I have no idea why last week was so stressful (except for Friday), but I spent at least two mornings of it simply not wanting to go into work. I've gone through the week's email conversations with Paul to get this down...
Actually, Monday was sort of okay to start off, except I was tired and irritible. Paul rang me at lunchtime(ish) to say it was David's birthday and we'd both forgotten, which then made me feel worse, and I picked up a card for him and for Eni (whose birthday was a few days previous) and put them both in the post Tuesday morning, and we both texted David. I was going to stay a little bit later than I actually did, but in the end I left about half four.
At around 3.30 or thereabouts, there were only three of us still here: Forgetful, Hometime and myself. (Noor was on flex-leave, as she has a ridiculously huge flex balance from having to stay late all the time...) Demanding (the Senior Solicitor) had put in two urgents, one about five minutes and the other just under a minute in length. I ended up with the second one. It transpired they were both part of the same job and the dictation had gotten split up thanks to the buggy untethered devices. The bit I picked up basically started with him telling me an email address and then doing some brief letters of service.
I looked on Winscribe and saw that Hometime was typing the first bit, so therefore assumed she had the email on the end of her job. Rather than email just Hometime, however, I decided to pretend semi-ignorance and emailed both Hometime and Forgetful, in the following terms (names changed, obviously):-
Whoever is typing [Demanding]'s other urgent job, if there's an email to [firm of solicitors] at the end, the email address it needs to go to is:
Marked for the attention of [Joe Bloggs].
The information was on the end of the second urgent jobs which I have just picked up.
I realise my grammar is not exactly perfect in that email, but I was ridiculously tired on Monday and lost my train of thought halfway through.
Usually, Hometime is quite good at acknowledging that I exist and at liaising when we end up "jointly" working on something. However, instead I received the following from Forgeful:-
Please remember to include [Senior] in the messages about jobs in Winscribe.
Needless to say, I did not bother forwarding the original email to Senior even after I received this, because it wasn't about Winscribe!! It wasn't a problem; the problem was sorted. I was just giving Hometime the information she needed, under the pretence of not knowing who'd picked up the job out of the two of them. There was no need to email Senior about it because there was nothing she could do about it.
This annoyed me so much I went home about five minutes later.
Tuesday morning I didn't want to go into work. My stomach had been playing up on Monday night and I was lying in bed staring at the clock for about five minutes, trying to ascertain if it was bad enough to call in sick. I have not had a reaction like that since the Secretary Debacle, and before than since Ladywood and Sandragate. I normally like going to work. I'm not a morning person but I don't usually want to crawl into a hole and die at the thought of my job.
I think that's enough of an indicator of how stressful the week was, as I think my reaction was similar on Wednesday...
On Tuesday morning it was gloriously foggy. I had rejigged my MP3 music the night before, and as I was trudging forlornly down the road, the first song to play was Dido's "Thank You", which contains the lines: "I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all" and "I'm late for work again, and even if I'm there they'll imply that I might not last the day". Pre-emptive much?? That made me feel slightly better if only for the synchronicity, but it didn't last very long.
I avoided choir again because I was so tired and irritated. Monday had annoyed me more than it should have done, I think, and I was in no mood to cope with Bach. During Tuesday's email tennis Paul suggested I had symptoms of stress and could easily be signed off work, as I'd spent a couple of weeks basically being annoyed with my colleagues and feeling generally hacked off. I mentioned that things had been getting worse since the Iken implementation in February 2010, as everyone seemed to be assuming that if they griped and moaned about it enough, it would go away - when upper management have quite clearly stated that is not the case, and it's sticking around.
I spent most of the day feeling under-appreciated, though ironically not by the people who matter (fee earners and heads), and like nothing I did was good enough. This was actually a roll-on effect from the other week and the moody secretary being unhelpful, even though she's even like that with her 'equal' secretary colleagues.
I sent Paul several long ranty emails about work being poo. I shan't quote them as I've said it all before. The day was topped off by my buying a chicken caesar salad from Sainsbury's, only to get it back to the office and discover the little pot of dressing was missing. I tweeted about this, and the fact that it about summed up my week so far, and Eni quite rightly pointed out: it's not just a salad, it's the PRINCIPLE.
I was supposed to have my one-to-one on Wednesday morning. I went upstairs to see Senior, only to discover she'd forgotten all about it. We re-scheduled for some point that afternoon, and then she said we could do it on Thursday morning in Moany's slot, as she was on leave anyway. That was annoying, but probably made worse by the fact I was still feeling rubbish about the situation in general.
