A nice relaxing week this week - AJ's convinced himself we're all following his latest policy, and nobody has the heart to tell him.
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement an "added content" policy, to follow on from last week's "added value" policy. James said how did last week's policy go by the way, was it a success? and AJ said yes, I could tell you were committed to it.
Nobody did anything last week as we all didn't know what he meant - so obviously that was the right thing to do.
I said so is this week's "added content" policy anything like the "extra service" policy we all had before, where we all have to tell the customer something unexpected that would interest them as well as what they want to know? AJ said yes … no. No. I remember what happened when you did that last October! This policy is for you to ensure that every time you complete an operation it has increased content as well as increased value.
So that means he still hasn't got a clue what he's talking about and we all can just get on with our work again this week.
It's a real shame he remembered what happened last October - I'd enjoyed that one, until AJ made us all stop it.
Tuesday: AJ came out his office after the morning break today and asked everyone when there'd been a fire drill last. We all looked blank. He went off looking for Andy to ask him, and James said we're supposed to have two every year, but I don't remember having one last year. I said I've been working here for fourteen months now, and I can't remember there ever being one.
When AJ came back in he said he'd been reminded by Head Office that we all need fire training, so we'll be having fire drills and extinguisher training to make sure we'll pass the inspections. James said what inspections? but AJ said don't worry about that. He told Donna to ring up Personnel at Head Office and arrange for the local Fire Chief to come in and give everyone a fire extinguisher training course, and to borrow Head Office's fire safety video. He then told us all there'd be surprise fire drills from now on, where we'd all have to get out the offices and factory and assemble at the fire meeting point as fast as possible for a roll call. Amy said where is the fire meeting point? but AJ said you should already know that, Amy, and went back in his office. I guess he doesn't know himself - nobody else in here does.
About five minutes later he put his head back out to tell us all the first surprise fire drill is going to be held at four-fifteen this Friday afternoon as we all finish up for the weekend, so it won't interfere with our work.
Wednesday: The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak again. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, plugged the printer back in.
LeeAnn found an old fire sign on James' door under the vacation planner. It's got a map of the factory escape routes on it, but the office block isn't shown because it wasn't built at the time the map was drawn up. Apparently the fire meeting point used to be on open ground at the back of the factory but it's been built around since - now it's the small loading bay at the back of Store Two (the hazardous chemical store) right between the gas store for the emergency generator and the collection point for the empty welding gas cylinders. I'm praying there's never going to be a fire here.
Thursday: Donna got a call back from a Personnel officer at Head Office to say the local fire fighters were sending in a training officer next Thursday to show us all how to work a fire extinguisher, and it would take about an hour, tops. She let AJ know about it, then when she came back out she said the Personnel officer had told her all the CEO's were getting their people trained because of the Health and Safety inspections coming soon. Unfortunately he couldn't tell Donna when they were coming because Head Office won't know exact times until about a week before.
Friday: AJ said at the morning meeting he was very pleased by the way we all had adapted our working practises to include the "added content" policy, and he was convinced it had made a real impact on our business. We all just nodded and smiled, and nobody told him we're all just getting on with the work as normal because we all don't know what he means by "added content". If he thinks we've all adapted our working practises to include it, that's fine. He's happy, and we're all happy too because he's not bugging us. I just hope he'll keep on with this type of policy for a while.
He reminded us all of the surprise fire drill scheduled for four-fifteen this afternoon, so after he'd gone to the afternoon meeting at Head Office, we all made sure everything was tidied up by three-fortyfive, and then sat about talking and waiting for it.
Andy came up from the shop floor at four to see if we all were ready. He said it would take about fifteen minutes, the shop floor were ready and waiting for the fire alarms to go off, and one of us really ought to be the fire steward for the offices because he'd be downstairs with Steve from Stores, the fire steward for the shop floor. James said what does the office fire steward have to do then? and Andy said make sure everyone leaves the offices and take the roll call when you get to the fire meeting point. I said James can do it, but James said no, it should be Donna. Donna said what if I'm not here when there's a fire? so Mike said then you wouldn't answer the roll call, would you?
After we'd all suggested everyone but ourselves and Andy was getting worried he'd have to make a decision, the others bunched up and agreed I was going to be the office fire steward whether I wanted to be or not. I finally gave up arguing because it was getting too close to four-fifteen and everyone downstairs was waiting on us.
The fire drill went off perfectly and everybody was marked OK, apart from AJ. He never signs out to say he's off the premises when he goes to Head Office, so I marked him as 'killed' because he did't come to the fire meeting point within the fifteen minutes Andy'd allowed for the fire drill. Everyone went as their names were called off, until there was just Andy, Steve from Stores and me standing there. We stood there for a while until Andy'd finished filling out the forms he'd got, then he said it's all right, you two go home, I have to go back in to get my briefcase and I'll call AJ's house to make sure he didn't come back.
I said we're the fire stewards, do you think we ought to go look for him too? but Steve said no, we're only fire stewards during working hours and it's nearly five now - we can look for him at nine o'clock on Monday.
Note on last week's Note on last week's Note on the previous week's Cultural note - I give up trying to outweird politicians - my grip on reality hasn't been surgically removed and it keeps getting in the way.