Blog Week 77: Sensitive sensitivities.

Sunday 13 May 22.46

On Friday Old Timer, as ever, waltzed in and explained the background to Hairy's reaction to the original version of the video. It turns out at one office retreat, also in the US, there was a bit of a culture clash between a couple of offices. To cut a long story short...

At a retreat soiree a group from the London office made the most of the free bar and then got boisterous on the dance floor. Some more reserved types from the Chicago office were not impressed. One US female associate was nudged/knocked while dancing and, in a snappy sort of way, told the London guys to behave. She was told where to go in no uncertain terms and got quite upset. Having taken over the dance floor they then started singing a drinking song about getting "pissed". The US people understood the US meaning of the word (getting "angry" rather the intended getting "drunk") and thought the event had been invaded by maurading football hooligans.

Some people were quietly spoken to afterwards. But plans are in place to bring out inter-office cultural understanding and harmony during this retreat; including the offices videos.

Old Timer thought Mockney's CNN style interviewing might have been interpreted as a dig at the Americans and Too Kool's comments about the state of various people's offices might have given the wrong impression of our office. If so it all seems a bit over-sensitive to me.

Monday 14 May 23.57

Too Kool and Mockney finished their new version of the retreat video. It is bland and won't be winning any Oscars. Apparently Hairy and Bill are satisfied. Too Kool and Mockney are just glad it is over. Shame really - it could have been a lot of fun for all concerned.

Tuesday 15 May 22.53

Status and hierachy are not as clear as you might think in many law firms. Particularly amongst the support staff. How often does remuneration not reflect status? The further I have got here the more I have realised this fact.

I mention this because a few weeks ago Mockney first mentioned his disappointment at his role. He was complaining a bit more heartily today.

He faces a perception problem: having goofed around a lot in the past, he now wants to be taken more seriously. But it is difficult to change perceptions in an office once they have been set; it is easier to view people the same way over time.

Wednesday 16 May 23.58

Tonight's episode of the BBC Apprentice was amusing. It's more show business than business, but still great to watch.

Apart from Shakespeare and his crew working round the clock, the office was noticeably quieter today. Tomorrow is yet another public holiday. (For those reading from further afield) there are a lot of them here this time of year. I have taken Friday as holiday and am looking forward to escaping this recent dreary weather. Although I can already feel a cold coming on...


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