AJ called us together for the morning meeting and said he'd decided over the weekend to implement a "focussing" policy where we all should concentrate on our strengths and not our weaknesses, but we all didn't pay any attention to that as he also said unfortunately we'd all have to manage without him this week as he was going to be at Head Office most of the time. His boss is looking at team structure and he wants to be there for consultation if needed. What he means is he's smelt blood in the water, so he's going to hang around there to make sure his boss remembers he exists if one of the other CEOs gets canned and their place is put up for grabs. We all tried not to look too happy and said we'll do our best to manage without you, but we're all glad he's going to infest Head Office instead of hanging around here and bugging us all, so we'll all be able to get on with some work. The only drawback is Head Office is where he picks up all these stupid policies he keeps trying out or agrees he'll get us all to do some pointless stuff, but the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks.
Sarah, the new temporary staffer didn't show, so Fiona got Amy to call the agency after AJ had gone, and they said oh hasn't she? we'll check and call you back. They finally called back about 3:00 and told Amy well, she was due and we can''t reach her - maybe she's lost but can you manage today and she'll be along tomorrow, she's very experienced with all sorts of office work, and we know she'll be perfect for you. James said she may be the best thing ever but that's no use if she's not actually here, so Fiona wanted to know were they sure she'll be here tomorrow? They said oh yes, or you can have Laura back as she's free - we all said nothankyouwe'llwaitforSarah.
Tuesday: LeeAnn was the last to come in this morning and she said has this Sarah arrived yet? Fiona said no, we're still waiting. LeeAnn said oh because I was in the pub last night and there was this girl there - someone said she had a new temporary job that should have started yesterday and she was due to start it today instead - it might be her. James said well, was her name Sarah? LeeAnn said I don't know, but I hope it's not her because she's a right little §*#?¿, there was this guy I was talking to last night and she tried to butt in so I had to smack her one.
I guess nobody was all that surprised when Sarah didn't show, and when Amy called the agency at about 10:00 they said unfortunately Sarah wasn't going to be able to come in until Thursday or Friday now as she'd had an accident - could we wait or did we want them to send someone else. We all told Amy to say no we'll wait (in case they sent Laura) and to ask what accident, but the agency went shy on her and wouldn't say. Maybe it is the same girl - so what do we all do when she does show up if it is?
Wednesday: The big printer wasn't working after the lunchbreak again. Walked over, pulled Mike's mobile charger, threatened him with LeeAnn, and plugged the printer back in.
There was a loud scream from the main office just after lunch that scared me half to death. I got up and out in time to see Amy, who had been typing up customer invoices, shoot across the office back to her own desk and the safety of her lucky charms. It was a little unnerving at first as she hasn't had a panic attack for a while now and I guess I'd forgotten just how hysterical she can get. James came running out from his office as well, and we all stood around while Fiona and LeeAnn calmed her down enough to make out what she was saying.
She told us all she was going home right away and never coming back as she could hear some huge animal moving about in the roof. Unfortunately Mike said maybe it's rats in the roofspace, so after Fiona had calmed her down again and we'd all glared hard at Mike, I said well maybe it's just birds on the roof and Amy said no, I could hear it groaning.
James and I went over to the corner where she'd been sitting at Donna's old desk, but we couldn't hear anything. I said maybe the scream scared it off, and James said shut up she'll hear you. We all stood around for a moment, listening, but all I could hear was the thump sound of the heat sealer on the shop floor below and some traffic noise. Amy was settled back down at her desk, given coffee and encouraged to stroke all her lucky charms, and finally decided she would be brave and stay as we all were so busy, but if it made just one more sound she was going to walk.
I was on edge all the rest of the day, and found myself sitting still and listening real hard several times. I don't know why Amy panicking would make me worry - but then she panics over so many things I guess sooner or later she's going to be right and nobody will notice until it's too late.
