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26th June 2118



'What's the latest on the High Accuracy Gullexterminatorbot?'

'The what? Eh? Oh, you mean the Newbot Mk MCMLXIV.'

'Yes, yes, the HAG.'

'It's obsolete.'

'But we haven't launched it yet!'

'It's been superseded by the Newbot Mk MCMLXV. Is High Accuracy Gullexterminatorbot the official Marketing name?'

'No I made it up, the official Marketing name isn't due for another six months.''

'Will you call the Newbot Mk MCMLXV the Super High Accuracy Gullexterminatorbot?'

'S-H-A- . .  er, er, that's no good.'

'Can we do something about the logo colours? They're doing my head in.'


19th June 2118


'Everyone copied on everything! Nobody knows anything!' exploded GAT after an hour of bashing his keyboard.

'What'd you gonna do about it?'

'What'd you think?'


'Send an email to everyone.'

At which point someone wandered up and innocently asked 'Did you see my email?'


16th June 2118


Great Marketing Strategies of Our Time # 7,820: Send out a message offering a special deal on a new handset at 4am Saturday morning that wakes up all the hapless customers who forgot to turn their phones off before going to sleep on Friday night.


11th June 2118


GAT appeared in the test lab with an Auditbot today.


'Ah, yes, er,' stuttered GAT, '003872622, er, yes, we threw it in the skip a few months back.'

The Auditbot silently wrote  003872622 THROWN IN SKIP  on its epad.


'Ah, yes, er,' spluttered GAT, '040890623, er, yes, we sold half of that.'

The Auditbot silently wrote  040890623 HALF SOLD OTHER HALF UNACCOUNTED FOR .


'Ah, yes, er,' muttered GAT, '908944300, er, yes, that got soaked by a water leak.'

The Auditbot silently wrote  908944300 STILL WET  .


Doom looked up, 'I can smell burning.'

'It's the CFO stoking the fires of financial hell for GAT.'

'No! It's the b@&*$£y Auditbot! It's on fire!'


1st June 2118


hot potato

n. Informal

A problem that is so controversial or sensitive that those handling it risk unpleasant consequences.


potato supernova

n. Very Informal

A project that is so critical to the future of a high-tech business that those handling it risk instant annihilation.


30th May 2118


'Hey Thinkbot remember that intermittent fault that results in a Dishbot catching fire?'

'Er, yes, the one we've been unable to fix for 10 years?'

'That's right, well guess what?

'Er, let me see, someone's kicked off another project to fix it within 4 weeks?'

Silence  . . . . .  'How'd you know that?'

'It'll be the 47th attempt. I guess the other 46 projects are still running somewhere in Pyschosoft Sorepoint.'


20th May 2118


Strange sounds coming out of Globalbot Marketing:

'Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-aah!' [Man in suit crumples to the floor gasping for breath.]

'Nnnnnnnnnnnnnyes, %&@*!'

'Nuh-er-nuh-er-nuh-er-nuh-er-nuh-er-nuh er er er errrrrrrrrrr YES! Aaargh!'


'It's a training course on saying no,' GAT informed us, 'It's a really tough break given the latest sales forecast.'

'Let's hope salesmen and customers learn to ask questions in the negative,' I mused idly.


16th May 2118


Scene: Globalbot Operations Review

Situation: One presenter is 40 minutes into a ten minute presentation.

'He's lost it!' whispered GAT, 'Let's try and take him out with a coordinated burst of laser pointers. On my mark . . . . . FIRE!'


9th May 2118



Furious physics debate today at Globalbot, and the subject? - Can Schrodinger's cat be applied to a cake? Can you really have your cake and eat it? Even more tricky - can you have a slice and eat it and still have a partial cake? Yes, yes! Have a slice and eat it. The rest of the cake stays there and can be had and eaten in parallel in the future, or in the past if you are reading this in the future.

GAT observed an even more bizarre quantum phenomenon - the cake fork transmogrified into a spoon while he was having his slice of cake and eating it. Spooky action at a distance was proposed and Doom was adamant that an invisible spoon must have changed into an invisible fork on the far side of the universe. Difficult to verify on several counts . . .

All in all it beat trying to fix problems on Globalbot products, progress engineering changes, etc.


6th May 2118

To: All Globalbot

From: H&S Adminbot

Subject: Announcement - VP Dotted Lines

Globalbot are pleased to announce the appointment of [enter name(s)] to the position of VP Dotted Lines. [Enter name(s)] will seek to deploy dotted line reporting to leverage Globalbot Virtual Teams into the pre-existent management structure. At some point someone will figure out what this means and reveal the identity of [enter name] who, as it stands, remains a virtual entity until further notice. This is due to the risk of managerial paradoxes such as an individual being answerable to him/herself by a inadvertently placed dotted line, or the risk of an individual employee being answerable to [insert QTY x] dotted line managers. If and when we get this straightened out please join me in welcoming [enter name(s)] to his/her new role.


