What with all the complaining I was doing yesterday, I forgot to mention something that was actually the highlight of my day. Now, keep in mind that I was having an awful morning, phoning supplier after supplier and trying to find out what was going on with various deliveries that we're waiting on. We've got exams starting in a couple of weeks, see, and it's a little touch and go as to whether I've gone and made a monumental fuck up or two. It's still too early to be sure one way or the other.
Sketchbooks were proving to be a major issue yesterday. We ran out of our little supply of A3 in the staffroom so I went to grab more from my cupboard in the darkroom. Turns out that there weren't any there either... a bit of a problem. I was sure that I'd anticipated this a few weeks ago so I crawled through the shite on my desk in order to trawl through my paperwork. My paperwork is surprisingly robust... but there was no sign of an order there, not good. So I had to start making my calls. Anyway, to cut a long and rather pointless story short, I was told that we had made an order and that it had been received, but they couldn't give me a clearer idea than "sometime next week" as to when we'd have them. The books were delivered in the afternoon. It's either a sign of my laid-back genius or a sign of my extremely good fortune... I don't know which. Although I suspect it's the latter. This is the second time it's happened like that.
So there I was, having a bit of a stress, trying to find out when the sketchbooks would arrive - assuming that I'd ordered them in the first place - and trying to track down the ten boxes of A4 glossy photo paper Jessops hadn't sent us and why, when I'd placed the order nearly two months ago, we were still yet to receive any canvases from another supplier. I knew that I needed to do something that would swing the balance a little. It wasn't even 9:30 yet and I was already struggling. The 12:00pm countdown had yet to begin & I was already in serious danger. I needed to raise morale, but how?
And that's when it happened. It was instinctive; a fleeting moment of brilliance. An opportunists' crime. The perfect crime...
I was down in Reprographics picking up a box of A4 printer paper. One of those mundane little tasks that you just get on with. Our Repro room is quite small; you open the door to a small counter where there's usually a lady standing there, or a chap who'll disconcertingly refer to you as 'Sir'. All the way around the room, at waist height, is some white plastic cladding which covers electrical wires. There are mains sockets set into this, and a couple of photocopiers running from them. It's lovely. Anyway, sitting atop the cladding to the left of the door is a little doorstop. Nothing special, just a small wedge of wood. These things are quite sought after in our college... there never seem to be enough to go around. So, I'd known of this particular doorstop for quite some time - months maybe - and I'd thought about stealing it for nearly as long. Yet something had always held me back in the past. Not anymore though. I took it.
I'd handed the lady my little slip of paper (which I've taken to signing myself in protest of the whole bullshit process of requiring heads of department to sign. It's paper, for fuck sake!) and turned towards the door to leave. She'd never suspect me, I knew that. With one smooth swooping action I flicked open the door and snatched the doorstop, pocketing it within seconds. As I said earlier, it was instinctive & I hadn't planned on doing it at all - I mean, we certainly didn't need one... I'd fashioned a crude yet very effective doorstop out of a 50cm wooden rule and a tin of old ASDA Smart Price sardines only a week before.
Got back to the office and paraded it around the room. But there was to be no standing ovation, no cries of Bravo! and no back-slapping. If anything, Barry seemed nonplussed by my doorstop... a bit of a disappointment... but, hey, you've got to take your victories when & wherever you can in this life. Remember that.