I was into work late today because I have to take two busses to work. Which really, really sucks.
Not only was I walking to work up until today, I simply cannot be bothered with the bus system in Dundee. It’s not integrated, so if I have to switch to a bus by a different carrier (which I do) I have to pay for two tickets. And one bus is exact change, while the other has a conductor. Unfortunately, it’s the first bus that I need the exact change for, which I didn’t have. And while I can get a day rider for one bus, that doesn’t cover the other bus, so it’s all a bit of a hassle. And it just makes my day start out badly.
When I arrived in the office I was greeted by two new faces. One was a man, mid-thirties, suit, faint Scottish accent, kind of short (like if he were a woman he’d be tall, but as a man he’s short), and he’s kind of balding. Like, you know that type, were it looks like he has hair until you see him sitting down from the back and you notice a bald patch, and realise that in ten years he’ll be completely bald except for like a Friar Tuck ring.
The other was this woman who, I swear to god, looked gormless from the moment I walked in. She’s tall and thin and a bit twitchy and I think sat down for all of twenty minutes during the day. She just paced around opening the filing cabinets (most of which are empty), but she didn’t pace quickly, despite being twitchy. Her feet scrapped along the dusty carpet like she was underwater and the weight of the ocean were pushing her down, and she were carrying a giant rock…across the ocean floor…in moonboots.
The first thing they said to me when I walked in was, ‘We need to get some laptops and equipment ordered.’
While in my mind I said, ‘And who the fuck are you,’ I held back. Instead, I introduced myself by name, and they just stared at me. I then added, ‘I’ve been working with the [Agency] for about two years now…’
And they cut me off before I could explain my role.
They then shook my hand, introduced themselves by name and then said they were happy to use their own equipment in the meantime, but they need company laptops, phones, tables, etc, etc. Then the Intern came wandering in. When they saw her they jumped up immediately and offered her an empty desk, as I still stood there completely confused as to what was going on.
So, I popped outside to speak with Giles. He answered and immediately said, ‘If you want to interface with me you’ll need to schedule an appointment with [UberPA].’ If he was going to be curt with me, I’d be curt with him, so I said, ‘Who are these people in the office.’ The lack of a question mark is not unintentional, as it was more of a statement than a question.
‘Can’t get to the finals with only a goal keeper.’
I had no idea what he was on about. As usual. So I remained silent until he said, ‘I need to replace [London and Paris]’ and he rang off.
On my phone I did a quick search for my new colleagues, and I discovered that the man of them had been in insurance sales and the woman had absolutely no digital presence. So, I went back into the office to investigate. I didn’t feel like I could directly ask them, ‘Why are you here, and what is it you’re supposed to do?’ I could guess, that with a background in insurance sales, Patch would be working for us on a governance level, which would be quite nice. Being a small organisation we all used to pitch in with sorting out legal contracts or HR, and we had an outside solicitor for the unusual bits and bobs. So, will be nice to have someone else doing that, especially as I will be taking the load of clients. But I had no idea what DraggyFeet did.
So, in my stealthiest I re-entered the office, and said, ‘Thanks so much for taking up these posts on such short notice. Are you with a temp agency?’
They stared at me like I was mad.
‘I’ve been talking to [Giles] about this post for over a month,’ said Patch.
Right. The sale happened so quickly, I think we were barely in talks with Giles about the purchase a month ago. And, of course, London and Paris only just quit like yesterday, practically. So, I said, ‘Ah. Well, then how are you coping with not having to relocate to London? If you’ve been in talks for a month, that must have thrown you for a loop…’
‘I never had any plans to move to London,’ said DraggyFeet. Patch agreed, and Patch said that he lives in Edinburgh and there had been brief talks about an office in Edinburgh, but that was taken off the table pretty quickly. DraggyFeet then agreed, and said that she lives in Perth and would have never taken the post if it weren’t a reasonable commute.
So, Giles, before the sale was complete was recruiting people…who were never part of the London move? Was the London move ever going to happen? Or was he just talking shit? And I still don’t know what DraggyFeet does.
They asked once again about equipment, so I got on the phone to UberPA, who said that the Agency was not a part of her duties. I shyly said that because she set up the office, I thought she could help with this. She stated that, as the space is being rented from a close personal friend of Giles, the office set up was a one-time deal. But I was on my own for equipment.
It’s not a big deal, we have a supplier we’ve worked with before who invoices us. So I rang them and ordered a couple of basic laptops and an ipad. We probably should have an office ipad anyway. As soon as I hung up, Patch hands me a sheet of paper with specs for the laptop he wants. It was totally expensive and even though the budget doesn’t directly affect me, I’m sure any sensible person wouldn’t give someone in HR a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and completely kitted out with ‘Turbo Boost’ (whatever the fuck that is).
I just thanked him for the suggestion and bought him a Samsung like I have, and then said that we use our own phones and expense a portion of our bill each month. I told him that I’m on a low text, high calls and high data plan, which fits well with what I use for work. He said that wasn’t good enough and he expects his own phone and then pointed to the iPhone 6 on the sheet he handed me. Then DraggyFeet concurred.
Since I’m not allowed to call Giles directly, I emailed him and asked him about these purchases, totally expecting him to say ‘no’. This is what I got in response, one line stating, ‘It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use. — Sam Abell’
Who this fuck is Sam Abell?
I emailed a reply: ‘Yes or no on spending over £5000 on computer equipment?’
I got nothing but a ‘Yes’ in reply.
So, spent the rest of the fucking day ordering and reordering. I had clients I needed to speak to, about four different manuscripts I was working on, a rising slush-pile (which has now been given to the Intern), and a book tour to organise. Plus, I was supposed to, originally, be heading off to Wigtown tonight, but I cancelled that since this would be the first week with Lorainne truly gone. I should have never ever cancelled that trip. I do not need to be playing secretary all day.
Oh, and am I a little peeved that two new members of staff (three if you count the Intern) were hired without consulting me. I know I’m not a partner in the business any longer, but a little common courtesy wouldn’t have gone amiss.