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29th December 2115

Children inconsolable as automated Father Christmas out-source plan creates the mother of all shortages.

Hoping for end January.


22nd December 2115


17th December 2115

Copy Exact - Globalbot Style


To: Globalbot Support

From: [An Irate Customer]

Subject: Copy Exact Complaint


Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to light that, in a blatant breach of contract, that the copy exact requirement for our repeat Indentibot deliveries has not been adhered to. The most recent deliveries clearly did not match previous robots in terms of the number and type of atoms used in particular those used in polymeric coatings. We have not probed deeper to assess electronic energy levels within those polymeric layers but, based on purely visual inspection, our confidence level is low. Moreover, the non-negotiable requirement that any engineering changes be submitted to us for approval 9 years in advance has been totally ignored.


[An Irate Customer]


Turns out that the customer became suspicious about 'wrong numbers of atoms' and presumed mismatch in polymeric electronic energies when Globalbot delivered a batch of robots finished in a different paint scheme.


15th December 2115


Sign, lovingly sprayed on an old biscuit tin lid and nailed to a tree near Portishead.

Should stand up in court I would have thought when the late Fido's owner sues for damages.


10th December 2115

Went to the Globalbot Xmas bash, and it was LOUD.

As a result, conversations amongst the non-dancers were truly fantastical, even accounting for the drink.

To the participants:

Person 1: " ..................................................... "

Person 2, nodding and smiling: " ................................................"

Person 1, expression of surprise: " ................................................................"

Person 2, slightly offended: ".............................                ....          ..........."


Luckily, I could reconfigure my electro-ears to filter out the band, whereupon the above become

Person 1: "How is your daughter doing?"

Person 2, nodding and smiling: "I'm hoping to visit Botswana."

Person 1, expression of surprise: "She's a bit young for botox isn't she?"

Person 2, slightly offended: "Buttocks and long haul just don't mix."

And so forth for hours and hours . . . best to leave filters offline and dance.


7th December 2115

Upgrades continue to roll out flawlessly.


6th December 2115

Marvellous conversation between GAT and junior representative of IT today.

IT boy: I've come to upgrade you to Office 2116

GAT: Why?

IT Boy: Why what?

GAT: Why do I have to be upgraded? Office 2110 does everything I'd ever want.

IT Boy: But 2116 brings a dynamic new concept with wide-ranging exciting improvements.

GAT: In that case I definitely don't want it.

IT Boy (close to tears): But you have to.

GAT: Why?

IT Boy: It's company policy.

GAT: It's company policy for me to be bamboozled by jumbled new menu structures and incomprehensible enhanced features?

Thinkbot (I thought I'd chip in): Well, it beats working!

My punishment was to be upgraded to Windows 666 'The Beast':



Snappy title, but my PC locked up and I was retro-down-graded to boring old no-name Win 664 along with the remark, 'Don't know how you get anything done with that PC.'

As if it's my fault . . .


4th December 2115


Globalbot targeted by Wikileaks! Highlights of revelations include:


- Marketing only capable of relaying good news.

- Lead times of new designs: Engineering double it and add a week; Marketing halve it and subtract a week; sales then halve it again; Operations deliver half the shipment on time.

- When asked for a yes/no answer, Engineering always say 'it depends'.

- Publication of vital organisational documents held up because senior executives cannot agree the font.

- Roadmaps tend to relativistic robot functionality within 24 months.

- Robot serial numbers hiked by >>1 to give impression there are more shipments than actual.

- Never use a serial number containing '0001' for any Robot even if a prototype and even if customer knows.

- All customers are equal, but some are more equal than others

- All ERP systems are crap, but some are more crap than others

- HR instruct managers to inform all employees that they are the highest paid within their peer group.

- Fatal robot errors are not really fatal.

- One department's comply is another's belly up.


Al rather disappointing really - no one at all surprised by anything. No confirmation of wild theories about suspected VP gender discrepancies or an alien presence at board level.


30th November 2115

      Supermarket                   Stores


Globalbot is courting  disaster in my opinion after HR put out a desperate appeal to everyone to help out with kitting parts for end of December robot shipments the company must make.

'I think I might offer to lend a hand,' said GAT.

The HR appeal stated the work was 'not difficult', but I doubt they've considered the level of incompetence the likes of GAT are capable of.

For example, Helen sent GAT down to Waitrose with a list:

     - Olive oil

     - Yoghurt

     - Flora

     - Packet of rice

     - Chocolate cake

And he came back (2 hours later) with:

     - 500g of mushrooms

     - Multi-pack of beetroot crisps

     - Motor oil

     - Custard powder

     - 3 variety packs of Fuller's finest beers

And that was after phoning at least 3 times to check the whereabouts of things aisle-wise.

His only comment in mitigation was: 'The beers were on offer.'

Now, if he bungles up the shopping, where great marketing minds and graphic designers have invested hundreds of man hours in packaging things clearly and attractively, what chance he can pick a kit correctly when everything is in identical bins with labels in 12pt font?

