We've all got just twelve days searching time before Amy gets back!
Monday: AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "facilitation" policy, to follow on from last week's "professional behavior" policy. We all are to continue to be polite and respectful to each other, but now we all must show a willingness to assist our colleagues wherever possible. Amy said oh, you mean covering the switchboard when I'm away? AJ said no, not quite, and then looked a little thoughtful and said well, yes, I suppose so. He asked Amy when she was going away next, as he thought it was coming up real soon now. Amy said I'm on holiday from this Wednesday, for two weeks. He said oh, that soon, really! have you arranged with the others to cover for you? Donna said yes, just like last year - Fiona and LeeAnn'll cover the switchboard, Mike'll keep his own appointment book, and I'll do any typing needed, and I'm on holiday in four weeks time too don't forget.
AJ said of course he hadn't forgotten, but he went over to the vacation calendar on the back of James' office door after the meeting to have a look at it. I'm the only one who's had my main two week vacation this year so far, and Amy's the next one. August and September are going to be busy.
Tuesday: Amy was running about all day, stressing herself and everyone out reminding people what they're covering for her and checking that it's OK, because of AJ's comment yesterday. She came over to me to say it'd be OK for me to do anything to her PC while she was out, as long as it worked all right when she got back. I said I wasn't planning to do anything, but I'd bear it in mind. She and her husband were to have gone to Scotland to visit with his brother and brother's family (they go every year and Amy hates it) but this year they're going to France instead as his brother's taken a house near Paris for them all. She's opted to go through the tunnel instead of taking a ferry over, because that's only a half hour of claustrophobia instead of an hour and a half of sea-sickness. We all said have a good time.
Wednesday: The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak again. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, and plugged the printer back in.
I said you have to stop doing this, Mike - LeeAnn'll kill you when she finds out it's you. He said oh sorry, I forgot. I said next time I'll leave LeeAnn to find out why it's not working, and I guess she'll make you remember. He said I'm not scared of LeeAnn, but he checked to see if she was around before he said it. She was downstairs in the filing room and nobody else noticed the printer stopping, so it looks like he got away with it again.
Thursday: The day started normally, then Donna got a call from Mike about ten. She grabbed James, LeeAnn and me and hustled us all off in to my office and tried to close the door for privacy, but with four of us in there it wouldn't. Fiona came over to find out why she wasn't included and Donna tried to get her in too - she said don't let Andy or AJ hear us. James said why, and she said because they'll tell her.
She told us all Mike had called her with a real problem. He'd come by late last night (after we'd all gone) to pick up some paperwork he'd forgotten to take with him, and on the way out he'd knocked Amy's desk with his case. There's a whole bunch of lucky charms on that side of her desk, including about nine plastic Irish leprechauns. They all look the same - sitting cute on a piece of stone with the name of the place they were bought written on, and the one from Sligo obviously didn't like Mike touching Amy's desk while she was away. It leapt for him, missed, and fell - and knocked the Connemara one down with it. Mike stopped to pick up Sligo, and that's when he stood on Connemara.
When he picked it up he found it had come off the piece of stone and come in pieces, so he'd panicked and taken it all home with him, to give him time to think what he could do. He'd even tried to stick it back together in the hope she wouldn't notice but it didn't look right, and it'd lost an arm somewheres along the journey, so he'd called up Donna to ask her what he should do.
Donna said I've told him to bring it in with him when he comes in Friday, and we'll have a look to see if Amy'll notice it's been damaged or not. I said if it had two arms when she went and it's only got the one when she comes back she's sure to notice. James said yes, that's the sort of thing that does catch your eye, doesn't it? Donna said Mike's been thinking about it and decided he's going to have to confess, but he doesn't know how bad she's going to take it.
We all know how bad she's going to take it. Each one of them was given to her by a friend who's been going on vacation to various parts of Ireland for years now, and they're set up so an obvious gap is going to show - we all went over to have a look and it's real obvious. I guess it's more so because we all know there's one missing, but they're set out in a square of three by three so one missing does show up.
LeeAnn found the arm lying by the side of Amy's desk where it had rolled and the Cleaner had missed it, so Donna put it in her desk to see if it could be stuck back on after all. Maybe it's not too bad.
Friday: Mike brought the Connemara leprechaun in with him this morning. It's bad.
He's put it back together and gotten it sat on the piece of stone again - the legs are crossed (both of them), the head's tilted on one side and the remaining arm's folded OK, but when Mike put it down very carefully on Amy's desk the head moved and the whole thing lurched sideways. James said it doesn't really look like the others at all any more, so Mike said there's not that much difference, is there?
It looks as if it's been squished hard, and there's visible breaks in it. The missing arm might be stuck back on OK, but it's lost that bright-eyed twinkly smile and head-tilted-to-one-side look the others have got. It looks mean drunk instead, and it's visibly leering. Mike said do you really think she'll notice? He put his finger on the head and tried to ease it back up a little so it looked as if was growing from between the shoulders rather than out of one of them, but it didn't move. He pushed a little harder, and that's when the head fell off and rolled a little ways across the desk. I said she's surely going to notice if it does that.
AJ came in just then, so Donna grabbed up Connemara and everyone scattered - we'll all discuss it further during the break at ten.
At the morning meeting AJ said he was glad to see we all were rallying around Amy and helping each other out to cover her work - he'd seen us all at her desk discussing it. We all just nodded at left it at that and didn't tell him we all were trying to help out Mike as well, in case he wanted to know what Mike needed help with.
We all talked about Connemara during the break, and we're all agreed now - she'll notice he's not right.
AJ came around to check up on everyone just before he went to the afternoon meeting at Head Office, but, as soon as he'd gone, Donna got out Connemara again, and we all tried to work out what to do. LeeAnn said you know, I've seen things like this in junk shops and charity shops - maybe we can replace it before she gets back and then she'll never know.
We all finally agreed that everyone would watch out for leprechauns during the next twelve days she's away (especially Mike when he's traveling) and Mike'll pay for it. If nobody can find one before she gets back, he'll have to confess.