So....back to work.
Arrived by 8am at base1, managed to park and walked up to my office, with the sound of a vehicle reversing in Welsh powering down on me to finish me off. A tattered wanted poster, obviously placed there by a client angry with another client flapped on a lamp post as I strolled past, purposefully, hoping to get to my office without tears or bumping into anyone difficult.
Once there, I soon launched into the computer. By some freak of memory, I entered the correct password first time and was greeted by 375 emails, 75 of which informed me it was now time to empty my mail box. Started to work through them at top speed and to be horror, found that until I emptied it, I couldn't send anymore. Which limited what I could delete.
But undaunted, I soldiered on until 9am and the Friday morning meeting with the juniors, all distressed, as rightly they should be, by the chaos delivered by this wonderful government that has led several of them facing unemployment in August...
But they gave me a cheery welcome back and I picked up where I left off, offering advice, support and gentle encouragement to the gravely demoralised workforce.
I then had my first bit of terrible news of the day. Delivered by a colleague, in hushed tones, my heart sank into my boots and stayed there. Job share partner looked equally shell shocked. We parted company, me to the community base, she to supervise with no spring in our steps.
At the base2, warm greetings, hugs and pictures of firemen failed to hide the state of the place, the lack of staff and the air of forboding here too. Conflicts were abounding and all the muttered signs of relief at my return could not hide the difficulties we were facing. With the lack of admin staff a problem, I took up position in the front desk area and stormed my way through external then internal emails, post of the last four months and diaries. While answering the phone, letting clients in and out and chatting with E about life, the universe and everything. And I eventually discovered at the bottom of the pile my pay slip- which revealed I'd been underpaid by more than a third this month, for some strange reason. Phone calls to several people brought no joy. No one could help me until Monday....
Five hours later, and after a morale sapping meeting of the group, I headed back to base1 for another meeting, where difficulties were discussed and potential solutions postulated. We can see a way forward, but will management agree? Watch this space, is all I can say.
So at 5.15, with one coffee sipped while deleting emails and no lunch break, I walked back to my car, past the wanted poster on the lamp post, still flapping away.
Home to the boys and the post and M, nervously and tentatively asking how today went.
And 16 hours later, I finally managed to tell him, while watching Anthony Quinn play Zorba the Pope in the Shoes of the Fisherman, stupidly crying at the site of the white smoke as I remembered the feeling of watching it as a Catholic, with hope in my heart.
I soon stopped.
No point in dwelling on what is past.
The future may hold unlimited surprises....
Still, back to work.
I can't wait till I'm next in to see what disaster will strike next.
I think I might pretend it is a soap opera, and play suitable music in my head as I drive in and out. Complete with grand climaxes and funny endings...
May make it all even partially bearable.