scribbles tagged ‘Heidelberg Towers’

The Italian job

Sunday, September 29th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

PorticoArne’s taken all 6 of the ‘ACE design’ team to Italy. They’ve bagged a big client project. Arne promised they could do it faster than the other design companies. The other companies made realistic, achievable proposals. Arne plans to achieve ‘faster’ by making sure everyone is working on this project simultaneously. He’s prepared for a thin profit margin. This project will be a loss leader for ‘ACE Design’. It should prove the quality of ‘ACE design’s work. Arne believes this will improve the likelihood of follow-on, full price, work.

They loose the only native Italian speaker on the team at Venice airport.

Antonio couldn’t walk past the Ferrari store. Once in the store he couldn’t decide which lovely thing to walk out with. Eventually he picked a handful of things, not bothering to check the prices, then got indignant at the price and started ‘discussing’ this issue with the sales staff. Helen hears the commotion and Antonio is extracted from the Ferrari store. Arne pays for the Ferrari merchandise and Helen wonders whether she should start an argument in the D&G store before they leave the airport.


The Italian job
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iMac wars

Sunday, September 1st, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

‘ACE Design’ have grown from a sole trader on floor 6 to an open plan design studio with 6 full time employees, on floor 3, in less than 2 months.

Apple Software Update FailTheir IT guru, and financial backer has insisted they use PCs for normal office work and only use Macs when absolutely necessary. Most of the new staff are furious “but you said at my interview I’d get my own iMac!”

Arne smiles as he flicks his Dutch blonde fringe from his eyes, temporarily looking taller than his normal 6″6. He winks and clarifies for them, “I said you could make a business case for having one, and I haven’t heard a good case yet” Arne’s ordered one iMac to be shared, everyone gets their own company PC. Helen doesn’t mind, she’s never used an Apple and is comfortable with the strange workings of the PC. She’s enjoying sharing her knowledge with her new colleagues. Suddenly she’s got the ability to instantly dispel frustrations and be seen to be valuable.

“I won’t be using the Apple, so you’ll all get more time on it” Helen sings in her eagerness to make everyone happier. Arne’s fringe has only just found gravity’s natural place. He flicks it back revealing piercing periwinkle blues.  Synchronously, all eyes turn to him “We’ll get you an iMac as a birthday present“.  Like an audience at Wimbledon all eyes move to Helen. She’s  now the object of envy, no longer the supportive helpful place she likes to be. “I’ll just donate it to the most needy designer in the room, can’t see why I’d want an iMac

Chaos ensues, how could Helen turn down the offer of a free iMac? The other designers can’t begin to comprehend it. Maybe Helen isn’t really a designer? Maybe she’s joking, maybe Arne’s joking.

Over the next few days everyone starts demonstrating to Helen how much they need their iMacs for everyday work. They bring in their own personal Macs from home. The IT guru is not happy, but it clearly demonstrates that Arne doesn’t need to BUY everyone iMacs if they’re using their own. Looks like a bit of an own goal for the designers.

Will Helen get an iMac for her birthday?

iMac wars
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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Heat wave on the southbankThe air conditioning on floor 6 is not working as expected, please don’t switch it on because the condensation is dripping on the light switches which is dangerous. We’ve set aside some hot desks on floor 4 for people to use if they are feeling to hot. Ben is going to check the air conditioners before the end of the week

It’s 34C (93F) in the shade. A rare heat  wave that could last all week. Caroline’s fingers have swollen so much she can barely type. She wont be able to get her feet back into her sling-backs without first soaking her feet in cold water.

The town square water fountain is looking more attractive than a corner desk on floor 4. Local students are working-on a creative arts project to re-discover the ‘rain dance’.

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short burst of heat

Saturday, May 18th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

As you know we have been experiencing some ‘changeable’ weather conditions, and we are reacting to these demands, on a daily basis by turning the heating systems on and off.  In addition, we have taken the opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance work in readiness for next winter’s challenges, hence, we do need to turn the heating on and leave it on for short burst of time. 

We have now turned the heating off as from today, further maintenance work is planned for next weekend, if you should need any more heating locally in your area of work please do come and talk to any member of the team.

Ben, the building maintenance team works to a strict schedule. On May 1st the central heating is switched off until November 1st.

