Blog Week 108: Bitterly cold.
Sunday 16 December 21.19
Unfortunately I didn't get passed the other firm's reception. No chance to nosy around and see what was interesting. Just met the sensible one and handed over the documents.
What is Brussels like this time of year? Behind the facade of the Christmas market, tinsel and lights, things are bitterly cold. How bitter and cold will be revealed at the leaving event later this week.
Monday 17 December 23.16
Pierre explained a bit: basically acknowledged that there is some "sort of" relationship between Bill and Barbie. Bill has decided to keep everything more professional by letting Barbie stay and Barbie has no problem with that. It gives a pretty good idea about the type of relationship they are having. She probably thinks this is the first step towards something more permanent. Meanwhile for Bill he may be leaving the firm, but to the outside world he won't be leaving anything/one else (if you get my drift...).
I did not know that once upon a time Weirdo worked for Bill. Mainly for that reason he has decided to take her with him as his new secretary. She has jumped at the opportunity. A whole new office to terrorise with her strangeness. I know his departure is quite rushed, but I think Bill has made his decision in haste and will be repenting at leisure next year. It has "Warning: Ticking Time-Bomb" written all over it. At least none of us here will be standing in the vicinity when that particular package explodes...
Tuesday 18 December 23.18
On top of everything else I have to buy the office farewell gift for Weirdo. Pierre has given me a budget and told me to find something "nice". Nice? WTF is nice? I feel a bit of pressure as I don't want the choice of gift to become an issue and it's a potential minefield buying something for someone as unique as Weirdo. Mockney suggested I ask Paranoid for advice as they are sort of friends. He pointed out it's a classic cover-your-back tactic: if it all goes wrong I can always blame her. Although I wouldn't feel too good about doing that.
Wednesday 19 December 21.29
Bill and Weirdo's departures are in the air and everyone is getting ready for Christmas.
My beautiful stagiaire is part of a team under a mad-rush to get some information to the Commission before the end of the week. The client's employees are dragging their feet.
It's the usual story of a request descending on some people located in a back-office in one of the Member States:
- "some lawyers in Brussels want some information by close of business".
- "(polite version) well tell them to go away tonight is the Christmas party/we are still recovering from the Christmas party/maybe after the holidays".
It is going to be a mad Friday afternoon for that lot. Between now and then they have to be as persuasive as possible. The thing is the Commission people are not going to look at the information until they return in 2008.
My beautiful stagiaire understands (from a slightly more experienced colleague) that the partner in charge just wants to be able to tell the client GC that everything was sent before Christmas. It won't change anything. Just makes them both feel better. And the rest feel bitter.
Thursday 20 December 23.21
Tonight was the farewell event for Weirdo and Bill. I never thought I would be saying that (I mean for Bill; I have wondered how Weirdo survived here for so long).
Bill gave a short speech. It was funny and positive - with a lot about what a great future the office has. He didn't have to say that. I had the feeling we will really miss him. Mockney said the same to me afterwards. It's not missing him the person, so much as his presence. Not seeing him, just knowing he is there. Do you know what I mean?
Weirdo's speech was unexpected. I had anticipated some score-settling and was cringing a bit when she started. But it was short and dignified. And she loved her gift. Thank you Paranoid.