Blog Week 2: The intranet blogs should be starting ... but work keeps getting in the way.
Sunday 4 December 18.04
Have to admit am feeling a bit anxious about tomorrow's intranet blog. Not quite sure what I am going to talk about. Hardly anything of any interest happened last week (well that I can write about). Thought about going outside for inspiration, but as the weather was not great, I just stayed in. Hopefully will get some inspiration by tomorrow morning.
Monday 5 December 20.35
Woke up worrying about my intranet blog. Still worried as I got to work.
Had barely sat behind my desk when 3 Bears - one of my bosses who I have not so far seen or spoken to - came out of his office, looked at me and said something like "Oh you are the new person. B(rilliant) is not here so you'll do. Get your coat on, you are going to Paris this morning. See Lisa for the details. This matter is urgent. Do not mess it up." and then went straight back into his office.
Yes nice to meet you too boss!
So went to see Lisa. Nice girl and her voice is normal. (Why are Jo's nicknames proving so inaccurate?). She gave me an envelope containing documents so super urgent and confidential that no outside courrier could be trusted to do the job and told me that the receptionist had the Thalys tickets for Paris.
Actually I was impressed with the arrangements - certainly compared to the occasional chaos at my last office. I was given the travel tickets, taxi waiting to take me to South Station and then straight on the Paris train. I wonder who made the travel arrangements?
Was met by the Paris office contact almost as soon as I had got off the train, so hardly much time to stay in Paris before I was on the next train heading back with more envelopes containing super-confidential documents to give to Lisa/3 Bears.
I was back in the office by mid-afternoon.
When I checked my email, there was one from Pierre saying he had heard I was out of the office today and so the intranet blog would be taken care of. Not sure what he meant exactly, but still felt a bit relieved not had to post anything today.
Tuesday 6 December 21.19
Turned on my pc this morning and was greeted by an inbox full of emails (from colleagues at my last place) questioning the nature of "my" intranet blog. They were all asking why had I written something so dull?
I had better not describe what the intranet blog said, but it was 10 sentences of nothing. Describing the colour of the office wallpaper would have been more interesting. It takes real skill to write something so meaningless. Pierre is a genius.
But the reaction to "my" first blog entry has put a bit more pressure on me. My first actual blog has to be good as I now have something to prove.
Unfortunately, I soon got called away to help Goldilocks's filing problem: her office is a total mess and a lot of the time she cannot find anything.
Today Goldilocks had lost some personal papers and desperately needed them. I spent the rest of the day searching through the piles of photocopies, magazines (professional and personal) and whatever else has taken root in her office over the last several years.
When I pointed out - late afternoon - I had an intranet blog entry to write, she told me not to worry as she would speak to Pierre and he would take care of it. I did not feel so good about that.
Wednesday 7 December 20.19
Today's intranet blog achieved the impossible: it was even more boring than yesterday's.
Got more emails from former colleagues asking what was going on. Chose to ignore them as there was so much else going on today ...
I won't bore you with the details, but there is something called an Oral Hearing that takes place between the Commission, law firms and other groups. There was one going on today involving some people in another part of the office.
Early in the morning some bad news came for them. Somehow a DVD containing a very important person's presentation had got lost/misplaced just before the Hearing started. A message came through that the backup DVD had to be sent over immediately.
But no one could find the backup.
At the time Jo and I did not know what was happening - all we could hear was: people running around, loud, panicky voices and doors slamming - as I mentioned before, we are a bit cut-off from the rest of the office.
Someone finally shouted out "found it" and I could feel the collective sigh of relief from the searchers. The DVD was sent over to the Hearing and everyone involved - both lawyers and staff - collectively gathered in the kitchen relieved that the mini-disaster had been averted.
Thirty minutes later another message arrived: the DVD was not the right one. It was labelled correctly, but in fact contained a downloaded copy of the greatest hits of Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne's band). In their joy and desire to get the DVD over to the Hearing, no one had bothered to check what the DVD contained. Why it was mislabelled remains a mystery. An even bigger mystery is who in the office would want to download Black Sabbath's greatest hits? Luckily the DVD was checked before being used in the Hearing.
So the people who had been looking before started searching all over again.
A message then came through that the very important person was so angry with the office, that if the DVD was not found immediately there would be big trouble!!
So a full-scale search commenced for this DVD. Everyone - and I mean everyone (from reception to Yoda to all the lawyers in the office) - started frantically looking everywhere for this DVD.
Jo and I decided it would be a good idea to avoid getting involved in the search of Goldilock's office (too chaotic already) and instead made an indepth investigation of the kitchen and the Women's toilets.
This search had gone on for about twenty minutes - no one could find anything and a couple of junior lawyers looked like they were really about to panic - when a further message came through: everything was ok, the DVD had been located. We were never told where it was found (so somewhere obvious and embarrassing I guess).
The small feeling of panic in the office turned quickly to frustration at the pointless waste of time and effort. So everyone met in the kitchen and started to moan about the people at the Hearing.
When Jo and I returned to our desks, there was a voicemail waiting for me telling me I needed to go the Hearing asap. I got to the Centre Borschette and was told abruptly by some lawyer I have never met before that I will be ferrying various people between Brussels' hotels and the airport for the rest of the day. It turned out the hired chauffeur was a stand-in who did not speak any English. As the people being ferried around did not speak any Flemish or French, I was the guide-cum-translator-cum-concierge. What joy!
Got back to the office late. Certainly was not in the mood to check for Pierre's reminder email about the intranet blog.
Thursday 8 December 20.32
Before I had even turned on my pc this morning I had a call from Pierre. As soon as I heard his voice I was expecting the worst: a telling-off for not producing yesterday's intranet blog.
Instead he said they needed my help in organising tomorrow's night's Christmas party (for my last firm) and that Yoda had ok-ed me going to help them out and would speak to Goldliocks and the 3 Bears ... and I do not have to bother about the intranet blog for the rest of the week.
Got over to my old firm and it turned out that the two organisers were sick with the flu. A lot of basic arrangements had not been made - could you believe there was not a central list of who is attending tomorrow, let alone what food they had selected? So a couple of former colleagues (also drafted in at the last moment) and I spent the day running around like village idiots trying to get everything organised. It was hard work but I think we have done a good job. But tomorrow could still be a disaster as big decisions like the venue and DJ have already been taken by the original organisers.