If you’ve never come across Very British Problems then prepare to not get any work done for the rest of the day. We can’t get enough of Rob Temple and the way he manages to capture the unique perspective that our countrymen and women have on life and reduce it to one-liners that are universally funny.
Here are a few of our favourites…
Switching from ‘kind regards’ to ‘regards’ as a warning that you’re dangerously close to losing your temper.
Ah, the passive aggressive email sign off. We know it well. And may have used it on occasion ourselves. Brits are polite; we just can’t help it. Even if we’re quite seriously naffed off.
“We should really start thinking about making a move” – Translation: We’ve been trying to leave for many hours
This, this and a thousand times this. Especially at the end of an impossibly long meeting. Or afternoon tea with an elderly relative. If your other half utters these words, even if their tone is relaxed, check their eyes – you’ll almost certainly see “get me out of here now!” burning deeply within them, in which case you really do need to make that move.
Trains delayed due to:
– Wrong kind of sun
– Ominous cloud
– Slightly damp leaf
– Chilly track
– Suspicious gravel
– Sarcastic swan
“Could I just grab you for two secs?”
I’m literally holding a sandwich to my face, please go away until the sandwich is gone.
Sandwiches are important, they should not be interrupted. Also, reducing the word ‘seconds’ to ‘secs’ is awkward. Especially when combined with the verb ‘grab’.
“Let’s agree to disagree.” Translation: You’re wrong, but I’m tired.
We Brits don’t like argue to much. I mean, it’s all terribly awkward, isn’t it, conflict. And no one likes a stalemate. Far better to whip out this truce card, even if we both know what it really means.
How to exit a window seat:
– Lean forward
– Gently touch headrest or bag
– Whisper “sorry”
– If procedure fails, stay on train forever
We once ended up in Cornwall because the lady in the aisle seat was asleep. Note to self: always avoid the window seat where possible.
And here are a few of our own…
Muttering vague apologies about allergies and dust mites when asked to retrieve something from the archive room.
Well, archive rooms are scary. They’re where paper, moths and dreams go to die. Thankfully, we don’t actually have this problem ourselves – our storage warehouse is clean, temperature controlled and neatly filled with barcoded boxes so we can always find what we’re looking for without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs.
Looking around in blank terror when your boss asks you to scan something and email it to a client.
Seriously, photocopiers have gotten really sophisticated in recent years. Which is great, obviously, but it does mean that you need a specialist NVQ to figure out which buttons to press if you want anything more complex than a mono copy of a single sided document. Luckily, we’re sort of geeky about copiers and scanners and such like. Why not let us handle it, hey? You go have a nice cup of tea.
Needing an important file that only Marjorie can find, the very moment Marjorie clocks out for a two week walking holiday in the Lake District.
And Marjorie is not the kind of person who takes a mobile phone with her on a country ramble. We’ve heard this kind of sad tale on so many occasions. Although not from our clients. Their records are safely stored with us and we can get them a scanned, copied or original version pretty much instantly, even if it is the summer holidays. Worth thinking about.
The meditative effect of feeding confidential waste into the shredder… followed by the moment of fear as you remember that episode of Silent Witness when they managed to piece the strips back together and get the bad guy.
Not all shredders are created equal. Ours cross shred, making confetti rather than strips. And then we pulp the confetti, so you literally couldn’t piece it back together if you tried. Clever, right?