Saturday, March 24, 2012

He gave a long lecture - the past week at work


The Institute's offices comprise two floors. 

On the ground floor is the telephone surveys room (not large) and a tiny office with three glass walls for Development & Innovation manager Tim Watts.  The rest of the ground floor is occupied by the "Library" alternatively known as the "Reading Room".  Entry is via a metal door into a musty-smelling windowless area crammed with metal shelving packed with journals, articles and unpublished manuscripts.  Also thousands of books.  An equal number of books are still in cartons stacked at the back.  When the Institute moved from London the old Library had been packed up in a haphazard manner and never fully unpacked (mainly because there is not enough room in the new premises). 

The Library is run by three staff, nominally reporting to Institute Director Vijay Singh but with a "dotted line" (on the organisation chart) of responsibility to Alec Nussbaum in the Institute's sister organisation.  This dotted line allows Alec Nussbaum to visit the Institute without seeking Vijay Singh's advance permission.  There have been many arguments and manoeuvrings on how to remove the dotted line and place the Library under sole control of Vijay Singh.

Upstairs you enter the Reception area, comprised of four comfy armchairs and a coffee table overlooked by the Reception desk.  If you turn right you come to the admin area, marketing (where I sit) and the Campaigns Room.  Also the Director's suite (a long room with a board table at one end, two sofas facing each other in the middle, and Vijay Singh's office area at the end).

Opposite side of the floor, behind screens, is the Accounts area, and the Deputy Director's office.

I was only at work during the morning, having the afternoon as holiday.  I got a surprising amount done, briefing Joey on designing a publication, proof-reading, writing a letter.  Vijay Singh away, so there were no meetings.




Holiday in the morning, and I made the mistake of going into the office in the afternoon.

Lots of irritating e-mails from the Institute's sister-organisation - are they planning to take us over?

I did some copywriting, commissioned some photography, and looked through a new database.

Admin supervisor Pat B came to me with the news that she thought admin assistant Angela was anorexic.  What am I supposed to do? (even supposing her analysis is correct).  I told her to go to Deputy Director Lois Cooper.


During the morning the admin section (adjacent to my desk) were carrying out a mailshot, which was quite disruptive.  I proof-read a leaflet and replied to e-mails.  Then worked on a presentation.

Everyone asked to stay late, and crammed into Vijay Singh's office.  He gave a long lecture on how the Institute is going to develop over the next few months.  He covered the white board on the wall with intricate flow patterns.


Barely time to establish myself at my desk this morning than the arrival of PK, editor of the magazine published by our sister organisation.  I was given the task of looking after her, which was a demanding experience.  Lunch in Vijay Singh's office - vegetarian sandwiches bought at Tescos by Pat B.

I got the impression that PK was just visiting the Institute to get a day out of her office.

No comments: