Cleanup in all the Aisles

I’ve been putting it off, but yesterday I went into one of my libraries with a colleague to do a cleardown of surfaces and a general clearout of expired leaflets and paperwork. Eight large bags of recycling and three large bin liners later, we called it a day.

If nothing else it helped keep my back limber as I’ve had a trapped nerve for a couple of days.

The other good thing (aside from it being easier to clean surfaces), is that it has given me ideas for jobs for staff to do when they return, such as having a sort through craft materials. We have an archive of old crafts ideas dating back the best part of twenty years that needs a critical eye too.

Today I’ll be going back in to start going through the drawers behind the main desk. There’s a lot of rubbish in there…

Cleanup Crew of One

I’ve been having a bit of a clean out today. For the first Monday in a while I haven’t been travelling or ill so it’s been quite productive. We were offered an upgrade on our BT TV box a week or two back, and we finally got our hands on it after shenanigans with the Post Office at the weekend. Getting to the electrics meant battling through piles of art supplies, so it was as good an excuse for a tidy as any.

Two large bin bags of detritus later – which includes a mass shredding of materials, address labels, and moderately confidential odds and ends – and the new and significantly smaller TV box is installed and configured. The XBox can see it and control it too, so in theory that sidesteps keeping a close eye on an additional remote. We shall see.

No doubt our cleaner, the redoubtable ex-Lady M – will be bemused to find an area of clear floorspace that wasn’t there before.

Back to Work

Ah, its as if I’ve never been away – and so this week I’ve been striving to change things in my work environment – little but important things, especially given the recent walkabouts we’ve been doing looking at fire and building safety. I may not be able to conjure fresh staff out of the ether, but I can at least have a tidy and make sure life is a little less complex where I can.

So Tuesday I spent most of the day clearing out shelves and paperwork from a workroom at one of my libraries – removing anything financially related that was more than seven years old, and disposing of all sorts of broken bits of junk kept “just in case”. A fellow manager has maintained the charge today at that site, with the grudging assistance of staff who know better than to get in the way of someone described as “contagiously enthusiastic”.

Today I’ve been overseeing surveyors and engineers looking at leaks and other issues in another building, using my advanced knowledge of the building to accurately predict where the next domino in a cascade of events was going to wander next. There may also have been some more cleaning of surfaces, decluttering of access corridors and careful removing of wedges behind fire doors. I’m in equal minds as to whether the latter has been in the spirit of safety or spite.

Tomorrow will be more of the same – and no doubt there will be fresh assaults on my sanity and patience.

Having a Clear Out

We’ve been cleaning out the guest room, which has served as a bit of a box room over the last few years, as a prelude to finally redecorating in there.

This has then expanded, as is ever the way of these things, into shredding any personal documents not needed any more or that are more than seven years old for financial documents.

All of which means that the last few days have been a bit of a rollercoaster as I re-read and destroy documents relating to financial troubles, diabetes, hospital stays, divorce, redundancy, remarriage, and the fraud that claimed Lady M’s father before he died.

There have been things taken to the charity shop, rooms clearer than they’ve looked in years, and a huge pile of gaming material that I will be selling on in the near future.

It will be all worth it. It makes space in the flat we sorely need, clears remnants of painful times, and despite being a hard slog is giving us a sense of a clean sweep – as well as a general clean.

I suppose it also draws a line in the sand to move on from some of the things in the past and background and make a new start.

Oh Ye Of Little Faith

It has come to my attention that there may be some of you who doubt the veracity of some of my reports and musings. Indeed, on one social media network there was even doubt as to the very existence of such an entity as the ex-Lady M! 

All I can say is that refusing to believe in the ex-Lady M is a very courageous decision.

Every time the existence of the ex-Lady M is doubted, a marigold covered hand reaches menacingly for a jay cloth; the squeak of a cleaning spray can be heard; and your pint mysteriously disappears.

Neither of these people is the ex-Lady M

The ex-Lady M is the mother of the Charleesi, a being of such dry wit as to be positively arid (I’m so proud), and has silenced whole pubs with a single sneeze. We’ve worked bloody hard to get to where we are from how things were, and #Tuesday is as much part if that process as a celebration of it. 

Admittedly, my ex wife doing the cleaning in our flat is a bit of an outlier when it comes to post-divorce relationships, but to not believe it? Well there’s a disservice right there to all of us involved in continuing to make the world a stranger place.

And besides, would I lie to you about such weird and wonderful things? Embellish for comedic effect, yes. Obscure to provide plausible deniability for people, yes. Lie? Nope, it’s far too much fun telling the truth and watching people tie themselves up in knots.

All I promise is that I will try not to be mean, or unfair, and that I will try not to spare my own blushes in the process. Anyone can pretend to be normal. Admitting to being myself though? That continues to be hard work, and I’m forever grateful to those who believe in me, even if they don’t believe in the ex-Lady M.

Management Training Day

So at least today wasn’t as odd as yesterday, which started with the ex-Lady M walking in on me as I was about to step in the shower. Did I not mention we’d hired her as our cleaner? 

It’s going rather well, leaving aside the “completely forgetting she was due in” moment. The Ladies M get on like the proverbial house on fire, albeit with less broken glass and things exploding, and I am famously so laid back as to be practically horizontal, so it works out and is just fodder for winding people up at #Tuesday or in casual conversation.

Her dry comment that “well this really couldn’t get any weirder” was the perfect caption for the day as a whole, even without the Warlord’s Lollipops Incident.

Today was the first part of an pilot scheme to extend inductions to the new wave of duty managers, and was based at our central depot at Drill Hall in Dorking. I’ve been there before so I knew where the heavy traffic would be and planned my journey accordingly.

If only I’d remembered to double check the start time, I could have avoided the rush hour shenanigans. Instead I was an hour early in a town that has a frankly disproportionate number of antique shops in its High Street. Fortunately a coffee shop was open within comfortable walking distance, so I engaged in the time honoured tradition of people watching and noting characteristics that I can use as colour in my stories. 

Yes, I am incorrigible – a label I’ve had applied to me by several people, so it must be true… Admittedly it’s usually while I’m winding them up or being wildly inappropriate, but that’s half the fun of word play.

Anyway, cutting a long ramble short, the training was, to my surprise, actually quite useful and took the form of discussion and coaching and mentoring around expectations, and identifying support, and a wider view of the library service and it’s focus…

I know, here’s me not taking a scathingly cynical view of something in my workplace. Don’t worry, I haven’t been kidnapped and a robot put in replacement. Normal inappropriate shenanigans will continue shortly.