Who's Who?

In order of appearance:

M
The Brussels blogger. Initially a secretary and now in charge of special projects for senior support staff management. A glimpser of the high and low aspects of office life.

Yoda
One firm's Office Manager until shortly after the merger announcement. She then quickly left to take up another "opportunity". Had an (unhealthy?) obsession with Star Wars. Unclear if there is an ongoing dispute between her and the merged law firm.

Jo
A secretary who left the firm after the birth of her son, Chris. Many of the first (and sometimes totally unjustified) office nicknames were created by her.

Bill
Named Bill after his similarities to President Clinton (sharp mind, quick tongue and a wandering eye). Once was M's boss. Pre-merger, one firm's Managing Partner, then one of the Joint Managing Partners (together with Johan) and then de facto sole Managing Partner. Relatively sudden departure at the end of to join another firm. Believed to have had an intimate relationship with his (now former) secretary, Barbie. But she did not leave to join his new firm with him.

Rodney
A partner who left prior to the office relocation. With another partner, Cherie, he established the Brussels office of a US law firm. Nickname due to his resemblance to US comedian Rodney Dangerfield (including his telephone complaints to his wife that their teenage kids 'don't give no respect').

Cherie
A partner who left with Rodney, to set up a rival law firm in Brussels. Nickname referred to supposed facial similarity with Cherie Blair.

Goldilocks
Lawyer (counsel) who is brunette (not blonde) and has an untidy office. Left to marry here fiancee, 3 Bears.

3 Bears
Grumpy counsel who left (initially to join another Brussels-based law firm). Married Goldilocks.

Shakespeare
English associate and frustrated actor (recites Shakespearean quotations for no reason). Became counsel at the start of 2008.

Lisa
An American associate who left to join another Brussels-based law firm.

Spock
Strange associate (from another planet?) who left Brussels to work in a sunnier climate.

A
Unnamed secretary of Rodney and Cherie; she left with them to join their new firm.

Brilliant
Hard-working and usually quiet Services person. Turned into a realtor/estate agent when issue of the merged firm's new office location arose. Became clear why since his announced departure to join family property-selling business.

Pierre
After Yoda's departure, the merged firm's Office Manager. Extremely hard-working and totally dedicated to the success of the merged office. He was absent from work due to illness for the first quarter of 2007. But is now back to his workaholic ways.

Mockney
Office's main IT person. Spent 6 months in London and now speaks in a faux-Cockney manner. He thinks he is being cool; most find him unintelligible. Well-intentioned, but sometimes indiscreet. Through reading everyone's emails, Mockney has in the past been the office's main grapevine. Current gossip reliability status is unclear. In and out of trouble with the partners and Pierre.

Weirdo
Was with one of the pre-merger firm's so long considered to be practically part of the furniture. Strange behavour and working style meant she was often avoided/left alone. By some miracle (for her and the office) left with Bill to join his new firm.

Johan
Pre-merger, one firm's Managing Partner, then a Joint Managing partner (with Bill) and then effectively not. More going on than meets the eye.

Mal
A secretary.

Barbie
Bill's secretary: blonde, tall, leggy and not so bright. Believed to have had/be having an intimate relationship with her boss. Did not leave at the same time he did. Instead went on maternity leave shortly afterwards...

Fox
Pre-merger, one office's librarian. A cunning individual who was sacked shortly after the office relocation: he was caught working for another company at the same time.

Hedgehog
Reliable, if slow office Head of Library Services. Wants more power (vis-a-vis) other offices, but fears the increase in responsibility.

Paranoid Android
Hardworking, pleasant but uptight member of support staff. About the only person in the office who was on friendly terms with Weirdo.

Old Timer
Part-time, but senior admin employee with a lot of law firm experience. Currently dealing with ongoing office HR issues and other administrative problems. Enjoys intellectualising the office. It remains unclear if his analysis is insightful or surreal; but certainly is the result of too many years working in law firms.

Laurel & Hardy
Otherwise known as L&H. So called because he had Stan Laurel's physique and facial features similar to Oliver Hardy. Was Pierre's temporary replacement in early part of 2007. Saw himself as a crisis manager "parachuted" in to to turn the office around. Remained unclear where the crisis was or why he was never in the office. Left the Brussels office to go back to his own and was then sacked.

Neanderthal
A fair and gentle partner with the management skills of a Neanderthal. Dive for cover as he wields his club... particularly now he is the new Managing partner.

Hairy Potter
Hairy Potter was either a super-efficient associate or a pain-in-the-ass. How people felt about her depended upon where they were located in the office food-chain. The partners admired the way she got things done, while everyone else disliked her for the same reason). Her nickname derived from her Harry Potter style glasses (and some bitchy comments about her not shaving her legs on one occasion). Promoted at the start of to counsel, but left shortly thereafter.

Too Kool
A Referendar (a German trainee lawyer) with an attitude. Were support staff mere flunkeys to perform her bidding? Mellowed over time. But not before she had started fighting with some third parties. Made a quiet departure, slipping under the radar screen.

Three Stooges
An associate, a partner and a Highly-Paid Nobody who work for another law firm. This trio have been representing another party on a particular matter and are proving to be the most difficult part of the whole deal. The associate is able and smug, the partner is simply smug and the Highly-Paid Nobody the smuggest of all. Everytime they are around they supply more pain to the office than the nearby boulangerie.

Highly-Paid Nobody
After an illustrious career elsewhere, the Highly-Paid Nobody has joined the firm to...actually no one is quite sure to do what. But it was a coup to recruit the Highly-Paid Nobody. Or at least that was what the Headhunters said. So it must be true. But a lack of chargeable work meant he has been redeployed (involutarily?) to another office.

Hot Stagiaire
Also referred to as the "Beautiful Stagiaire". A handsome young stagiaire who caught the eye of our blogger. Otherwise an unremarkable presence during his period in the office.

Calamity James
After the sudden departure of Too Kool, London trainee Calamity James is sent to Brussels fill in the gap. His nickname was earned in London. Is is justified?