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A #facilitiesmanagement Christmas Tale

‘Twas Christmas Eve at the office. As the sky began to lighten that morning, Bob the Facilities Manager sat in reception waiting for the receptionist to arrive and take over the desk. On the CCTV monitors he saw the black Audi A6 of the CEO glide up to the gate. His hand went to the control panel to press the gate open button for her – she never used her identity badge – but then he froze. From the driver’s window a pale hand emerged and wafted a small white rectangle at the sensor. The gate rose and the Audi entered the car park. Mesmerised, he followed the car on the cameras until it parked. Sure enough it was the right person driving. The angle she parked at would have been enough to show that, but the lady herself emerged and headed for the door.

Normally he would have made himself scarce at this point to avoid having any contact with her as she passed through reception. Not that she ever acknowledged him, but there was often something that had pricked her bile and some order would be barked out as she swept through. Today though he sat rooted as she emerged from the revolving door and flashed him as wide smile. “Good morning Bob. I seem to have parked across two spaces. Do you think you could get it straightened up for me?” she enquired, dangling her car keys at him.

After Joan had arrived to take over reception Bob went through to make them both a drink. As he waited for the kettle to boil he wondered at the CEO’s behaviour. A voice interrupted his reveries and he turned to face the HR Director. “Ah, Bob. I’ve got six new people starting and you need to get things set up for them”. “OK, when are they starting” Bob enquired, thinking that, at least, it can’t be today. “Not ‘til early Feb, but I thought that you might have a look up on the third floor and see where we may be able to fit them in. I’ve got the names and photos we took at their interviews so I’ll email those to you so that you can sort out ID cards and things” came the response. “Er, thanks” said Bob. He’d been expecting something as his team had seen all the candidates come in for their interviews, but six weeks notice to sort out things out? Unheard of; he didn’t usually get six days.

He took the teas back to reception. As he handed over her mug Joan passed him a post it note. “Old tight wad is on her way down” she told him. Tight wad was their name for the Finance Director. He stifled the retort he was about to make as a diminutive figure in an immaculate trouser suit emerged from the lift and came their way, offering Good Mornings” to them both. She held out the buff file she carried “Your 2011/12 budgets are all approved, so you can get cracking on your programme any time you like. The directors have also agreed to give up their designated car park spaces and to go open plan. It’s all there for you to start work on in January”. They sat open mouthed watching her go.

Mrs Bob came home to find her husband fast asleep in his armchair. A piece of paper had fallen from his hand; it was the list of jobs she’d left him to do. As she looked at him he seemed to be smiling. At least someone’s having sweet dreams she thought.

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