Friday, 2 May 2008

Friday Fun: British at work

Enough now of the local elections, Guido, Dale et al can keep you all as updated as you want to be.

Over recent there has been much talk of change in the British nature, weeping openly at Diana's funeral, youth getting drunk etc.

But I want to focus on some core values us British still hold. Nowhere can better demonstrate this than the office. I work in a very open plan area these days and it shows all our best/worst qualities.

Only the other day a manager was tearing strips off someone of the phone, very loudly and effectively with about 20 people listening. The advantage is that in this day and age of 'hot desking' we have no idea who the manager or employee was. Everyone sits stoically listening whilst trying to establish via the intranet who is being harangued.

Equally quite a senior manager was effectively made redundant the other day too; true to form, everyone kept their own counsel and proceeded to ignore the poor chap and carry on as normal whilst he sat there contemplating what to do. No one must mention the unmentionable, even to someone they have worked with for years and years.

Finally, nothing gets the office going like the coffee/tea machine being broken or a lift. Sod the credit crunch and its career limiting influences, all hell breaks loose if people are denied a cuppa; indeed the only time many pliant employees will dare darken the companies esteemed name.

So for all the talk of change, I think many British qualities are still to be found in our places of work....


Ed said...

That is so true!

We had unmentioned redundancies, and yesterday for the first time ever a subordinate did what I wanted him to without my asking: he made me a coffee because the tea lady was off.

Mark Wadsworth said...

We are even more traditional than that. For eight years we have been arguing over the right temperature/air conditioning settings.

Bill Quango MP said...

I think many British qualities are still to be found in our places of work....

Indeed.That's why you find so many people selling senseo and tassimo coffee pods on Ebay. Where do they get them from?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

We had someone made redundant the other week, the company paid for a leaving party for him and put several hundred quid behind the bar to give him a good send-off. But then our open-plan office forces general cameraderie, openness and, if there's a shouting incident, several people will get involved to sort it out among ourselves.

Today, we had:
A charity cake sale
The Weekly trip to Wong Kei's lunchtime
After work drinks
Free booze during the afternoon from a meeting upstairs in the boardroom
General ribaldry, swearing, shouting, throwing of things, roller skating and the like.

Sometimes, open-plan offices are great... but then we don't have shareholders....

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

"whilst he sat there contemplating what to do..."

Good description of hopefullness Nick.

You do get a huge feeling of freedom though - been there, done it...

Steven_L said...

I've seen them try and introduce a 'hot-desking' 'clean-desk' policy in local government before.

Now that was a hoot. The service manager went on maternity leave before the big move and came back to a Manhatten skyline of ring-binders and box files (on the tidier desks that is).

The assistant director (a right twat) made a point of digging her about it by stopping at my desk (and I was a student on work placement, as junior a member of staff as you can get) as stating "You see Dxxxx, I bet this is exactly what you envisaged with all that work you did trying to get them to have nice clean desks."

She couldn't go red because she was Asian, but the look on her face as she replied "Oh leave him alone he's only a student" said it all. My desk was one of the tidest too.

Still, I hear she's risen another level, quickly moving on to find her true level of complete imcompetence.

James Higham said...

No one must mention the unmentionable, even to someone they have worked with for years and years.

Oh how very, very true.

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