You can guess what's going to happen next, can't you?
Up pipes Jim:
"That's where the new graduate trainee's going to sit. They're starting next Monday."
What graduate trainee? I ask. What graduate trainee? asks Seth. What graduate trainee? asks T.Aldous.
It turns out that we're getting a graduate trainee as part of the corporate performance development strand (slide 47 in the "Bobbing Up And Down Like This" PowerPoint presentation). And they're starting next Monday.
They'll need a desk. And a PC. And a network point. There is but one network point in the vicinity. One will need to be ordered for the new bod's PC. Which will require access to the wall in the area where my desk is to go. So what's the point of my moving there just yet?
There's still the issue of how to fit two desks together in this space. Easiest thing to do would be to move the filing cabinet holding 2005's invoices. Seth suggests putting it into the computer room (we're both slap happy by this stage so I go along with this). Enter Mary:
"Don't do anything yet. I need to think about this."
Quarter of an hour later she comes back to Seth (I've wandered off to put my stuff back and get back where I started the day).
"You could move that filing cabinet into the computer room."
"That's what I said quarter of an hour ago," replies Seth.
The cabinet is moved into the computer room. The new bod's desk is set up. We steal the communal PC from the admin floor and put it on this desk for the new bod to work with. We also have to steal the communal A3 scanner 'cos this is the only PC it's installed on and IT have taken all the installation disks away with them. Besides which, the only other PCs are on small desks and/or are the new set-up that don't allow staff-mediated installations.
So far so annoying...
Mary has decided that when I move she's going to have my office. She has spent the past hour haunting the place, pacing out the space for her desk and tidying up Jimmy Huddersfield's filing cabinets in preparation for her files. She does a lot of Estate Agent noises. I feel like the hospital patient being measured for his box in Casualty.
The BookStart worker comes in for her weekly couple of hours' touching base. To find that her desk has a PC on it.
"Ah, you've got me a PC!" she says to Mary.
"Well, actually, we're taking away your desk," replies Mary.
It's decided - by Mary - that the BookStart worker will have Eddie's desk, moved into Mary's office (i.e. mine at the moment). At first this puzzles us. Then we realise that having the BookStart worker in for a couple of hours a week means that she doesn't have to share an office with Jimmy's successor.
Mary stands in the doorway making "it might work" noises. At length.
It then transpires that Doreen is desperate to move into Mary's office. And has been haunting the place making Estate Agent noises.
- On the very day that I start moving my desk the space that has been empty for more than two years is suddenly urgently required by somebody else.
- We're recruiting staff we don't know about.
- We're robbing Peter to give Paul a PC.
- Moving a filing cabinet is a committee decision.
- I only have squatters' rights on an office I've occupied for fourteen years. Not because of any organisational decision but because a couple of senior managers fancy a change.
- I am in the fortunate position of being able to completely piss off both Mary and Doreen by doing absolutely nothing.
T.Aldous takes me to one side to apologise for the situation. He is genuinely embarassed.
The evil and vindictive part of me, which isn't buried anywhere too deep these days, thinks that if Mary doesn't pack it in I'll complain that I'm being hounded out of my office.