Blog Week 34: Blackberry blues.

Sunday 16 July 23.42

Decided to take this coming week as holiday. Friday is a public holiday and - maybe partly due to that - the office is pretty quiet right now. Have to make the most of this incredible weather we are having.

Got nothing amazing planned. Myself and a friend may go driving through Holland, Germany or Luxembourg or head to the UK. Sort of a last minute decision.

My friend blogs too. So I'll be able to blog now and then over the next few days.

Some petty office stuff arose on Friday that really pissed off my boss (Pierre). That got me thinking about a few things ...

Monday 17 July 23.51

Decided to go to Holland, Germany, (through) Luxembourg, France and then back to Belgium.

Driving through the countryside to Maastricht I got thinking about the daily office grind.

I mentioned some petty office stuff that was getting my boss down last week. Well there are so many issues this merger has thrown up, it is difficult to know where to begin.

Take Blackberries for example. Pre-merger one firm gave all lawyers and senior support staff their own Blackberry. It made sense: important people need to be accessible at all times. Well the other firm only gave Blackberries to the partners (not even counsel). Not sure why. Now, post-merger, the new office management is still deciding who is entitled to a Blackberry.

As far as I can see pretty much everyone - apart from partners and counsel - have mixed feelings about Blackberries. They both want and do not want one. A Blackberry gives some status (the positive), yet it makes everyone almost permanently accessible (the negative).

As with many issues in the office: a decision is expected, but not soon.

Tuesday 18 July 23.28

From Holland into Germany today.

Does not matter which country (Belgium, Holland or Germany) this weather is hot.

Following on from yesterday's blog, I got an office Blackberry while I am on this holiday. It was Pierre's idea. I don't mind too much. Nothing important so far.

The Blackberry issue is symptomatic of differences between the two offices. One was an international firm and everything from expectations about working culture to remuneration was set up on that basis. The other claimed to be an international firm, but tried to run itself on shoe-string/High Street-type budget. So pretty much everything money-related, like remuneration, was always relatively low. But now all the lawyers and support staff have to work together. Lets just say, currently, some people are more equal than others.

As a secretary, I never would have known. But now I know a lot, lot more.

Wednesday 19 July 13.03

Back in Brussels. Last night my friend got a message (via his Blackberry, of course) telling him he had to get back to the office. So here I am. Trip cut short. Mad-dash this morning back to Brussels.

Contacted Pierre to see if I could work tomorrow. He was so pleased to hear from me. Some US lawyers are flying in for a meeting tomorrow and he is urgently trying to find sufficient secretarial help. Needless to say many are fleeing the office asap - in advance of Friday's public holiday. I agreed to come in and help out as and when needed.

Now to enjoy some more of this fabulous weather ...

Thursday 20 July 22.06

Office was quiet: the American lawyers were friendly and only here for a short time. They were pretty low-maintenance - just as well given Weirdo was their main secretarial support.

Mockney swung by this afternoon to collect my office Blackberry. The latest news on the office Blackberries: all lawyers and senior support staff will get their own "soon". But as no budget has been allocated this financial year, it is unclear when "soon" actually is.


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