Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A New World Record and The Hazards Of Hay Fever

Oh dear. That has to be the record for the shortest stay by an intern - ever. Mr Humphries proves too much for James, who has disappeared in a cloud of loose bowel movements. He hasn't even been back to collect his stuff. Hope he has plenty of Chai tea at home.

The morning goes suspiciously smoothly until almost 10:00. Then Mr Humphries makes the first of a series of visits to the office, becoming more agitated with every one. I deal with the first few, which involve something to do with him being spied on, as usual, but I'm busy when he comes in again just before lunch. Greg takes a frantic call from the Labour Party saying that Mr H is holding Joan at knifepoint in reception. We hadn't got round to telling Party staff that they mustn't rub their noses while talking to him, and Joan suffers from hayfever. Incensed by her apparent use of the code for activating Government surveillance, Mr H has pulled a Stanley knife, and locked her into the room. Poor woman. Mr Humphries even scares me.

The whole building is sent into lockdown mode as I try to contact the Police. Dialling 999 achieves my being put on hold for eighteen minutes - eighteen minutes! The Police Station is almost opposite our bloody building. Greg finally loses his patience and legs it over the roof, climbs down the fire escape and runs there, pushes to the head of the queue and demands a Police escort back to the office immediately - or he will "tell the Home Secretary."

Meanwhile, James has gone green, and is more than usually desperate for the loo. He can't get there, though, because the loos are past reception, where poor Joan is still stuck with a known madman. Eventually, the Police storm reception, arrest Mr Humphries, and cart him off over the road - and the building is open for business again. It is 3:00pm, so I send James off to get some lunch and to calm down. He makes me escort him out of the building. He is almost 6 feet tall, and I'm at least a foot shorter, but hey, whatever. That turns out to be the last we will ever see of him, as he never comes back, and doesn't answer our calls for the rest of the day.

He has made life difficult before he goes, though - as he answered the phone to The Boss while Greg and I were otherwise occupied, and told him what was happening. What an idiot. Andrew has instructed that I call him straight back as soon as "the misunderstanding is resolved." Misunderstanding? Misunderstanding? Mr Humphries' behaviour is more than a bloody misunderstanding. Joan is a wreck, and James looked even worse than her before he did his disappearing act. Most awkwardly, the staff of all the other offices in our building are incandescent with fury. They blame us for attracting undesirables and failing to manage them properly, as well as for their businesses having effectively lost an entire working day's output.

The Police want statements from everyone, and ask whether I will support a charge of harassment against Mr H. The Boss forbids it. I take another look at Joan and decide to ignore him. Mr H needs help, plus it is completely unreasonable to expect staff who don't work for an MP to cope with the challenges we face. Not only that but, if we don't co-operate, we'll encourage the Police to be even less speedy in their response to our emergency calls in future. So first I have to sit in with a still-shaking Joan - not a pretty sight - while she gives her statement, and then I have to give mine. Can't face phoning The Boss back to admit what I've done, as it's already nearly 8:00pm when I leave the office. Max hasn't even phoned to see where I am.

When I get home, Josh asks what's for tea, and Connie is incapable of listening to anyone, as she has got an interview for the IT job and is very over-excited, even by her usual maniacal standards. I am utterly dispensable. I foresee a trip to Primark for new underwear tomorrow lunchtime - lockdowns allowing - and I must remember to buy batteries for my camera.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear pretty much sums it up! How are the new knickers? BG Xx