Brief outline of players and where they sit:
Me - obviously.
Peter - sits two desks away from me
Rob - sits behind me in a separate bank of desks
Jas - also behind me, in the corner, behind a bookcase - she job-shares with Lisa so is in the only wheelchair-accessible space.
Rob: What's that smell? Is that the cleaners?
Peter: That's a dangerous thing to ask, Rob.
Jas: It's me... [I didn't hear the rest; I think she explained she was cleaning her desk down with dettol wipes]
Rob: Ah, it's you, is it. [Indicates Jas with thumb] The culprit!
Peter: I told you it was a dangerous question...
Me: [Getting up to go to the kitchen.] Yes, what's that they used to say in primary school? 'You smelt it, you dealt it'?
Rob: [laughs] Yes. I didn't mean that kind of smell...
Jas: [to me as I'm leaving the room] Thanks for that.
Me: You can't hide in the corner, Jas...
(I should clarify I wasn't mis-quoting Dirty Dancing, just pointing out that hiding in the corner does not exonerate one from causing odd smells... On returning to my desk a few minutes later I could smell the lemony scent which had caused Rob's consternation in the first place; so, no, he definitely didn't mean that kind of smell. :P)
Anyway, even though it was somewhat inane, it brightened up my morning.
I was so tired this morning that I bought a croissant from Pret and then forgot about it until 10.20... (I got into work at 9.00). Not quite so nice after being zapped in the microwave for 45 seconds, unfortunately. I was hungry when I bought it, but was then concerned with drinking my coffee (mmmm, liquid sanity) and forgot it was there. Oh, well.
For some reason I couldn't get to sleep last night. We went to bed around 11.00 and Paul nodded off almost straight away, but it took me a couple of hours to nod off, despite being really tired beforehand. I had various bits of songs going around my head, which didn't help, starting with Sea Drift (the horrendously difficult thing we're doing for the November concert; even Adrian said that if he ever met Delius in a bar he'd hit him upside the head... :P) and then I think it was the Killers. Can't remember. Annoying, though.
It's quiet today. However, it feels like there's a drama waiting to explode downstairs since we re-shuffled following Marie's return to work, i.e. Gaynor is back as David's secretary and Liz has returned to being a WPO. She is now working for South Team, but sitting back downstairs. She doesn't want to sit downstairs (I don't blame her) but there's no room up here; apparently this morning Miss Moany-Pants was complaining that apparently we (i.e. South) don't need three full-time typists... Considering she's only here part-time, she's hardly one to dictate on those of us who work full-time.
Also, it's that time of year again when we try to sort out Christmas leave and argue about it at length. Our system is horrendously unfair. In the legal teams, they are allowed to have skeleton staff as long as there is one senior, one solicitor and one legal assistant present at any one time. In the WPO team, we are still only allowed three off at any one time (and three secretaries), despite the fact that there is NOTHING TO DO around the Christmas period because (a) all the fee earners are on leave and (b) the Courts and other legal firms are closed anyway. They always say that we "might be able to have more people off" depending on how many fee earners are in, and every year they just allow everyone to have what they want anyway. So every single year we go through the same bloody argument over leave, for absolutely no reason.
The other issue is that half the WPOs have children and so get priority on their leave, which is unfair to those of us who are sprogless. Cunningly, the AD has said that for the occasional day, people can bring their children into work if childcare is an issue... this doesn't seem to be appreciated, however, nor preferable ("But what are they going to do all day?" - er, they can sit down, shut up, play solitaire or help someone with filing... it never did me any harm when I spent time at my mum's various offices. Good god, if you can't keep your children entertained with a book or something there's a bigger problem at play than your sodding Christmas leave!) The most annoying thing is that I think the majority of people have children who are over the age of 14 and can therefore legally be left at home by themselves anyway.
GAH. Marie is asking for flexibility and 'review' of our leave requests, so I've emailed back to point out that the past two years in a row I've actually been off sick before Christmas, despite being more than happy to go with whatever scrappy days nobody else wanted, and as I've only asked for the three days between Christmas Day and New Year (unlike some, who have requested two whole weeks), quite frankly there shouldn't be an issue. As I pointed out to Noor the other day when we were discussing this, it does feel like those of us who are willing to be flexible end up being effectively penalised for it - the same is true of the fact that we're the only two WPOs providing full cover for our team at any one time, as the majority of them simply refuse to stay beyond 3.30pm, so when something urgent comes in at 5.00pm there's nobody around to do it except me, Noor or occasionally Ann. It's ridiculous, and we've tried to sort it out before, but it just results in - you guessed it - moaning.
I don't know why people can't just come to work and get on with it. It really doesn't help that Marie is quite laid back and something of a soft touch, so people just get away with chatting incessantly, not doing any work and moaning about nothing (loudly). Being approachable is fair enough, but quite frankly these old-timers need a firm hand and no room for manouevre, and then maybe they'd all STFU. Or at least be TOLD to do so.
*ahem* Sorry, just had to get that off my chest...
In other news, I've been trying to get a plain, black, v-neck t-shirt for work. I did have one, but it has gone AWOL in the flat, presumably to the same place as the big nail clippers and the metal tape measure. I swear we have Gremlins, or perhaps a particularly mischievous poltergeist... it's getting a bit silly now. (Having said that, I did find my bicarbonate of soda*, at the back of the cupboard behind the six-tonne bag of pasta...) Anyway, do you think I can find a black t-shirt? No, of course not. I've tried Primark, New Look, Peacocks and Store 21 (in Kings Heath) to no avail... next course of action is Matalan, but I don't really want to traipse that far just for a t-shirt - and I know full well that as soon as I buy one, the one I lost will miraculously reappear...
My new embroidery frame arrived this morning, so I'll put my ongoing / on-hiatus project onto that, as I transferred the Christmas decorations to the old one on Monday. Will post a photograph of the first completed one soon... I did realise last night, however, that I've measured my fabric partitions wrong and divided it into eight segments, and there are 10 decorations. Bugger. Thankfully, some of them are narrow, so I might be able to rectify it...
I'm sure I had another thing to post about, but I've forgotten it... probably for the best, as this is quite long enough already.
Over and out.
* Here's a handy tip from the ever-resourceful Kim and Aggie, which works wonders. If you have a blocked drain, pour down half a cup of bicarb, half a cup of salt, and half a cup of white vinegar. This part is quite fun for the chemical reaction, though the fumes are a bit rank (unless you like vinegar...) Leave it five minutes and then pour through with boiling water. I didn't think this would work but it's actually unblocked our bath (as much as it's possible to do) and it's draining at a reasonable pace now. So, forget Mr Muscle, go for the all-natural solution. :) I wish I'd known this when our kitchen sink was blocked rather than attempting to kill myself with chlorine gas...