Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "simplify" policy. We are all to strip our jobs down to the bare essentials and just do them the way we've always done them, without using new gimmicks and buzzwords to confuse and distract ourselves from our individual goals. We all are introducing unnecessary and redundant functions and procedures into our jobs, and that's complicating things for us. He doesn't know why we've all suddenly become so obsessed with changing things for the sake of change over the last three or four weeks, as it's not doing us any good. Although he accepts we all need variety, we shouldn't need it at work. He's got some meaningful statements to inspire us, which he'll give out to us when they arrive.
After he'd gone back in his office Amy said does that mean the "creative thinking" policy's finished, then? I said the fever seems to have broken. It's been a long three weeks but we're finally through.
I'm looking forward to those meaningful statements though. He's been here for nine months now but still doesn't know how things work, and he can't really make meaningful statements, only statements. Give the guy his due - that doesn't stop him trying.
Tuesday: I wasn't that surprised AJ didn't come in to question me about documenting the Head Office despatch system yesterday. I'd looked it out over the weekend from the last time I did it and got it ready in case, and at about three this afternoon he must have remembered or got bored or something, so he came in and asked me how far I'd come with it.
I gave him a photocopy of the last time and told him it's the same system we use here. He said so why doesn't ours work as well as theirs does then? I said it's because we don't send out as much as they do - they send out about forty times what we do every day - and the carrier's more careful with their shipments as they're scared of losing the deal they've made with them to ship everybody's stuff. He said yes, that's probably why then - I think someone at Head Office told me that about two weeks ago.
It wasn't someone at Head Office, it was me. I'm glad he thinks it's someone at Head Office though, he's more likely to accept it from them and stop keep asking me the same stupid questions over and over.
Wednesday: AJ got the meaningful statements this morning, but I'm disappointed because they're just comments on some picture posters. He gave them to Amy to post up around the office, so she put up one for me to look at of two guys standing on a snow-covered mountain looking out over a sunset - apparently it's supposed to make me think of 'teamwork'. It doesn't.
It makes me think who'd go climb up a mountain and stand on the top in snow with just a coat and backpack? The light's fading fast and they're going to be stranded up there too. I bet they're wearing sneakers - they look the type. I've been in deep snow myself and it's cold. I don't know how much he paid for them but Fiona's still pale just thinking about it. If he paid more than a penny for them, he was screwed.
The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak again. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, plugged the printer back in.
I suddenly noticed the poster with those two guys on a mountain is printed in New York - and that explains why they're not dressed up for the country, and why I'm waiting for them to start screaming for help. It's reminded me of the year before I went to school and Mom was still working part-time. That year she got a job weekends at a summer camp for rich New York kids down to home. I was helping out in the mornings (for my bed and food) and afternoons some of the councillors would let me tag along. We all were taken out one Saturday to collect natural things from the woods - I don't remember what for, maybe just to keep us all quiet. It's an old joke and you've heard it before - someone sees it, says oooh that's a pretty plant, and picks a good-sized spray of poison ivy. One girl did so she came out all over (of course), her mom flew down Sunday and came straight from the airport to yell at everybody and take her back.
Me? - I'd remembered my yard work and I'd picked candleweed.
Thursday: LeeAnn came in 7 minutes late - she told AJ she didn't have the right money for the bus so she had to go all the way to the depot to get change.
She told us she missed the bus as she didn't get up in time. She'd had another fight with the boyfriend yesterday afternoon and went out by herself instead of with him. She met a new guy in the pub she went to, so she's trying to work out how to tell the boyfriend she wants him out so the new guy can move in. James said just tell him - it's your house. Donna said are you sure you want him to move in, if you've only just met him? but LeeAnn said yes, I'm sure. This is the guy I've been waiting for all this time - he's so cool, he can carry four pints without spilling them, he wasn't mean with his tobacco when he rolled one for me, and he's got all the Alice Cooper albums too.
After a while she said you know, you're right Donna. He's still got a place in a squat so he doesn't need to move in with me. I can see him at his place without getting the boyfriend to leave.
I don't think that's what Donna meant.
That picture of two guys stranded up a mountain is still worrying me. I'm waiting for Search and Rescue to come flying out that sunset to get them - or their mom in an airport cab.
Friday: AJ said at the morning meeting we all seemed very happy with this week's "simplify" policy. He'd noticed all our work had been done so much faster, and hoped we'd all got this silly idea of creative thinking out of our systems now. We all nodded.
After he'd gone back in his office Donna said nobody's to tell him the "creative thinking" policy was his idea, as it would be cruel. LeeAnn said why don't we tell him - he's cruel to us, so I said I thought the British loved dumb animals. James said that's OK - he's convinced himself it wasn't him by now.
I got most things done as AJ stayed in his office all morning. He only came back out and wandered around just before he went to the afternoon meeting at Head Office, to check everything was still going OK. He came over to my office, but I'd finished everything I could do as he'd not been bothering me so I had to pretend I was working on next week's shipment plan.
We all sat about most of the afternoon too once he'd gone - I wasn't the only one who'd been able to clear most of the stuff from the last couple weeks. It's nice to have things back to normal, and everybody's much more relaxed as well.
I just wonder what he'll start next week.
Note on last week's Cultural note - click here to read it. Peter Mandelson was today (01/03/09) officially cleared of lying, which means he can apply for the title of 'Honest Politician'.
This title is awarded on merit by the British President, currently Tory Blair. The 'Honest Politician' is then designated a 'National Treasure' under the Act of Unicorn (1701) and given huge mounds of free money, a fantastically expensive apartment in the most fashionable part of London, and a guaranteed lifetime position in Government with a dukedom after that. And you're not allowed to ask them nasty questions ever, or say anything mean or spiteful about them unless your name is Campbell.
Note to any British people reading this - he gets a free BBC TV license as well. Go protest about it. Go on. Note to any non-British people reading this - I lied about the TV license.