I haven’t left the house yet and I already feel like shit. I went to bed early in anticipation of the big day ahead but didn’t get asleep before four. Every time I closed my eyes the only thing I saw was Roseanne. I spent the entire night trying to think of ways to outmaneuver and counter strike her next moves and the best I could come up with was to throw myself into my work, and keep my head down.
I arrive in the office just before eight and immediately begin to upload the pricing feed from Valuelink. My first attempt is unsuccessful although the systems are touchy at the best of times. I try again and again but still no joy. Please God don’t do this to me-not today.
I debate ringing the helpdesk however the thoughts of getting stung with Joanne make me do otherwise. I try again and again. Nothing. I finally give in and ring helpdesk but nobodies in yet. Eventually Joanne picks up.
“Hello helpdesk Joanne speaking.”
“Hi Joanne it’s Anthony here. Could you check if there’s a problem with the Valuelink price feed because I’m not receiving in any today.”
“I’ll look into it as soon as I can.”
“Okay thanks.”
Twenty minutes go by and I’m a nervous wreck. It’s already half eight and I have nothing done and nor can I do anything until the prices are fed in. I finally see Joanne amber around the corner in her bob the builder stance. The cunt is nothing short of whistling.
“Well?” I ask.
“Yeah there seems to be a problem with the connection. We’re working on it now but I’ve no idea how long it’s going to take.” Yet again my fate is left in Joanne’s hands. I try to play it cool, afraid that if she realizes the seriousness of the situation she’ll leave me out to dry.
“Okay Joanne, well just let me know whenever you have an update, thanks.” I sit at my desk close to hyperventilation as I watch the minutes fly by and with it any chance of salvation. I read and re-read my notes in the hope that I’ll be straight out of the traps when the system’s finally fixed. Joanne comes back over forty minutes later and informs me everything’s good to go. I immediately begin the upload and for once Joanne serves a purpose. As soon as the prices are uploaded I click into one of the in house applications but it’s not working. I scramble across the desk and phone Joanne.
“Hi Joanne, thanks for your help, but I have another problem now-my in house applications don’t seem to be working?”
She proceeds to check and tells me that as “no system requests have been made for me that none of them will work”.
“So what do I do?”
“There’s nothing you can do. Roseanne has to send through a system request before I can do anything.”
“Great. Thanks Joanne,” I say and hang up.
Roseanne of course. I should have clocked it straight away from her absence. Every other day she’s been in no later than 8.45am but today it’s 9.20, and there’s still no sign of her.
She at long last surfaces around 9.45 and I don’t waste any time in cornering her.
“Hi Roseanne, I haven’t been able to start any of my work this morning because I don’t have any access to the necessary programs. I spoke to IT about it and they said that you never requested any?”
“Anthony I’m not here to spoon feed you. If you require certain system accesses then you need to let me know in good time.”
“But Roseanne I was working off Sonya’s logins, how was I to know I wouldn’t have access?”
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is what I always say. Had you taken just five minutes last week you would have known straight away. Do you not have any initiative?”
I can see where this is going and I won’t let myself rise to the bait.
“Okay Roseanne duly noted. Now could you please give Joanne in IT a ring and approve my access requests? Thank you.”
Gauging by the look of despair etched across her face it wasn’t the response she anticipated or wanted.
“Fine, but this is the last time I’m cleaning up your mess.”
It’s after 11.00 when I do eventually get going and I’m already three hours behind. My fingers bounce off the keyboard at a breakneck pace but it’s nowhere near enough.
Anytime I seem to be making anything that resembles progress my excel freezes or my applications close down. I try to print off my wires for Donal to check but my printer isn’t set-up, which means another call to Joanne. By the time she saunters around and Donal corrects them it’s 13.00. I begin sorting them into piles when I hear an inaudible mumble coming from Donal’s direction.
“You forgot to sign off on them,” he says.
“Fine, I’ll do it after I hand them out.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible. The signatory field is one of the few fields that cannot be edited once entered.”
“Meaning what exactly?”
“They’ll all have to be done again.”
I feel as if I’m fit to jump over the desk and pound his face until he chokes on his own blood.
“So why didn’t you tell me this after I did the first one?”
“Because I didn’t know if it was the case for all of them, and I needed to highlight the rest of your errors.”
“Donal I gave you 43 wires today.”
