January 5th, 2005

Random - Trees

Welcome back to work, why don't you have some snark?

Yeah, nice way to start the week.  I did some minutes from Sparkbrook to help out their typist, who was snowed under in DoH minutes from four different chairs.  I did them all before the Christmas break and sent them back.

Yesterday morning - aside from discovering that my computer account had actually expired because they'd only set it up on a six-month basis, and then realising that, holy crap, I've been there six months - I got an email from one of the Chairs, Maxine, who I'd typed about 8 sets of minutes from tapes for.  It was a decidedly arsey email informing me that none of the minutes had any clear agendas or recommendations on them and that their typist had to correct them all when she was inundated.  I sent an apologetic email back, and then realised she'd CCed it to Tina Hartland (my line manager) and Tina Roper (the HOB manager) and thought, "Oh, shit."

So, today, Tina Hartland came over to do Sandra's CareFirst training.  I was worried.  She came in, sat by Zoe, and then said "Did you get that email?" in an incredulous tone.  Apparently, the agency temp over there had done exactly the same as me, and Tina told me to just ignore the Chair because she'd gone off on one about it.  So I didn't get in trouble, which was nice.

Some points to consider in all of this:

1) Nobody, except for Sue (who's just really anal about everything) includes the agenda in their minutes.  Especially so with the new templates, which make you put all the information in little allocated boxes which have clear, succinct headings already.  The only time you even need the agenda is for the meeting itself.  I have never had to type an agenda for any Chair in six months of working for Child Protection, and that's for five - five - different Chairpersons.
2) If they knew the minutes were going somewhere else to be typed, then surely someone should have had the foresight to perhaps mention that the system was slightly different.  Or am I supposed to be psychic?
3) Believe it or not, I do have my own priorities in my own office.  One of our Chairs, Liz D, was moving to Small Heath as of January, and was trying to shift her backlog before she left, so I had plenty of my own to do in the last couple of days without worrying about Sparkbrook's backlog as well.  And I'm sure they would have complained more if I'd left before finishing everything and their already-late minutes weren't received until yesterday.
4) I did, in fact, put the recommendations on there.  Quite clearly.  Every time.  Despite the pointlessness of it, since they're just repeated as the tasks directly underneath.  If they're in the wrong place, it doesn't take that long to move them, or have they not heard of copy-paste?
5) Just because the agency temp screwed up, don't take it out on me because I've got email access.  I did you a fucking favour by typing the damned things in the first place, and got them all done in the space of three days.  And surely the fact that two different people - one working at that office - made the same mistake indicates that perhaps it's something to do with the dictation in the first place...

So, yeah.  Annoying, but not worth worrying about.  Next time Sparkbrook ask for help, I may just refuse...

In more amusing news, we broke a chair today.  Well, Zoe did, anyway.  Liz D ordered a chair for her office at Small Heath, y'see, but for some reason they decided to deliver it here.  Zoe was about to tell the delivery bloke not to bring it all the way upstairs, but was too late, so we left our office to find the exit blocked by a very large, very blue executive chair.  Zoe 'tested' it.  Well, it was right there. :)

Cynthia and I were there, too, and Sandra at her desk behind us.  Cynthia and Zoe were having a race to see who got to try it out first, and from that point, hilarity ensued...

Cynthia: Ommm, Zoe, I wanted to try it out first!  [Cynthia, being a mother, makes that noise we used to make at school.  The "ooommmm, I'm telllliiiing!" noise.  That one.]  Has it got that special bit on the back for your back?
[Cue much prodding and poking of new chair, still partially wrapped in plastic.]
Zoe: [moves the arms of the chair] Ooh.  Oops.  [More playing with chair.  Zoe gets out of chair.]
Cynthia:  I wanna try it!  [Cynthia sits in chair, expecting it to be teH uber-comfort, and looking quite disappointed when it turns out to be... well, a chair.  Cynthia proceeds to mess about with the levers on the underside of it.]  Argh!  [The back of the chair has moved into a reclining position.  And stuck.  We can't get it back.  Cynthia gets out of chair.  We wheel it into Liz's old office and find a space to put it in.  Zoe resumes her seat in the chair to try and fix it.]
Zoe: What did you do, Cynth?
Cynthia: I dunno, I just pulled one of them lever things.  Ommm, we broke it...
Zoe: [proceeds to pull levers in the hope of the chairback returning to its previous position.]  Ooh!  [As if the stuck chairback wasn't bad enough, Zoe has now managed to tip the entire seat part forwards and slid off the chair almost onto the floor.  By this point, Your Humble Typist is doubled over in hysterics.  Zoe gets off the chair.]  Oh, well that just looks even worse now.
[We spend ten minutes playing with levers and generally physically abusing this poor chair, but it won't budge.  It looks ridiculous, and slightly forlorn.  Cynthia has long since left us to it, and my photocopying has been abandoned, and we're both having hysterics.  Possibly all of the social workers on our floor believe us insane, especially Charlie, who happens to wander past in the midst of our chair-abuse.]
Charlie: What's going on in here?  There's a lot of laughter...
Me: Zoe broke the chair.
Zoe: It's not broken.  We just need to... [continues playing with levers.  I sit on chair and see what I can do.  I manage to get the back to move, but it won't stay in any given position, and the seat just won't budge.]  We'll just... say it arrived like that.  Honestly.  Shoddy workmanship.

It's moments like that, when all the work stops and we end up in random hysterics, that I love my job.  And it's moments like the arsey email that make me want to walk out.  But luckily, the good moments tend to outweight the aggravating ones.

In other news (as if the post wasn't long enough already), I got to catch the 'encore presentation' of Carnivále last night.  It's very atmospheric, and reminds me of X-Files, a little, in the way its filmed.  And it's got Michael Anderson (the midget from Twin Peaks) and Clea Duvall in it, and the giant from Big Fish, and a Repressed Clergyman who is blatantly going to Go The Way of Sin and Debauchery at some point.  Quite looking forward to the rest of it.  They seem to be showing the entire series, two episodes a night, all of this week, so I'll have to tape it.

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And now I'll sign off.

Wait, no I won't.  I just remembered I still owe people things.  thefleshfailure I still owe a love post and a DJ comment (gah) and collie_wing I also owe a love post.  Will definitely remember to do those things.  Yes.

Wow, that was a long post.  Sorry. :)