Friday 11th March 2016
My new junior Receptionist has not turned up for work today. We're a week in - this is only her fifth day on the job, 10.00am and neither Priscilla nor I have heard a peep out of her yet. I don’t know if I’m more annoyed that this has happened, or terrified at the prospect of having to take control as her manager! You see it’s my first managerial conundrum – I recognise that I need to take some sort of authoritative stance, but I just hate confrontation, and the thought of telling someone off just feels so school teachery to me, I have no idea how to go about it!
Maybe I should be worried for her safety first and foremost, as it does seem pretty out of character for her not to be in touch: she's been so sweet and so smiling and earnest all week - super helpful, picking everything up quickly, seemingly enjoying her first week. Only I know she was out for a massive reunion with her school friends last night so I can’t help but feel she’s probably overdone it and is at home nursing her hangover…
How can you be so late, or take a sick day in your very first week, and not even be in touch with your bosses to explain? Oh god have we made a massive mistake with this hire? Not a good start, is it?
10.30 am: a panicked phone call comes through, a stream of apologetic hysteria:
‘Lucy I’m so mortified, this is unacceptable I know, I slept through my alarm! I am so so sorry, I just can’t believe this has happened to me, it’s appalling behaviour in my first week, I am on my way in, I’ll be half an hour tops, I’m just so so sorry…’
Priscilla came over to the desk to back me up when Alice arrived as she said she was “fearful” I would “buckle” dealing with Alice on my own. Great help she turned out to be! As soon as Alice’s earnest little forlorn face arrived Priscilla was putting her arm around her, comforting her and telling her it was “all OK”. Next thing you know she’s installed Alice behind the desk with some tissues and has gone off to make her a cup of tea!
I felt like I’d been slapped round the face I was so shocked – I mean am I crazy, is this behaviour really “all OK”?? Or am I getting heartless in my old age?
I think it’s even more of a kick in the teeth for me as I’m actually feeling pretty under the weather still myself. You see I took my first ever sick day last Friday which is why there was no diary entry last week, and I was so wiped out by that awful bug that I’m definitely still not 100%. I would have killed for a lie in this morning, or a day at home to get fully better.
I texted Fran to vent. This was unacceptable, and what on earth was Priscilla up to, I needed her to back me up here. Added to which I was feeling awful myself.
Fran texted back in peels of laughter: “Lucy who are you kidding?! Have you forgotten what you were like after the Christmas party, the summer party, in fact after any date you’ve ever been on in your life?? Give the poor girl a break!”
12noon: Oh god, things have just got worse! Alice has just taken her first bite of an almond croissant Priscilla bought her to help her feel better, only it’s made her bolt straight to the loo looking positively green!
She’s darted to the disabled loo, right by Reception, obviously couldn’t make it to our staff one. Big mistake, I can hear everything that’s going on: retching, coughing, flushing, and – oh god - so can the clients I have sitting here in Reception waiting to meet with Ed! They’re looking at me with eyebrows raised! What am I going to do about this??
I don’t want to be a manager any more!
Thursday 24th March 2016
Alice, my new protégé, redeemed herself when she arrived before me the morning after her shameful episode. We went out for a drink when I put into practice all the HR tips I’d googled about reprimanding a junior. I didn’t need to do it. She knew she’d let herself down and has not made a step out of line since so we are saying nothing more about it. She also rose to the challenge of covering for me whilst I’ve been away skiing which meant I had a blissful escape with no interruptions on my blackberry.
So last week was my first holiday of the year and it is safe to say I was seriously in need of my week long trip to the Alps to clear up the remnants of that horrible bug and escape the stresses of work. Following a lovely but non-spectacular date with Fran’s colleague I had decided to put dating slightly on the back burner and just focus on having an amazing time. Going away with 11 of my best friends meant that it was never going to be the most relaxing of holidays, but what happened during that week couldn’t have been less expected. I know I have had a catalogue of love disasters but I think I might have found my very own Christian Grey..
Long story short, it was our last day on the slopes and we decided to hit Apres-ski to celebrate my friend’s birthday, and despite my horrifically burnt face and goggle eyes I ended up being swept up out of the crowd by possibly the best looking and manly man I have ever set eyes on. I genuinely could not believe my luck; he was hilarious, polite, intelligent as well as gorgeous, and we ended up having the most amazing evening and although I regrettably ended up back at his chalet, I was well behaved … I promise!
Although he asked for my number I was doubtful that I’d ever hear from him again because let’s face it… he is completely out of my league and we all know that I haven’t had the best luck in the past with the love life. So it is fair to say that my Sunday blues were possibly the worst ever before starting work this week with the realisation that my one night wonder and mysterious man already felt like a dream…
But GUESS WHAT.. I arrived to work on Monday to a bouquet of flowers on my desk from Harry and a request to meet me at a mysterious location on the embankment on Thursday (TODAY)!! I have no idea where he is taking me and what might happen, but I am very excited to see that face again. The office went wild (with a sideways glance and clock from Charlie – yesss) when they saw the flowers followed by a picture of him we found on LinkedIn. He works for another hedge-fund round the corner! I can’t help feeling pressure for the date to be a success now the whole company are waiting in anticipation for my report after Easter. Oh well, either way at least I don’t have to face work tomorrow so I can really let loose tonight and enjoy myself... although Alice has bet me a fiver that I will end up at his. She is now my work soul mate.
Have a wonderful Easter holiday everyone! And for any of you who courageously gave up chocolate for lent, particularly enjoy that celebratory Easter Egg!!