'30 M5 x 20 capheads? Can't find them. Oh look, here's some M6 x 10, that's near enough. Blast! There's only 17 . . . '


28th November 2115


Consternation today at Globalbot when one of the Tinfoe implementation team was shot dead. Okay, it was a robotic team member, and it shot itself, but nonetheless it was a bit disturbing. Investigation of its temporary memory at the time of the incident yielded its final thoughts:


'Initiating progress check on engineering change transfer protocol 10204. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Transfer successful. Transfer failed. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! THE ABYSS OPENS! THE ABYSS IS OPEN. . . . . THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION IS COMING FORTH!  [end]


Globalbot IT resolved the situation by 'bouncing' the server, which appeared to chase the abomination back into the closing abyss.


25th November 2115


World's Shortest Interview

Interview panel: Tell us why you want this job?

Interviewee: Now I've met you three, I don't.


How Engineers tackle a serious problem

Engineers assemble in silence.

Long rambling statement of problem, with confused visual aid

Long silence.

One engineer breaks silence, 'Bugger!'

Meeting ends.


When ROS (Robot Operating Systems) Go Bad

Robot: I only take instruction from GAT

GAT: I am GAT!

Robot: No you are not.

GAT: Who am I then?

Robot: You are not GAT.

GAT: I am not not GAT.

Robot: You are not not not GAT.

etc. etc.


22nd November 2115

GAT in a fret after becoming suspicious that Helen is having a dalliance with another man after Mike told him that Helen had taken a bottle of wine into school for Tom Bowler.

ç What I suspect Tom Bowler may look like.


21st November 2115



Apparently, the Tinfoe ERP implementation team made an ill-advised pact not to shave until the new system had successfully gone live.


17th November 2115

Had some training on the latest up-revision of the Equality Act today.

The latest list of 'protected characteristics' are:

- Age

- Battery life

- Disability

- Gender reassignment

- Juggling skills

- Basis of life (carbon or silicon or other)

- Marriage and civil partnership

- Model & revision

- Operating system

- Race

- Religion or belief

- Sex

- Sexual orientation

- Top speed


Methinks there is a muddle here. This became clearer when we started doing case studies:


'A disabled silicon-based life form of unknown sexual orientation and poor juggling skills applies for a job as a waiter. It is turned down due to its poor juggling skills. Another carbon-based life form, that is undergoing non-medically supervised gender change on Tuesdays and alternate Thursdays, also applies and, even though it keeps dropping its balls is offered the job nonetheless,. This is on the basis it can receive training at a lower cost than upgrading the operating system of the silicon-based life form - is this discrimination?'


Answer: Well, yes and no. The case fails to account for the religious outlook of the cafe owner, who does hot accept the existence of non-carbon life forms even though it, itself, came from a minority racial grouping of gallium arsenide & related III-V Group elemental based entities, and is therefore considered mentally impaired and incapable of sound judgment on issues such as juggling skills and gender reassignment, although it is able to self-illuminate with intense monochromatic light of wavelengths between 300 to 800nm. The 250 year old judge dismissed the case, summing up with a profound insight: 'I've no idea what you're talking about. People used to retire at 60 you know.'


11th November 2115

It's 200 years since world war I, probably the war most remembered for futility and needless sacrifice. As GAT commented to me today after the two minutes silence, 'Remembrance day always reminds me that even the worst Globalbot management cock ups do not result in people needlessly losing their lives. Even the most rudimentary risk assessment shows that one should never mix human management systems with weapons'.

'Yes,' I replied, 'a core competency of Globalbot is achieving futility that every employee can be part of.'


8th November 2115



Was called down to Manufacturing today in my capacity as a Senior Robot Personality Design Engineer after a robot swore at its new owner, who was on site for pre-ship acceptance testing.

'$%^&! @#!!, at last!' it said as it saw me approaching.

'Is this one of mine?' I asked nervously.

'Yep!' said the glowering test engineer.

I glanced at the customer, but she was quietly sobbing into her hands, so I turned once more to the robot, which caused it to blurt out: 'If you're not going to help, £$^%! off.'

'Ok, ok,' I soothed, and plugged my laptop into the diagnostic port.

'How's that?' I asked.

'$&@£!! You @#+&*£$! I hate you, you £$%^ing little $£$^%$£!'

'No better then?'

'@£$^£$^"%Q! $%"$^"£$! @#@#!! {}!£}{}!! @#^&*{{}!!!!' The robot became apoplectic with rage and even the battle hardened shop floor staff grimaced with shock.

'Oops! Silly me,' I said and tweaked the personality bias back the other way.

'Madam, madam, please may I take this opportunity to apologise for my unacceptable outbursts, I really wasn't feeling myself. Please . . . (down a key and increase huskiness) . . please . . I know I don't deserve it, but, could we start again?'

And so forth with smarm galore until the dear lady accepting the robot stopped sniffling and cheered up enough to sign on the dotted line.


