Posts Tagged ‘colleagues’

EPISODE 374: a single hole in the centre of the face

June 6, 2019

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Greetings, listeners! If you’ve ever wondered how jellyfish eat, shit and fuck, we’ve taken the hit to our search histories to illuminate you in Answer Me This! Episode 374. We also discuss:

microwave cookery
confirmation of the Buckingham Palace in-house (in-palace?) cinema
post-chemo hairdos
Eddie Izzard vs Gerard Butler
many Michaels
green screens vs blue screens vs yellow screens
death by Babybel
sea monkey soup
mug cakes
brownie points
Helen’s gash
Disney’s Spaceship Earth
and
the contents of Ryvita.

In this month’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices – Olly expresses his wish for an in-house jellyquarium. As long as the jellyfish don’t watch him sleep.

Olly’s other podcast The Modern Mann is back with a new series, and an episode containing New York japes and aerial gymnastics. Find it at modernmann.co.uk – and catch up on the news that you haven’t heard much about on his other other podcast The Week Unwrapped.

Helen and Martin are on tour of Australia with an all new Allusionist live extravaganza! Visit theallusionist.org/events for listings – extra dates have just been added in Adelaide and Melbourne. And wherever you are in the world, 100 – one hundred!! – episodes of The Allusionist await at theallusionist.org for your listening pleasure.

Sing along to Martin the Sound Man’s gap year diary of songs: his new 40-track mega album The Year of the Bird, complete with illustrations and diaries about each song, is being released at palebirdmusic.com.

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, with which you can easily and quickly set up a good-looking website for your projects, eg your terrifying experiments in fusion food. Visit squarespace.com/answer and get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with the discount code ‘answer‘.

And go behind the money curtain to get AMT episodes 1-200 and our special albums, Sports Day, Holiday, Jubilee, Love and Christmas. OK, maybe wait a few months for Christmas. But this month, Sports Day goes well with the Wimblesport.

For the rest of this month, AMT listeners in the UK can get a free trial of Audible at answermethispodcast.com/audible – or, if you’ve had such a thing before, you can get a spell of half price membership! And remember: 1. for each of you that takes up the trial, Audible gives us a little bit of money, even when you cancel without paying a thing; 2. you can keep your free audiobooks forever.

As ever, we want your QUESTIONS: send them, in writing or as voice recordings, to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. (Also the email address to which you can send your requests for us to do the voiceovers on the theme park rides you’re building.)

Be our interfriend at twitter.com/HelenAndOlly and facebook.com/answermethis.

We’ll be back with AMT375 on 4 July, and there’ll be a Retro AMT episode in your feeds on 20 June.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT374 Child-Friendly Rating: 66% . Pretty good until the last few minutes, when there’s a discussion of how jellyfish fuck. •••

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EPISODE 364: intimate scrubbing

August 2, 2018

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Apologies for the unscheduled absence of a fresh episode in July, listeners: Helen’s neck had other plans for the past few weeks. But hooray, Helen is out of hospital and all new Answer Me This! Episode 364 is here! WARNING: there’s a bit of Medical Stuff in the first few minutes of this episode, so if you’re sensitive to that, skip to the 4-minute mark, after which you can hear about:

Paw Patrol vs the football World Cup
post-swim communal shower etiquette
cosmetology
Cast Away
jesters’ staffs
cranberry farming
lost birthday presents
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
and
an inflated bladder on a stick.

There is more cranberry-chat in today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices. We discover a previous, more ferocious name for the fruit, and reminisce about The Delia Effect (not a euphemism for a UTI or the soothing thereof with cranberry juice).

Check in with our other work: Olly hosts The Modern Mann; and Helen and Martin are performing the Allusionist live show on stages in the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada this autumn – check where and when at theallusionist.org/events.

Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring the show, and for making it so easy to set up a good-looking website for your projects. Visit squarespace.com/answer and get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with the discount code ‘answer‘.

The Bluffers’ Guides are back! Rapidly become passingly well-informed in subjects from cats to fishing to social media to wine at bluffers.com.

