The madness is spilling over.. my professional life. People at work worry when they get mails like the one I sent Friday afternoon (I’m OK but you know how my humour gets when I’m jaded): For those with phones who might struggle with the tiny writing I have added the text at the bottom!


BTW I ended up organising balance calibrations for the site 14 years and a promotion ago but I can’t seem to ditch the job. Don’t mind really – if you want a job doing right, do it yourself!



FAO lab balances users/owners, though anyone else can feel free to read it if you are having a slow day, or you could just take off home instead. I would.

Bill and Sam from PBS have completed the balance service and calibration. Amazingly they didn’t find any new ones I didn’t know about this year. But they (and I) did fail to find a couple that were done last year. These belonged to the usual mischievous suspects who seem to delight in moving balances around just to keep me on my toes. Given I have separate injuries to both knees this week I really appreciated the extra exercise searching the place – cheers for that.

I last saw the PBS boys heading off to Windermere. I am assuming they got there and safely home afterwards but I have not heard from them since. At some point today or Monday (if the lads are not at the bottom of the lake or have been eaten by the Cumbrian natives or seduced by a couple of sheep) I expect to get the visit report and a link to download the certificates. I’ll be back when that has been done. Don’t get over-excited waiting please. I’m agog with anticipation enough for all of us. Honest.

I do have a couple of points about individual balances (they are, in Bill’s Geordie technical parlance, ‘knackered, man’) but will contact their owners with the bad news separately so they do not have to grieve in public.

So – to next year. Bill will have retired (he has looked after our balances for 13 years) and expects to hand over to Sam. I mention Bill’s retirement only because I am green with envy.

It is time for an overhaul of the balances list. We have two levels of calibration: The full ISO17025 certificate calibration for the accredited labs, and a simpler and less expensive ‘traceability certificate’ to comply with ISO9001 for the rest.

There are a number of balances that get the full ISO17025 calibration needlessly (in my opinion). The radioecology labs have relinquished their accreditation so no longer really need this level of calibration. There are also a few balances on B floor (B71 and B77) and in the SSU which I don’t think really merit this level of calibration either. Dropping these to simply ‘Traceability certificate’ would reduce the number of ISO17025 balances from 26 to 12!

This would reduce time and cost and also help reduce the pile of pointless sh..  administrative fun that makes me look joyfully forward to being here each day.

If anyone has any objections to the plan to reduce the calibration level for these balances then please say so. If not then I will adjust the list for next year.

TFI Friday.





    1. Awkward? Maybe. It got a lot of replies from people who loved the humour so it was worth it. Unsurprisingly the first three people to reply were my friend Jacky and our two welfare advisors….closely followed by our health and safety advisor. They all loved the humour but wanted to check I was ok 😀😉

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I think it’s hilarious and I certainly wouldn’t mind receiving such an e-mail. In fact, I wish my colleagues were as funny as you. But I have to admit that it’s kind of impossible considering our boss’ lack of sense of humour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! It makes people read things and helps get the message across. I always have a legitimate reason to send site-wide emails and don’t send out ‘funnies’ just for the sake of it. If the humour makes people pay attention then so much the better. Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to work for a company where using humor was considered a deadly sin.
    A colleague always send out Friday funnies. The kind of jokes you’d see in a Donald Duck magazine.
    Our manager though it was funny, but the manager of HIS manager, did not approve. She got a very firm warning.

    Your joke is very funny! And I am so happy that you work in a free spirit company.
    Luckily, I do too now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Andrea 🙂

      I’m not sure I could work somewhere humourless. I suspect I would still find a way 😉
      The only time I have ever been to the work Christmas party (20 years ago) I was (physically) dragged there by our director’s secretary and a friend as they had arranged for our director to present me with a prize for ‘The Most Politically Incorrect e-mail of the Year’. I am actually still amazed I even got away with that e-mail, let alone got a prize for it!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Haha, that’s fun! I would have loved to get work email updates like that. 😆

    Sadly, being in a multinational company means I have to be “professional” (grim and humourless) in my emails. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would go mad. Thankfully I can usually find the right approach that gets a laugh but gets a message across. My head of site has praised my professionalism in every appraisal for years so I must be doing something right 😉😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great! From someone who has been ISO’d a lot and has ISO’d others, I certainly feel bad for you. There are few worse things than a knackered balance in the ISO world and I hope the owners were allowed to have a suitable mourning period before they were encouraged to pair off with a new, younger balance. A trophy balance, if you will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The badly knackered one was born in 1979 and is, apparently, ‘ancient’. Having been born in 1966 you can imagine how old this made ME feel! I am told if we replace it with a sexy new model we won’t get so long out of it. What, exactly, have they forgotten about making balances? 😀😀

      Liked by 1 person

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