15 Mar 2004

When the music stops …

On the face of it, I thought I’d made a fairly innocent statement. In the team focus session today I said, “I’ve been thinking about having a swap round. Moving the team around a little bit.”

I’d spent ages drawing a diagram of the new seating plan and colouring it in with hightlighter pens (all those years in primary school education were not wasted after all). I held the plan in the air like Neville Chamberlin.

The team looked at me with a combination of horro and disapointment; as if I’d suggested that we ritualistically stuck cocktail sticks in our eyes and run around the office naked.

After the session ended they drifted back to their desks. Thrush lovingly stroked the veneer of his desk before looking longingly at his screen, as if to say, “good bye old buddy.”

Brian was the first to lobby me. “I need a window seat.” He tapped his baldhead nervously. “Don’t forget I need it as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ to stop me going off sick.”

“Are you threatening to go off sick if you don’t get a window seat Brian?” I asked.

“No. No.” He gave a capped-tooth, crocodile smile, and said, “The draft from the window helps my feet.”

You can’t argue with this level of logic.