I have some naughty little elves which live in a small nest underneath my desk. They are cheeky little devils: cute, friendly and experts at thieving my time.  And however good a job the cleaner does, he never manages to catch them.

Last time I counted I found ten of them there.  My colleagues have some too. These are mine:

  • “Coffee break” is dark and satisfying.  He pops his head round my desk whenever something really tricky needs thinking about.
  • “Internet surfer” is cute and clever, and distracts me with a click when I am looking for important information online.
  • “Email newsletter” is more serious, but an interesting character who draws me into an article when I am going through my emails.
  • “Interruption” – she always arrives with a pretty smile and an unnecessary question.
  • “Office chat” usually makes me laugh – sometimes even cry, but she never misses an opportunity to capture my attention.
  • “Facebook & Twitter” are the worst.  They are twins and I count them as one because they always go around together.  One little click and I am theirs for at least 20 minutes.
  • “Overrunning meetings” is a clever chap with big ideas who gets the whole team cornered in one go.
  • “Internet’s gone down” has a dark side to his character.  With one little glitch he can get the whole office chasing around trying to find out what’s happened.
  • “Printer’s jammed” is another cheeky monkey who usually captures at least 4 people to fix it.
  • And then there’s my guilty secret: “Game on my phone”.  We’re real pals, he’s always there just under my hand ready to entertain me at a moment’s notice.

What are yours?