Send us your QUESTIONS: any time, deliver a voice memo or a written question by emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. You can still use the old ways of calling the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, but a lot of those messages haven’t been reaching us lately. So emailing a voice memo is the safer bet.

Be our interfriend at twitter.com/HelenAndOlly and facebook.com/answermethis.

We’ll be back with AMT365 on 6 September 2018, and there’ll be a Retro AMT episode in your feeds on 23 August.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT364 Child-Friendly Rating: 71%. No smut, but quite a few swears. •••

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EPISODE 358: beautiful woman, sexual metaphor, slapstick.

January 4, 2018

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It’s AMT’s 11th birthday! To celebrate, we can’t replicate how Olly spent his own 11th birthday, at Cody’s Tex-Mex restaurant in Stevenage, because it closed down. So instead we’ve made some mild-to-moderate life changes – hear all about them Answer Me This! Episode 358, in which we also consider:

Nicole Scherzinger’s rancid yoghurt-nose
chutney WHY WHY WHY
goldfish as gifts
glass coffins
dairy for ditzes
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Forty Dragons
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Scant Plot
the price of gold pens
jamnesty
kalettes
piranha ribs
hot tubs vs hot pot
and
Olly Mannhood.

Should we be flattered that some of you have named your sexy body parts after us? Is it some kind of ultra-effective contraceptive? Because if you need a libido-killer, you’ve really invented a great one.

Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices – contains some listener suggestions for David who complained in episode 355 that strangers won’t leave him alone because his dog is too cute. David should have looked for tips in the documentary about the making of Moonwalker! It’s OBVIOUS!

You still have a couple of weeks to get our most recent Retro AMT, the Best of 2010 part 1 – a good year! For AMT japes, anyway. All our Best Of compilations, as well as episodes 1-200 and our five special albums, are available to buy from the AMT store.

Thanks to today’s sponsors: first direct, whose online banking services you can find at firstdirect.com; and those stalwarts of podcast support Squarespace. Have a go during the two-week free trial, then get 10% off Squarespace’s website-hosting and -designing services for a whole year with the discount code ‘answer‘.

Send us your QUESTIONS for AMT in 2018: send us a voice memo or a written question by emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. You can still use the old ways of calling the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, but a lot of those messages haven’t been reaching us lately, and we hate to think of your intriguing witty questions being lost to us.

Be our interfriend at twitter.com/HelenAndOlly and facebook.com/answermethis.

We’ll be back with AMT359 on 1 February 2018, and with a Retro AMT episode on 18 January. And if you’re in or near San Francisco on 12 January, get a ticket HERE to see Helen and Martin at SF Sketchfest.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT358 Child-Friendly Rating: 38%. Mostly ok, but the question about naming your genitals after us might traumatise your innocent offspring forever. •••

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fancy dress: the annual shit parade

October 28, 2015

These are probably going to be too small, TBH.

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT325

This time every year, we get questions about costumes. My preferred Halloween costume is ‘staying home’, but if you’re into this stuff, please do leap into the comments to advise these questioneers. We open with B in Seattle:

I work in a small office with six other people. Not by choice, I’ve apparently taken on the role of Human Resources (in addition to several other titles). I have zero HR experience. One of my colleagues has come to office in the past dressed as Aunt Jemima for Halloween. The problem is, she is white and completed the ensemble with black face. (more…)

EPISODE 316: God’s packaging

June 11, 2015

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In Answer Me This! Episode 316, we have two very different questions concerning overpreparation for death. We also have:

cobbler problems
quinoa
wedding +1s
retirement climates
free salad vs free prawn crackers
cat shit vs cat sick
Mike Oldfield
Metallica Monopoly
soiled lost property
and
popular onions.

Plus: Olly will go on a cruise, as long as it’s free; Helen’s first musical memory is of a cool saboteur; and Martin the Sound Man wants you to slice your own apples and peel your own bananas, you big babies.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iStuff, Android and Windows devices), we continue AMT315‘s discussion of facial hair, and at long last hit on the format that’ll make Olly and Martin into YouTube stars. Or might have, ten years ago.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘ANSWER‘. If you’ve ever wanted to launch your own website/podcast/blog/online gallery, deploy the code and GET ON WITH IT.

