Friday, 14 March 2008

So laid back, they're horizontal

It's not that I mind being kept busy, in fact I love having a list of things to do at work as long as there's a clear finishing point and it doesn't all have to be done for the same time. But I need those first 10 minutes when I get into work in the morning to get my head around the day; to turn on my computer, clear my inbox from 10 unread to no new messages, flag up what needs doing, put my lunch in the fridge and change myself from get out of my waaaaay mode into yep, cool, no probs - leave it with me and I'll sort it mode.

Without those first 10 minutes, I get restless. I'll complete the tasks I'm given, but I never feel quite content with the order I'm doing them. Someone will catch me on the hop or I'll have to go to another building whilst still being aware that I have an inbox full of Jo, can you sort this for me - needs to be done. or Jo, is there anyone available to do this? and When you get a moment, can you pop in?

So when I have to go and pick something up, I want it to be ready. Because it's 10:15 and I haven't had my 10 minutes to get my head around the fact that I'm up before 12, after all- I was a student for 4 years, these things take some getting used to. I don't want to turn up and discover that the item has gone inexplicably missing and if it has, I want Harry Helpful sorting it out, not the human equivalent of Droopy Dog.

Hmmmm. That's odd. he mused, whilst checking the shelf against the reference I'd given him for the tenth time. And you're sure that no one has already come to pick it up. And who might that have been? The Easter Elf? If someone had done that, I think I'd probably know about it, as I wouldn't be here. Hmmmm, he says, I don't know where it could have got to, rechecking the shelf in case the invisibility paint had started to wear off, now...John, who dealt with it, he'll be in at two o'clock. I continue to look at him, eyebrows raised. But hmmm, I suppose you need it now. Correct, right now - in fact I could have done with it about 5 minutes ago, but let's not get ahead of ourselves eh? He shuffles around for another few minutes, checking more shelves, on desks, in plant pots, under the carpet - that sort of thing - before returning again. Hmmm, he repeats, seating himself behind a computer, tapping the keyboard a few times and scratching his head, I wonder where it got to. There's only so many places it can be, you see! mentioning again to the Magical Disappearing Shelf. Hmmmmm, that's annoying. Really? For who? Me? Is it? I hadn't noticed. What is annoying is that you have your t-shirt tucked tightly into your hiking trousers. I suppose we'll have to run you off another one. At which point he went into the 'technical' area of the room, so I waited.


After another five minutes of me standing there and him shuffling in and out of the 'technical area', I decided to pressure him for a time frame. Errm, any idea how long this'll take? Oh, right. Urrrm. Hmmmm. Well, the machine's broken. Sooooo.... Oh good, nice of you to keep me updated. So when will it be fixed? Hmmm, well it's so unreliable this equipment, ummm...hmmm. Can it get fixed? Like, now? Hmmmm, I don't know. It's not working. The broken machine is not working you say? Sooo....it will take, how long to get working? Ah. Hmm, sorry. There's nothing I can do about it. Oh right, good to see you have a real need to get things done here, twenty points for problem solving ability. He nodded at me a few more times, looked at his feet, and I gave up trying to elicit a response. I returned empty handed.


It was then I realised that the saying "how the other half live" refers not to wealth, but to sense of urgency, of which the other half, those who smile and nod when you're angry and walk slowly in rush hour, have none.

9 comments:

Girl Vino said...

I have discovered since having kids who, when younger, would chuck a wobbly seeminly without reason, that I have a rather huge intolerance for incompetence and have had a few minor runins with people who waste my time with their bullshit when I am out and about. Once upon a time I would have smiled through clenched teeth and endured their stupidity.No More.

China Blue said...

That's one thing I hated about being a PA - I was borderline competent at the best of times, but when other people left me up shit creek - despite my best planning - it really pissed me off.

James said...

Nice to see my licence fee is being used with the upmost of efficiency.

(Am I allowed to mention that?)

theperpetualspiral said...

It drives me bananas when people seem to have no sense of urgency whatsoever. Somewhat surprisingly it always seems to happen when it is really really urgent too.

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha yeah I hate people wasting my time and I tend to walk away/put the phone down on them these days. The line that people come up with so often when I arrive expecting to see someone and they are not there is: "oh I don't know where they are. They were here earlier." How does that help? They then do this rather theatrical looking around them, as if the person might be lurking behind a pot plant or hiding in the bin. Grrrhh!

Marika said...

Grrrr...I say GRRRRR! I have to deal with this sort of thing pretty frequently too, but mine is more along the "Oh, did you want me to actually DO that?" line.

Steph said...

Sounds like you don't drink enough coffee in the morning ;)

surviving myself said...

people are, overall, very disappointing.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

girl - Have you seen that advert where the kid starts having a tantrum in the supermarket, and the mum starts screaming and banging her fists everywhere too? Haha

china - Trust me...it's allllways someone elses fault ;)

James - I can neither confirm or deny your accusations!

perpetual - that is most definitely always the way.

reluctant - that is EXACTLY what this bloke did. To a T.

Marika - Haha, "No...I was just asking you to do it for my own good health"...eeedjits.

steph - Coffee...bleeeeuurrrhh

surviving - Hahaha,I love that. I'm going to stick that on top of my PC monitor just to remind me.

 

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