I didn’t realise how much I moaned about work until I went out for lunch and moaned about work.
We’ve had a mini crisis in the office. Another one. This time it involves a major printing error in our monthly magazine. An error which has been sent to and spotted by one of our most important and influential clients. This mini crisis has fallen amongst trying to produce two newspapers for a conference in Cape Town, and slap bang in the middle of an office move.
The sales representative and the client service manager, from our printing company, were summoned to the office for an emergency meeting. An emergency meeting in the boardroom with myself, my not-so-new boss and the publisher. Apologies were made, reports are to be issued and confidence is something the printers are trying to reinstate.
After the seriousness of the matter was discussed and promises for a brighter future were made, we set off to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Bread, olives, wine and pasta were ordered and we all began to relax. I passed on the olives, personally I think olives are disgusting. To me olives are on a par with prawns. I can not bear them. But that’s just my humble olive and prawn hating opinion.
Olives dismissed, it was not long until we were all laughing heartily into our pasta dishes, earlier boardroom tenseness had clearly evaporated. The majority of laughing was targeted at my not-so-new boss and I’s interpretation of life in the office. Oh how we moaned.
It can be the small things sometimes, such as delayed and overcrowded trains, with elbows in your face, on the way to the office. “I only have to look at Jo in the morning and she knows exactly what kind of journey I’ve experienced,” said I. “Oh yes,” said Jo. “Sometimes Nikki has steam coming out of her ears and I know it’s been one of those journeys.”
The mystery of the window was then discussed. “And who keeps opening my window every morning? It’s freezing cold and my paper work is flapping around and I don’t understand who keeps insisting on doing this!?”
We all tutted and agreed mid-November is far too cold to open windows, especially when there is air conditioning blasting cool air out just above our chilly heads.
The bread basket was passed around and my boss moved onto network problems, network problems when we are trying to log-in to our Macs. “There are only 4 Mac users in the building, two of them are Nikki and I, and whenever our machines fail to work and we explain we are Mac users, an IT man will come up and shake his head and claim that he didn’t know we were Mackers! But I typed it in the report and they should know this!" Next it was my turn to moan. “Don't talk to me about those reports! They're far too long winded and time consuming. You have to log a problem report, then a received report is sent to say it has been logged, then you wait. And wait. You chase the logged report and the received report to ask how much longer you have to wait until your problem is fixed. Then you wait for a reply and another report. I just call the nice man in IT and ask him to help me.”
“How the heck do you manage to get straight through to the IT desk? You must charm the IT guy, he ignores my telephone calls.” My not-so-new boss was outraged.
Wine glasses were re-filled and this was the perfect link to complain about the high volume used during telephone calls from the sales guys. Some days you can not hear yourself think above the racket.
“Thank goodness we are moving to the other side of the office,” I managed to say in between mouthfuls of pasta smothered in a tomato sauce, aubergines and peppers. “The quieter side of the office where I wont be bashing into people and listening to the early bird package, and I can concentrate on my own work.”
All hell had let loose. We were on a roll as the sales rep and client services manager laughed at our predicaments. And we hadn’t finished. We were in uproar regarding the mess other colleagues leave in the kitchen. "Come on, you wouldn’t leave your own kitchen in such a disgrace. Coffee and milk are spilt on the work tops and left for the cleaner to mop up. And although I appreciate the cleaner tackling the washing up, I'm sure she must attempt it with her eyes closed. I would rather do it myself if it meant I didn't have to look at dried cereal pieces and jammy finger prints left on bowls and glasses!"
Clients lack of respect for deadlines and specifications were our next culprits. Our listeners sympathised. It’s a well known fact that publishing houses are always pushing for new print dates and do not always provide the correct formats to printing companies. Not us, I hasten to add!
“It’s so frustrating,” my boss and I both stated. “We couldn’t be any clearer with our specification sheet and instructions. Do you think anyone actually bothers to read them? Why do we bother even sending them?”
Cue for more tutting and laughing regarding annoying dilemmas in the working environment.
“Anyway,” said my not-so- new boss, finishing the last drop of white wine. “Is that the time? We really should be heading back to the office.”
Our contacts at the printers agreed we had been very insightful, and amusing, as the bill was paid and coats were placed on our backs, ready for us to embrace the frosty mid-November temperature.
“Sorry,” I said. “Have we been moaning?”
Picture of the day:
The Christmas lights outside the office.