Get on with sending us questions, too: leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And commune with us between episodes at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

AMT317 will appear on 25th June 2015. Mark your calendars.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT316 Child-Friendly Rating: 87%. Minimal bawdy talk; just some sweaty undergarments, nothing alarming. A sprinkle of B-grade swears. •••

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EPISODE 314: respect the pine cones

May 14, 2015

Have you ever nicked a little something to remind you of a holiday? We’ve got a nice china cup pinched from a plane and YOU’LL NEVER TAKE US ALIVE, BRITISH AIRWAYS. What’s yours? One listener’s stolen souvenir came with fond memories and twenty years of guilt. Find out what and why in Answer Me This! Episode 314:

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Today we tackle:

tinfoil hats
dumping your training-buddy
same-sex kisses
concierges
Kendal Mint Cake vs transubstantiation
royal tins of travel sweets vs the unstoppable march of time
stealing from castles vs pissing in a stream
the silent film Wings
a Milton Keynes-themed bar
heritage crime
The Grand Budapest Hotel IRL
mummy and daddy
1995
and
giraffe heads.

Plus: though Olly prefers men to machines, he would prefer men to act like machines; Helen wouldn’t tune into a livestream of Princess Middleton giving birth; and Martin the Sound Man doesn’t have high hopes for his fellow academics on the ski slopes, unless the hopes are for a mild sprain rather than a broken arm.

As an addendum to the question about same sex kisses in films, today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iThings, Android and Windows devices) concerns the lost lesbians of Love Actually. Yes, they actually left material OUT of that sprawling collage of human emotions.

Share YOUR human emotions by sending us questions. Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And join the virtual cuddle-party at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘ANSWER‘. Generous!

We’ll return on 28th May 2015 with AMT315, prepare your tinfoil headphones.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT314 Child-Friendly Rating: 85%. Content clean. Swearing inventory: 2x ‘fuck’, 1x ‘shit’. 5% is deducted for each. •••

Martin the Sound Man sports a tinfoil hat at AMT100

Martin the Sound Man sports a tinfoil hat at AMT100

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EPISODE 306: sitting down is the new smoking

January 22, 2015

Fire up your podblasters; Answer Me This! Episode 306 has arrived:

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Today we consider:

Ainsley Harriott
Extreme Wink Murder
standing desks
Britney Spears’s haircare range
Barry Norman’s pickled onions
Paul Simon’s chicken and eggs
yellow dusters
skateboarding and similar activities
having ‘a bit of fun’ on Tinder
and
Chicken Kiev.

Plus: Olly’s madeleine is the Bernard Matthews Mini Kiev; Helen is sitting all the way to skating glory; and Martin the Sound Man preaches discretion when encountering colleagues on Tinder. Got something to confess, Martin?

Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is another Stanley Mann Special, this time how he’s way ahead of his time with fashion trends. Full of surprises, that Mann. Hear on your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets.

We welcome your questions with open arms and legs. Ask them by leaving voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or sending emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Do not bother to ask them via facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly, because we might forget about them when it comes to the fortnightly question-harvest; but we do love to hear from you there nonetheless.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. WHERE’S THE ALL THE SHIT HIDING??? WHERE IS IT, I ASK YOU? Nowhere! No shit there at all! If only all of life were more like shitless Squarespace…

We’ll be back with AMT307 on 5th February, return then.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT306 Child-Friendly Rating: 47%. Quite a few swears. Some crudity towards the end, involving One Direction’s bodily fluids, polishing wood, and Tinder. •••

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workmates

January 7, 2015

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Here’s an email from Joe that must have got lost on its way to Penthouse Forum:

Do you think that Vanna and Pat ever had sex with each other?

I’m a fairly handsome and charming man and whenever I work closely with a woman, we end up having sex at least once. There’s something about working together and building a rapport that, in my experience, make banging each other a foregone conclusion. So long as she’s somewhat attractive, this is going to happen.

What’s worse, I’m in the army surrounded by men and this never fails to happen when I work with a female lieutenant.

I know Vanna married someone else, but since they’ve been working together for decades, surely she’s at least tossed him off.

