04 July, 2010

That's how we roll.

So, I missed Friday's FFF. I'll apologise, but let me explain.

Friday was the office move I've been planning since I started at Heathrow Express six weeks ago. It wasn't packing up the office and moving to another building, it was simply (you'd think, anyway) moving a few people to different desks within the existing floor plan. It was arranged that way because it meant we didn't have to pay the movers to completely reconfigure the desks, and it achieved the result the Commercial Director (my boss) wanted with the least amount of kerfuffle.

Or so you'd think.

Now, to me, a desk is a desk. The people I'm near might not be my best friends in the world, but I have a job to do and I physically am capable of performing it from wherever I'm plunked down. Apparently I'm alone in this capability. I held a meeting in my second week on the job to give the people involved a chance to choose where they wanted to be within the limits set by my boss, and an hour later, I still had no seating plan. All they'd talk about was the fact that they didn't want to move at all, that they were happy where they were, that they felt like they were being treated like naughty schoolchildren. Okay, here's the thing... I didn't hold a meeting for the fun of it, and I didn't hold it to discuss whether you fancied a change. We're moving, that's not up for discussion. Telling me you don't fancy it? Waste of my time and your breath. *sigh*

When I briefed my boss on how it had gone, he said if they weren't capable of managing it like adults, we'd just put them wherever they fit in his plan. Fine by me, I made a seating chart, he signed it off, and they were informed of where they'd be sitting. See how fast that was? Easy peasy.

Until about three days before the move. A girl in the office (my predecessor, actually) decided that she didn't like where she'd be sitting, and when she came to me and got "sorry, that's where your name is, that's where you'll be", she went over my head to my boss, who didn't realise she'd already spoken to me and been told no and somehow had forgotten that he'd told me to hold the line on the seating chart. I personally don't give a flying... well, you know... where anybody sits, it's just a desk, but when I get told it's final, in my head, that's that. When she informed me that she'd not be sitting where she was put, I was considerably confused and went to my boss. When he realised what she'd done, he went back to her and informed her under no uncertain terms that she couldn't behave that way, and that she'd have to sit at her originally arranged desk. This was Thursday night.

Friday morning, I turned up at quarter to eight to have a quick bite to eat before the movers showed up at eight. They were already in the lobby waiting for me... *lol* We got stuck straight in, only to find that the people who were meant to pack up their desks hadn't done it. Then the previously mentioned girl arrived and informed me that she would sit where she pleased and that it was none of my business where she ended up. Then she directed the movers while I was down the other end of the floor to move some furniture (and screw it together with other pieces) into places where it didn't belong, so I had to come along afterwards and unscrew it and have them move it to where it was meant to be in the first place. Then she unplugged a bunch of phones and piled them on the desk so we couldn't tell whose was whose (which matters as our phones take their extensions with them) and it took me half an hour I didn't have to sort that out. You're catching what I'm throwing with this, yes? Around half three, I realised I still hadn't eaten anything, and in fact had not yet sat down as I'd been physically under desks and helping the guys move and install bits and pieces since I walked in the door. At that point, I walked out the door and did not return.

By the time I left at half three, every single person had a working phone and a computer connected to the network. Remember that lovely girl I mentioned? Apparently, she organised a similar move about six months ago. Two days later, they were finally connected to the outside world and each other.

My boss is wildly unhappy that it went that way. Because, yes, I did call him to tell him how it went and that I was leaving early and why. He's asked me to run a little excercise in the office meeting on Monday entitled "The Office Move: How Do We All Think That Went?". I'm meant to ask what went well, what didn't go well, what we'd do differently in future. And I'm meant to fully expound on how it went for me. It's going to be interesting.

So go on, have a chuckle at my expense. That's the only reason I wrote all this out, somebody has to get something positive out of it. All I'm getting is gray hair. *grin* Hope you're all having a great weekend, enjoy the sun. x

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