There are some other big changes going on at work for suitable values of ``big''. They're the usual sorts of value for ``changes'', though. The noteworthy one is that the cleaning service has been replaced. They'd had the same cleaners for a decade or more and various little signs of disaffection were cropping up among everybody but me. The weirdly biggest was some of the first-floor people angry that the cleaners were coming earlier in the day, at 4:30 or on Fridays even 4:00, rather than after the close of business. I suppose that's more annoying for people who might have to interact with clients over the phone rather than someone like me who just has to scoot out of the way while they vacuum.
More urgent were complaints that they were cleaning indifferently, not bothering to wave the vacuum over most of the carpet or missing trash bins or (and this one does disturb me) using the same cloth to wipe down the toilet seat as the desk next to it. Yes, yes you can site studies that prove that the real bacteria garden there is the desk but nobody cares. Some comparison shopping by the person who's acting as real office manager while the owner thinks he's personally office-managing found that the company has been way overcharging, relative to the competition, and they didn't help keep customer loyalty by reminding us that they haven't raised their prices in a decade.
So. We got in a succession of potential cleaners for a week there, resulting in mysterious people poking their heads in my office and counting the number of bathrooms on the floor. And the new ones started last week. They did a visibly thorough cleaning job on a Saturday for their Let's Get This Sorted Out To Start With initial run. And they see to be working Mondays and Thursdays since then. They take the end of the toilet paper and paper towel rolls (those on hangers, anyway) and fold them into little arrows, like you see at hotels that are trying a little too hard. That's amusingly distracting but if they start putting little mint chocolates on our seats I don't know what I'll do.
Trivia: The earliest known record of commercial whaling is a bill of sale to Northern France for forty pots of whale oil from the Basque coastal province of Labourd, dating to 670. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.
Currently Reading: Hollywood Panorama, Bob Harman.