How to easily please the male ego

Oh, I just LOVE the new automatic doors and sensor-controlled lights in one of the offices I use. The whole building seems utterly terrified of me. I could spend a whole day going in and out just to watch the doors race to get out of my way.

Ah, the male ego is a wonderful thing.

***

But technology sometimes really annoys me. FOR EXAMPLE, the computer has just asked:

"Do you want to save changes to this document?" and offered only "save" or "don't save" options.

Why is there not a button saying: "I changed this document? I didn't mean to. My boss wrote this. Am I going to get sacked?"

***

Actually, I've hated handling formal documents since my first day as a reporter, when I was summoned to a meeting of journalists who grilled me on whether I knew how to fill in an expenses claim. "I write down what I spent?" I suggested.

"Nooo," they groaned at my naivete. The union had calculated the maximum plausible amount a reporter might spend, and we had to file identical claims every week for this exact amount.

"What about him?" I said, pointing to a reporter who refused to join the meeting. They told me that Paul was a "religious nut" whose bizarre adherence to the truth caused him to file tiny claims.

Later, I peeked at Paul's weekly expenses claim for a few coins, and he'd written on the form: "To facilitate an interview with a source, I used two office tea bags but deducted the cost of one as I drank that cup myself." (I decided he was weird in a good way.) ***

An American reader told me about a nightclub performer who listed breast implant surgery as a work-related expense. It was rejected by a judge on the grounds her bust had been size 56FF enough for anyone.

But an appeals judge, presented with the monstrous average upper body dimensions of her competition, decided that her new extra-extra- large-sized (56N) breasts were genuinely "a required condition of employment" and granted the plea.

To visualize size 56N, go to Google images and look up "car airbags."

*** Her story kind of annoyed me. I know loads of people who desperately need medical stuff, like the implantation of brains into their cerebral cavities, but they don't get tax breaks from helpful judges.

***

Consider a youthful acquaintance of mine.

She recently gave me a long lecture on how awful it was that modern technology was stealing our privacy while simultaneously uploading a photograph of her breakfast to the internet. She couldn't see the contradiction in this.

My view is that technology is absolutely fine as long as you take great care to let it know who's boss.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the automatic doors look a bit complacent and I need a bit of an ego boost.

Tremble and flee, you puny, terrified inanimate objects.

The master approaches.