Back in the 90s my wife and I, very, unusually, attended an evening out with many of my work colleagues. Including our IT guys. We went largely because it was in our favourite Chinese restaurant.

During the meal it transpired that one of the IT guys did not know that the ‘Crispy Seaweed’ on the menu is actually made from cabbage or similar and is not actual seaweed at all. His colleagues made fun of him but we kept quiet. However, the following Monday morning he arrived at work to find a large box of freshly collected real seaweed on his desk. It took him and his colleagues a couple of days to work out that I was the culprit, and also that I had popped in with it on the Sunday and left it next to a radiator for 24 hours so they could appreciate the aroma in their office to its full extent…

They got their revenge later that summer:

In those days one of my work roles (I seem to collect them) was site photographer. Mostly this involved taking (polaroid!) photos of new starters for their ID badges. The first day for any new staff member involved an invitation to the darkroom in the cellar with me….

Anyway. One day I decided to have a clearout of old photographic kit. In a cupboard were five 1960s cameras made in Leningrad. Brand new and still in their boxes. Goodness knows how they found their way to a cellar in the English Lake District 30 years later.

I sent out a site-wide email advertising them as free to a good home. They all went within an hour. Then I got a call from IT. Allan said “You had better pop over and look at this”. I went to their office and they showed me on one of their PC screens an ebay sale in which the bidding for an identical camera was standing at over £1000…

I went back to my office in a slight panic. I had just given away£5000 of, technically, public property.

Another hour goes by. Another call. “ I don’t know how to tell you this but the bidding has reached £2600 pounds!”

30 minutes later I have my head in my hands when my phone rings again. Allan confesses that they had obtained one of the given away cameras and taken a picture of it and made a FAKE ebay page, just to stitch me up.

I was so speechless with admiration I could not possibly be angry!

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17 thoughts on “Guest in Jest #39 The Arty Plantsman

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