As I mentioned yesterday, the company I work for is being internally audited. Our auditors have decided that this audit was going to be an example so they aren’t just auditing the books, they are auditing the organization, processes, and people in our company. Yay, sarcasm is my default setting. Especially when I’m deprived of the things I love.
Now as I started here just over a month ago I’m relatively comfortable knowing that I am the person most and least likely to get fired. Yes, life works out like that. I am the most likely, because I can freely admit to you that my job is very simple, and that I have very little to do, and I am basically non-essentially to the adequate, ergonomic running of the enterprise… Which is why I am attempting to write two posts in one day for this week, you know to spice up my otherwise dull 9 to 5. I am the least likely to be fired because, they just spent a lot of money looking for someone for this position, getting my taxes sorted, my workers comp. and my pay dealt with. They fire me and they just wasted a lot of time and money. So here I am in limbo, pretending to work while the auditors whirl around the office asking if we all need our own desks or whether we couldn’t just share.
My colleagues, in the run up to the audit, have been tense as hell. Apparently an audit in japan is akin to being flayed alive. Here, it’s not that hardcore. Imagine my surprise then when I am told to greet the auditing team, who have all flown in especially from Tokyo for the audit. I meet them, greet them and set them up in a conference room out-of-the-way: 2 old grey-haired Japanese men in three-piece suits, one young Japanese guy, and a nervous looking young Japanese woman (although Japanese women stop aging between the ages of 19 and 60 so she could have been in her 50s I suppose). They seemed to be so innocuous.
I returned to my desk, the Assistant Director General (ADG) runs up to my desk and says “NO COFFEE! NO COFFEE FOR NON-GUESTS! YOU, NO COFFEE, ME NO COFFEE, WE NO COFFEE, AUDITOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORS” I asked him to repeat his sentence in a language he was more familiar with as I didn’t think I had understood correctly. He repeated it verbatim to me in another language then vanished before my eyes, in what I have come to remember as a puff of red smoke that smelt distinctly of despair. As I mulled over why the ADG and myself had been exiled so abruptly from coffeeland I came up with various ideas; coffee shortage, coffee machine broke, ADG finally lost it, an infestation of coffee eating gremlins…. A couple of seconds later our account manager sidled up to me and says “you know we aren’t allowed any coffee this week right?” It sunk in, they were serious!
I think the look of unadultered horror on my face must have translated pretty well because she soothingly said “it’s only while the auditors are here, the bosses don’t want them to know how much company coffee we actually drink”. As a side here I should mention, I used to never drink coffee, then I started working a year ago, and it was either caffeine or cocaine to keep me going. So I chose the cheaper of the powdered goods that Colombia produces. I became a serious coffee addict. I need a cup before breakfast, one when I reach the office, one mid-morning, one after lunch, and one before 4, because that is my cut offline for all things stimulating. So since yesterday 9 a.m. I have been living a nearly caffeine-free life.
The auditors who were so normal, and peaceable in my mind, are now deformed into grotesque coffee hording monsters. They pass my desk and I glare at them. I’m hoping our books aren’t cooked just so I can get back to my gorgeous french roast, make ’em leave. Please!