Posts tagged ‘Work’
I’ve been pondering recently – why do we have ‘shorthand’ names for some places and people but not for others?
At work, for example we have The Coffee Man, Sandwich Man (or occasionally Sandwich Lady), Sewing Lady and CityLink Man. Then there’s The Book People, who have cut out the middle man and handily named their business with the appropriate shortcut.
Everyone at work knows where The Octagon and The Chapel are, but we can’t come up with a better name for where Production sit than ‘at the bottom of the stairs near the back door’. I also don’t recall anyone coming up with a handy moniker for the man who delivers lunches for meetings or the cleaning company’s team leader.
At the stables, there’s The Back Lady (the equine physiotherapist, just back from tending the British mounts at the Olympics) and The Feed Man (the lorry driver from the feed merchants), plus Top Land, Bottom Land and Third Field, but the blacksmith is not called The Shoeing Man, nor the instructor The Teaching Lady.
Which reminds me of how the announcement of the arrival of The Sandwich Man can be a good guide to the culture of a business. At my last agency, the reception staff were ex-cabin crew, resulting in daily tannoys that ran (complete with authentic bing bong noise), “would all staff please be advised that sandwiches are now available in the café area”. At my current place, we get an all users email that simply reads ‘the sandwich man is here’. :-)
I am loving these posters-for-our-times from the team at LOVE.
Good advice for the Planning community:
And also for Creative types:
I’ve written before on this blog about work/life balance and I’ve decided to follow my own advice and try to get a bit more of it.
So I’m going to be working 4 days a week instead of 5 (but hopefully not trying to ram 5 days work into 4…).
I do appreciate that I’m very lucky to be able to afford to do this. I think my agency were open to the idea as the economy is obviously a bit wobbly at the moment, handily providing me with the one legitimate non-childcare related excuse to work less hours in Agency Land.
So it’s a bit of an experiment but I’m hoping as a side effect that having more head space and doing more Interesting things with my time will make me a more creative, better informed Planner.
After all, whose brilliant idea was it that we should produce Great Insights surrounded by strip lighting, industrial carpet and constantly ringing phones? From now on, I’ll be doing more of my thinking from here:
I’m guessing that 100 people (about half the office) have moved desks in the last 48 hours. We shuffle around so often that it’s a finely tuned machine. The blue packing crates arrive, the skip and recycling bins are filled, the moving muscle shifts furniture and IT switch everyone’s phones and computers round overnight.
I wonder if this constant rearranging is exclusively an agency trait. Its certainly been the case at every agency I’ve worked at. As a result I’ve always had a minimalist working area, my philosophy being to hang on to only as much as you can get in a set of desk draws and a single packing crate.
So maybe this constant rearranging has at its heart the perennial problem of storage in today’s designed-to-be-paperless-but-actually-drowning-under-paper office. If you move people often enough they can’t hoard stuff.
PS I have not moved. Still stuck outside the men’s loos.
I got an email today reminding me about the forthcoming APG Battle of Big Thinking. It boasts an amazing line up of speakers and everyone I know who has been to a Big Thinking event before has raved about it.
There’s just one problem – the cost. Its not a good time to be asking your boss to sign off a purchase order for £689 for a one day conference. Even the early bird rate of £559 for APG members looks steep in the current climate – especially when you cost in peak time return train tickets for us Outside London.
Don’t get me wrong, my agency is doing OK at the moment, we’re just being sensible about splashing money about. If we’re going to be ruthlessly practical, what is of greater value to the agency – one day of Big Thinking for me or 125 sets of layout pads and marker pens?
Sorry for the absence of posts in the last week, I’ve been flat-out pitching. Which involved visiting yet another conveniently located client 4 ½ hours drive away. We did travel in the Fun Bus though so the journey home went by quite quickly thanks to chick flicks on DVD and back issues of Heat magazine.
The latest insight courtesy of my New Business team (after I’d legged it over to them from four desks away having overheard the word ‘horse’ mentioned) is that in a crowded open plan office “you hear what you want to hear”. Or in other words, you become ‘selectively deaf’.
remember: it could be worse!
Yesterday’s client meeting went on a little longer than planned, resulting in a mad dash back down the A1. So I’m working on a formula to calculate what the actual length of any meeting might be:
As we tried to get our key cards to work in yet another soulless business hotel earlier this week, it struck researcher Louise and I that what recent graduates really need is a post-grad course on How To Survive in Business, i.e. the stuff they never teach you at Uni but you need to know to survive in the real business world. We think the modules should include:
- Effective use of hotel bedroom key cards (obviously)
- Powerpoint 101
- Photocopying for Beginners
- Advanced use of SatNav
- Transferring Phone Calls – beyond the call pickup button
- Office Kitchen Etiquette
- Business Travel: laptops are heavier than you think
- Final exam case study: M&S Simply Food – saviour of motorway dining
From a respondent in a mail order group I was viewing last night:
Moderator: “So what do you do with your catalogue when it arrives?”
Respondent: “I take it straight to the toilet”
I seem to have spent a large chunk of this week charging round the office hunting down missing books, scalpels, calculators etc. Which has reminded me of the Allan Ahlberg poem ‘Scissors’, which I’ve adapted here for agency use:
Scalpels don’t lose themselves,
Melt away, or explode.
Scalpels have not got
Legs of their own
To go running off up the road.
We really need those scalpels,
That’s what makes me mad.
If it was a couple of pairs
Of Creatives we’d lost,
It wouldn’t be so bad.
I don’t want to hear excuses.
Don’t anyone speak.
Just ransack this agency
Till we find them,
Or we’ll stop here… all week!