Do you ever get asked to do a petty task that really infuriates you?
My ‘favourite’ was when a note was left in my tray by ‘Anonymous’. Anonymous had asked me to put together a tea rota for the admin team. A tea rota. Like life is so difficult that even being able to make a decision about who should make the tea needs a rota. This is what we are dealing with?!
My polite response to the team about the note from ‘Anonymous’ went something like this:
Thank you for your request, asking that I put a tea rota together for the admin team. Unfortunately, due to the pressure on my time, I can’t facilitate this; however, I feel sure that the six members of the team can work out a way to coordinate this task themselves.
What I would like to have said is…
Who the *$£@ is ‘Anonymous’?! And what on earth possessed you to think that it was a good idea to put a note in my tray asking me if I could put together a **$%^£@ tea rota for six adults? SIX ADULTS?! You may have noticed I am dealing with a pandemic; I’m supporting 30 staff who are tired, exhausted and fed up. I’m still trying to hit targets sent to us by those above, and answering complaints from patients who also have forgotten that we’re working through world-changing times.
Along with this, I get asked to do other ridiculous things that you could do yourself like unblocking the sink or wiping up sick or being asked to buy a card because the cleaner is off with a wart on her toe (or something like that). Every day I answer emails that you send on to me which you could answer yourself, like the one the other day when Mr Price contacted you to ask whether solar turbines could be responsible for Covid… Why did you think I could answer that?!
I’m still paying wages, drawings, pensions and the HMRC, putting VAT returns together, reconciling the bank accounts, overseeing budgets, maximising income streams, conducting appraisals, reviews, recruiting staff, training. I’m still responsible for all of your health and safety and that of the patients, I still answer all the IT queries and I’m still responsible for information governance. It’s me who phones the electrician because the lights have broken (again) or the automatic door company because it’s rained two drops so they’ve decided to stop opening (again). I’m having to juggle everyone’s hours for those people who can’t work their normal hours because they’ve got a cough, their child can’t go to school or their cat is missing.
Oh yeah, like I said, there’s this other thing going on – a pandemic – so I’m also, on top of all that, now managing a mass vaccination centre! Not an ordinary set-up, working mass vaccination centre. A totally impractical one, where you’re told you’ll get 700 vaccines tomorrow but then get 70 and the IT systems don’t work properly or talk to each other and there’s yet more governance. Also, the media like to tell everyone they’re getting their vaccine four weeks before you’ve even got any supply, and someone got a kick out of making Cohort 6 so convoluted and complex that I’ve run down the supply of pink gin at my local supermarket.
So ‘Anonymous’, by now you may have guessed it; I’m not putting together your &*^%$* tea rota but I can recommend an alternative – stop drinking so much tea and do some work!
That’s what I wanted to say.
So, tell me – what’s the most grating task you’ve been asked to do?