Co-workers with no lives ...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

... and who think you don't have one either.

I was working at The Shop today.  Recently there was some debate over whether or not we were going to open on any of the Bank Holidays over Easter.  After some umming and ahhing from the boss, who I shall refer to as Nora, announced that we would not open on any of them.   Excellent!

Since then, I made plans with my partner; we've booked tickets for a gig, arranged a room at a hotel, scouted for a nice place to eat, made travel arrangements, and we are now both in happy anticipation of next Thursday evening / Friday.

Today, Nora nearly gave me a heart attack. 

She turned to me, calendar in hand, "Hmmmmm, I just don't know whether to open next Friday or not."   Um, what?  You made it clear not even a week ago that we would not be opening. 

Aside from the fact that I've already made arrangements, she doesn't so much as ask if I'm free to work that day, and there's the small fact of it being Royal Wedding Friday.  I think a fair chunk of the population will be otherwise occupied with either celebrating it or ignoring it as they so choose.  Not only that, but Nora is not even working next week.  She is out of the country on holiday and leaving me on my own for the week.  Yes, it's just me, minding the Shop, all alone.

Thankfully, she seemed placated by my reminding her of the public's preoccupation with the wedding and that we were unlikely to get many customers as a result.

A narrow escape.  I would not have been pleased if she insisted I work that day.

I used to know several other people in my Office job who regularly acted oblivious to other people having commitments or plans outside of the workplace. 

Once, I had made arrangements for a meeting for a large group; sorted the room out, got the paperwork ready, everything was done and dusted on time and ready for them at 3pm for the start of what was meant to be a relatively short meeting.  (I was also to attend.)

The gentleman in charge of the team, however, was not prepared for this meeting and he was the Chair.  Clive wasted over an hour sorting who knows what out before finally getting into the room.  That alone is inconsiderate when I had re-organised and rushed other work commitments to allow time to prepare and attend the meeting.  To be left hanging around for an hour, unsure as to when Clive was going to get his rear in gear was very frustrating.   But we finally sit down.  Then the aimless chatter and gossip starts up and dies down about 20 minutes later.  It's another 15 before the meeting actually gets underway.

So it's getting on for 5pm.  Most people start going home at that time.  Ideally, the meeting would have been coming to end round about now and I'd be able to go too.  5pm comes and goes.  I have commitments outside of work, one of which is a class that I assist in teaching.  At the latest, I could leave at half 5 and still get there on time.  If Clive and the others keep on subject we would whizz through the agenda and be done.  Alas, half past arrives and we are still on the first item on the agenda.

I stand up, I apologise, say I can not stay any longer due to my class and I'm excused.  I leave feeling somewhat frustrated at having to miss the majority of the meeting and not happy to have wasted so much of the afternoon like that.  I could have got so many other things done with my time.

The next day I ask one of the attendees what time the meeting finished.  About 7.30pm was the answer.  Sad thing is, the meeting wasn't of any major importance - it was mostly statistics on phone calls and how well the team was doing. General guff that could have waited, stats that could have been emailed round, and pats on the back could have been done informally at any time. 

All of those people had families waiting for them at home.

I'm glad I left when I did.  I had a very enjoyable evening with friends.


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