The IT Cupboard had transformed into a veritable hive of activity. Boxes of laptops littered every available crevice in the IT Cupboard. Some boxes contained freshly built machines, signified by their address labels, destined for their new homes. Others lay brand new, yet to be called to command. Our efforts were meticulously presided over by a flickery Samsung monitor which recorded our every move in a single excel spreadsheet. Names, addresses, serial numbers, asset tags - all required recording.
Despite the obvious pressure QBG and I were under, Roland seemed content with doing the bare minimum. He took his position in the only seat left in the room. Our demands for action seemed to go unnoticed as he idly fiddled with his phone, occasionally breaking his concentration to scroll up and down the excel sheet, his arm outstretched to reach an old mouse and keyboard we had rescued from a junk box for our purpose.
Roland indolently looked up his phone, "What one are you doing now?"
QBG's response was evidently irate in tone as she read out the serial and asset numbers.
Roland duly tapped in QBG's response, barely even taking the effort to capitalize his text. The keyboard, old, yellowed and not even built with the Windows keys, clacked loudly as he typed.
Roland's attempt to permanently affix himself to his throne and rule the roost had grown weary. After this exchange, while unwrapping a fresh laptop, I decided enough was enough. "Roland!" I started. "If you're not going to help, could you kindly go back to support?"
"I'm busy!" His snide response grated on me. As if to exemplify his uselessness, QBG dragged the keyboard away from towards her as she entered another row of data into the spreadsheet. Her body language exuded bitterness towards Roland's unyielding lethargy in a stereotypical way that only the female of the species can perfect. I knew how she felt, though!
Roland sat without a single reaction. He seemed to silently shrug off this display of discontent, as if it were of pure meaninglessness. For the next hour, we worked around Roland uncomfortably, as if he were a cold and jagged heavy rock, inconveniently situated in the center of the room.
We had expected Angie's inevitable visit. Her arrival intensified the high feeling in the cramped environment as we shuffled around box after box of Dell laptops. She discussed our progress with Roland loudly, taking great purpose to exclude mine or QBG's input. Roland dutifully furnished Angie with our present number; we had imaged, repacked and addressed just under 40 laptops.
The fact is, Angie could not bear to leave any situation without imposing her sense of authority; it just wasn't even in her vocabulary. Angie especially liked imposing her authority onto QBG more than almost any other engineer. It was though QBG represented everything that Angie was not to the letter. True to form, Angie directed her attention towards QBG where she was loading a trolley of outbound boxes.
Angie's voice drowned out the whir of the imaging laptops and the groaning ghost server. "Are these laptops supposed to be finished?" Angie's loaded interrogation was not intended to garner any real information. QBG duly provided her response, knowing that Angie had simply just opened her line of questioning to find fault.
"These postage labels are entirely too small. You need to redo them all in a larger print!" This condescending request lashed QBG like a whip as she winced at the proposition.
QBG declined Angie's proposition, instead offering "We'll do the next ones bigger, these are fine as they are!" Angie's insistence was delivered over a lambaste which seemed almost infinite as she constantly picked up more and more trivial matters of discontent. Not enough tape; this box is slightly damaged; there are too many boxes on that trolley.
Angie, satisfied with her instruction, retreated back into the ether of the office. Roland remained motionless on his pedestal, smugly smiling as he reclined back into the chair where he stayed for the next hour.
4pm slothed into view. Roland donned his dark grey duffle coat, each popper irked us more and more as their echos disturbed our frustrated silence. He left for the day without saying a word, leaving QBG and me to continue our work. His departure was suffixed with our in depth symposium of the situation. As we offered one another further anecdote of why Roland and Angie both should be buried in shallow graves, we seemed to further agitate each other.
"Right, you know what..." I started, "this isn't happening another day. Let's go see BHIT!"
Our mercenary strut through the hallowed halls towards ITS seemed to gain in speed the closer we got; it was tantamount to a race to reach BHIT. As he sat, blissfully unaware of the onslaught we were about to deliver, his balding reflected the ceiling light with a dull shine.
QBG and I tag-teamed our way through our complaint as BHIT listened. Our frustrated accounts grew louder as we described in depth what the first day of builds had brought. We spilled the beans on Roland, Angie's micro-management and how the duo were jeopardizing our attempted rescue with their banality.
BHIT pondered our predicament as he noisily scratched the side of his unshaven head.
He finally leaned forward and said, "OK, leave it with me. Get back to work!"