Tuesday 26 June 2007

Office gossip and traumas

Yesterday our front door broke. It wouldn't be so bad but it is practically brand new!!! We didn't actually realise that it was broken for a while - but a big meeting was happening in the Board Room and attendees kept appearing in reception without the intercom having rung. Eventually we decided that it might be a good idea to go downstairs and find out what was going on. This is what... the bolt that is operated by the push button ("press here to exit") had stopped springing back up and was stuck in the down position... this meant that the door, instead of shutting was bouncing off the bolt and the frame was blocked so the door couldn't shut. When I pressed the button the bolt did go back up... and the door shut, but the bolt then didn't fall back down again! Had to phone up the management to tell them (this was before the trip downstairs) they were laissez-faire about the whole thing and said someone might "get out today". After the revelations of the bolt, our conclusion being drawn that the building was effectively no longer secure - another call was placed to the agent... stating the urgency of the problem. Due credit... three (really, three?!) engineers did arrive and fix the door.

So - this morning the door is fixed. However now the LIFT is broken. It was working when I arrived at 20 past 6 but by the time that the SA girl arrived at a quarter before seven it was no longer functioning. How do we know this? Our lift has very peculiar symptons when it is broken. It goes to the fifth floor (top floor) and stays there. No amount of button pressing either within the car or from the landings will get it to move. During my investigations of the lift I met the office manager from the floor below. She hit upon the bright idea of using the emergency phone to summon the lift people. The emergency phone doesn't work. I joked that maybe it was cut off because the landlord's agent hadn't paid the bill. Not such a joke given recent issues with the electricity bill for the basement! So - not sure what the status of the lift is... and if I even want to use it right now. If I got stuck in there it could be a long time before I got out!!!

The office is a wealth of partner's today. The senior partner is here... the partner who was abroad is back, and the partner who is always here, is, well, here! In fact... everyone is here today. Had a funny five moments with the youngest trainee earlier. He had a drawing whose stated scale was 1:1000 (not a scale on most rulers in the office)... and actually turned out to be 1:2000. So... he measured at 1:100, multiplied by ten and then by 2. It was pointed out that it might have been quicker to merely work at 1:200 and multiply by 10. But the answer is right, he said. Ah, but the Partner said, if you'd been measuring lengths and areas you might have muddled your coefficients... and there lies the way to madness and wrong answers.