1st May 2118


GAT wore his ancient Globalbot 1200 shirt into work which sent us all off down memory lane. Globalbot 1200 was a brainchild of a long-departed CEO and (if we remember correctly) stood for - '100 robots shipped at 20% profit and zero debt.' Really catchy huh?

Of course it did not take long for the engineers to subvert its meaning:


Globabot 1200 - 1 robot 200 faults

Globabot 1200 - 12 months no orders

Globabot 1200 - 120 people zero progress


And so forth . . . Happy Days!



27th April 2118



Policebot 392 Patrol Report

Case: Littering of public spaces with chewed up tennis balls.

I was proceeding in an easterly direction through Portishead when I happened upon a man walking his dog on Battery Point. The man was in possession of a ball thrower and a tennis ball and I immediately activated my crime scene recording software. The man threw the ball and then walked off at right angles to where the ball had gone. The dog was running off in the opposite direction to the still bouncing ball. I apprehended the suspect who claimed to be partially sighted; moreover he claimed the dog was also partially sighted and that 'he must have lost a thousand tennis balls'. I made an immediate arrest but his canine accomplice is still at large. On returning to the station the duty officer released the suspect, erased my crime log, powered me down and relocated me to the skip.


24th April 2118


Today, I attended a training session for Globalbot's new appraisal software package from Asperity.


Stage 1 - Endure Jargon Overload

 - 360o Evaluation

 - Be Anything You Want To Be

 - Stratospheric Talent Management

 - Leading Edge

(Stop! Stop!)


Stage 2 - Get to grips with Asperity's simple appraisal process:


Stage 3 - World Beating Functionality

 - Text box for employee comments (viewable by employee only)

 - Text box for employee comments (viewable by employee and manager)

 - Text box for employee comments (viewable by employee, manager and manager's manager)

 - Text box for manager comments (viewable by manager only)

 - Text box for manager comments (viewable by manager and employee)

 - Text box for manager comments (viewable by manager and manager's manager)

 - Text box for manager comments (viewable by manager, employee and manager's manager)

 - Text box for manager's manager comments (viewable by manager's manager only)

 - Text box for manager's manager comments (viewable by manager's manager and manager)

 - Text box for manager's manager comments (viewable by manager's manager, manager and employee)


'Oo-er, what happens if I put the wrong comments in the wrong box?'

'Did she really say there's a quick button for sending a message to myself?'


Stage 4 - The Moment of Truth!


'Why are all the examples excellent, outstanding or exceptional?'

'Dunno, but it clearly can apply to their PR department. I looked up what asperity meant.'



1. roughness or sharpness of temper

2. roughness or harshness of a surface, sound, taste, etc.

3. a condition hard to endure; affliction


Then someone pressed the browser back button and it crashed . .

 . . which to assembled engineering masses felt like the guy who wrote the Asperity code was trying to send us a message.


22nd April 2118


In a thrilling announcement it has come to light that Globalbot is ranked ahead of Tunnock's Wafers in the Robotic Bugler's global company rankings. GAT was distraught, 'I like Tunnock's Wafers. I hope this doesn't mean they'll be unavailable from the vendbot.'


18th April 2118


Globalbot Implements 'STOPFLOOR™' Production Software
Robo-Reuters: Monday 18th April 2118

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 implemented STOPFLOOR™ state of the art production software. 'We are very pleased with STOPFLOOR™', commented Duwkits, VP of Manufacturing, 'which pulls together all the missing production information into one location. Previously members of the production team had to look in lots of different systems to confirm they didn't know something, now they can check they're missing all the key information in one easy step - a one stop shop for non-knowledge.'


Industry analysts were not surprised by the move, but queried why Globalbot had not purchased the 'IT'S MARKETING'S FAULT™' and 'ENGINEERING BLAME TRANSFER™' add-ons up front.


GAT's angle on all this was to ponder why Globalbot hadn't purchased the 'OOPS-A-DAISY-DUMPKINS™' add-on for managing disorderly  CRIPEL®  to  ORIBAL™  engineering change orders.


14th April 2118



Personal Style: Dictator

Interacting with Others: Total obedience expected

Decision Making: Pure genius

Strengths/Weaknesses: Manifold/None

Value to the Team: Irreplaceable

Communication: One way

Possible Blind Spots: Being an agent of mass murder

Opposite Type (and how to communicate with your opposite type): N/A (all opposite types will be eliminated)

Suggestions for Development: World domination

Rainbow personal colour profile: Black with hints of brown


7th April 2118


To: All Globalbot

From: H&S Adminbot

Subject: Hi Vis Jackets

Can I remind you that wearing hi vis jackets in designated areas of the Globalbot site is compulsory even if you are skulking around and up to no good. The only areas that lo vis jackets are acceptable are areas temporarily designated as conflict zones. At the present time there are 3 designated conflict zones on site.


