I think this week proved we all don't need computers to mess up - it just takes people.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "companion" policy to follow on from the "mentoring" policy. He intends to come around to visit with each of us in turn and sit with us for part of our day to inspire us with his presence. We all tried to persuade him his time was much too valuable for him to waste on us like that, but he didn't buy it.
After he'd gone back into his office Donna said what're we going to do? Fiona said he won't, he can't do that, and LeeAnn said oh yes he can, he's got nothing much to do in the Christmas runup so he's got plenty of time. James said look, he doesn't understand how anything works, so just carry on working and hope he'll get bored. I said he won't - he'll be asking questions all the time. What's that there? Why's it in red? Why are you doing that now instead of later? James put his head in his hands for a moment and then said why don't you take him out with you, Mike? Mike said no I can't do that - he might talk to a customer. I said I'll take him down on the shop floor if he comes anywheres near me. LeeAnn said oh, they'll love you for that, but I said I don't care - maybe I'll lose him down there, and even if I don't at least I'll be spreading the misery. Donna said OK then, we'll just have to find him something to keep him occupied. We all said we'd think hard today and tonight, and talk it over in the morning.
Tuesday: Fiona came in and said she had something that might work, and offered to let AJ sit with her for the first session to try it out. We all watched and by ten he was back in his office, so Donna said what did you do?
Fiona said you all owe me a big favor - I told him the stationary reordering was totally out of hand as we were ordering about seven different types of binder, twelve different envelope sizes, and more than twenty different types of pens. He's gone off to chart which we've been ordering and how often. I haven't even told him about the different jotter pad sizes and colors, or the highlighters. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long time now, and it should keep him occupied for a while. He's going to go through the catalogs too and work out the prices, and the prices for multiple purchases and discounts as well. We all agreed that if it kept him busy for the rest of the week then we'd all owe Fiona a favor.
Wednesday: I had two orders ready to be packed yesterday, one urgent and the other not, so I'd told Packing last night which was the urgent one and arranged for them to crate it up first thing today to go out this afternoon. This morning Andy came in to tell me that the other one was now urgent as well, as the guy who'd ordered it had just rang him and told him so, so I went down to see how Packing was getting on. They'd almost finished padding the first into the crate and so I said OK, it'd be best to carry on then and then crate up the second, as the first was due out the door about two this afternoon. The truck for the second hadn't been ordered yet - I was waiting for Donna or LeeAnn to give me the address.
However Andy sent LeeAnn down about ten minutes later to see if the second was ready to go out yet, and she scared Packing into stopping finishing off the first and got them started crating up the second. I didn't know this of course - I thought everything was going ahead OK, and telling me she'd done this would've spoilt the surprise.
So the truck I'd booked to pick up the first one comes in, and the crate's not ready to go.
I finally got the driver to agree to wait, and tried to get Packing to stop working on the second (the one LeeAnn's scared them into crating up) and finish padding and sealing the first (the one the truck was now waiting for.) They wouldn't, as they're too scared of LeeAnn. I had to get AJ away from his stationary charts and go down to tell them in the end, and finally he got the Packers to agree to finish up with the first (the one the truck was waiting for) as soon as they'd finished padding the second (the one LeeAnn told them to do.)
So finally we got the first one out (only two hours late) and the second is still sitting crated and sealed, waiting for me to order a truck.
AJ said why did you send that one out on the truck? Couldn't you have used it for the urgent one instead? I said no, it was booked to take that one, so he then told me I should have prioritized it better and I should have got another truck in for the urgent one. I told him I couldn't as I didn't have the address, so he said OK, but get it out tomorrow then.
Thursday: I chased Donna for the address for the second urgent delivery, but she said I don't have it, try LeeAnn. LeeAnn said I don't have it either, I'll go and ask Andy. She came back and said ummm, Andy didn't have the whole address, so I checked the file and rang the customer. There's been a little mistake.
When they rang Andy yesterday they didn't actually say it was urgent that it be shipped before Christmas, they actually said was it still on target as it would need to be with them straight after Christmas, and Andy must have got a bit muddled.
They've nowhere to store it so they said for us to keep it for them over Christmas and ship it to them first thing in the New Year.
Packing said what do you mean "can we store it over Christmas downstairs"? You said it was urgent - why aren't you shipping it out like you said you were going to? I told them I didn't say it was urgent, Andy and AJ said it was urgent. They said oh, in that case then we'll just put it around the back of number three store - never mind, you have to expect these things when those two morons get involved, don't you?
Friday: The printer service repair engineer called me up at about two-thirty to say he was back from his vacation, and he'd try to drop by sometime either Tuesday or Wednesday next week. I said could you be more specific, so he said it depended on how long he was going to take on the Tuesday at another customers' place, as if they included him in their Christmas party like they did last year it'd be Wednesday. I don't know whether there's anything in the office budget for "Christmas bribes" for service engineers, but I doubt it. If there was, we'd spend it on the coffee machine service engineer anyways - he's on a two hour callout and he's worth it.
AJ said at the morning meeting how he was sorry the "companionship" policy had to be suspended as he'd been busy with the stationary problem. We all said oh that's OK, we understand and that's how it goes isn't it. He said he hoped to have the different purchases tabulated next week and he'd then be able to start checking off which items we actually needed to perform our tasks with us so he could draw up an official stationary purchase list. We all said oh good.
Linked up with the guy at Head Office during the lunchbreak again - it's now two to me, one to him, and one declared draw.
Only four days to go - Donna told me today we break for Christmas vacation next Friday lunchbreak.