Ok, I admit I screwed up. I have a team of three people working for me in our Production department at work. One of them had booked this week off. Not a problem, 'cos although he is a key player, I can cover his absence. Another one had to postpone his training course due to the tube strikes last month, and the course was moved to this week. Again, not necessarily a problem, as he is new to the department and we only have him for half the week at the moment anyway. So this leaves me and one other. Again, that's not a problem.... until he tells me that he has to take tomorrow (Tuesday) off, 'cos there is no-one available to look after his daughter whilst he is at work. So I say to him that as long as all his work is up to date, that's fine, 'cos I won't be covering his work.
Stop there for a moment. Up until this point everything is fine.
And then it all goes Pete Tong. Totally. One by one, it all starts to pile up.
Someone from Sales comes up to me and says that the data extract we did for them from wrong and needs to be done again by tomorrow (Tuesday). This job usually takes about 2 days, and had originally been done by my colleague who is on leave this week.
10 minutes after that, I'm told that our company (which is currently part of a major telecommunications company, but in the process of being floated on the stock market) is going through stage one of it's change. Yep, you guessed it... tomorrow!! I was also told that I had to be in a meeting in 10 minutes to discuss the action plan. Well, my manager was supposed to be in the meeting, but he's off sick at the moment, which leaves me.
About 2 minutes after that, I'm told by our Reception that there are two gentlemen from Xerox for me and my manager - a meeting that had been booked a few weeks previous. So I had to go out there and tell them nicely that the meeting couldn't go ahead today, would you mind coming back in a couple of weeks, type thing!
So, I'm now in the action plan meeting for the company change. The upshot of the meeting dictated that my department had to work late on Tuesday night to roll out the new software, collect all our *old* stationery (letterheads, etc) and replace it with *new* stationery. So I had to ask a few of my guys if they'll work overtime tomorrow!
Just a reminder to you, that all that I've told you so far happened in the space of about one hour!!!!!
The weekend just gone wasn't that much better either. Caroline couldn't come down to see me this weekend, as she was feeling unwell. Now although not the best news, I can cope with that, 'cos I know we'll be together next week, and that makes me feel much better :-)
Last weekend also saw the event of our monthly File Load - which regular readers of my journal will be familiar with. For some reason, the whole process seemed to take an age. So on top of my normal working hours (0900-1730), I also worked from 1730 Friday until 0630 Saturday with Paul, trying to sort the load out. Then again from 0700 until 1600 Sunday sorting out the software creation and rollout. So up to that point a totally knackering weekend. Then at 03:38 this (Monday) morning, I get a phone call from Paul saying "The fire alarm has gone off, mate. The Fire Brigade is on its way." Now I'm not on call this week, but out of the 4 of us who share the on-call for our office, I live the closest, and I wasn't gonna waste time calling the person who *was* on call to get them down there. So just after 04:00 I arrive at work to see the Fire Brigade talking to our Security Guard. They couldn't find out what had caused the alarm to trigger. I reset the fire alarm panel anyway, and tried to contact our maintenance contact people to come and check the system. Unfortunately, there was a fault on the network, so I couldn't connect to my network home drive, and therefore couldn't access my Lotus Notes account. So, instead, I waited for about half an hour to make sure the alarm didn't set itself off again, and then went home, without being able to contact maintenance.
As you can imagine, I was knackered, and didn't get to work this (Monday) morning until nearly noon! And that's when all the other fun (above) started.
So, as you can imagine, I'm pretty damn stressed at the moment, and trying not to think about tomorrow, when our 4-person Production department will consist of.... me.
But it's forced me to make a decision which I didn't really want to make.
Since mid-1998 I had worked in Production, and with changes happening, it had become my "baby" so to speak - the area which I had made my own responsibility. When I got my "promotion" in January 2000 and took on the Operations and Despatch departments too, the idea was for me to cut loose from Production and concentrate on the managing of the three teams as a single department. Unfortunately, I was so attached to Production, I continued doing the Production work. This, I now realise, was a fatal mistake. Because now it comes to the point where I need to manage the entire department, I can't, because I've allowed myself to act as cover for Production... which I should not be. So, when Production is back up to full speed, next Monday, I am going to have to withdraw from it, and make sure that any departmental covering is done without considering me, except in extreme circumstances. That way, if something important comes up - like it has - I will be available to handle it, rather that doing the job that I shouldn't really be doing.
I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense to anyone, and I also apologise for the large post... but I needed to get this out of my head.
Believe me, I feel better for it :-)