by Jim Blythe
Last month I wrote about an upcoming announcement for a major restructure in the office where Iâ€¦ well, not exactly work, but I do like to pop in there most weekdays. You remember? I did it in an informal and witty style and you chuckled to yourself whilst munching on a cheese and pickle sandwich that youâ€™d bought for lunch. It was ok, a bit dry and not very interesting but tolerable nonetheless. The sandwich I mean; not my article which weâ€™ve already established was both informal and witty. And, as youâ€™ll recall, I said that if I survived the re-structure Iâ€™d tell you how it worked out. So now youâ€™re thinking that I must have somehow survived and Iâ€™m about to do just that. Well, the truth of the matter is Iâ€™m really not sure.
I still work there, or am at least employed by the same company. However, I have no idea who I work for, which department Iâ€™m based in and what my job is. But I still pop in most weekdays and try to do something. Itâ€™s a bit demoralising in some ways but not as demoralising as the time when I changed roles and my new boss, Susan, interviewed and employed me and then appeared to forget who I was. A number of months went by during which, based on the fact that my desk was next to the photocopier, she appeared to believe I was some sort of repairman â€“ our photocopier went wrong a lot so the idea of an onsite repairman isnâ€™t actually as ridiculous as it sounds. Each morning Iâ€™d come into the office, smile and say â€śGood morning Susanâ€ť or words to that effect. It might not have been exactly that every single morning but Iâ€™m prone to going off script. And every morning when I said whatever words of greeting Iâ€™d selected from my extensive repertoire, Susan would frown and mumble a greeting-shaped reply as if puzzled as to why the photocopier repairman kept talking to her. She would then proceed to ignore me for the rest of the day unless the photocopier went wrong and sheâ€™d start glaring at me, annoyed that I wasnâ€™t getting on with fixing it. Then, after about 18 months she suddenly remembered who I was and started giving me work to do but by that time Iâ€™d forgotten how to do it although I could repair a photocopier with relative ease. Fortunately she moved on before this became the major issue it probably should have. But Iâ€™m digressing. Let me tell you what happenedâ€¦
Dave got made redundant and has gone. Just like that. One day he was here happily arranging, holding and assessing the success of meetings and the next he was gone leaving me and Mel with lots more time on our hands. Not that we have anything to do with it because we donâ€™t know who we work for, which department weâ€™re in or what our job is. I expect someone will get around to telling us at some point in the future. After a week or so of our new found bewilderment, Phil turned up again.
â€śWhere have you been?â€ť I ask
â€śStationary cupboard.â€ť he proudly replies.
â€śJolly good.â€ť For anyone who missed the last instalment Phil decided that if he hid no one could tell him about the announcement and therefore, by law, it could not affect him. Surprisingly he appears to have been right although I think that might be down to incompetence rather than employment law. Phil peruses the office with a slight frown.
â€śWhereâ€™s Dave?â€ť he asks.
â€śHeâ€™s gone.â€ť I reply.
â€śGone where?â€ť Phil asks.
â€śI donâ€™t know. Heâ€™s just gone. He doesnâ€™t work here in anymore.â€ť
â€śOh.â€ť says Phil, his frown deepening. â€śBut whoâ€™s going to hold all the meetings now?â€ť
I shrug. Weâ€™ve been pondering over this for the past few days.
â€śSo whoâ€™s the new boss then?â€ť Phil asks.
â€śI donâ€™t know.â€ť
â€śWell which department are we in?â€ť he persists.
â€śI donâ€™t know.â€ť
â€śOK, well whatâ€™s the job now?â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t know, Phil, ok?â€ť I snap. Snapping might seem unnecessary but it feels demeaning having to admit this out loud.
â€śSo what have you been doing for the past week?â€ť he asks.
â€śNot a lot.â€ť I reply, honestly.
Phil chuckles to himself. â€śDo you remember that time when you worked for Susan andâ€¦â€ť
â€śYes, thank you Phil.â€ť I snap again. â€śThis is a completely different thing. No one knows what their job is now, ok!â€ť
Before Phil can say anything further on this subject we are interrupted by the familiar sound of Mel being angry. We both turn to see the source of her ire; it appears the photocopier has jammed. Phil looks at me, raising his eyebrows. For a moment I resist but give in with a sigh and head over to see the problem. Ah, thereâ€™s a jam in the left-hand compartment probably caused by the duplex function; Iâ€™m going to have to strip it down and replace the part. Thatâ€™s going to take a while so Iâ€™ll have to leave you. Bye for now.
Category: Light Relief