I was five minutes late. It didn’t go down well with the power hungry new team leader. The proof was in that fact that I was publicly roasted and humiliated.
Not that there was much point being on time because all the phones had gone down – and to ice the cake, the computer system collapsed as well.
Free time, we thought… so I pulled out My MP3 got on with surfing the net…
Which, according to the team leader, “wasn’t appropriate.” I pointed out that the phones were down so it couldn’t interrupt anyone or my none existent work. This response, it seemed, wasn’t appropriate either. I learned that the hard way when she grabbed my arm (I still to this day don’t know why I didn’t put a claim in) drag me into a side room.
She laughed the physical abuse off with some nice quiet banter and reasoning about not undermining her authority. But when I decided to make a stand and said I was still going to listen to the MP3 player, Team leader went and got the office manager.
She point blank said that I was not supposed to be using the MP3 in work time – and that any personal electrical equipment including mobile phones should also be switched off. Fair enough. Meeting over.
I went back to my desk in a brown stew. Five minutes later the office manager came to talk to my team leader (who incidentally sits next to me). I realised that I’d forgotten to turn my phone off when, less than five words into their conversation, it started going off. To make things worse I also realised that the night before I’d foolishly set the ring tone to a very offensive song about bestiality. For further details see Blink 182.
It was a real ground-please-swallow-me-up moment. One that was made no easier by the fact that the while of the rest of the office saw and heard the whole thing and spent the rest of the morning laughing at my expense.