Blog Week 15: Strange people, strange office life.
Sunday 5 March 22.23
Compared to others in the office, I have not been working for law firms in Brussels that long. But what amazes me is the way every office seems to have an strange person - or "Weirdo" as Mockney calls our very own.
The Weirdo always behaves in a strange ways, causing confusion and annoyance for everyone else. Things are never simple when the Weirdo is involved.
But do not make the mistake of mentioning the Weirdo's peculiarities to anyone in authority. Because the Weirdo is: - the favourite of one of the partners; or
- the favourite of the office manager; or
- has been around so long that s/he knows all the scandals/gossip about the partners and office manager.
Either way the combination of whichever applicable factor(s) and the protection of Belgian labour law means the Weirdo will be around till s/he retires.
Thankfully I have not had much to do with our own office Weirdo so far.
Unfortunately she (this office's Weirdo is female) was making Mockney's life difficult at the end of last week.
It started when the Weirdo asked Mockney some bizarre questions about the firm's electronic data storage facility. Mockney was very busy, but as usual wanted to help out, so he gave some short answers. The Weirdo then contacted the firm's central IT Helpdesk to get their answers to the same questions. Apparently there was some discrepancy between those and Mockney's answers. The Weirdo - of course - had to point out these difference to both the IT Helpdesk and - for good measure - the office manager. Mockney then had to spend time explaining his answers to both. It became clear there were no differences - and no problem.
No one said anything to the Weirdo. Instead Mockney was told by Pierre to be clearer with his answers in the future.
Why does Mockney get rebuked for Weirdo's (supposed) misunderstanding? I sometimes feel like I walk into a parallel world when I come through the office doors in the morning. Common sense is outlawed, like a guerilla soldier making only occasional hit-and-run appearances.
Monday 6 March 23.48
Late and short blog entry. This long, drawn out winter is doing nothing for my health. I got caught in hailstorm today. Just my luck given I am trying to fight off the latest office cold. Mockney was ill again.
Tuesday 7 March 23.10
Lot less miserable today. The weather was better which made a difference. I know that it should not matter, but it does.
Pierre, Cherie and Brilliant were all ill and not in the office today. Mockney was back today; but he spent the day complaining about his throat.
Pretty boring day. Enjoyed tonight's episodes of The Apprentice (BBC 2) and De TopManager (VT4). Cannot wait for next week's episodes.
Wednesday 8 March 22.13
Where is spring? The desperate desire for the spring permeates the office. Well my office, well my part of my office. I said at the start of my blog that I would not complain about the weather here and so I will stop now.
A bunch of lawyers from one of the US offices arrived today. They are camped in one of the conference rooms. They all look so corporate. I noticed Bill was wearing a tie today - as if he did not want to feel out of place. Normally he is into business casual.
Sore throats seem to be in fashion at the moment around the office. Our receptionist sounds like Darth Vader.
Speaking of which something is going on in the office concerning Yoda (the former office manager), but I still have to find out what.
Thursday 9 March 22.03
The office looked like a warped version of Wall Street today. US lawyers in loud braces with louder voices giving each other high-fives and celebrating some deal as noisily as they can.
Still it is good to see happiness in the office. There is so much tension at work I have noticed the people with troubled relationships are spending more time at home than here - which is just not usual.
I have not blogged much this week. Perhaps this extended winter has started to take its toll?