AJ's got the team spirit he keeps wanting - we're all working together to hide things from him now.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said it was now time to implement the second stage of his three-stage "creative thinking" policy. He'd been a little disappointed that some of us hadn't been co-operating with Head Office though, and he'd been rung up about that. However it was all right and they'd been quite understanding when he'd told them he'd make sure we did from now on.
We all must now go away and perform our functions - bearing in mind the new methods he has shown us we should be using. He expects us to have developed enough to be able to work a little more independently from him now, as long as we're within the guidelines he's established with us of course. He'll also be checking with us from time to time so we can show him how well the guidelines are working, and if anyone has a problem with understanding what they should be doing or isn't willing to work independently then we can always ask him for inspiration and guidance.
Everyone waited until he'd gone back in his office, then we all tried to work out what we all were supposed to be doing.
Donna said he's expecting us to do what he's told us to do, even if we've proved it doesn't work. James said I suppose if he's checking on us it means we have to make his ideas work, however mind-numbingly stupid they are. LeeAnn said yes, but if we have to go away and work on our own, we can do it properly and just tell him we're doing it the way he's told us to. Fiona said but he'll be checking on us to make sure we do. Donna said if we can't get it to work we just have to go to him and tell him, like we were doing all last week. I said no, you can't do that. Look, if anything goes wrong and we don't tell him it's going wrong it'll be our fault for being too independant and not asking for his 'help' soon enough, so he can say we all need him - but if anything goes wrong and we do tell him it's going wrong he can say we all can't work independently and then he can go back to monitoring every little thing we do like he did last week. He's got us caught.
We all sat for a while, then decided whatever happens we'll do what has to be done to get the work done, and lie to him when he comes around. If anybody hits a real problem, everybody else will have to help them out to get it to work so he doesn't realize there's a problem.
Tuesday: AJ went over to Donna this morning and said he'd finished reviewing the customer letters she should have done last week and he'd only a few minor changes to make, then she could sign them and send them out for him. She waited until he'd gone back in his office and said what do I do? James said do them and get them into envelopes quickly before he changes his mind. LeeAnn said yes, I'll help you fold them up. Donna said you don't understand. Head Office rang up yesterday again and asked me why I still hadn't sent them so I printed them all out and folded them up - I've just given them to Amy to send out today. Amy said I've just finished stamping them too. Donna said well, it's lucky they haven't gone - I'll have to take them out of the envelopes and do them again.
I said wait a minute, how much does he want changed? She showed me the note he'd given her, so I said look he only wants the date changed and put in a different place, and the last paragraph split in two - don't bother, just tell him you've changed them like he said and there they are, sealed up and ready to go. Amy said oh, you can't do that. Donna said yes I can.
Wednesday: The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak - Mike had come in and pulled the plug out to put his mobile recharge unit on. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, plugged the printer back in and reminded him gently that last time he'd done that it'd cost us the printer for six weeks. He said oh, I forgot, but this socket's closer to my desk than that one - why can't you swap the printer over to that one and let me have this one? I said because your mobile charger lead will reach that one and the big printer's power cable won't - it'll only reach this one. He said can't you get an extension for it? so I said not unless you want to have everybody tripping over it every time they come this way, no.
He muttered something, so I said you do it again I'll set LeeAnn on you - she'll kill you if you put the big printer out of action again. He said I'm not scared of LeeAnn, but he lowered his voice when he said it and looked over to make sure she hadn't heard him. I said oh, no? so he said shutupshe'llhearyou. I said she will if you do it again, pal.
Thursday: Fiona said I've had Head Office accounts ring me up three times already today for a stationary bill - we owe them for the last batch of headed letter paper and compliment slips, but it's been sitting on AJ's desk since last Wednesday. I should've got it back from him on Friday and paid it out to them yesterday if he hadn't been too busy playing about. James said tell them you won't pay it because it's too high, and I said no, tell them AJ won't sign it - and if they ask why tell them it's because of the spelling mistakes. She said oh, which spelling mistake? so I said well, that one… and that one… and that one for a start.
AJ was wandering about looking for someone to bug this afternoon, but luckily he went in to see James and stayed in there most of the time talking to him about Head Office accounting practise. James said it wasn't lucky at all, but I said well, the rest of us all thought it was.
Friday: AJ said at the morning meeting he's very pleased with the way we all are responding to his "creative thinking" policy. He said some of us are obviously still not entirely comfortable thinking outside the box, and he feels there is still some way to go - but we're getting there. He said he was especially pleased with the way Donna had taken his input to the customer letters he'd reviewed with her earlier this week, and how pleased he was that she'd been able to take his suggestions on board and implement them so quickly. He said he'd like us all to be as receptive to his mentoring as Donna had been. Donna flushed pink at that, but James said yes, I think we've all been inspired by Donna's actions there.
After AJ had gone to the afternoon meeting at Head Office Amy had a little panic attack over her red leaved fountain plant. She's got to be real fond of it (she calls it Gary, after a friend of hers with red hair) and it's been slowly growing this long spike out the middle of it for a while now. Amy was watering it again when she suddenly noticed there was this bobble growing out the side of the spike, so she started to get excited because she thought it might be something wrong with the plant.
After Donna and LeeAnn calmed her down, Donna said it doesn't look like it's a problem, Amy, it looks like it's part of the plant. I said it looks like those little lumps that came out on my fern plant, and they just turned out to be new little fern plants growing off their mom - maybe he's growing babies too.
Amy said I'll wait and see what happens, but if it's a baby he's not a Gary at all. James said then you can change his name to Geri.