Saturday, 5 May 2012

International Diplomacy

My new job has thrown up some fantastic moments over the last week.

  • My new assistant, who is fast becoming a surrogate Super, has to fill out an 'environmental audit' of our work area of a Friday afternoon. When she has finished giving business-critical factors such as 'Are all drawers clearly labelled?' and 'Are desks free from clutter?' marks out of five, she tots up the scores and colours in a little bar chart with a green crayon. She then dutifully pins the chart to our team notice area. After completing the survey last week she leant over to me and whispered in conspiratorial tones that is was 'all just a lot of shite'. She's from Glasgow.
  • A German colleague (who I have known for a long time and like hugely) giving me his insight on how to interact with management the Teutonic way; "If I find the dogshit in the corridor, I will not paint it gold and tell people it is lovely. This is why I am not the manager." Quite, Klaus*. Quite.
  • Being asked in a meeting what I felt the company could do to make its employees feel more valued. I explained that I thought the breakout area with comfortable leather sofas, free fruit, tea and coffee making facilities and a 42" LCD TV were probably enough, but if they wanted to provide a free blowjob at lunchtime** that would be lovely too.
  • Listening to an exchange between meeting organiser and colleague in the same meeting regarding the use of certificates as a motivational tool:
         Meeting organiser - "Would a certificate make you feel valued as an employee?"
         Colleague - "If by 'certificate' you mean 'cash', then yes. Otherwise, no."
  • Having a colleague that I have to deal with in China called Brenda* Oo. When she sends me an email it appears in my inbox as Oo, Brenda. I can't help but read it in a Kenneth Williams voice.
  • Meeting a colleague called Dan* Ngwanka. The Ng part of his name is silent. He's from marketing.
Next week I will be talking to people in France, Italy, Spain and possibly Australia. I apologise in advance for any international crises that I may inadvertently trigger. You should all thank your lucky stars we don't have an office in North Korea.


* - Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
** - But not from Klaus. I'm sure he'd be very efficient, but the airfares would be prohibitively expensive.


  1. Starting the day with a laugh 'cos I'm thinking 'ooh Brenda' just as you do! and your new super is right.....most of the stuff involved in offices these days is pure shite...

  2. Ah you are so very right Libby, but this one is warm and has free fruit.

  3. You get more hilarious with every post. Ooh Matron, sorry, Brenda...

  4. 3T - Thank you.

    CQ - Ocassionally it's intentional too.

  5. You're making me miss the corporate world...