The sole traders on floor 6 are surprised by Laurel’s admission that the heating has been on in May. They haven’t felt the benefit. Their heating still isn’t working. Everyone has at least one ‘local area heating’ appliance, including heated blankets. Even Caroline who’s worked there for 6 years doesn’t remember the heating ever having worked. Could this essential maintenance end 6 years of frozen, penthouse, wilderness?

The 1st floor are still steaming and dreading yet another summer with the heating going full blast. On the 1st floor, no-one can remember the heating ever having been turned off across the summer. Their open windows create a pleasantly cooling breeze. But the breeze is laced with smoke from the smokers basking in the brief rays of sunshine outside the west wing on Abattoirs road

Could we please remind you that smoking is not permitted outside of the west wing door of the building.  Smoke is drifting into the building through open windows. 


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we’ll email you when the power comes back on

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 | tags: ,  |
FW: Important – Power Supply Failure

Businesses with power support people withoutHannah is determined to make sure everyone in the building can empathise with the deep-frozen floor 6 sole traders.  There is gossip that the recent influx of blow-heaters to floor 6 actually resulted in the power loss.


please be careful when working around any temporary surface cabling and blow heaters
Doreen was taken to hospital this morning with a suspected broken wrist, she tripped-over a blow-heater cable.


In order to carry out immediate repairs to our mains
electricity board we will need to cut off the power supply to the entire building.”
Without power, the blow heaters wont work. No-one can work, even the computer fans stop whirring. There’s talk of starting a bonfire in reception.


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smokers wing

Saturday, April 20th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Could we please ask you all to make sure that when using West Wing door it is closed properly, otherwise the alarm becomes activated and disturbs other tenants working in the area.

Abattiors RoadFrom every floor the smokers gather downstairs, outside the west wing. They’re not allowed to smoke on the street outside the front door. They lower the tone of the business centre.  The west wing door opens onto Abatttoirs road, a wind-tunnel disguised as an alleyway. It’s not a popular walkway, the smokers aren’t seen outside the westwing.

If the smokers forget to bring their key-card they have to walk around to the front door to get back in again. They’ve taken to leaving the door propped-open with pens or any small item from their pocket so that it doesn’t fully close while they’re out.

The door has got the message, it’s learned not to close fully.

smokers wing
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1 wonderful musing »

green curry sprinkles on that?

Friday, March 29th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Worm hole generator deviceSome of the microwave ovens in the building are being left in a very unclean state, please could we remind you that it is your responsibility to ensure that they are left in a clean state ready for the next user.

Snow and ice hazardises the pathway to the Bean & Gone Café. It’s known to the inhabitants of Heidelberg Tower as the ‘Sad Café‘, a comment on the food quality.  The beans are boiled until the colour and any attempt at rigidity is battered out of them. The jackets on the potatoes are tough as tank-tracks, even a steak knife couldn’t cut through them. It’s cheap, not cheerful.

The triple-dip recession mixed with icy pathways have conspired to make Heidelberg Towers’ residents bring in home-grown, cheaper, meals. At lunch time people vie to be the first to use the microwave without being seen to queue or be competitive.  They’re failing.  Denise watches Jonny across the office.  If Jonny moves his chair back while holding a Tupperware container in one hand, Denise will rise quickly, hike-up her pencil skirt and use the extra leg-length afforded by her 4 inch heals to be the first to the Microwave.  Jonny’s tried walking away from the microwave then spinning round to have the momentum to out-stride Denise, but she’s fast and slippery.

Denise’s motivation isn’t hunger. She doesn’t want her lovingly home-baked pie to be sprinkled with Jonny’s left-over Thai green chicken curry. If Denise gets to the microwave first, she sucks her thumb then wiggles the wet digit at Jonny mimicking their company logo. If Jonny gets there first he turns his back on her, simultaneously wiggling his bum and thumb. This competition will probably end in tears, or worse. When Laurel and Hannah send an email to the whole building about Microwave etiquette everyone suspects Denise of escalating the problem to keep her pie pure, but it could be that Jonny’s engaging in proactive counter terrorist techniques.

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inbox assault

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Could you please email reception and say whether you still  have heating issues in your rooms

Almost all the heat on floor 1 escapes through the open windows,  the rest escapes down the customer phone lines of the Goin’ my way? staff.

