Only the luckiest of middle managers gets their own office. And while the school walls in my overcrowded building continue to groan, I am not one of those lucky few. I don't even get to share an office. I do share a classroom, however, which means that, whenever I'm not in it, someone else is.
So where do I get to do middle manager-type stuff? In the ether, it seems.
Recently I have had paperwork on my mind. Not so much a question of when to do it (believe me, that's another issue), but where. Despite our ambitions to be a paperless environment, I have managed to amass an extraordinary number of files - not just those flimsy little ones either. I've got the big boys, heavy duty, some as thick as my leg. Transporting them from place to place (as I frequently have to) is a management exercise in itself.
Last week, one of these files decided to pop itself open in transit. A fine sight: the behaviour co-ordinator (bastion of calm and composure) cursing like a fishwife as she chased bits of paper down a corridor. Not quite befitting the image I've been trying to portray.
Colleagues have helpfully suggested I buy myself a shopping trolley, a tartan one as used by old ladies. Again, not quite the image. I took my woes to my senior, who thought a memory stick on a necklace was the answer. I was thinking more along the lines of a sparkling new laptop, but hey.
So there we have it. Everything I could need stored in one place - a virtual office, no bigger than a biscuit, easy to carry and much less likely to create chaos by unexpectedly popping itself open in busy corridors.
Dangles nicely into cups of coffee too.
Louisa Leaman, Behaviour co-ordinator at a London school.