If I had any respect for AJ, his behavior this Friday would have killed it.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement an "added value" policy. Whatever we all do this week, we all have to add value to it.
We all sat wondering what he was talking about, and eventually James gave up and said what do you mean? AJ said it's quite simple, when you start a procedure you should have added value to it by the time you finish it.
After he'd gone back in his office, Donna said I still don't understand, and James said I don't either. We all looked blank at each other, then LeeAnn turned to me and said what do you think? I said don't look at me - I don't know, and I don't think he does.
We all agreed that if he asked, we'd all tell him we had and let him prove we hadn't.
Tuesday: There are ten bobbles on Amy's red leaved fountain plant. It's obviously trying to get an early start on Spring.
AJ called something he said was an 'impromptu meeting', but the fact he had it all written out makes me think it was planned.
He said that Head Office have made a decision on the rebranding of one of the small parts we supply (the one that's nearly eleven percent of our on-site turnover) that Marketing at Head Ofice were working on last month. They decided last week that it isn't necessary to rebrand our item, but the Marketing team have objected because they put so much work into it so it's gone back for further debate.
Wednesday: LeeAnn came in 7 minutes late - she said she'd got lost on the way to the office. It turns out she'd forgotten she was staying at the squat with her unofficial boyfriend last night instead of at her house with the official one, so when she got up to come in she turned in the wrong direction.
The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak again. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, plugged the printer back in.
Amy counted the bobbles on her red leaved fountain plant again this afternoon, and now there are eleven - one more must have appeared during the night.
Thursday: Amy counted the bobbles on her red leaved fountain plant again this morning, but it must have been resting last night and no more have appeared. Donna said the office being heated over Christmas has made all the plants think Spring is coming early. She cares for most of them now, apart from Amy's red leaved fountain plant, LeeAnn's dead stick plant, my little fern, Andy's plants (which both died), and the Killer Plant.
Nobody's looking after the Killer Plant It doesn't need looking after as it's doing very well on its own, thank you, and it doesn't think Spring's coming - it thinks Spring's already here. It's cracked through five of AJ's ceiling tiles now.
Just before we all left at the end of the day, LeeAnn said she'd be coming in her Comic Relief charity T-shirt tomorrow as Friday was Red Nose day, and was anybody else going to? James said his son had bought him one, but he wouldn't wear it. I said I'd wear mine.
Friday: Wore the Comic Relief T-shirt in, as did LeeAnn. AJ called us both in his office and told us that we could not just turn up to work in a T-shirt like that, as it had a bad effect on employees' morale. It was wearing casual clothes, and totally inappropriate.
I said hold on a minute, we all wear casual clothes except you, James, Mike and Andy, and I thought it would be good for employees' morale. AJ said no, the shop floor won't like it as they have to wear the supplied protective clothing, and they'll be resentful if you wear things like that when they can't. LeeAnn said I've been downstairs already, and over half the shop floor are wearing the T-shirt under their overalls. AJ said that's beside the point, but wearing a T-shirt isn't appropriate in the offices, especially one with an offensive slogan on like you're wearing, and whatever pop group you support you should support them outside work time. I said it's not offensive, and LeeAnn said it's not a pop group, it's a charity. AJ said even so, you can't wear them with that slogan on - it'll offend anybody visiting the office. He said you'll both have to go home and change. I said you mean right now? but he said no, at lunch time, but in the mean time either remove them or find something else to put over top to hide that slogan.
I'm glad I hadn't gotten around to putting my red nose on yet, as he'd probably have noticed that.
We both came out and LeeAnn started swearing about it, then sat at her desk and took her T-shirt off!
I ran straight in my office and shut the door, and James went white and disappeared in his too. I could hear Donna and Fiona asking what was going on and Amy starting up hysterics, but there was no way I was going out there!
After a while, Donna came over and told me it's OK now, you can come out. I said no. Donna said it's OK, she's put her top back on.
We both sat through the morning meeting with our arms folded, and AJ pretended he couldn't see us, then apologised to the others on our behalf for our unfortunate behavior. James said what's wrong with them raising money for charity? but AJ said there's nothing wrong with raising money for charity, but Head Office doesn't approve of it being done during working hours.
Just after the coffee break at ten, a team of seven guys came over from Head Office, all wearing Comic Relief T-shirts, red noses, and other costume pieces. They said Head Office were doing a lot of things during the day to raise money for Comic Relief, and they were going around all the nearby sites with collection buckets. One of them asked AJ what was our office doing to raise money. AJ said oh, we're supporting it here - two of my office staff are wearing the T-shirts, and I'm sure they're planning to raise lots of money later on too.
After he'd gone to the afternoon meeting at Head Office, Mike took his jacket, tie and shirt off, and he had the Comic Relief T-shirt on underneath. I said you're a coward, and he said yes, I suppose I am really.
I'd arranged with Elli to go straight down to her after work so we could watch the whole Comic Relief show, which went on until three in the morning - Elli'd seen the last one so she called in her donation at the start of the first section, and I called in mine after the first report on Rwanda. It sure puts things in perspective.
Note on last week's Note on the previous week's Cultural note - I have been told that last week's note said the current British President is called Tory Blair, but I have since discovered that this is not true. The current British President is in fact called Tony Blur.
I would like to admit here publically that I was muddled and misled by my advisors. I would like to put the record straight and state that any misunderstanding that may have arisen from anything I said is not my fault in any way whatsoever, I don't actually remember saying it, and a panel of impartial authorities have cleared me completely.