I don’t know Vanna or Pat. But I do know that in eight years of working together and building a rapport, Olly and I have succeeded in never having sex or tossing each other off. You may not believe us, Joe, but this was not in the least challenging. So maybe Vanna and Pat also managed to keep it professional.

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what a shower

April 10, 2014

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vagcake

Party poopers in the house toniiiiiite! Caitlin in Los Angeles, California don’t wanna have a good tiiiime! And frankly we agree with her:

I work in an office that has an unofficial celebration protocol: a group of eager party planners toss up some decorations in the meeting room, lure in the guest of honor, attendees muster a weak “surprise” and we all have brief and awkward conversation while enjoying pizza and cake until it’s back to work. Retirements, promotions, farewells, and baby-showers are handed this way. Repetitive, but fairly harmless and includes pizza.

When my supervisor became pregnant with her first child she immediately told everyone she did not want a baby shower under any circumstance. The very idea of sitting in front of coworkers as they stared at her pregnant belly made her painfully anxious. Fawning over baby-related gifts and embarrassing party games made her physically ill. And she was uncomfortable being given gifts by the people she supervises. She made me promise that, if anybody was trying to plan a baby shower, I would try to stop it and tell her. Thinking nothing of it, I agreed immediately and went back to business as usual.

Then I got a baby-shower e-vite in my work inbox. It announced a “secret” baby shower for my supervisor. I was aghast they would blatantly ignore her wishes this way. Unfortunately (but also to my relief), she had to take an early leave for bed rest. Problem solved.

Fast forward to now: she is pregnant again and the same series of events are repeating themselves: she insists to all who will listen there will be no baby shower. An urgent plea for me to tell her if our coworkers are conspiring. And another e-vite alerting people to a “secret” baby shower has recently arrived in my inbox.

I emailed the party planners and reminded them of her wishes. I suggested we plan a non-surprise party WITH our supervisor – no gifts, no games. Just food, conversation, and on with our lives. If people really wanted to give a gift, perhaps we donate to a charity in the future daughter’s name. It seemed like a good idea to me. This way, everyone gets a party and my supervisor is not miserable.

My idea was shot down completely within ten minutes. My supervisor’s supervisor, who she has told NUMEROUS times her feelings, wrote that he thinks the party should be left the way it was planned. He wrote that he felt “she will be happy and grateful. She works really hard and deserves this from us.” Everyone else agreed.

So I am back where I started two years ago: do I tell my supervisor and risk the wrath of my coworkers should she put a stop to it? Or do I leave my supervisor to the baby shower planning wolves and risk a breach of trust?

Oh noble Caitlin, your guilt is palpable even though you have done your best. Readers, guide her action with your vote:

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ding dong the bitch is (nearly) gone

January 29, 2014

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It’s not just Cupcake Lady who has a problem colleague. Jennifer in Dublin is similarly afflicted:

In my job, it’s always up to me to arrange cards and collections when someone is leaving. It’s not actually in my job description, but being the general office skivvy it’s an unspoken rule that I do it (and I HATE it).

In a few weeks one woman who’s been here for a few months on a temporary transfer from another department is leaving. This woman is possibly the rudest, most ignorant person I have ever met. As well as being terrible at her job, she thinks she’s above everyone else, constantly loses and damages equipment and has even been rude to the boss. It’s like she’s in another world and just will not listen to anyone else. In retrospect, the other department probably encouraged this transfer to get rid of her.

So answer me this: do I arrange her leaving card and present even though I hate her and she’s been personally rude to me? Why should I do a nice thing for someone who makes my job more difficult?

Another twist in this dilemma is that her last day is also MY last day. Should I just do nothing and hope that whoever arranges my card and present does one for her too? That is presuming that someone does arrange one for me…

As I have largely worked on my own throughout my career, I need you office-dwelling readers to help out Jennifer in the comments.

But, in the spirit of altruism, I think you should sort out her card and present. It doesn’t have to be a particularly good one – eg if the usual office expenditure per present is £25, get her a cut price box of Black Magic – but try to rise above her human follies. Although you can’t stop people writing ‘FUCK OFF AND DIE! xx Michelle’ in the card. And by ‘can’t’, I mean ‘needn’t bother’.

