Mar 27, 2008

Poetry Friday Challenge

So Mona has tossed down the rubber glove of Poetry Friday Challenge, and I've scooped it up and tossed it in the dustbin. I'm that sort of guy.

I don't know if you ever noticed, but in every church there's always a small squad of usually older women who take it upon themselves to do things like make sure there's flowers on the altar, toilet paper in the bathrooms, and that things get dusted regularly. Can't have Jeebus looking shabby, now can we?

In the same general way in any office there's always someone who makes sure that the little things get done. There's always a person, guy or gal, who makes sure that the kitchen always has plenty of those plastic stirrer straws, the copier is always full of paper, and the fax machine doesn't run out of toner. That person quietly and without a lot of fuss always makes sure that the little things are taken care of. On Torchwood that guy is Ianto* (pronounced YAN-toe.) In my office I'm that guy.

I'm the guy who comes in the mornings and makes sure the A/C is on and set right, I usually start a pot of coffee tho I don't drink the horrid stuff, and I make sure that all the printers and fax machines and the big monster copier has paper. Oddly enough I also handle all the medical supplies for the office nurses. It's what I do. It appeals to a recently developed personal sense of 'a place for everything and everything in it's place, and always enough so you don't run out.'

I wasn't always this way, honest. It's something I grew into in the past, oh, decade, probably. Since becoming a parent, certainly. It's simply easier to live life when you know that there's toilet paper in the house in case of emergency, there's a new stick of deodorant under the vanity for when that almost-empty stick really IS empty, and the milk is about to expire but the grocery shopping trip is tomorrow so that's covered, too. It just Makes Life Easier, and frankly at this point in my life I LIKE my Life to be Easy.

My gripe (you knew there'd be a grip, right?) is, like before, when the system falls apart around me due to...whatever. Inattention. Failure to communicate. Lack of the "give a shits." It's hard to make sure the copier has toner when no one orders it, even though you've reminded her to order at least TWO big containers of toner three weeks in advance so we don't run out. It's worse when you've reminded her four times and she doesn't order until... wait for it... we're out. Utterly out. Kids, we're talking about an office whose copier alone goes through seven reams of paper a week and a ton of toner. We need this stuff. Last time I reminded her for the course of a whole month that we needed to make an office supplies order--colour toners for the colour laser printer, file jackets for discharged patient charts, and of course cases of paper. Lots of cases of paper. VW used to order six cases at a time at least once a month without fail and we never ran out. Well, this time we ran out of paper.

She simply never ordered it. Bedlam ensued.

When I operate my medical supply room I make sure I have what the nurses will need. I maintain about $15,000 worth of supplies in there at any one time, and I carefully monitor their usage day to day and week to week so I can make sure that there's enough Aquacel Ag dressings in the 6" x 6" size when someone comes yelling that they have a patient with a wound that's riddled with bacteria. I know that if a wound care patient suddenly erupts into weeping sores I've got 30 rolls of sterile crinkle gauze to wrap her in until we can take steps to heal the problem. The needs of the nursing staff are met where I'm concerned unless someone comes up with some off-the-wall requirement, and then I have the entire Corporate Supply Management team on tap to help me get what I, they, and the patient needs.

Why can't our office manager, she who is supposed to KNOW this, keep us in paper and toner and No. 10 envelopes? Especially when she has someone as retentive as me around to remind her that we need A, B, and three cases of C by the end of next week? It's unthinkable that we should ever be OUT of anything. It's also aggravating to a person who was taught to make sure to communicate to the management, to talk to people, to let them know when we're running low on left-handed black ink pens and they either don't listen, don't believe or simply don't really care.

Wait, what? The word for today was "Surprise" and not "Supplies?"

Oh shite.


(I LOVE this movie. I also love a good spot of wordplay.)

Happy Friday, you guys.

* I'm not nearly as sharp a dresser as Ianto, nor am I shagging the boss, nor do I have a cool British accent but I do like to make sure that the pterodactyl stays fed.


Mona Buonanotte said...

What is that movie? It has Long Duk Dong in it! "Oh sexy gurlfriend...!"

I'm like you...I come in, make the coffee, turn on the machines, fetch paper towels and coffee filters, whatever needs doing. It burns my bottom when we run out of simple things even after I remind and remind and Facking REMIND the person who orders it to do just that. Maybe all supply orderers have a passive-aggressive streak?

Irrelephant said...

Mona! That's the least sexual innuendo-filled comment you've ever left me! Are you feeling okay? Need to lie down? Here, drink plenty of liquids and get some rest while I call the doctor. And the fire department.

I think it's true, dear; all us support-type people are a little passive aggressive. I know I have a fairly wide PA streak, but it's only because my temper is so violent at times that I'd rather just be quiet and not hit anyone. *sigh* It's hell being me. *grin*

(And it was Weird Al's "UHF")

Nancy Dancehall said...

Grrrrr...I remember those days, and not too fondly.

Irrelephant said...

Nancy, trust me, I'm still LIVING those days, and I ain't none too fond of 'em either!

I don't even get to drink from the firehose. :(

Maggie said...

Every now and then I get to envying people who don't have to deal with 3yos during the day. And then I'm reminded, that in many ways, they do.

Clowncar said...

Torchwood? Huh?

I one of those who use up the last roll of toilet paper and tell no one. And don't buy more. True story: the first time my (future) wife came to my apartment there were coffee filters in the bathroom, because I had run out of toilet paper like a week before.

Shockingly, she married me anyway.

Mother of Invention said...

Dang! Can't seem to view the movie. I used to work/teach at a Chinese High school and the kids there would say these 2 words the same way anyway so this post wouldn't even strike them as funny.
Yeah, teachers are anal about supplies. We sneak in the office at noon hour when no one's there! We hoard packs of 1998 black magic markers only to find them dry when we actually open them! And red pens?? In safety deposit box!

mickelodeon said...

Ianto. Oh, how I dig him, even if he's shagging Cap'n Jack (who I don't dig. At all). I, too, am that person who makes the coffee, distributes the faxes, makes sure our kitchen is secondarily stocked with the necessities (meaning I don't do the actual ordering, I just keep the powers that be alerted). And I'm lying about the faxes. I don't distribute jack shit. I go in, make the coffee, and get to my work. Selfish? Perhaps, but when you're in before dawn, I think it's more than acceptable. ;-)

Irrelephant said...

Yes, Maggie, and they're PAID to be there. *deep, soul-emptied sigh*

Clowncar, there must be something she saw in you that helped her choose. Can you lick your eyebrows? *lol*

I've been lowered to using paper towels but never had to go to coffee filters, that's a new low. *g*

MoI, I can't blame you! My problem is just getting the stuff in FIRST so I can hoard it!

Micks m'dear, I've actually given up most of my helpful behaviour like monitoring the fax. They took my office from me and stuck me up front, they can by damned well check the fax themselves. *shrug* I also like not turning off the coffee pot at night. I don't drink it, why should I monitor it?

Gah. PA. *lol*

And I don't think we're supposed to like Cap'n Jack toooo much. I kind of like him as an arsehole. Makes Gwen that much yummier. *lol*

Vulgar Wizard said...

It's nice to know that I managed to do something right while I was there. *s*