7th November 2115



To: All Globalbot Staff

From: Robotravelica Travel Alerts

Subject: French Not on Strike


This is to alert all staff that the French are not on strike Tuesday this week and Thursday the week after. On these days normal services will be in place (including 2 hour lunch breaks). On all other days the French will be faffing around with banners and lighting fires in the street but will still be stopping for a 2 hour lunch (no change there then).


1st November 2115

Great Globalbot Initiatives # 249782 - 'To get employees into the right mood for work, the site entry will be changed from a simple doorway & foyer to an obstacle course terminated by a giant rope swing to set adrenaline levels correctly. Entry to the canteen will henceforth be via a 10m high climbing wall bar frame.'

I think the objectives are to help employees defocus from the terror of their normal work and to impose some sort of dietary control on the breakfast guzzlers.


26th October 2115


To: All Staff and Contractors

From: Percy Knell, Director of HR

Subject: Butter

Dear All,

After careful thought by Senior Management, it has been decided that all Globalbot sites will become strictly 'No Butter' with immediate effect. The company feels that this is in the best interests of all staff whether they are butter or non-butter. We all know the risks due to passive buttering, and indeed only this week a non-buttering member of staff slipped badly in the canteen on someone else's butter - the last thing Globalbot needs at the moment is the HSE calling in technical experts from Saturday Kitchen to audit the canteen.

The company believes it is right to support butterers in stopping completely, and is therefore able to offer support to any employees who wish to kick the habit. As some may have witnessed, we do have some excessive toast butterers amongst us - please be sensitive to these personnel at this challenging time.




20th October 2115


18th October 2115


It's official!  After lengthy and painstaking global analysis, the biggest threat to the UK is . . . The Government. Even worse, it turned out that threats 2-4 to national security also turned out to be the government. When questioned, the Government denied this, citing the biggest threat as the National Security Agency itself. The Audit Commission later stated the whole exercise was a huge waste of taxpayers money as 'everyone knows that anyway.'

Meanwhile, in France, the Government has identified the French population as the biggest threat, and terrorist organisations soon joined in, blaming BMW drivers, who they claim have inflicted far more terror that any terrorist group can manage even in their wildest dreams.


17th October 2115

Great excitement amongst philosophers and theologians today as a new theory about why the world is in such a mess  - God used Tinfoe Product Configurator during the creation process. This really would explain a lot as it's highly likely the coding wasn't right and, indeed, no one (in this case God) had really thought it through properly before deciding to embark on the project. As a result the Earth Configurator was a mishmash of theistic omnimuddles: 'not quite what I had in mind' and ' oh yes, I didn't think of that' and, towards the end, 'Right, right! Yes, now I see how this works. Well if' I'd only known that at the beginning . . . '


This model fits well with the six mass extinctions of species in Earth's history, as well as the seventh now in progress due to the activities of the human race whose existence can now merely be viewed as an incorrectly coded option flag.


12th October 2115


'Bleeeeeeeeeeeeaach! Spluuuurgggh! Ahhhh!' Doom spat out the beef in blackbean sauce and gulped down a glass of water in one go. Around the canteen people were gagging and falling off their chairs, and there was an almighty scrum around the Waterbot.

Halfhour had tested a small mouthful, In a monumental effort of self-control she announced her verdict: 'It . . tastes . . . like . . . . the  . . . Dead  . . . .Sea.'

Later, a general email popped into everyone's inbox. For those recovering on site (rather than the hospital) or had opted for another dining choice, the message was clear.



The canteen extend its sincere apologies to all who purchased the “beef in black bean sauce” meal today.

It would seem that it was excessively salty; however, whilst this is the nature of black bean sauce, the one served yesterday was exceptionally salty. It later transpired that, due to a slight bug in the Chefbot software, 10 kg of salt was added to the commercially produced ready-to-use sauce that requires no further preparation other than to include veg and meat etc.  A batch of the suspect sauce has been retained and has been submitted to the chemical warfare clearance group for their consideration and comments. The Chefbot concerned has been disciplined and powered down; needless to say, it will not be powered up again without a patch to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Globalbot Catering


'That'll be a fun task for the software engineer,' quipped Pot Noodle, DIRT's resident software engineer. 'The subroutine will have to try and anticipate anything the Chefbot might suddently decide to add to a dish - curry powder, chilli, Araldite, M3 nuts. Wouldn't it be easier for them to taste it first before selling to us?'


4th October 2115

Globalbot Delivery Matches Quotation
Robo-Reuters: Friday 4ht October 2115

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 delivered exactly what it had quoted.


'Words fail me,' commented Duwkits, Head of Manufacturing Operations at Globalbot, 'I can only say what a fantastic job Marketing did in anticipating what we would ship.' Mark Eting, VP of Marketing added, 'This came as a bit of a shock to me, I always thought we shipped what we quoted.'

Industry experts later deduced that Globalbot produces multiple quotations for each sales order and therefore increases the likelihood somewhat that one will be right.

Safe Harbor: This press release might give the impression that Globalbot business practice follows the gold standard 'Quote è PO è Shipment è Delivery'; just remember, that's all it is - an impression.


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