Regarding your own departure: my poor old father-in-law was similarly the birthday/leaving celebration organiser, so of course when it was his own landmark birthday, his colleagues totally shat the bed and forgot. He was, rightly, not pleased. To avoid your own disappointment, therefore, start dropping heavy hints to some of your colleagues with whom you’re friendly. And when you’re touting around the card and collection plate for your office nemesis, you could even mention to everyone in turn that as you’re leaving, the next card and collection will have to be done by somebody else. You could even jovially remark, “And as I’m leaving on the same day as this bitch, that collection will be for me! So you’d better dig deep, hey?” OK, that has leapt clean over the boundaries of Hint and landed smack bang in Blatant Instruction, but how often do hints work? Will hints go out and buy your leaving present? Will hints console you in three years’ time when you’re still stewing about not getting a leaving card? Screw hints! Life’s too short for hints. In fact, send around a pan-office memo right now demanding a high-value present be supplied to you by 4pm on your final day. BECOME the office bitch.

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EPISODE 271 – ampersand ampersand tonic

September 12, 2013

Good day, listeners,

Today we learn why all those people believe Elvis to be alive, whereas they don’t feign such confidence over the likes of, say, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Mozart… Put on your white jumpsuit and conspiracy theorising hat, and get stuck into Answer Me This! Episode 271:

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In which we also ponder:

office nemeses
servants
panpipes
table tennis bats
cupcake wars (interpersonal ones, not the tv show of the same name)
Red Or Black vs Ant Or Dec
the parliamentary mace vs Geoff Hoon
The Flaming Et Cetera
and
the National Enquirer.

Furthermore! Of course Olly loves the sound of his own voice, but only in solitude; sure, Helen can bake, but it’s nothing really (on the other hand, talking shit every week is high art); and Martin the Sound Man posits that not only is Elvis not alive now, he was also not alive during most of his life. You still following?

In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) Helen wonders how a duck foetus ends up in a glass of champagne on a tasting menu – and moreover why anybody would think that is a suitable first date drink.

Also not suitable for a first date, but perfectly suitable for most other times, is sending us your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

See you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

AMT271 Child-Friendly Rating: 88%. Opens with an email about Consenting Adults’ Bedsports, but other than that, very clean, even swear-wise.

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team-building pole dancing

June 13, 2013

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The following question from Kev wouldn’t be too weird if he worked in a strip joint. But, he doesn’t:

I recently started working at a call centre for a bank. I am nearing the end of my training, and a couple of days ago I met with the team I am to join, and my prospective manager. They all seem perfectly likeable, and my manager – a woman in her mid-forties – is very welcoming. But during this brief meeting she announced that she plans to organise a day of pole dancing for the group, which I do not like the sound of at all.

I realise that in the corporate world this kind of thing is important for team building etc, and as a new member of the team I could perhaps benefit from an event at which I would have a chance to socialise with my future colleagues, but I simply do not want to go. I don’t like doing even vaguely work-related things outside of work as this is not a career I wish to be in for a long time and there are things that I am passionate about that I could be doing with my spare time. I also think that either watching or doing pole dancing sounds completely boring; not because I am a man, but because it’s just not my thing.

I tried to find out when it was to make up a prior engagement, but I was told that the date of the event is yet to be decided based on our schedules.

So, answer me this: What do I do? Do I make up a weak and potentially transparent excuse and not go? Do I go, and have a very uncomfortable, unpaid day constantly thinking about what else I could be doing with my time? Or do I outright and honestly tell my manager that I do not want to go as I don’t think I would enjoy it or get much out of it? Would that result in her making my life at work harder than it needs to be?

Even though we discussed in AMT221 how pole dancing can be an athletic discipline rather than a purely sexy one, this does not seem to be an APPROPRIATE WORK ACTIVITY. Can you suggest an alternative?

If not, and you’re determined not to go, just tell her you have a long-standing spinal or muscular complaint. Pole dancing is physically demanding, and your manager is unlikely to want you to be laid off work with a slipped disc.

Readers, any other ideas? I’m not best placed to help, since I’ve managed to get myself out of all such situations by working on my own since 2005.

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