Posted by sean on February 19, 2020 at 9:35 am in Confessions with No Comments

This is the second of five confessions, which after many years, I have decided to finally come clean about and tell you all.

My previous confession occurred 27 years ago. While this latest one isn’t quite as old as that, it still occured a long time ago.

Besides being closer to the modern day, this second confession also has one major difference to the first – I have changed the names of all involved. This is because I still remain in contact with one or more of them – although this may not necessarily be in a professional capacity.

The way I am building up this story, you would be forgiven for expecting a tale of murder, or at least a bank heist. If this is the case, then sadly you are going to be very disappointed. Think burst ink cartridge in the bogs (Confession #1) and you’ll be close to the severity of the crime…


Across the course of my career, I’ve generally enjoyed my jobs and going to work. Like most of my colleagues, past and present, I feel that I work hard, but also find the time to have a laugh, without going too far.

Even a goody-two-shoes like me can overstep the mark from time to time, and while no damage was caused by my naughtiness, there could have been.

Ollie had a temper on him. There have been many folk tales of him exploding with rage and damaging equipment and threatening to damage colleagues. Luckily I think these threats to members of staff were just that. Threats.

I know that I am painting Ollie to be a right arsehole, but he was a genuinely good guy.


On a rare slow and boring afternoon, I was on the hunt for some work to do. If not work, something to provide me with a laugh and keep me entertained until home time.

I noticed Robin, looking equally fatigued and disinterested with the prospect of spending an afternoon in the office.

It was by chance that Robin and I spotted each other sharing the same dull expression. We also clocked sight of Ollie, engrossed in his work, looking very stressed and busy. It was at that moment, Robin and I decided to play a practical joke on Ollie.

We made this decision for two reasons…

1) Ollie had recently been getting unnecessary angry, so deserved it.
2) Ollie had recently been getting unnecessary angry, so causing him further fury would be hilarious. For us, at least.

I don’t know how the two of us decided upon the trick. I may have wheeled my office chair all the way to Robin’s desk, he may have approached mine.

Given my hazy memory of the event, we could have even emailed each other our plans – therefore exposing us as the perpetrators, to anyone with the ability to monitor user mailboxes.

Considering I was working within an IT Department at the time, there was an abundance of people with that level of access. You could say Robin and I were Bath’s Dumbest Non-Criminals.

Whether it was Robin or myself who instigated the trick is irrelevant. We both played an equal part and were jointly guilty of the crime that wasn’t a crime, that we were about to commit.

For the sake of this story, let me say that Robin made the first move, before I jumped in and inadvertently made things worse.

OK… are you ready to read about an atrocity so bad, that it has made it into my five greatest confessions, over the course of my 37 years on planet Earth?

Along with my colleague-cum-accomplice, I decided that it would be funny to shrink the size of Ollie’s mailbox, meaning that he would no longer have enough space on his account to store his emails, or send and receive any more.


Hilarious. Well, it would have been, had our joke gone to plan…

Robin did indeed lower the mailbox quota on Ollie’s account (get me with the technical jargon!). Ollie did indeed notice something was amiss and predictably exhibited rage. As a potty mouth would say, it was “funny as f**k”… for about three minutes.

As I have previously mentioned, an angry Ollie is a dangerous Ollie. It wouldn’t be unfair to compare him to an enraged male chimpanzee. A chimpanzee full of testosterone, feeling very territorial, and worst of all, one that has not had its morning cup of PG Tips.

Robin and I, fearing a little for our jobs, but more importantly our lives, decided that it would be best if we immediately restored Ollie’s mailbox to its former state. The error messages would then disappear, Ollie would assume there had been a glitch in the matrix, calm down and make us all a cup of tea. Coffee in my case.

The solution didn’t quite go to plan…

I accessed Ollie’s mailbox privileges and was able to successfully reverse the changes made by Robin. Hooray! Three cheers for me! Hip hip…

The problem was, that despite successfully granting Ollie lots more mailbox space, his damn computer failed to notice what I had done.

Basically, Microsoft Outlook instantly noticed and applied the changes, once Robin had LOWERED Ollie’s mailbox size, but when I INCREASED the quota, it didn’t want to know. It was almost as if the software was laughing at my worry and Ollie’s fury. Outlook is shit.

Totally oblivious to the fact that the mess was a result of two of his stupid colleagues messing around, Ollie rang Victor – a member of the network team.

Victor checked Ollie’s mailbox himself, and was naturally left very confused. Of course Victor was confused – everything would have looked absolutely fine. There was no indicator on the network, to state that two idiots had been pissing about!

By this point, Victor had left his office and arrived at ours. Probably to check that Ollie hadn’t done anything idiotic…

One thing that is commonplace with people who work in an IT Department, anywhere in the world, is that they believe somebody with less computer knowledge than them must be stupid. This prejudice extends to colleagues within the IT Department, as well as anyone outside of it.


Victor clearly – but unfairly – believed Ollie must have done something stupid, in order to shrink his own mailbox. Most likely, following a hyperlink within an email from a Nigerian prince, telling him that he had won the lottery.

Consumed by guilt and worry, I asked Victor what would happen in the event of somebody changing Ollie’s mailbox size, before switching it back.

I would make a terrible murderer, as I would give the game away before even being questioned by a police officer.

Victor told me that changing the mailbox size would be a very silly thing to do, but something which would correct itself by the morning.

He knew what I had done. It was clear that Victor knew. Luckily for me, he didn’t give a shiny turd.

While I was sweating with fear, in sharp contrast, Robin was chilled out – most likely munching his way through a packet of biscuits, while surfing the internet. There’s a joke about cookies there, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Ollie’s bubbling rage had now reduced to a luke warm annoyance. My guess is because his home time was fast approaching.

