Week two in work passed by in a blur. The VHI was going to be paid on Monday – no Tuesday. Then that issue went quiet for a couple of days. Tuesday saw our resignee bustled out the door early. Out of sight, out of mind. Let’s forget all about that unpleasant incident. To cheer us up there was a staff meeting. Professional as always. The background into what had been going on recently included a lengthy monologue on the boss’s personal financial woes, his temporary stay of execution from the Chinese bankers to whom he owed vast sums of money, and the breakdown of his relationship. There would be no apologies about how staff members with a bad attitude were treated. Regrettable, but you know the stress… the stress of it all! What’s a man to do but go bananas?
But the company was on the cusp of something great, as always. A new list of potential customers and investors was reeled off. It all sounded reasonable and good. There was just that one small problem… we’d heard it all before, many times. Sometimes different names and dates, but always the same promises with the almost certain fairytale ending to follow. Perhaps fearful that he was losing the crowd, the boss treated us to idyllic notions of bonuses and 10% pay increases in the near future. Now it wasn’t set in titantium apparently, but should the financial projections proceed to plan…
Once the great staff speech had been made it was back to business as usual. On Wednesday morning I was called in and informed that my esteemed colleague had regretfully left. (Yes, I was aware of that). The worry was that now his adopted graduate might falter in his absence. This concern would be alleviated if I could just possibly maybe agree to mentor him, to wrap him up in cotton wool if you will. I cut the conversation short with a quick agreement. There are only so many company meetings of an odd nature that I can handle in one week.
VHI finally confirmed that their debts had been cleared. Just in time for the staff christmas dinner which I was definitely not available for. Wally was so excited at the prospect of free food and wine that he just couldn’t sit still all afternoon. Up and down to his car, in and out of the kitchen and meeting rooms. For half an hour he alternated between overloading the noisy paper shredder (which was sounding very sickly) and the even louder vacuum cleaner. No one could figure out why these two machines needed to be used together. He told us he’d booked a hostel for the night, but might just come back and sleep in the office. No one knew what to say to that.
The following morning I nervously let myself into the office, fervently hoping that I won’t be disturbing any hungover bodies passed out on a desk or floor. Thankfully I was spared the sight. I sat in the cold, empty office for almost an hour before people started drifting in. Attendence was rewarded as the salary cheques were presented just before lunch. A quick run to the bank left me satisfied that there would be no company-related debts running through into the new year. I hesitated to optimistically think that the new year might bring a change in the working environment. At least it had a chance now though.