We nearly lost Mike this week, but AJ got him back.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement an "independance" policy. Apparently we all are relying on him too much and we all should be able to cope without his constant reassuring presence. He wants us all to act like he's not there for us to run to with all our little problems and he's sure we'll all find that we are stronger and more self-reliant, and our team spirit will kick in and we'll all support each other too.
Offered to bet anyone a KitKat at lunchbreak that AJ'd drop the "independance" policy and be back to bugging people by twelve tomorrow. LeeAnn said she'd take it on and she'd say by ten tomorrow. James said oh the cynicism of youth so I said do you want to take the bet? He said OK, by one tomorrow.
Spent the rest of the day on catching up with paperwork, as I'm sure there'll be a pre-Christmas rush later.
Tuesday: LeeAnn came in 7 minutes late - the big guy (the ex-boyfriend's friend) has gone and the ex-boyfriend's back. It was all a misunderstanding and he turned up late last night, so she took him back in. The big guy was there but luckily his bike was parked around the corner, so he snuck out the back while the ex came in the front. She came around to each of us and got us to promise if we met the ex (now the current) boyfriend we wouldn't say anything about the big guy staying with her for the last couple weeks, as it was only to stop her being bothered by other guys and he wouldn't understand. I for one promised I wouldn't. He'd probably kill me before I said "hi" anyways.
AJ came over and put his head around my door at about nine-thirty, and said everything OK? I said oh yes, thanks. He said is there anything you'd like to share with me? I said no, everything's fine, thanks. He said good, good - I'll be in my office if you need me, and wandered off. I went over and told LeeAnn I owed her a KitKat.
Wednesday: AJ started fidgetting properly today, finally taking some papers from Amy and photocopying them for her as he could do it so much faster and better than she could. Amy said thank you, but she didn't mean it - she likes standing by the photocopier at ten to ten as it leads her gently into the morning coffee break.
He came in to check on me seven times this afternoon, asking if everything was OK, until finally I gave in and said yes, but I was trying to get a couple multi-part shipping declarations done and I didn't want to be interrupted as I'd have to start over if I was. So he stood outside my door and told everyone to be very quiet and not to make any noises which might distract me as I was filling in some very complicated forms and the least distraction would cause me immense problems. I just put my head down and tried to carry on.
After about five minutes he put his head back round and whispered is that alright? so I just nodded and waited for him to go again. He stood outside again and told everyone that their consideration and team spirit was welcome, as it was helping me immensely. I tore the form up and started again.
Thursday: AJ was real jumpy all morning, looking for something to do. We all ignored him, like he'd asked us to, and so when Mike called in to say he'd got a little problem, AJ went into overdrive.
Mike said he'd arranged to meet a client flying over from Amsterdam at the airport, they'd discussed things in the concourse, and it'd gone really well. He'd then seen him on to his connecting flight over to Boston, and then came out the airport to come back to the office. The only problem was (he said) his car wasn't where he'd parked it.
He'd walked the parking lot twice (it'd taken about a half hour each time) but couldn't find it, and was just going around for the third time when this jeep pulls up and four armed police got out to see what he was doing. He said they asked him where he'd parked his car but he said he couldn't remember, although he'd know it if he saw it. He couldn't remember what the registration number was either. He said he'd told them I have got a car here, I did park it somewhere here, and I'll show you the parking ticket. That's when he found he didn't have one.
They asked him would he mind coming back to the terminal with them.
After he'd showed them what was in his briefcase, he told them he must have left the parking ticket in the car. He said they seemed a little surprised at this and said OK do you want to make a phone call, so he called us. AJ said put it through to my office and I'll deal with it, so he spoke to the police on our behalf. After a while he put his head out and said does anyone know what color Mike's car is? Or what the registration number is? The police want to know. LeeAnn knew the registration number but we all disagreed on the color, so AJ went with the majority verdict of dark blue (Donna, LeeAnn, James and me) as opposed to dark green (Fiona and Amy) and went back in to tell the police.
He came out to say it was OK and they were going to find Mike's car for him and send him back, so James said what did you do? convince them Mike was the sort of guy who could forget where he'd parked his car or that we're all crazy? AJ said I don't think you're all crazy.
Friday: James and I made a "Free Mike! Mike is Innocent!" banner and LeeAnn brought in a big yellow balloon with "You've served your time" on it. Mike said it was just typical and it was just one of those things that could happen to anyone, but we all said yes, and it keeps happening to you.
AJ said at the morning meeting how the "independance" policy had only had a limited sucess. We all had shown that, although we didn't need to come to him as often as we thought we did, we evidently felt more comfortable knowing he was there for us whenever we needed him. He said it had had some obvious benefits, and had helped our team spirit. Donna said after he'd gone what did he mean by the team spirit thing, and what benefits? LeeAnn said well, I got two KitKats out of it.
Linked up with the guy at Head Office during the lunchbreak - the scores now stand at one to me, one to him, and one declared draw.
LeeAnn let the air out of the balloon at five so she could take it home with her, as she said she was saving it for later. I said she could have the "Free Mike!" banner too, but she said no, that's OK.