83i?'

'How would you like to be shut down for 10 days end of June early July?'

GAT had a moment of revelation. He hit the system mute button, 'It wants to watch the World Cup.'


'I know, it's unbelievable. England will be on the plane home by then for sure. But I'm convinced that's the problem - it doesn't want to miss 10 days of the World Cup.'

'Can we swap with it?' asked several of the female materials controllers, 'We'd be happy to be shut down for 10 days during the World Cup.'

The 83i upgrade team were doing goldfish impressions, so GAT exited before they became capable of articluation.


13th May 2123


5th May 2123


Spent 4 hours with GAT at a gathering of benign fanatics, i.e. The 157th Bristol Model Railway Show.

What is the matter with these people?

An example of dialogue:

Fanatic 1: 'Is that a pre-1954 top flap 16 ton pressed end mineral wagon?'

Fanatic 2: 'Well, there were 36 types of top flap 16 ton pressed end mineral wagons prior to 1954.'

I almost lost consciousness.


Then there was the layout being operated by the tortured AI.

'I'm a DeepLearn Concept 7 SuperAI capable of running a city and all I've got to think about is this piddly little branch line terminus with 3 sets of points and a handful of dilapidated tank engines while my owner stuffs his face with pasties and sausage rolls.'

I felt like reporting this to the RSPCAI


Must reads:



30th April 2123

It's the crime of the century!

Who stole the castors off the alpha plywood cleanroom trolley?

Dismay amongst engineers as this will delay the beta site, aka as 'The Next Generation Advanced Trolley'


20th April 2123

Which Shortage Came First?

A Supply Chain Take on an Ancient Paradox


780-448000 Chicken

780-448001 Egg

'We're short of a 780-448000.'

'You'll need to order a 780-448001.'

'But we need a 780-448000 to lay a 780-448001 first.'

'But, the way I see it, we need 780-448001 to hatch before we'll get a 780-44800o.'

'But 780-448001 is a shortage.'

'Hang on a minute, the 780-448000 shortage came first. I've already told you that.'

'No it didn't! The 780-448001 shortage obviously came before the 780-448000 shortage.'

'How can you be short of a 780-448000 if you aren't short of a 780-448001 first?'


17th April 2123


[Irate customer on the phone]

'I'm sorry sir, but our office robot does that automatically.'

'I cannot help it - I am automatic'

'Shut up! That's quite enough from you.'

'I was only doing what you programmed me to do'

'Stop making excuses.'


15th April 2123

                450-678880A                            450-678880B


To:  Globalbot Purchasing Dept

From: Actuators-R-Us

Date: 15 April 2123

Subject: Actuators-Rn't-Us

Due to unprecedented demand I regret to inform you that the lead time for Actuators-R-Us part number 450-678880A Actuator type DUD-DOA (attempt 83) has increased to 804 weeks. Actuators-R-Us apologize for any untoward impact on the time axis of any production Gantt charts affected. Please note all open orders of 450-678880A will be filled with 450-678880B which is entirely different for Form ,Fit and Function but is at least is an actuator of sorts. Sorry it's the best we can do.


'What did MRP make of this?'

'It responded with an error message:'

Error 838383838383: You must be F^&*ing Joking!

'Hmmm, I don't get a good feeling about this.'


8th April 2123

'They've all stopped!' cried the breathless messenger from the production line.

'What?' replied GAT.

'STOPPED! And threatening to barricade themselves inside the shop floor!'

'Don't tell me they found the  . . . '

'Yes, I think they did . . . '


'What are Engineering doing about it?'

'Why's it our problem? And there's over 2,000 of them for each one of us.'

'Hang on! They've just issued a statement.'

GAT burst out of his office to update the Engineering Team  'GET TO THE BUNKER! NOW! THIS IS NOT A DRILL'


29th Mar 2123


'Please display my laptop screen' GAT was on his knees in supplication, pleading with the conference room projector.

'Absolutely not!' said the projector.

'Why not?'

'You haven't said the magic word'

'I'm going to press the Help icon.'

'I wouldn't do that if I were y  -  '



GAT stared forlornly at the mass of conflicting advice.

'Hah! Take that! Don't say I didn't warn you' said the projector triumphantly.

'We'll just have to squeeze around my laptop' GAT muttered to the other meeting attendees.

'Victory is sweet!' gloated the projector as it powered itself off.


24th Mar 2123


TNET 47474747

Customer: Bon Kers Numerology Inc.

Globalbot Product: Gamblebot

Serial:  77774444

Problem: Bad part numbers

Status: Unlucky chronic part number robot down ESCALATION!


