One of the trainees currently working for Adults team can be a little dippy at times. This is the same woman who kept calling me 'Rachel' the other day despite getting my name right on email.
Anyway, she is working at the one PC in the room which has trouble with its keyboard configuration, so symbols such as '@' and most others don't do anything when you try and make them work. I did try resetting them in Word for the '£' symbol but it ignored my command, so I suspect it's set to Japanese or soemthing annoying. Kind of beyond my realm of capabilities, and most people with the PC just grin and bear it.
So earlier I talked her through the copy-pasting-from-the-Character-Map process in order to get the '@' symbol to work. It's obviously too difficult a process to remember and she wanted an icon for it on the desktop... fair enough, I suppose.
So I start trying to make an icon for it in the usual way from the desktop, but I can't find it anywhere. And our PCs are set up in such a way that we can't right click on anything in the Start menu in order to find out its properties, and nor can we drag anything from the Start menu to the desktop. Sorry - no shortcut.
The IT Department are too bloody paranoid for their own good, but apparently not paranoid enough. We can't change our desktop picture or colour scheme or anything else (luckily they will let us change our screen resolution, otherwise I would go completely insane). Yet this past week due to the printer's IP address going roaming again and the address on the PCs also going roaming, I have been able to access the printer port settings and reconfigure them on more than one occasion. In fact I've only encountered one PC where the printer port settings were blocked.
This is presumably to make fixing such problems easier for IT staff without them having to log in as administrators, but if they were really THAT paranoid about us breaking stuff, surely an important thing like the printer port IP configuration would be blocked? Also, Windows does its usual "YOU MUST NOT CHANGE ANYTHING IN THIS FOLDER!!!!111one!" thing on the Windows and Programs directory, but IT have done nothing to stop people going any further.
If they're going to be paranoid, that's fine. But at least be paranoid PROPERLY.
And to top that off, Paul's broken the internet, or something approximating to it. He's off sick again today and as punishment I'm making him put the washing upstairs to dry before it starts to smell. If he's well enough to go downstairs to reboot the router, he's MORE than well enough to go up to the attic. :P
AND I have no work. AGAIN. Our team meeting was adjourned until tomorrow due to someone else needing the room, which Marie conveniently forgot to tell us about. Although having said that, she did tell me it was on Thursday, but I assumed she was mistaken about the day.
I sent her the email this morning.
this is the reminder you requested, to bring up at the team meeting today the issue we discussed in my 1:1 last week. I've also remembered another issue I forgot to bring up at the time.
1. The main issue was regarding days when all the teams' workload is very low and there is only a little bit of work to do. When taking work from other teams' trays, I requested if it would be possible to leave the last piece of work in the tray if there is nothing else to be booked in. My issue is that if that last piece of work is taken then nobody has any work, whereas if it is left at least the team who 'owns' it has something to do. It's usually the case that some work will come in eventually for one's own team without having to resort to taking the last bit of someone else's!
This has caused a few problems, as I mentioned, with urgent amendments having to be done late in the evening which could have been avoided. Whilst obviously all the WPOs are equally capable, it is often the case that the WPOs for each team will know more about the specific cases for that team than a WPO from another team, and often amendments are caused due to the WPO not (for example) knowing a parent's name, etc, and the fee earner not spelling surnames or case-specific words. (This doesn't happen often but I think the fee earners sometimes take it for granted that we are not psychic!)
2. The second issue that I forgot to raise was to do with the 'floaters' helping out whilst Noor is off. I've noticed that they sometimes take two pieces of work from the tray when they come up and this raises several issues, namely:
(i) risk of RSI!
(ii) I am unable to give a good estimate of when work may be finished (if the fee earner asks) when two pieces have been taken, as I don't know whether the second one has been started, etc. The WPOs will obviously bring both pieces back at the same time also, which 'extends' the amount of time the earlier piece is booked out, at least in terms of it being returned.
(iii) On a few occasions this has resulted in my running out of work! If there are only (e.g) 8 pieces in the tray and three WPOs come to take work and take two pieces, that only leaves two for me to get through. During busy periods this isn't much of a problem because new work comes in quickly, but on some days the work has been slow and I have subsequently run out very early on.
Mostly I just wanted to make you aware of the second issue. I will leave it up to your discretion whether or not to bring it up in the meeting this morning.
Not a moment too bloody soon by the looks of it. This morning has been ridiculous.
There was nothing in the tray when I arrived so I amused myself with a pointlessly short tape from the other side, which took all of ten minutes. Then Alastair put an index in for amending - 20 minutes. Then there was a lull, and then Faten put in two long pieces; one 2 tapes, one whole tape. I booked those in, and whilst typing the first one a short one came in from Ian and a longer one from Alison.
Whilst I was typing, the following happened:
1. Val came up. She looked in the tray, realised there was only one piece of work remaining (at that point), left it there, and left.
2. Gaynor came up. She looked in the tray, and took the last piece of work. This was the whole-tape of Faten's, which she took at 10.00, and still hasn't returned (at 11.45, time of writing).
In the interim, I booked in the other two pieces mentioned.
3. Carol came up. She looked in the tray, and took BOTH pieces of work, and left.
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW??
I am going to start hiding work. I stayed later than I intended on Monday night because there was a 2.5-tape document in there which I wanted to take out, because I knew if that if I left early not only would all my work have vanished by the next morning, but the 2.5-taper would be gone all bloody day. I think if I can at least stop the taking-two-pieces-of-work issue, my life will be much easier.
(Added: 1.30) AND, I've just had a perfect example of why people should leave my work alone. One of the Seniors has just found some letters in her tray from Thursday (19th) which she needed to sent out that day. Someone else had taken them that day and according to the book they were brought back an hour or so later on the same day. The only theory that works is that they were brought back but put in the wrong tray and have only just found their way to the fee earner.
She asked me to change the dates to today with a big, obvious "dictated on" date on them to prove when they were actually meant to go out, and to have a word with the WPO in question. Who, of course, can't remember as far back as Thursday, let alone whose tray the work might have gone back to. She also had a very "What am I supposed to do about it?" attitude. Well, either way, I'm in the fee earner's good books for at least attempting to figure out what happened...
Gragh. I want to go home. Again. (And that was at about 12.00. I've not been able to access t'internet until now.) I intended to leave at 4.00 today but I'm waiting for Ian to finish dictating his urgent draft order so I can go. :(