Blog Week 37: Blogging in the dead of August.

Monday 7 August 22.54

Back in the office. Everything is so quiet. My boss has finally taken his holiday. Originally it was 2 weeks away, but his doctor told him he needs an extra weeks rest. The partners agreed. They know how dead August can be. Most of them are on holiday.

Mockney swung by for a chat mid-morning. He seemed particularly bored. Like a lot of the single people in the office he is going to take his vacation off-peak. Why pay more now? Better to leave in a busy period.

Wednesday 9 August 23.04

Back when the merger was first announced a strange word was constantly used to explain the merger's benefit: synergies. No one - whether lawyers or legal support or native (let alone non-native) English speakers - had any idea what the word meant. I am not referring to the dictionary definition. That gave an explanation but no sense of how it actually applied here. The first lot of consultants threw the word around a lot, which seemed suspicious (even back then).

Well all these months later I am still not sure what the word means in this context. But I do know the office now has:
- 2 managing partners (Johan and Bill) instead of one, who have trouble making decisions;
- one person in overall charge of admin (my boss Pierre) whose doctor has ordered him to take an extended holiday to recover from stress and general fatigue caused by the merger;
- library services run by someone (Hedgehog) who fears any sort of organisational change; and
- pretty much every office email - regardless of confidentiality - is read by the IT person (Mockney).

Were things supposed to turn out like this? I don't think so.

A lot of "legacy" issues remain undecided.

A current issue concerns expenses. One firm was pretty relaxed about charging meals to the client and taking taxis home in the evening. The other - apparently to crack down on past abuse - had a very strict policy. As with so many so-called "legacy" merger issues, we now must await the partners' decision for the new office policy.

As far as I can see these legacy issues are stamped "Under Review" and then filed away in a box marked "Do not disturb". Opening the box is equivalent to rubbing the magic latern. Or perhaps the more appropriate (if obvious) metaphor is Pandora's box.

Either way, these issues cannot be avoided forever ...

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