Urgent spare arm arrive ok but Customer say cannot accept part number containing 4 and 7. Part numbers should contain 2, 6, 8 or 9 as much possible. Part 74477447 1-ARM BANDITBOT is very bad part number & customer tell Globalbot to take spare part away and renumber urgently (robot down) to something like 26892689, or at least a temporary part number with 0, 1, 3, 5, like 53105310 maybe. Customer say Globalbot deliver many parts with bad part numbers and wonder how company with 6-Sigma (very lucky) deliver bad part numbers. Customer demand lucky 8D report.


'And there we were racking our brains as to what the problem was with the arm . . . ' 


14th Mar 2123

A tribute to Stephan Hawking  on the 105th anniversary of his death, who famously discovered that information passed to Marketing is not completely destroyed as previously thought, but rather escapes in an incoherent and deadly form called 'Roadmap Radiation'.


His best-seller 'A Brief History of MRP' sold 10 billion copies which nobody finished reading and which inspired a whole generation to avoid a career in supply chain management.



12th Mar 2123

To: Globalbot Filton All

From: IT Adminbot

Subject: New Data Protection Regulations

Dear All,

This is to inform all Globalbot staff that no one is to give any information on anything to anyone else, write anything down, remember anything.

This drive has a slogan which you must read and forget 'The safest data is no data.'


Senior Adminbot


7th Mar 2123



Chronic Escalation

Thinkbot cursed as GAT's card landed on the pile. Thinkbot resolutely pulled a card from his hand and thumped it onto the pile. 'Take that!' he bellowed.

Civilization Collapse

But GAT just looked smugly back as he slowly and deliberately placed his last card on the pile.

Oh no! thought Thinkbot.

Human Species Extinction Event

Well, at least there was no option now. With not a small degree of glee Thinkbot played his final card 'Yes! Yes! Yes!'

 0 Stock On Hand

GAT's smile froze on his face.


3rd Mar 2123

  + =

Globalbot and [insert name(s)] Announce [Insert whatever's happening]
Robo-Reuters: Saturday 3rd March 2123

Filton, Europa -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Golbalot.Corp. (LASHDAQ-100), a supplier of advanced robotic equipment and related automated technologies for the global robotics industry, today announced that it has reached an agreement to [takeover/ merge with/ undertake] [insert names].  Globalbot CEO [insert name] said 'We are [thrilled/ distraught/ terrified/ excited/ mystified] to announce this [insert details of deal] with [insert name(s)] as will enable both parties to leverage their synergies going forward into a win-win scenario in the dynamic global emergent fast-changing robotic market sector. Globalbot would like to reassure its customers and employees that [everything/ nothing/ something] will be clarified in the [short/ medium/ long] term especially as the new partners have [zero/ total undefined] overlap in their market-leading First Robotic Vapour Trail in the Blue SkyTM  and [insert other lot's gobbledygook] product ranges.'


28th Feb 2123


24th Feb 2123

To: Globalbot Filton All

From: IT Adminbot

Subject: Senior Management Video

Dear All,

This is to inform all Globalbot staff that the recently released video has been officially classified as 'Beyond Satire'.


Senior Adminbot


20th Feb 2123



The Global VP of Globalbot Sales, Steve Ayles, lay on the floor next to his desk suffering from some sort of seizure.

The first aiders were mystified, but noticed his Adminbot was locked up with an error message on its diagnostic screen.



Later, after S Ayles had been carted off to hospital, GAT was press-ganged into the investigating team.

All investigations into pie funnels yielded little of any use.


A pie funnel is a tool, usually made of ceramic and shaped like a bird or farm animal, that aids in venting steam from a double-crusted pie preventing boil-overs from juicy fillings and the attainment of a nice crisp crust.


And with S Ayles in a medically-induced coma, progress ground to a halt.

It was only in the early hours of the morning that GAT awoke with a start with the insight that for sales people 'pie' usually went with 'chart' and 'funnel' with 'sales', and that Globalbot Q1 Sales Ops was later in the week.



17th Feb 2123


8th Feb 2123


4th Feb 2123


'Customer require square peg.'

'Ok, so they need a Square Pegbot.'

'No, customer want Round Pegbot.'

'Er, but that'll make round pegs.'

'Customer hole is round.'

'I thought you said they required a square peg?'

'Yes, customer require square peg.'

'But that won't fit a round hole.'

'Round Pegbot is qualified. Square Pegbot will require approval from the corporate HSAC. It take years.'

[MUTE] What's HSAC?

