Chimpton and I worked for the Birkenhead branch of e4A which became a little too successful too quickly. We used to take referrals from the Job Centre of long-term unemployed adults who had some kind of barrier to returning to work. It was our job, through training or work experience, to remove these barriers and get people the experience or qualification they required to help them return to work. The only problem was e4A didn’t want to spend any money doing so.
I say we were too successful because Birkenhead was a hotbed of long-term unemployed at the time and so we ended up with hundreds of clients on our books. Each week Chimpton and I had to fill in timesheets for everyone. This was gruelling work having to fill these timesheets in by hand and by the end of the day I had done that much handwriting that I used to have the worst case of wanker’s cramp imaginable.
Something needed to be done.
So I devised a simple database and print-template which each week would print out the timesheets for all our clients and all they had to do was add the starting and ending time for each day and sign it. It saved us a great deal of time and cured my wanker’s cramp, all in one fell swoop.
The next thing you know, the Liverpool branch manager pinched the idea and told our head-office all about it. I was immediately drafted onto a head-office working group who were looking at timesheets across the country in an effort to prevent other members of staff from contracting wanker’s cramp or repetitive strain injury – take your choice.
Eventually – I say eventually because I have seen prehistoric glaciers move more quickly – a new method of completing timesheets was developed and rolled out across the country. Anthony Cadilac (does anyone remember him and his pinkie ring?), asked if I would go down to Salford, where he was manager, and give them a hand rolling out the new system.
I was happy to oblige and went and met Roy, (it’s taken a while to get round to Roy, hasn’t it?) who was the person responsible for timesheets in Salford. Upon arrival, I was amazed to discover that not only was Roy blind but he had a Guide Dog named Honey who was happily snoozing under Roy’s desk. Now you had to have your wits about you filling these timesheets in because you had to make sure the correct hours were filled in and that the client had actually been where he said he had been on the timesheet. How Roy – or Honey, for that matter – was going to achieve this was beyond me. But mine was not to reason why…
I spent the afternoon with Roy explaining how the new system worked and helped him start setting up the database of clients ready to print out the timesheets at the end of the week. Roy grasped he system pretty quickly and was quite nifty on a computer using narrator software to overcome his disability. He said he was going to stay behind after work that night and make sure the system was ready to go for the next day. I made plans to return the next morning and see how it was going and iron out any teething problems.
For once, all was going well.
The next morning I returned to Salford to be met with accusing eyes. A big turd had been found underneath Roy’s desk and the three main suspects for the heinous crime where Roy, Honey and ME!
I immediately declared my innocence and explained that Roy and Honey were still in the building at the time of my departure the night before. Not wanting to give any family secrets away, but when I take a dump, windows need to be opened and as an extra precaution, it is best if members of the Royal Ordnance Bomb Disposal Teams are on standby.
I was the innocent party – if no one had smelt it, then I hadn’t dealt it!
Roy laughed the whole thing off saying that it wasn’t him or me but was obviously the dog. Also he said he felt guilty about it because he had a cold and so hadn’t smelt it the night before and so hadn’t cleaned up Honey’s little accident.
Honey just kept quiet and said nothing.
However, this was not the end of the story. Later on that day one of Salford’s clients came up to me and said there was no way it was a dog turd under the desk and furthermore, he had a theory. The building they were in was closed and locked up at 5pm and this included the toilets. When Roy stayed late the night before he would not have had access to the toilets. He had keys to let himself out of the building but did not have keys to the toilets. So the Salford client maintained that Roy had been taken short, needed the toilet and just thought sod it, leave it there and let Honey take the blame the next morning!
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen or the jury, this concludes all the evidence before you. It is now your job to decide upon a verdict.
Who did the dastardly deed under Roy’s desk?