The Practitioner: Left in the lurch - who's making the coffee?

by The Practitioner

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19 May 2011

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It is holiday season in the office and also student study leave season.
Throw in a couple of bank holidays and a couple of sick days and there is virtually nobody in the office except the cleaner and a couple of clients!

A downfall of having trainees is that, when exam time comes around, you are left with a skeleton staff and no-one to crunch out VAT returns, analyse the ‘bag of crap' from John the Window Cleaner, or make the all-important six cups of coffee a day.

As a partner, I am obviously inclined to motivate the remaining staff to work that bit harder, perhaps take some work home, and maybe even convince some to work weekends! There is more chance of John the Window Cleaner declaring all his income to be honest with you.

A member of staff has somehow managed to book a two-week holiday in amongst the study leave period, without my knowing, which has really left us in the lurch. I was tempted to ask him (tongue in cheek) if he would be willing to cancel the family holiday to Tenerife, just to see what his reaction was. Not a chance in hell.

There is nothing like teamwork, and this is nothing like teamwork. I have been impressed, however, with a couple of the staff in the office who are thankfully seeing this as their chance to impress the boss and chip in. One of them has offered to work a couple of weekends to help ease the workload. He is either very keen, has no girlfriend, no friends or no social life.

Not that I'm complaining. I wish all the staff had no life and were willing to work 24-7 for no overtime pay. Perhaps we should look at employing robots that don't require 12 weeks study leave a year and don't take holidays...

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