This pronouncement precipitated quite a lot of discussion amongst the engineers: firstly on skulking activities that might qualify as 'up to no good'; and secondly, where the 3 designated conflict zones were. Everyone guessed Tech Support, and maybe Purchasing, but were stumped by the identity of the 3rd zone.

'Materials Control?' I ventured.

'No, they're a confused zone.' said GAT.


'No, that's the conspiracy zone.'


'Constipation zone.'

'Surely not . . . Engineering?'

'No, we're a consternation zone.'

[This could go on a while, that's enough. Ed.]


3rd April 2118



TNET 04569772

Customer: Baskit Kase Fruit & Nutcase Corp North Korea

Globalbot Product: Apple Peelbot

Serial: AP1le008

Problem: Robot peel apples and not crush oranges

Status: Nuclear warhead tipped missiles targeted on Globalbot local office.

Customer purchasing spec demand Apple Peelbot. Customer PO states Apple Peelbot.

Globalbot deliver Apple Peelbot on time. Hooray so far!

But customer say now wanted Orange Crushbot all along and spec and PO say so and Globalbot deliver wrong robot and all Globalbot fault and are worst supplier on earth and Fruit and Nut will go to competitor next time and forever and ever.


'Looks like a Banana Slipbot would have been appropriate.'


26th March 2118


21st March 2118


Budgeting for Idiots Chancellors


To reduce borrowing should you:

a.    Increase taxes

b.    Decrease taxes

c.    Increase spending

d.    Decrease spending

e.    All of above

f.     Don't know


To stimulate growth should you:

a.    Make garden centres exempt from corporation tax

b.    Reduce the cost of a pint of beer

c.    Enable millionaires to buy more houses using public money

d.    Encourage emigration to Cyprus

e.    All of above

f.     Don't know


(That's enough ridiculing of the hapless, Ed.)


19th March 2118


Due to a long-running issue with assemblies (not) meeting up with brackets in the wrong place/ wrong way up/ on the left/right not the right/left and facing in/out not out/in that was (apparently) costing Globalbot Operations millions of man hours compounded by build notes that said 'in' when it meant 'out' and 'left' for 'right' and 'third hole (inclusive/exclusive) from the top/bottom' etc., the whole Engineering operation has ceased while the designers are given a crash course in Bracket Orientation & Positional Integration Training (BOPIT).


15th March 2118


Marketing are always on about launching 'the killer product.'

As GAT always says, if they ever succeed, the only thing they'll kill is Globalbot.

Picking up on the recent tooth cleaning theme, just how does one create the killer toothbrush product - one that causes every consumer to throw away their current toothbrush and rush to the shop to panic buy?



And for those that have had surgery recently there's the sage advice of the Bristol Royal Infirmary:

After eight weeks: Your wound should be healing well and other tasks such as hovering, raking leaves, driving the car and small jobs around the house may be undertaken.

Hovering? Now that would be a killer.



2nd March 2118


Cantankerous - that's the word I was looking for after being subjected to a rant by GAT when shopping in Waitrose.

And the subject of this rant?  - Toothpaste.

I'm not sure if GAT is atypical, but he does seem resistant to the march of progress. I'm sure his expectation was that he'd select a suitable toothpaste product in his teenage years then simply keep on buying it for the next 70 years without any change in content or packaging. The trouble started when he could not indentify his usual selection.

'Where the h&(( is the basic Dentodyne?'

The answer was it had been rebranded as Dentodyne Original and the packet changed from blue to red.

This alerted GAT to the ludicrous range of Dentodyne products on the shelves:

Dentodyne Original

Dentodyne Original Total F

Dentodyne Daily Repair

Dentodyne Rapid Relief

Dentodyne Sensitive Gums

Dentodyne Gentle Whitening

Dentodyne Full Protection

Dentodyne Multi-Action

Dentodyne Mega-Tooth

'How the h&((! can anyone evaluate all of these?!' (Spoken like a true engineer.)

'So, if I select sensitive gums I miss out on daily repair and gentle whitening, But, hang on, won't full protection cover everything anyway?' (etc. for 20 minutes)

It later transpired GAT failed to purchase any toothpaste preferring to insert his crumpled and empty last blue tube of Dentodyne into the vice to see if he could squeeze a few more helpings out of it.'


27th February 2118


To: All Globalbot

From: Duwkits, VP Operations

Subject: 2118 Fractal Delivery Project

This is to inform you that Operations have initiated a project to apply the latest Fractal  Accelerated Timescale (FAT) theory to Globalbot production lines. In the attached chart the numbers currently refer to weeks, but by the end of 2118 they will refer to days. In 2119/20, phase II, which is much more challenging, will aim to further redefine the numbers as hours.

