19 July, 2011

Ignorance and construction.

We've had some fairly extensive renovations and partial refurbishments going on throughout our building for, oh, forever it seems like, but in reality it's only been the better part of two years.

(The money, naturally, has run out before the threadbare, water-stained carpets and nicotine-coloured lighting in my workspace could be replaced. But as a consolation prize, senior management have arranged for the steam-cleaning of said threadbare carpets, presumably to coincide with the silver jubilee celebrations since they were last cleaned.)

As part of this ongoing punishment of everyone working here, we've also been receiving a steady stream of well-meaning but only semi-coherent emails telling us to beware of, for example, Stairwell #3 at some random compass-point end of the building that gives no point of reference at all to people trapped in a maze of corridors and cubes with no view of the world outside. A simple floorplan diagram showing the afflicted areas would be enough but seems to be asking too much. The Stress Fiend now greets each new update with a cry of "Pictures! Goddamn pictures, people!")

Anyway. Stream of emails.

Because La Mondaine only attends a couple of days a week, she often has a backlog of email to catch up on. Typically this is the first thing she does after her morning gossip, comparison of bowel experiences, and surreptitious prowl through our database to break things. She then somehow manages to forget that some of the emails are nearly a week old, and begins to read various announcements to the rest of us, or ask what she needs to do to prepare for something that's been and gone.

Of course we've already established she has no sense of the passage of time. If the fact she struggles to comprehend we're not still working in the early 1990s isn't evidence in itself, she also didn't believe she'd been back here for a year already (and oh! does it seem so much longer!).

Very recently, though, one of the project managers for the renovations/refurbishment/consolation prize carpet-cleaning relocated to an office near us, and when La Mondaine found the latest round of email updates she headed straight to the office to quiz the project officer about their meaning, even though everything they mentioned was already long past.

Today yet another email has gone out to all staff announcing another round of drilling and construction noise ... but this time the subject header includes "La Mondaine, you may ignore this..."

Let's see if it works.

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