“Well then you should have left yourself with a bigger window of time to rectify the essential updates.” I try to compose myself but I’m physically trembling. I focus in on a dent in my desk with all my might to stop myself from boiling over. I channel my rage into my work and bash it all in once more and hand it over to Donal. At first I was so flustered I didn’t realize, it’s only when I’m about to start another task that it registers with me that he’s unwrapping his sandwiches.
“Sorry Donal it’s just that’s it’s 14.32 and I need to have those EUR and UK wires signed and approved before 15.00.” I now see in his eyes the same look I gave him earlier.
He throws them all back at me at 14:50. I grab the pile of twenty or so EUR/UK and frenetically stampede from office to office in search of people to sign off but only encounter closed doors, managers on conference calls, or vacant chairs. I manage to find Jackie Donnelly who-seeing my desperate and sweaty face-agrees to take 12 of them. I’ve darted across the office when I hear a cry-“Anthony wait,” I turn around and see Jackie waving her fresh pile of wires. I feel sick.
“I can’t sign off on the majority of these-they’re above my maximum limit,” she says.
I walk back dejected and she returns all but three.
I storm back to my desk and grab Sonya’s old authorization list from it. On closer inspection over a third of the people on this list don’t even work here, and a lot of the people I don’t know. Fuck you anyway Sonya. Anytime I asked her did she want me to accompany her while she handed out the wires she told me to keep doing whatever menial task I was involved in because “handing out the wires is a piece of piss”. Sneaky cunt must have sweat buckets when I wasn’t looking. I scoop the other remaining wires as I’m already fucked as it is.
I continue roaming around the office searching and even when I do manage to hand out the correct wire allocation to the relevant signatory all I get is “What was wrong with these? Why are they so late?”
By the time I return to my desk it’s 16.03 and I’ve little over half my work done.
I try to bulldoze through the work as best I can but I’m a spent force, and what depleted energy I have is spent re-doing or correcting tired mistakes.
I’m in the middle of manipulating a spreadsheet when I feel Roseanne hovering over me like a praying mantis.
“What the hell happened today?” She says before I even turn around in acknowledgment.
“Some of the wires went out late because I didn’t have enough time and all of the procedures are outdated.”
Her physical presence seems to take over the room and I’m suddenly very self-conscious of the fact that all eyes are on me.
“Well you should have taken care of this last week. Have you any initiative whatsoever?”
I look over at Donal and he’s giggling behind his hand like fucking rain man.
“Well Roseanne procedures aside, I still couldn’t even begin my work till after 11.00 this morning because you never granted me any systems access.”
“Am I hearing you correctly? It took you the best part of four hours to do some simple wires?”
“Firstly there was quite a high volume to get through, secondly my PC kept on breaking down every two minutes, and then some revisions had to be made.”
“You mean to tell me you spent all that time on the wires and they were still wrong?”
“Roseanne it’s my first day.”
“That’s a lame excuse Anthony. You’ve over six years fund experience and you’re telling me that you can’t handle some simple data entry work?”
I can feel myself shrinking as she towers over me while I desperately search for an equalizer.
“I’m sorry Roseanne if I’m not up to scratch yet. I’m still fumbling and groping my way around the new systems.”
She’s momentarily speechless and I can see what she was going to say has been swallowed. Zing, she’ll be picking up her teeth off the floor from that bat to the face.
She tries to let on that the comment didn’t register but the flushing of her cheeks suggests otherwise.
“Well I’ve made my point Anthony and don’t need to labour it any further. Missed deadlines can result in compensation claims from the client due to a late receipt of funds- please bear this in mind.”
“Duly noted,” I say throwing in a smile for good measure.
She immediately turns away in disgust and stomps back to her desk. Fuck I knew she had a hard-on for me but I didn’t think she’d strike so soon. I thought she’d at least try and lull me into a false sense of security before breaking the ice beneath me.
I spend the rest of the evening trying to catch up on what needs to be done and it’s half eight before I finish up. I look around the floor and there aren’t many people left now although the Fuse is still bound to his desk guzzling a can of Red Bull. I mull over having a chat with him but it’s late enough as it is, and my head is far too mushy for social interaction.
By the time I get home I’m beyond the point of exhaustion. I go straight to bed and it’s a good hour before I drift off to sleep because my head is buzzing, and feels like it’s going to explode, drifting in and out of consciousness-never really awake, or asleep.

Previous chapter.

From the beginning.

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