I'm sure I can count on your support for this exciting initiative,




Reaction was swift:

'Why not go for minutes?'

'Might be a challenge for Sales and Marketing. They may have to apply the latest Latent Order Stampede Theory (LOST™) to keep up.'

'It does not happen often, but I'm reminded of holy scripture where in 2 Peter 3:8 it says - One day is like a thousand years.'


25th February 2118



Scientists Discover Dark Mutter

There was great excitement today as scientists working at the Large Conversation Collector (LCC) announced they had detected dark mutter with a 99.99999% confidence level. Dark mutter, a mysterious substance thought to make up 86% of all communication at scientific conferences, has remained stubbornly elusive until now. The team used the LCC to holistically analyse communication from several thousand conferences looking for specific sequences of dark mutter words such as 'what a load of claptrap', 'pompous old windbag' and 'absolutely ridiculous'. A leading figure in the field, who was not part of the LCC team commented, 'It's amazing to think that beyond the published conference proceedings there's a whole menagerie of extra information lurking at the edge of human perception. On the other hand the LCC work could just be a load of b*#$&cks.'


20th February 2118



After multiple incidents of Helen ordering things on line then forgetting about them, GAT suggested retailers might offer a new service - 'CLICK & FORGET.'


15th February 2118


9th February 2118

At last! Marketing released some names for the Globalbot Adjustable Spannerbot Product range 'pending the launch of the new next generation Spannerbot.'



       Scimitar                    Scimitar+                Scimitar X                 Scimitar+ X           Scimitar Precision   Scimitar+ Precision   Scimitar Precision X   Scimitar+ Precision X


And so forth all the way up to the  'Scimitar+iZ Precision 999X'

'They all look the same,' I observed.

'Not quite,' replied GAT, 'Several have been around for years under the old name of Adjustable Spannerbot MkI, II, III, etc., other variants have been dreamed up out of thin air and don't exist.'

'I didn't know about the next generation Spannerbot - whose project is that?'

'There is no next generation Spannerbot project.'



4th February 2118


Got called down to test today to try and sort out a Laundrybot that only seemed capable of verbalising its problems painfully slowly.


'- X - X - X - 5 - 5 - 1 - 5 - B - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -'


'It's spent 3 days just on this one error code.'

'I see. Have you tried powering it down?'

'Of course - it just starts over. Trust me, we don't want to do that again.'

'What about getting  a display attached?'

'Tried that -  it just shows the message unknown error, refer to audio coding.'

'Did you OK it?'

'Er no, what would that achieve?'

'One never knows.'

So, we tried OK-ing the 'Unknown error' message and that seemed to fix it.

'What shall I put in the test record as a resolution?'

'How about unknown error fixed by unknown solution?'


2nd February 2118

Go Natural

Campaigning for a Robot-Free Future


'What have the robots ever done for us?' asked the committee chairman.

'Er, they crawl down blocked drains and clear them out.'

'They reduced road deaths to zero.'

'They manufacture most of our goods.'

'Ok, ok,' cut in the chairman, 'apart from those things what have the robots ever done for us?'

'Implemented global disarmament.'

'Transformed medical care.'

'Eliminated poverty.'

'Got to grips with global warming.'

'Created the perfect blancmange.'

'Cut crime by 99.9%.'

'Slashed the welfare bill.'

This time the chairman had to stand up and raise his arms to quell the hubbub, 'Ok, ok, apart from clearing our drains, zero road deaths, manufacturing, disarmament, medical care, poverty, global warming, blancmange, crime and welfare, what have the robots ever done for us?' 


23rd January 2118

GAT's doctor's cure for a nasty chest infection =


GAT's mother in law's cure for a nasty chest infection =


21st January 2118


14th January 2118

O  P

TNET 04568110

Customer: Drop The Balls Corporation

Globalbot Product: Industrial Jugglebot

Serial: 12345123451234512345123451234512345123451234512345

Problem: Jugglebot not drop balls

Status: Gasps of astonishment.

Purchasing spec demand Jugglebot drop balls but Jugglebot display awe-inspiring balls up ability even when being hit with stick and turn out lights and hosedown with water. Please correct fault ASAP as customer very angry about no drop ball function.


'Do you think we're missing something?' asked GAT drily, 'after all if Sales had come to me asking if I thought a jugglebot could keep all its balls in the air whilst being soaked and poked in the dark I'd probably not given them the time of day.'

'We could ship them the prototype,' I suggested, 'it was ultra-reliable at dropping its balls in broad daylight.'


THINKBLOG  - Jul - Dec 2117


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