It was Friday, late afternoon at around 4pm. I was starting to get my gear together because it's a holiday weekend with Monday being President's day and wasn't planning on being back in the office until late next week. I'm back on the summit during most of the coming week so was packing my laptop and all the other little things I need. Then the phone rang.
"Tom, can you please come down to the front desk now?".
At least it wasn't announced via the PA system. "Oh no" I thought, "what have I screwed up now?". I did have a few admin tasks to do last week plus a booking I'd made for HP on the mountain. One of the staff I supervise was sick so it could have been that as well, perhaps I'd done something wrong on the time sheet? My passport is about to expire and I'd sent off an application to the UK embassy so perhaps it was that - did I screw the form up as well?
Being asked to the reception area late on Friday afternoon means something has gone wrong and the admin people want to fix it before the weekend.
"OK, I'll be down in a moment, what have I done wrong?"
No answer. Now I'm worried because when I get down to reception most of the admin people are in the corridor waiting for me. I really have done something bad, haven't I? Did someone see me take a soda from the fridge and not sign for it? Honest, I've signed for every soda I've taken!
Then I see what they're all fussing about. A big box with flowers in it addressed to me. This is when my face turns bright red and wonder if the sender could have perhaps sent the flowers to another address! The next few minutes are spent opening the box in front of my friends and colleagues while fighting off the ones that tried grabbing the card that came with it. That's kind of personal and I'd like to read it alone!
Over the next half hour or so I suspect all the staff in the office heard the story because I then had to fend off all the visitors to my office. Those admin people really know how to gossip - and do it quickly!
Alright, I will admit it, the admin people at work are wonderful and I love you all! I'm just going to have to find a way to get you all back one day...
The flowers were from Pam.