It's been a bad week. The only good thing was Amy's started surfing the net, but she immediately got an error (of course.)
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "method" policy. He's thought up new ways we all should be working before, but we've never implemented them properly. So, to prove to us all how difficult it is, this week he wants us all to think about our ways of working, so we all can explain why we do it that way at Friday's meeting.
He went back in his office and Donna said we've finally got to him! James said it's about time too - wait until Friday and we'll show him.
Personally I've a bad feeling about this. I think Friday meeting's going to be just the first skirmish in a long fight.
Tuesday: LeeAnn came in 7 minutes late - she said she forgot to get up. I think she made a mistake and that's the true reason.
The day was real quiet until AJ came out his office about half four this afternoon. He wanted Amy to find out some information for him from a website, so she waited until he went back in his office and came over to ask me to stay with her while she did it.
We got onto the net and tried to access the site, but it came up with a 404 error, so Amy said I've broken it, haven't I? I said no, it's just not available - see, it says 'not available', you didn't do anything wrong. What we'll do now is search for it in case AJ's given you the wrong address. She said oh, OK - I'll tell them I dialled the wrong number if they ring up and complain. I didn't say anything.
We searched for the website and found it, but it took us back to the error 404 page and Amy went hysterical.
I signed out and closed down the connection, and Donna helped me calm her down. After she'd relaxed a little I said look, you haven't broken it, it's all right. You drive don't you Amy? The Internet's like a big highway that's never closed and you can't break it. If you go on the Internet it's like using your computer as your own personal sliproad to go out onto the highway, and you drive along to the sliproad you want to get off - their sliproad they've set up to let you off to get the information they've put up. If it won't let you on it's like your sliproad's blocked, and that means your computer isn't working properly. If it's an error like this one - 404 - it's like their sliproad's blocked, so you can go on and drive up to their sliproad but you can't use it to get off. She said oh, I see - so they've broken it, not me. I said yes, that's right - they've broken it and it's a problem their end.
AJ came over just then to find out if Amy had the information yet, and she said no, they've broken down. I said the website's not available. He said yes, it wasn't there when I tried to read it just now, and there was a message to try again later. That's why I asked Amy to do it - I'm much too busy to wait until it comes back and Amy's not, are you Amy? I said it's still not available, and it might not be back up for a while. He said oh well, just keep trying. I waited until he'd gone back in his office and told Amy don't bother, we'll try again tomorrow - it's not worth waiting on-line tonight. She said as long as you promise to stay with me - and not when it's the rush hour as it'll be too busy and I don't like driving in traffic. I said OK.
It's my own fault and I'll have to live with it - I should have come up with a better explanation.
Wednesday: Amy asked me to come sit with her about half nine and try the website for AJ again, and it came up first time. Amy said oh it's very quick, isn't it? It's probably because everybody's got to work by now - the road must be nearly empty. I just agreed with her.
I'm still having to talk her through the whole thing, but at least she's using it herself now instead of just sitting there and watching as I do it. We make a great team - I work the mouse while she types in whatever I tell her to. The only thing is that she's said she won't type her name in anywheres as they can find her if she does, so we've decided if any website ever asks her for her name she'll type in 'receptionist' instead.
Thursday: LeeAnn came in 7 minutes late - she said her neighbor couldn't start his car this morning and she'd stayed to watch. The excuses are getting better.
Carly told Donna last night the Marketing team at Head Office that's working on rebranding our item had their final meeting yesterday morning, and came up with an alternative to the original suggestion from AJ's Big Boss.
James said I'm glad to see that Marketing have some integrity, and Donna said no, not quite. The Team Chair had gone in to see him afterwards and told him what they'd agreed, so they'd had to have another emergency meeting about five minutes later where they'd agreed to go along with the original suggestion from AJ's Big Boss after all. Apparently six of the eight hadn't realized it was his suggestion and so they'd voted against it at the first meeting - one had even made some comments about what a stupid suggestion it was, and now he's worried about getting bad assignments until AJ's Big Boss forgets what he said.
LeeAnn said everyone in the sweepstake pay up - it's fifty pence each, and who's won then? and I said well, I guess I have. James said hold on there - how sure is Carly about it? Donna said she's sure. The Team Chair told a friend of his in confidence, the friend told someone else who'd promised not to tell anyone else and so only told Lisa, and Lisa's best friend Sally works with Carly on the front desk.
We all decided I'd won the sweepstake, but it'd wait until AJ makes the official announcement tomorrow.
Friday: The morning meeting didn't go too well. James, Donna, Fiona and LeeAnn had all come up with reasons why they did their job the way they did, and each one explained them and passionately defended them. AJ just sat there and nodded, and wrote it all down. Then he said well, you've seen how difficult it is to escape from the box. Now what we have to do is generate completely new working practises to ensure we aren't stuck in a rut doing all these things because we've always done them like this. As I said, I've already come up with quite a few new working methods, and I'll get them sorted out over the weekend so we can put them into practise on Monday. If you have any ideas on how you want to radically change your working methods, we''ll discuss them on Monday too and see how well they fit in with my plans.
He went back in his office and we all looked at each other. James said we've walked right into it, haven't we? Donna said yes we have - but I didn't expect him to be so devious.
AJ didn't tell us all the Marketing team had made their decision on the new brand name, so after he'd gone to the afternoon meeting at Head Office we all decided to cash up and pay out on the sweepstake anyways. I asked LeeAnn to cover for me while I slipped out, and spent it on a couple packs of pastries for the afternoon break to cheer us all up - even Donna had one, though she said no at first as she's supposed to be on this diet still.
I don't think anybody's looking forward to next week.