Everything annoyed me Wednesday, even dictation from fee earners I usually like. I received an email from Forgeful in the afternoon with a list of precedents that she'd found where the return address needed to be changed to our new PO box address, as it had been brought up in West Team's meeting that she was to compile said list and then email it to me. Which is fair enough, but it would have been nice to be warned. Not sure when I'll get to work on that as we've been busy, but anyway, at least I was nice enough to email back with an acknowledgement. :P
As I was getting ready to wrap up on Wednesday (5.00pm as we were going to the cinema for a 6.40 showing), Demanding came up to me and advised me that he'd put in a position statement (I think, it might have been a skeleton argument) and asking if it would get done. At that point he hadn't even uploaded it. I said, "Well, it won't be me doing it, I've got to go." When he did finally upload it, it transpired to be about 10 minutes long. Ordinarily I would stay and do it, but he gets a lot into his dictation and 10 minutes will take about half an hour to transcribe at the best of times.
I said that Senior and Chatty should be staying late so one of them would have to do it. Unbeknownst to me, he did actually go upstairs to ask. As I was leaving he then told me that apparently Chatty was going home - which is strange because she normally stays late, until about 6.30. Obviously Senior wasn't about to lower herself to do any typing. I said that if he had an issue then he should complain because otherwise it wouldn't get sorted, and he was writing an email as I left.
Obviously, it transpired that Noor got lumbered with the urgent on Thursday morning, as Hometime (who normally is also in early) hadn't materialised. I therefore brought this up at my increasingly-more-pointless one-to-one, as well as the staying late issue, again. Thursday was annoying because of that; I feel like my one-to-ones are pointless, but I'm going to keep on bringing up the same issues in the hope that eventually something gets done about it, without my having to force 'crisis point'...
Friday was at least stressful for a valid reason: we had maybe ten urgents over the course of the afternoon, most of which were long. I ended up doing a 19-minute followed by a 16-minute, the latter of which took much longer than it should have done, and had been avoided by Chatty as she was apparently leaving early (I later got lumbered with one of her amendments). Obviously she didn't think to tell anyone about this.
By the end of Friday afternoon the work was out of date and I was going to stay and fix it, but I was so tired and irritated I didn' t bother. Obviously this morning was spent clearing that backlog. As there are now only 15 jobs left in Winscribe I should probably slow down before someone complains that there's no work to do. :P
The WPO's are meant to be moving to the 2nd floor this week. I am dreading this more than you can imagine, and still have seven weeks to get through before my leave in April. If things get exponentially worse I am seriously considering getting myself signed off with stress, if only to poke management into some kind of action - when the inevitable question is asked, I won't hesitate to say what's stressing me out.
On the plus side, we tried out the Wii Fit this weekend and it's knackering. Paul's Wii Fit Age came out as 51, mine was 31. ;) Also my centre of gravity is almost completely central, which was nice to know. We tried some of the balance games and some yoga stuff (half moon is painful!) and if the aches I am suffering today are any indication, it must be doing something. Also I weighed myself twice by moving the board to a different bit of carpet, and the weight came out the same both times, so at least I have some functional scales now - at least until I live somewhere with even floors.
On Sunday we went to my mum's for lunch - quail wrapped in Parma ham to start (mm, tastes like a slightly gamey chicken), followed by one of Jamie's 30-minute-meals, which took an hour. :P It was pork loin with catherine-wheel sausage, celeriac mash and a sauce made of smoked bacon, chicken livers, rosemary and cream. Amazing. I was a bit wary of the celeriac mash because my mum said it tasted like celery, but it was actually surprisingly nice... So that's something I can add to my list of potato alternatives, anyway.
(Oh, and on Saturday I decided to use up the muffins in the fridge by having eggs benedict - Paul poached the eggs and cooked the bacon and I made the Hollandaise sauce, which for a first attempt wasn't bad at all. Mmmm, lovely.)
We had a go on Wii Sports Resort (obviously) and demonstrated Mario Galaxy and Epic Mickey. In the morning we also swapped our duff second-hand controller for another one (which works this time), and also the duff DS game for another Wii game, which looks quite pretty. I will probably have a go at it tonight.
Anyway, that's about it. Work is poo and I'm trying to get through the day-to-day without killing anyone, and I don't think it's going to change... There is good stuff, but it's hard to focus on that when I'm constantly exhausted.
If I don't post for ages, that's why. The fandom meme will resume when I have the energy. It annoys me that I only lasted two weeks before giving up on it, and that's making me even less inclined to finish it, but yeah. We'll see.