01/01/01 to 01/01/05


Another year, another start, another AJ initiative.

A short day today as I got up a little late - about two in the afternoon.
I actually woke about eleven, but couldn't hear anyone else moving, so I must have gone back to sleep. Finally someone gave in and woke us all up by making really disgusting noises in the shower and then claiming they were singing.
Nobody much wanted anything to eat, probably because we'd all eaten well last week and were too full. I drank a lot of water and Elli went and stood outside for a while, then called the rest of us out too. I went, and it was much better standing outside than sitting around the house, so we both went back in and she said how about a walk - anyone coming? The answers all worked out to be no, so we went on our own.

It wasn't raining much - more a wet mist than rain - so we got the car out and drove into a hill valley, parked next the stream, and walked the path along it for a while. I said it's good land here and she said she's lucky to find somewheres that's so close to areas still mostly rural, and there's a view over the main river valley from the beacon hill above us.
So we turned off over a loose stone wall that looked like it was falling in pieces and went up to follow a sheepwalk along the top of the ridge to the hill to look out across the river. She pointed out where there were hills across the other side and said there - they're in Wales. We couldn't see them though so she said we'd come back when you could, and we'd go there later as we didn't get the chance to because of the snow.

Got home about nine, and just did enough to be ready for work tomorrow before getting to bed - I seemed to be a little more tired than normal for some reason.

Back to work - only to find nothing's changed.
AJ called us together for the morning meeting today as we weren't there yesterday, and said he'd decided over the vacation to implement an "information exchange" policy to follow on from December's "companion" policy and "ideas pool" policy - he didn't forget them like he should have.
What he's done is to write a sheet for each of us with our name as the header, but otherwise blank. These sheets will be pinned up to the wall and we all are invited to write our own ideas of what that person should be doing to either improve, streamline, or extend their job. (He's started each sheet off by writing his ideas of what we should be doing.) Each person's sheet will be taken down and given to them during the Friday meeting, and the ideas generated by this flow of co-operation and team spirit are to be implemented from the following Monday onwards.

James said just think what I could write on your sheet, so I said yeh, and just think what I could write on yours, pal.

Spent the rest of the day catching up with what people did over the Christmas break.
^ Donna's other daughter Judy came over, so she spent Christmas keeping her and Carly apart,
^ LeeAnn broke up with her boyfriend again, then made up in time for New Year,
^ Andy got taken for a walk by his family and nearly did a whole mile,
^ Amy burnt everything black but the turkey - that was still raw in the center,
^ Mike went to his wife's parents and hated it, especially his brother-in-law's children,
^ James slept through the Queen's Speech and so his wife didn't speak to him for the rest of the day,
^ Fiona spent Christmas with her life-partner in a Buddhist retreat so didn't celebrate it at all.

AJ came out this morning first thing and said he's come up with a solution for the stationary problem.

He gave each of us a ruled sheet and said whenever we wanted something we ring up and order it ourselves, write it down on the sheet, then at the end of the month give Fiona our record of what we've ordered for her to just raise one big order to cover everything.
That's when she started choking.

AJ disappeared fast into his office while Donna and Amy tried to calm her down and each of us promised her it's OK, we won't.

Someone's been writing on AJ's sheets, which were blank until now apart from his own stupid ideas.
He'd written on my sheet that I should be totally responsible for the photocopier and the printers, and they've added I should be responsible for maintaining the desklamps and looking after the strip lighting in the ceilings, because they're electrical. I should be responsible for the coffee machine as well, because that's electrical too.
I don't know whose writing it is, and nobody's admitting to it. I said it's stupid, but James said at least you know something about electricity - I don't have anything to do with the car park except for parking in it, and the same idiot's put me down to be responsible for keeping it litter-free when we have visitors.

They've put on Amy's sheet that she should do all the typing and photocopying for everyone, not just AJ, as then she could do it all in one batch. She said she didn't mind really, but I said that means nobody'll be able to get a copy of something if they want it urgently, they'll either have to wait for you to schedule it in or bug you until you stop what you're doing and do it. She said oh, she couldn't do that.

LeeAnn started giggling so James said I don't know what you're laughing about - you're down to be responsible for keeping the washrooms tidy and restocked. LeeAnn said what?

Everything we tried to delete the additions didn't work, but the red ink from Fiona's date stamp pad mixed with paper snow has made them difficult to read.

There were more suggestions on AJ's sheets this morning, but we all didn't have time to do anything so Donna kept AJ talking while the sheets were accidentally taken down and LeeAnn stood in my office doorway while I filed them in the bottom of my completed shipments tray.

AJ said at the morning meeting that he didn't know what had happened to his lists for the "information exchange" policy, and James told him probably the Cleaner hadn't realised they were wanted and had taken them down.

AJ was sure we all had something to do with the disappearance of his list sheets, so he spent most of the morning wandering about in the office looking in the waste bins and the desk trays, then just casually glancing through the paper recycling bin.
He came into my office and went though the awaiting shipment tray. I said was he looking for one in particular but he said no, just interested in how many I'd got left to do. All the others were frozen watching, but fortunately James came over to say sorry to bother you - excuse me AJ - but I think I've lost my network connection. I said oh, I'd best go deal with that straight away as it could be serious, grabbed the whole completed shipment tray contents and went off into James' office to "see what had happened."
We were just in time for me to pass the list sheets to James and for him to put them in the back of the ledger he had open before AJ joined us.
I said your connection's just slowing up because of the heavy demand on it, and went to go out. AJ said what are those papers you've got there, so I said they're the completed shipment ones - I'm just going downstairs to file them. He said give them to me, I'll do that for you while you sort out James' network.

Donna watched him go down the stairs and as soon as she said go, we gave the list sheets to LeeAnn and she went off to the ladies' washroom with them.

As soon as he'd gone to Head Office for the afternoon meeting, Donna said that was it as far as she was concerned and this time he'd gone too far. I said it's OK, he didn't find anything and even if he's guessed he can't prove it, but Fiona said that's not the point - he has no right to believe that we'd take his rotten sheets. James said well, he was right, wasn't he - we did take his rotten sheets.

I asked LeeAnn what she'd done with them and she said I saw a film where this spy hid them in the toilet cistern, they'll be safe there.

I waited back with LeeAnn after the others went home, and we fished them out and into a plastic bag. The red ink had colored the water so we had to flush a couple times to dilute it - it was still slightly pink when we gave up and left it.

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