AJ's got me in his sights again, but I should be OK as it looks as though he hasn't the nerve to pull the trigger.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "feedback" policy, as he's not quite sure what we all want from him any more. He looked a little worried about this, and said what he wants to do first is make some time in his rather busy schedule to see us all in turn to discuss it. He wanted a little chat with Andy first to see what he thought, so they went off into his office. Andy didn't look too happy about it either, but he took in some quality release forms he's been after AJ to sign off for a while now, so it looks like the time won't be entirely wasted.
Mike said if he asks me what I want from him I'll tell him - I want him to just leave me alone, and I said well he's obviously read our answers to last week's questionnaire and realized they just contradict the one before. James said good, now we have to keep him unsure of what we want from him. Donna said how much time has he got free this week, does anyone know? and Amy said he hasn't told me yet, but he certainly didn't say he's going to be busy this week - there's only the Friday afternoon meeting at Head Office in his diary so far.
Fiona said will keeping him unsure do any good? can't we just tell him we don't want anything? and LeeAnn said I don't know if it'll do any good, but it ought to be fun. Donna said we can't just tell him we don't want anything at all - that'd be cruel. I said it doesn't matter, he wouldn't believe it even if we all did tell him.
Tuesday: Donna heard from Carly last night that most of the Marketing team set up to rebrand our item actually did get to meet up yesterday - only two didn't show, as they'd forgotten about it. One of those who did show up had been on vacation until yesterday, and apparently he only found out he's on the team just before the meeting. Carly said he went into see AJ's Big Boss yesterday straight after and wanted off the team, but he was told no, he's the Team Chair and he's on it.
It looks like I'll lose out on the sweepstake - it's been six working days so far and I've only allowed another sixteen for them to get bored with it and come up with something.
Wednesday: I may still be in with a chance at the sweepstake for the Marketing team decision after all. Donna's found out from Carly that four of the eight on the team ganged up against one of the others during the meeting on Monday, and it looks like they'll automatically go along with anything as long as that one's against it.
Apparently it's a fight over who jammed up their color printer during the last campaign - they resent him telling one of the four she shouldn't have just walked off and left it for the next person to come along (i.e. him) to unjam it. It looks like it could be a straight two-way fight, as the other three are supporting him at the moment. That might be only because he's the Team Chair though.
Thursday: AJ called me in to see him this afternoon, which I'd been expecting since I'm the only one he hasn't talked to yet and he was leaving me until last again. He started off by telling me he'd found out from someone (Guru Bob) that I'd been in charge of people back to home in the US. I didn't remind him he'd found this out last April and he'd told me then he'd be watching me very carefully.
It was embarrassing as he'd decided to appeal to me "as a friend and colleague" to help him gauge the mood of the others - or spy on them for him - and told me how he expected my full co-operation. I said well, we all like to work at our own pace and don't like too many changes, but he sat with that blank 'I can't hear you' look on his face, so I chickened out and gave up trying rather than spell it out. There's no way to tell your Boss "it's not us, it's you" if he just won't hear it. He said I shouldn't identify myself with the employees like that, as I ought to be paying more attention to my career and the possibilities working closely with him could bring me. I said I told him when he came I wasn't interested in advancing through the corporation and I'm still not, but it's obvious he doesn't believe me.
I guess there's no way he'll believe I just don't want to get back on that treadmill again, because he'd never give it up himself. It looks like he's still convinced I'm there to report what he's doing to Head Office. Everyone thinks an ordinary worker desperately wants to be a manager, but nobody believes a manager could just want to be an ordinary worker. All the people here think I'm a normal human being, and I'd miss that.
I was glad when he gave up trying to get me to tell him what he wants to hear and let me go, and I'll have to be very careful around him for a while until he recovers the dignity he lost by asking me to spy for him, or he forgets it again. At least he didn't threaten me with disciplinary action like he did last April when he found out I'd been in management and thought I was there to steal his job.
Friday: AJ said at the morning meeting that he'd like to thank those of us who co-operated with this week's "feedback" policy, but was disappointed by some of us who weren't willing to be team players and help and support each other. He meant me by it, but all the others looked guilty too. He said that we all needed his input, and it didn't help him when some people refused to let him know how much we all valued it. He kept looking at the others and avoided looking at me, so eventually they all realized he was aiming at me and not them after all. Eventually he said he was going to the afternoon meeting at Head Office early but he could always be reached whenever any one of us wanted to talk to him. He would always put his staff first. It was a shame that some people weren't prepared to help him reach our needs by giving him the feedback about the problems his staff in the office suffered from, but that was misplaced loyalty for you, and cultural differences that nobody could overcome. If people were worried about coming to him, their colleagues should be able to respond to their fellow worker's needs by telling him their colleague was having these problems.
After he'd gone I went in my office and stayed there, until James came over and stood in the doorway. He said I suppose that was a dig at you, was it? I said I don't know what you mean, and he said come off it, everyone knows you're management material and you're a threat. I said look, I don't want to be a manager, I don't want responsibilities, and I'm not helping him, and he said don't be daft, it's pretty obvious you're not - at least it is to us - now come out before you suffocate in there.
Donna said here, get a coffee and don't worry love, we'll make sure he doesn't deport you - we'll get up a petition if he even tries it, and LeeAnn said yes, we'll get him. I said what do you mean, deport me? I'm here legally. Mike said well, that's all right then. Fiona said he should leave you alone, you'd be a better manager than he would, you should go on a course and become a manager and come back and take his job and that would serve him right. Mike said yes, you should. Amy said don't you want to go back to America? James said he can't, the FBI want him, and it's jail time if he does - that or the electric chair. Amy said no! really? what did you do? and then got mad when we all laughed.