It’s that time of year again, and I’m very grateful to my mother (especially if she’s reading this) for getting me a nice thick coat, as the temperature seems to be dropping rather faster than usual in late October: indeed, on this very day back in 2014, we had a mini-heatwave!
I’m also wearing the hat with earflaps I got back in early 2001 (still fits my head, despite its weight loss back in May), and have my scarf and gloves on standby, in case it’s so cold walking between home/work and Tube stations that I start getting numb…
But that’s not the real reason for this blog post’s title, just a brief alternate meaning — in fact, the meaning is both covering for someone at work, and covering up the explanation for the need to do so. In fact, I find myself wondering if I should go this far, seeing as “boss lady” could well be reading this, if she found the link on my Facebook page (or heard that Googling “big breakfast gwar” brings up this post first) — but that’d count as spying on employees outside work!
(And since my mother won a court case against her scumbag employers after they fired her in mid-2011 for saying on Facebook that she hated her job — without actually naming them — having gathered evidence against her over time, like the Thought Police, instead of just telling her to stop her posts right away…)
Yeah, I might as well come straight out with it: one of my teammates is going to be away for a few months, and I’m effectively covering for him, becoming effectively the only 1st line IT helpdesk person. The official line is that he’s on a “career break” due to circumstances in his own life, but oh, I can’t help wondering whether it’s more along the lines of “gardening leave” — after all, he’s allegedly made some big screw-ups, despite him having worked in IT much longer than me. I’ve told a couple of friends at work about it (fortunately almost everyone counts in that respect), but otherwise am keeping the matter under wraps, in case it really is a big cover-up for him being disciplined, and I risk getting someone in trouble — especially me!
Don’t worry, it’s not my senpai who’s had to step away until early 2019: he’s most certainly still with us (working his mojo with tremendous skill), and has been supportive to me during my return to the organisation after my own “career break” from mid-May to the end of July — which was, of course, due to quite literally getting something off my mind (and even more literally getting my head together). However, since they’re not hiring a temp to support me with my workload, I’ve got to seek advice and outright help from him and my other remaining teammates (tricky if they’re working from home, as has been the case during the half-term school holiday — good job I don’t have kids, eh?), which can make me feel like a burden.
Indeed, today — the terrifying Hallowe’en (or, as people on the Interthingy spell it, “Halloween”) — we all got stressed due to numerous problems, including a network port not working in our lecture theatre, a presentation not downloading from a web sharing resource, and external people even being cut off from the relevant “shared desktop” conference call! Most of this is probably thanks to Microsoft, of course (who are also responsible for the abomination known as Edge, a web browser from which our users can’t print) — but don’t tell anyone at my workplace, or they’ll complain about us using second-rate technology…
My main hope in this role-covering situation is that I’ll finally prove myself indispensable by remaining calm, polite and helpful in crises, and that “boss lady” having words with me (yet again) a couple of weeks ago was because she wanted to ensure I’d get back to my old, well-adjusted self and not screw up — guiding me, instead of threatening me — so I don’t cause problems and, worst case, leave her without any 1st line helpdesk staff at all. Perhaps she knew she was going to have to take action against this guy soon, having (allegedly) overly favoured him, and ignored his faults, for altogether too long?
The really sad thing is, I actually like the guy (even if the other members of my team seem not to) — some of my happiest days in this job have been those with just me and him (and perhaps “boss lady”) in the office, with the others working from home or outright on leave, as these days were nice and quiet! Whereas the others frequently get rowdy and noisy when they’re in, and I have to cover my ears…
And just when you think things can’t get any more stressful, they want me to come in to help with work over the weekend (just when my folks have gone away on holiday) — which means I’ll be working seven days in a row, and that’s if I can book Monday off! Dammit, when am I gonna have time to play StarCraft II?!