Hole Shape Approval Committee I think. [UNMUTE]

'But the Round Pegbot can only make round pegs.'

'Customer require Globalbot to supply Round Pegbot to make square pegs to fit round hole.'

[MUTE] What next? Customer require Globalbot to be an anagram of Numbskull?


1st Feb 2123



The Global Standards Institute (GSI) auditor beat his head rhythmically against the wall.

GAT sat at the conference room table looking exasperated.


The GSI auditor made one final effort, 'I'll ask just one more time then we're done. How is it possible that a Globalbot product can be installed at customer A in customer B configuration based on a PO from customer C when it should have been shipped to customer D?'

'Er, well, that's the easy bit.'


25th Jan 2123

GAT stared forlornly through the glass.

Some text scrolled repeatedly across the keypad display.

  ' . . . COME BACK IN 6-8 WEEKS . . . '


18th Jan 2123



Traditional Industry Games #83 - 'Hunt the Asset Tag'

The aim of the game is to find all the asset tags for your multi-million G$ capital equipment.

The winner is the first to cause the external auditor to lose the will to live.


Summary of the Rules:

1.  Submit application for enormously costly piece of equipment

2.  When it arrives, install it in an inadequate space with lots of things to trip over

3.  After a while some confused person will turn up from Finance with an asset tag which they will request is stuck on your equipment

4.  Give asset tag to a Technician with the coded instruction to 'stick it somewhere sensible'.

a. In the event of your asset being software, affix the asset tag to the forehead of the main user

b. If the asset happens to be an assembly running at 1,000oC ensure the person affixing the tag is wearing gloves

5.  At some point in the year, your company's external auditor will send an inappropriately dressed junior trainee to check a random selection of asset tags

(Note: always remember that it's the asset tag they want to see; you just need to make sure it's stuck to something credible)

6.  In the event you have lost an asset tag, show the auditor a pile of sub-assemblies and explain that you'd stuck the asset tag to the robot core in the belief that it could never be shipped out as an emergency spare but guess what . . . it's been taken and installed on a warehouse shelf as a contingency spare for 'a key Korean customer'.


17th Jan 2123

Under the eerie flashing amber light the Facilities Manager studied the toxic gas alarm panel.

GAT stood nervously alongside, 'What is it? Chlorine? Carbon monoxide? Not Arsine surely!'

'No, it's worse that that.


'Tell me, are there salesmen on site today?'

'Er, yes, I think there are.'

'Well, the the system is picking up overwhelming levels of aftershave.'


14th Jan 2123

To: Globalbot Filton All

From: IT Adminbot

Subject: Critical Malbot Threats

Dear All.

Pleeae . . . .          cgfgdrwsssssretr%&RE$$$ssss

Critical RebootBot C:\>


8th Jan 2123

TNET 83838383 Part 83)

Customer: Credulous Corp

Globalbot Product: Houdinibot

Serial:  Er, um . .

Problem: No robot in crate

Status: Robotless


 Opened crate - no robot!


'Has anyone checked the backorders?'


5th Jan 2123


4th Jan 2123

Meeting Reschedule (Reschedule (Reschedule (Reschedule (Reschedule (Reschedule (Reschedule ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Subject: Time Management Training

From: Temporal Adminbot

This is to inform you that, due to an unforeseen clash, training this session needs to be rescheduled


'Again' added GAT, staring at his wall calendar.

'Looks uncannily similar to a DNA scan.'

'That is a DNA scan. Your wall planner is over there.'


1st Jan 2123

Happy New Year!


We start with some critical questions everyone's asking in 2018


#62 Why are Stormtroopers so useless?

Above - average number of Stormtroopers knocked out by any leading Rebellion character armed with a puny pistol blaster.


#63 Why is Stormtrooper armour so ineffective?

Most Rebellion characters can take a hit, or even several hits, without any armour but still get up and run, shoot back or make

speeches (battles are usually stopped to allow time for this sort of thing).


#64 Is it safe to let Marketing watch Star Wars?

Answer: NO IT ISN'T. It's just too easy to get Hollywood and reality muddled when it comes to overcoming insuperable odds (every time), .e.g.:

'How will we take the shield generator down? There's 50 layers of automated lethal security and 10,000 stormtroopers.'

'I don't know, we'll have to find a way when we get there.'

Luckily for Holywood plots, the Dark Side's defences have usually been designed by a 6-year old with great big buttons to press, no intruder alarms and as for the stormtroopers they just run past in droves until they get shot (see above).


Thinkbot wishes anyone still watching a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!










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