The heat never seems to rise to the 6th floor sole traders. Even snow on the roof doesn’t warm the 6th floor, its already cold so it’s kept cold by the snow insulation. The sole traders arrive cold. They shiver and shake through the day then jitter out of the building around 5pm when a call echoes around floor 6 – “Tanner’s posse up?!” replies include “Aye up chuck!”, “Eh-up”, “you’re ON”, “I’m in!” and the occasional “fulk off!”. They huddle together for warmth before flocking in close formation to the Tanners arms. In the warm pub they share stories of today’s; dodgy supplier, indignant customer, technical emergency and, of course, the inevitable lack of heating. The heating system belongs in a museum. Floor 6 sole traders dream of radiators that can achieve, or exceed, body temperature.

Hannah’s email resulted in an inbox-assault of sarcasm from the floor 6 sole traders. Their heating definitely doesn’t work, they’re thinking of improvising a stove by burning Neil, the centre manager, in a wicker man.


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steaming a way

Monday, March 25th, 2013 | tags: ,  |
the heating engineers are in the building checking the heating system

Stoltz House Pink RoomThe ground floor is literally steaming. The travel agency, “Goin’ my way?”,on flr 1, keep their windows WIDE open. Neil, the building manager, is concerned about the security risk of having all the ground-floor windows open all day, especially if people forget to close them before leaving. Odd Jenny says it’s not in her job description to check and close windows as well as clean them.

The Goin’ my way? staff already wear sleeveless tops to stay cool and, perhaps more significantly, to show off their liberally applied L’Oreal Sublime Bronze arms. Jilly, one of the Goin’ my way? company directors, picked up 20 boxes of L’Oreal Sublime Bronze in the Tanner’s Arms (local pub) at less than 10% of the published retail price. Jilly prides herself in knowing a good deal when it’s slipped to her under the table.

Flashing some orange skin is now part of the Goin’ my way? way Another company way is using the logo as a greeting, the hitch-hiker style ‘thumbs up’ wiggle. At reception, Laurel and Hannah enjoy sharing thumb-wiggles with the Goin’ my way? staff as they arrive in the morning. It’s amazing how many variations on the hitch-hikers thumb-wiggle you can actually come up with:

  • Young Jonny has added a distinctive butt-wiggle, He’s a tease!
  • Jello Jonny uses both hands in an asynchronous rhythmic movement that ripples through his whole body.
  • Denise sucks her thumb before wiggling the shiny digit.
  • The plaster-cast on Carol’s wrist makes it difficult for her to wiggle, for now she’s waving her way in….
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invisible clutter

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 | tags: ,  |

something missingWe have a parcel in reception fro Diana Clutterbuck but we can’t remember which company she works for

Cathy may be invisible to the main residents of Heidelberg Tower, but not to the receptionists. Laurel and Hannah know who Cathy is. They enjoy their morning banter over tea together. There are many invisible people in Heidelberg Towers. Doreen has tried extremely hard to be one of them, but she just isn’t.  Her attempts to shuffle around the edge of rooms are so quirky that you have to really look at her. Doreen is terminably ‘Noticeable’ like Eugene Felnic in the Grease duopothy.

On the other hand, Diana Clutterbuck is eminently forgettable, except for her charming name. Laurel and Hannah agree that they couldn’t put a face, gait or dress style to that name. Neither of them will recognise her when she walks through reception in the morning.  There’s nothing left to do but to email the whole building to get her to come to reception and collect her parcel. Now everyone will know her name, but she’ll still be invisible to everyone except Laurel and Hannah.

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Odd Jenny’s gone off on one

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

Toilets!The cleaners have noticed that someone is putting cistern blocks in one of the ladies toilets.  Can we please ask you not to do this as it is not covered by COSHH regulations and may react with the cleaning materials currently used.

After her husband picks up the kids Cathy does an evening shift serving in the Tanner’s Arms, (local pub) then arrives at Heidelberg Towers, after midnight.  The office workers often drop by the Tanner’s after work. Cathy serves them their favourite tipples as she tries to work out which people have made her night cleaning shift harder than necessary. Who is:

  • The messy eater on the south corner of floor 4? Maybe it’s that lady with the over-sized handbag and threads hanging from the hem of her jacket. She even looks crumby. Doreen.
  • Always blocking the sole-trader’s toilets, flr 6? Maybe it’s that very tall blonde chap who likes his Vodka Russian, he must have a large colon.