Thursday: It was very quiet in the office first thing this morning, so it wasn't Amy's imagination this time as we all heard it. It was a low booming moaning sound, different from the heat sealer, and really did come from the roof. Amy started to cry and Fiona and LeeAnn ran over, but they'd both heard it too so they were finding it difficult to reassure Amy as they didn't know what it was either. James said it's OK I know what it is - it's a plane flying overhead! We all relaxed, and LeeAnn and Fiona said oh yes of course it is I knew all along - and that's when it did it again, only a little louder, and then followed it up with a choking roaring sound as if it were calling up the other herd members to help it deal with whoever had their hands around it's neck. James said well OK, it's not a plane then.
Whatever it is living up in the roof must be wide awake today as it's called out several times this morning, and a couple more times after lunch. We all stop work each time and wander about trying to figure out what it is - it sounds awful hungry to me, but I guess Amy's nerves have gotten to me.
Nobody showed from the agency, so we'll all have to wait until tomorrow to find out if it's the girl LeeAnn assaulted in the pub Monday night - I was sitting next LeeAnn during the lunchbreak so I asked her why she'd hit the girl in the first place. LeeAnn said well I was talking to this guy, he's got a very nice bike, and she came over and tried to muscle in between us, so I told her to get lost but she gave me a mouthful and I slapped her - but it turned out he was her boyfriend so I ended up thumping him as well. I said you sure have an exciting life LeeAnn. She said yeah well I have to sit in this dump all day, I need a little spice in my life you know.
Well, we finally tracked our roof monster down just as we were all going home. LeeAnn and Amy were in the washroom and Fiona, James and I were standing by the side of Donna's old desk waiting for everybody to be ready to leave so James could lock up, when it yelled out once more real loud. It's the water pipes.
The heating is set to come on about eight to warm up the place before we all come in for eight-thirty, and there must be air in the pipes or something. There's at least two water tanks in the roofspace (one over Andy's office and an overflow one near the washrooms) so it's probably the water rushing through the pipes and in to the tanks that makes that roaring sound, and also why Amy heard it first when she was sitting over at Donna's old desk over that side of the office. We all laughed, and everybody said how they knew it was all right and they weren't scared at all.
Friday: A girl finally showed up from the agency but she's called Mandi, not Sarah, and apparently this Sarah isn't coming after all. I guess we all should have expected it as the agency isn't maybe the best one in the neighborhood - it's the same agency that told me this shipping job I'm doing was a part-time stores position after all. Amy showed her around and sat her down, and Fiona explained how the customer invoices were to be typed up. She seemed to understand what was wanted so we all may be OK with this one anyways. She's kind of cute and wears pink, and it looks as if she's going to stay as she brought in a couple personal possessions to 'brighten up the desk', including a fluffy bunny rabbit. She picked him up and held him in front of her face to introduce him to everyone, and talked for him and waved his paws at us all, but that's OK as long as she does the work - if we all can live with AJ, Amy, Mike and … all of us really if I'm honest about it, well then we all can hack this one being weird as well.
Amy told her it's all right, it's just the water pipes when she said Oh what's that on the roof? It turns out Mandi's heart doesn't beat like other people - it goes 'skippity-skip, just wike a wittle fwightened wabbit.'
She giggles too.
I went over to show her how to log in to the computer system, and she said Mr Flossy says 'Hewwo I hope we'll be fwiends', and guess what Mr Flossy's weal name is, but apparently I guessed wrong when I said BunBun.
AJ wasn't around for the morning meeting as he's too busy apple-polishing at Head Office, so we all decided not to bother to have one. We all have backlogs as everybody's been helping out with the Customer Service work, so this was a chance to clear some of it and we all took it. It was real peaceful without AJ so I could just work steady, and towards the end of the day I had gotten to the point where I can actually see bits of my table under the files. I had the door open so I could breathe and all afternoon I could hear the water monster moving about in the roof and Mandi burbling away.