First port of call this morning is meeting John Grant, who is my eyes and ears of the office. Thompson & French’s Head Clerk, hailing from Dufftown, ensures our ship sails around personnel rocks rather than crashing into them.
The office diary is reviewed, meetings planned, documents placed in prioritised order and office gossip considered.
John shuffles his notes, as I ask my final questions, “How is James Hogg doing?”
“James is stretched running both the Edinburgh Office and the Dean of Guild Contract. Last week he exploded at one of the Junior Clerks over his continued failure to deliver his work on time.”
I write a note into my journal, “How is Robert McLeod doing in comparison?”
“Robert McLeod is growing each day.”, says John, alluding to his favouritism of the ranks, “The tram map is proceeding to your exacting standards and is on time.”
“John, this year is our greatest test, Robert and James have enormous potential and their ambitions hold no limit. I need your help in ensuring we keep them both.”
John nods and heads to the door. At the threshold, he turns around smiling, “A challenge I will find a solution for.”
I write another note in my journal, close it and head into the office.
“Robert, here’s your overcoat, we are going for a walk.”