Okay, so there are only two of us on the tools and Nige is the one jacking it in… so, maybe make that nearer 18%...

Yes, the dream-team is no more as Nige parts company with the… ah… company… to go potter around as maintenance electrician for a large local educational establishment. And who can blame him? It sounds like less work for more money with medical, dental, uniform, tools, a twatty little electric golf cart and a campus you can easily skive off for hours in! Hell, I’m tempted to throw in the towel myself and join the bugger - it all sounds too good to be true!

We’ve already scaled back so much of what we do over previous years as we feel our ages and our waistlines expanding, but with the DSES supertanker having already bumped off the iceberg and now well down at the bow while listing heavily to starboard, it’s only me left bailing out the water. Unfortunately, I’m very much ensconced in the ship’s bar guzzling the gin & tonic at a curious angle while arguing with my reflection in the mirror, so, yeah, that doesn’t bode well.

I recall first meeting Nigel about a week after the twin towers dropped back in September 2001 when I took on a contract for Warwickshire Police. He was already working there, so he took me to the canteen for a cup of Earl Grey and told me the bloke we we’d be sharing an office with was a pervert. Good to know, and probably not wrong as it turned out. Little did either of us realise we’d be stuck together for the next 22 years with Nige as my work-wife! Fucking hell, I’ve been married to my actual wife for about that long! In typical wife fashion, they both bend my ear about my drinking & farting, constantly moan about their front-bottom problems, and neither will give me a blowjob on request… although, to be fair to Nige, at least he thinks about it for a moment before saying no. The actual wife tells me to sod off as soon as I utter the words “I say darling, here’s a super idea…”

After Warwickshire Police, Nige came aboard a long-forgotten previous business I ran in the early to mid-Noughties, then in January 2005 I won a three-month contract at the NHS and ended up staying for eight years. Nige joined me there in 2006, and we both left in March 2013 having each set up our respective electrical businesses in 2012 (his under the name NKM Electrical based in Coventry).

In 2016, I felt I needed some assistance on-the-tools, and I hired Dior as my go-to man on the van. By March 2017, Nigel wanted to bury NKM Electrical after having enough of the paperwork, so he joined both me and da’ Big D to form a wonderful threesome.

ThreesomeThe gang’s all here – you can only stick your hand down the trousers of one of ‘em though ladies -
who's it gonna be??

2017 was a tough year. Going from a one-man-band lurking under the VAT threshold to keeping three people accounted for with a 20% bumfuckery tax wasn’t easy. I ended up spending a lot of time sat in the office just trying to keep the work flowing in for the lads - which meant I wasn’t out earning in the field performing the toolwork I’m actually pretty nifty at. It was clear by Christmas that something had to give, and Dior, a lovely chap who remains greatly missed, happened to decide he would be the one to fall on his sword for a better life playing football. While his loss was lamented by all, it eased the pressure greatly for Nige and me to forge ahead.

‘Forge’ is perhaps the wrong verb as we spent the next six-and-a-half-years largely treading water… in a laissez faire fashion… or that’s what it feels like anyway. We kept busy and collected our wages, but the company bank balance remained fairly static, so it’s not exactly the kind of corporate growth success story that would give Alan Sugar a jaunty wet-end, and I never cared enough to light a fire under the business’ arse.

And that does a disservice to Nige. He deserves to be somewhere that has better prospects and a corporate structure that’s not overseen by a lazy drunkard. So, it’s 2023 and we’re not getting any younger, brighter, or prettier. In fact, we’re now looking to shed so much from the portfolio with our collective failing knees, livers and assholes, that drastic action is required. We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and nor do we want to.

Here then is where Nigel’s lifeboat gets launched complete with energy biscuits, lifejackets, and rainbow coloured all-inclusive flare gun. I wish him good luck, and I (kind of) hope he doesn’t drift into an area patrolled by pirates who want to give him sexy bum-bum time.

As for the good ship DSES, well don’t you kids worry; the coal bunkers may be flooded and the sewage tanks are backing up into the engine room, but this ol’ iron steamship hasn’t sunk just yet and I’ll be tootling about topside for a little while longer. After all, those deckchairs won’t rearrange themselves, and someone has to swab the vomit off the shuffleboard!

When this fucking thing does eventually slip beneath the waves, maybe some obscenely rich folk will come and visit the wreckage in a really shit little submarine? I hear that’s a thing.

Nigel’s final sign-off video is below and carries the usual health warning for bad language and poor taste from the outset. So don’t watch it you knob-ends!

Oh, and as stated in the video, no, I'm not hiring a replacement. If you miss Nige, perhaps because you have some kind of freak mentalist disorder, you might still find him on our UT2004 server acting as cannon fodder for we more skilful players.