Cathy knows many of the Heidelberg Towers office workers by name. She knows their families from their desktop photographs. They don’t know her, she’s invisible behind the bar and she’s left the Towers before they arrive in the morning. It wasn’t always like that, there was a time when Tanner’s customers would smile at her, share a story and buy her a drink.  She wouldn’t swap her 3 kids to get those leery smiles back, though she’d like to be seen again.

Cathy enjoys polishing the glass on office workers’ family photographs, it reminds her of her own very special family.  Derek is due to be released in 6 months, they’ll all be together again. Well, not that they actually get to spend much time together in-between day jobs, night jobs and school.  Cathy get’s a couple of waking hours with the kids each day, just after and just before bedtime – when they’re grumpiest.

By 7am Cathy’s shift is over, the worn carpets are clean, the toilets are sparkling and the window sills wiped.  Cathy stays for a chat with the receptionists Laurel and Hannah before hurrying home to her waking family.  Laurel and Hannah tell Cathy that ‘Odd Jenny’ (who cleans the odd-numbered floors) has complained again. Jenny’s threatening to walk out because someone’s put a cistern-cleaning block in one of the ladies toilets. Seriously!  They had to email the whole building to ask them not to do their own cleaning in-case Odd Jenny buggers off.


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mixing it

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Tea supplied in China mugsDoreen is carrying a tray of drinks. The eclectic cups on her tray are carefully arranged by size and shape. She walks in a regular pattern counter-clockwise around the main conference room placing cups equidistant on tables as she circulates. Doreen focussed on her task, avoiding eye contact with the other guests, she seems happy in her organisation. The people in the conference room take the cups from where she’s placed them, drink and talk amongst themselves about Jack’s fortune.

It’s Jack’s last day, he’s got a new job with a city based corporation, replacing the family atmosphere of Heidelberg Towers with the sleek smooth corporate image and a crowded city commuter train. Everyone’s sad to loose Jack’s effervescence, but glad that he’s moving onto somewhere warm and shiny.

Hannah will really miss Jack’s morning chatter, she arranged this little soiree with an email sent to everyone in the building:

Leaving drinks – please circulate

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premature enthusiation

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Tacoma Water Tower on buildingLaurel and Hannah bought life to the otherwise corporate looking veneer of the crumbling reception space in Heidelberg Towers innovation centre. Heidelberg towers isn’t so towersome. It’s only 6 floors. But that’s towering in this town. All the local low-rise thatched housing was destroyed by a fire back in the 19th century. The town was rebuilt with fancy tiled roofs on new brick houses that were all of 2 stories high.  The tower was anticipatingly named after the town they tried to twin with. Despite this show of good will, Heidelberg somehow escaped the full twinning experience.

Laurel and Hannah greet the tower-inhabiting staff in the mornings as they dribble into the building.  Smiles and witty comments about smart attire, weather, or both are fired at the arrivals. Doreen, the accountant, like a rabbit caught in headlights keeps eye contact as she shuffles sideways briefly before darting into a side corridor. Jack, the telephone support operative, strides up to the reception desk cheerfully, chatting about the events of the night before. He’s raising his mood in readiness to absorb the tearful onslaught of phone-calls to come.

The floor 6 inhabitants are ‘hot desking‘ small businesses and sole-traders. They get the premium business address of Hiedleberg Towers, receptionist services and a chilly hot desk for a bargain rent. Hotdesk? No-one can remember the heating on the 6th floor working. Ben, IS building maintenance. He’s tapped every radiator and tutted knowingly on an annual basis. Ben bleeds the radiators. Like using leeches to bleed away illnesses, the bled radiators show no sign of improvement. The 6th floor staff wear ear-mufflers to cover the sound of their desk fan-heaters. The whirr heralds the arrival of winter. Then, one auspicious day, Hannah sends an email from reception entitled:

heating works

Excitement ripples across floor 6 as earmufflers are removed and staff gravitate, hands and ears outstretched, towards the radiators. But no heat! The email lied! If they’d read the contents they’d’ve discovered that ‘heating works’ are being planned to improve the heating. False alarm, another earmuffled winter will rumble on.


premature enthusiation
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