My worries continued throughout the evening. I wasn’t stupid. I didn’t need Victor to tell me that Ollie’s mailbox would be fixed by the morning. I knew it would.

That didn’t prevent me from having an evening meal, consisting of bitten fingernails. This, as well as spending hours searching the internet for websites confirming what I already knew – NOT TO PISS ABOUT WITH MAILBOX PRIVILEGES!


The next day everything was ok. The events of the previous afternoon weren’t even mentioned.

What was meant to be a light hearted and harmless joke, clearly backfired. The only person left affected by the incident was me – and not for the right reasons.

While I am sure that Ollie was pleased his email was working again, I was the happiest chappy in the department, when I realised everything was back to normal.

Posted by sean on February 4, 2020 at 12:28 pm in Confessions with No Comments

I thought that it was about time that I confessed to a number of sins, which I have committed over the years.

There are five in total, all of which will be explained in their own blog post.

You may or may not be pleased to learn that no humans or animals were harmed in any of my crimes.

So, without further ado, I will step foot into the confessions chamber and tell all about my first offence. I have waited over 27 years to admit to this one…

My final year of junior school was spread across two different schools in two separate cities.

After the first half term, in my final year before going to bigger boy school, I was moved from Bristol to Bath.

My new school was nice and I enjoyed it, despite having spent many years and being settled in BS7.

It is difficult for any child to make friends at a new school, especially if introduced midway through an academic year, into a group of pupils who have known each other for most of their lives.

Despite effectively arriving late to the party, I still managed to make a small number of close-knit friends.

One of these new comrades was a boy named Lee. Like me, Lee wasn’t one of the loud, boisterous children, but was never one to shy away from classroom activities either.

An ongoing game amongst some of the pupils, was to vandalise the toilets directly outside our classroom.

I’m not talking about taking a hammer to the cistern and smashing the porcelain to pieces. We didn’t kick the walls in either. In fact, no permanent damage was done.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I went to a nice little Christian school, for polite, middle class boys and girls.

While pupils in some areas of London bring knives into school and American kids are screened for guns (sadly, this is not a joke), my fellow classmates would bring in an apple for the teacher and a Care Bear for ‘Show and Tell’.

The prank, which seemed to be repeated every five or six weeks, by some mystery joker, involved placing an ink cartridge from a fountain pen in the bolt on the cubicle wall.

The cubicle door would be slammed shut. The pen cartridge becoming trapped in between the wall and a violently slammed, heavy door.  This would result in the cartridge bursting and blue ink covering the walls, door, toilet roll holder and the toilet itself.

Thinking about it, I can see why this confession could easily be perceived as vandalism – probably because it was. What little turds we all were!

During one boring morning break time, Lee and I thought that it would be fun if we had a go at the ink game – if only to see what all the fuss was about.

I seem to remember that I had recently acquired a new fountain pen, which I had brought into school to show all my chums. I was therefore a bit stupid in playing the ink game, as it wouldn’t have taken a genius to find the culprit.

I believe it was Lee who placed the ink cartridge in the lock. I was probably too scared. I don’t know why – if we were going to get caught, we would both equally be in trouble. The door was then slammed shut!

Upon opening the cubicle door, I cannot recall if we both thought or said aloud the words “oh shit!”. I know for certain that we were instantly filled with a mixture of fear, regret and panic.

The sight which greeted us resembled that of a brutal murder. A murder, where the victim’s blood was blue. Whoever told me that this was a fun lark was a big, fat liar – this was a shitting nightmare!

We returned to our desks, hopeful that we had got away with blue murder. Maybe nobody would notice the ink all over the once clean, white walls.

How wrong I was…

During the middle of a lesson, our teacher, Mr Evans, was interrupted when the caretaker burst into the classroom!

The caretaker was an old school type, even back in 1993. He had probably been alive during the schools construction and even had a hand in building it.

His job description included general maintenance throughout the school buildings and grounds, lollipop man duties before and after school, as well as putting sawdust on the piles of vomit, which primary school children are notorious for producing on a regular basis.

The caretaker’s name was Mr Cross, and by heck, at that moment, he was cross…

“Who’s sprayed ink all over the bloody toilets?” he demanded. Naturally, nobody spoke. 28 of the 30 kids, because they hadn’t done anything wrong. The other two – Lee and I – because it was the most scared we had been during our ten long years on the planet.

I don’t know how long the inquisition that followed lasted, or what it even involved. I do know that Mr Cross had seen one vandalised cubicle too many, because instead of the general light hearted warning Mr Evans would give the class, following previous ink attacks, Mr Cross reacted like somebody had burned the school down.

He never did find out who sprayed ink everywhere. Mainly because the two responsible for the crime were too cowardly to admit to it. Until now.

It would have been easier for Lee and I to admit to our prank and face the consequences, as the guilt which followed ate away at us.

We considered leaving Mr Cross a Mars Bar, along with an apologetic note. Anonymous, of course. Such cowards.

I will reveal another confession from my past soon. That is if a former caretaker doesn’t find me first…


After finishing this blog post, I carried out some online research and discovered the sad news that Mr. Cross passed away in 2017.

It appears that he continued to work at the school, long after I left; continuing his duties as a caretaker and lollipop man, the latter of which he was publically recognised for.

Unsurprising, many kind words have been said about the man. In the short time I attended the school, he appeared to be a popular figure amongst staff and pupils.

Considering how long Mr. Cross worked for the school, I do hope he enjoyed his career and didn’t get too stressed by those bloody kids being sick in the canteen and spraying ink all over the toilet walls.

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