Either because there was a full moon in the offing, or because it was incredibly hot, tempers were fraying in the office last week.
Teresa told me over a cup of tea that Lucy apparently feels ill if the air-conditioning is left on for too long. This is bad news for Teresa. "I can't cope with the heat, Allie," she said. "I feel ill if the air-conditioning stays off for too long."
"What do you do?"
"I turn it on every time she leaves the room. Then she turns it off every time she comes back in."
"Could you not compromise and turn it on for a bit and then off for a bit?"
"I won't repeat what she said when I suggested that."
Lucy then gave Maria a mouthful about dating clients. Which got Maria's temper up. I wasn't there, having gone to visit a client to help them get set up on their new (online) bookkeeping software, but Paul filled me in afterwards that there was very nearly screaming and hair-pulling in the office.
"Jack was furious," he said. "I've never seen him so angry, Allie. He marched Lucy downstairs to Henry and I think she was sent home for the rest of the day and told she can't come back until she's ready to apologise to Maria."
Lucy, apparently, wrote a letter of apology to Maria, who accepted, and they were both told to behave better in the office in future.
"That's as far as it went?" I asked.
"Yes. Everyone's really prickly at the moment. Teresa seems to think it's because there's a full moon due. Jack says it's just the heat."
"Whatever it is I hope everyone cheers up soon. Teresa was cross earlier in the week because Lucy won't put the air conditioning on - so at least she'll have been able to turn it up while Lucy was at home!"
Meanwhile, I've been working on the accounts for a small membership-based charity. It's amazing how having dozens, if not hundreds, of invoices for the same amount can make it very difficult indeed to reconcile the year end debtors, especially when the record-keeping for who's paid is two separate people's responsibility, and both of those people think their figures are right, but they're different. This could be very interesting when it comes to take the queries back to the client.