By the end of Monday, Theresa May must have felt like all the other hapless British workers who returned to the office for the new year with a spring in their step and the best of intentions, only to find the fearless resolutions they made over the Christmas break crumbling in the face of reality.
The prime minister had three main aims in her much-trailed new year reshuffle. She hoped to showcase a fresh generation of Tory talent; shake up the party election-fighting machinery that misfired so badly last year; and show her determination to get to grips with domestic challenges that have been all but overshadowed by Brexit for the past 12 months.
It didn’t start well. The Conservatives’ official media account tweeted its congratulations to Brexiteer Chris Grayling as the Tory party’s new chair – but staff rapidly had to backtrack and delete the message.
It was some time before Brandon Lewis, the ebullient immigration minister, was formally given the post, as deadlines were missed and progress slipped.