The frenchman - a man who wasted literally hundreds of hours of my time and attempted time and time again to backstab me and generally ruin my reputation within the company. Luckily he was not much brighter than bottled shite and I was able to get everything done right and on time and eventually won the company millions in contracts but as much as I enjoyed screwing him back, it was a bit tiresome to constantly be on the defensive. Notable mentions also include the other frenchman whose idea of being helpful is to omit crucial details (like press that button first or you'll wreck the system/corrupt the database/electrocute yourself) other notable mentions include our Taoiseach for reasons I shall not go into lest this turn into a list of swearwords and also whatever shitstack decided not to have our pay reviews until January.
Closest I have ever come to a full blown heart attack
When out in the data center I was trying to unplug a laptop I was using and had a brainfart and removed a completly different plug that deep down inside I knew was completly the wrong fucking plug. When I realised that I had taken out a server, well it's not too much to say that I damned near shit myself. Somewhere in my mind I got the idea that plugging it back in really quickly would solve the problem. There are no other contenders here.
Biggest hissy fit
The whole pay fiasco and quitting and so on. It worked out for the best but to this day I couldn't care less how it HAD worked out, which in and of itself is telling but also liberating since I obviously don't care. Notable mentions include any one of about fifty phone calls made during the time in the data center where I had to call someone on the department and say "I'm about to vent, just nod and say 'yep'" before launching into a detailed explanation as to why a certain person was a dirty piece of shit.
The "dear God let the earth swallow me now" award
The time I greeted and shook hands with some of the world's most powerful financial figures with my fly open, I stood chatting to them for about five minutes as the MD told them all about what I was doing. I assume he waited until later to explain why I needed to be exposing myself to get it done.
Most godawfully boring piece of shit book
Elminster in hell. A forgotten realms novel about the mage Elminster being kidnapped by some demon prince or other and how he was dismembered over and over again while the demon searched his mind for the secrets of spellfire. This book was essentially the novel equivalent of a flashback episode of a TV show. In second place was the gormenghast trilogy which I swear to christ nearly killed me by page eighteen.
The long term frustration award
Learning to roll cigarettes and trying to smoke these ... things.. which were rolled so tightly that they had a density like that of the heart of a black hole. In second place comes the Frenchman Saga.
The "nice ways to start the day" award
The morning I got up and metalrabbit was in the kitchen looking in the fridge and said "We're out of milk", giving me time to brace for the "you're lower than scum for drinking the last of it" thing but instead hearing "And that's why I'm having ice-cream for breakfast". Notable mentions include the morning I thought it was monday and I was late for work and it turned out to be saturday.
Most boring four hours of my life
We had some specialist over from america to optimise our systems and the frenchman monopolised all the meetings with him and insisted on our presence at all the highly technical crap he wanted to lecture on. Notable mentions include any given afternoon in the data center while testing but I usually just put the mobile phone on vibrate and left it on my lap guaranteeing that
1) I would wake up if someone rang
2) I wouldn't really mind all that much
The most I pissed someone off
The frenchman, again (he really features prominently this year) in a second meeting like the one mentioned above. This time I just fell asleep (and to be fair, I made no real effort to stop myself) and when I was woken up for my bit I started talking and the third time he interrupted me I just said "I swear to God, if you interrupt me again I'll fucking cut you so fucking deep".
There is a lesson here, if you're going to do something worthy of disciplinary action, make it psycho enough that no one will really want to talk to you about it.
The closest I have come to death
In many ways this year has beaten out my student years and the whole alcohol poisioning thing in that there is a set of pedestrian lights near our house and people in donnybrook have a rather casual attitude to red lights. Nuff said. Notable mentions include the sausages whose "use by" date I completly misread - or to be more accurate, the 21st of June is 21-06, not 21-05.
Most consistent work related accident or the "Blunt Trauma" award
We've gotten a lot of new shelves and cupboards into the offices lately and I've been helping get them upstairs, each time I DO lend a hand I manage to have my head positioned between the cupboard and a wall when someone's hand slips and it falls towards me. Notable mentions include those God damned piece of shit chairs that caused me no end of pulled back muscles and almost one severe head trauma when the back fell off it when I was leaning back.
CD which, if I hear it again I will fucking kill someone, seriously, with a fucking crowbar
Mark Cohen, the one with "walking in memphis", I hate it, metalrabbit and her brother play it all the time (to piss me off I'm sure). There is nothing on that album that redeems it in any way and I hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it. Notable mentions include The Matrix OST which I overdosed on a bit earlier in the year.
Still to come, more special awards:
The "Yeah, that was best left unsaid" award
The "Oh shit" award
The "That'll hurt in the morning" award
The associated "I drank WHAT?" award and
The associated "That'll leave a mark" award for personal injury outside of work.
The "Coloured and whites at 40 degrees" award
and more of the best and worst of 2003, like you care.