"They take time to understand the brief, enabling quality 'fits' only to be recommended, thus saving my time. All candidates are high quality, professional and personable. Temporary staff are of a consistent high standard with minimum need of supervision.

Operations Manager, Hedge Fund

June 2015

05 June 2015

5th June 2015

Oh Christ! How do you delete an email address from coming up automatically when you're typing it into your Outlook? I was trying to type 'Olivia' to send my friend a happy birthday email complete with a hilarious picture of a cat carrying a birthday cupcake, but instead I've just sent it to 'office' which came up in my auto-addresses! 

That means it has gone to everyone in the entire Mayfair office. Dear God! Too embarrassing, I mean I've been here long enough now, I definitely shouldn't be making these mistakes! I have my 6 months review with Priscilla next week where I will learn if I have passed probation or not, so the timing just couldn't be worse...

Silver lining though: thank goodness I didn't go for the pic of the naked hottie wearing nothing but his party hat... Google has quite a choice of hilarious bday images. 

I've just tried recalling the email but all I'm getting are 'recall failed' messages which obviously adds to the embarrassment as everyone in the entire office is being harassed by yet another failed email attempt from me! The replies have already started coming in.

Charlie: 'Nice one Lucy. What is it with you and pictures of Cats?' 

What is it with me and gigantic public c**k ups?! I so want to stay on here, I love it and I don't want to leave. How can I ride this one out where Pricilla's concerned? I so want to pass that probation! 

 

12 June 2015

12th June 2015

Phew! My probation meeting with Priscilla (officially my 'Performance Development Review', but I think that sounds like some kind of test you do on endurance tyres) went like an absolute dream! Actually it was better than I could ever have dreamed, I couldn't believe my ears...

We all know there is a lot for me to work on, and Priscilla and I did go through her list together: triple checking the recipient of my email before hitting 'send' and never leaving children alone with scissors when under my care being just a few. But where I had dreaded that these countless blips on my administrative record would lead to a thoroughly negative meeting, in fact, as Priscilla said, 'everyone makes mistakes dear, it's how you learn from them that is important'. Overall it seems my eagerness to please, my endlessly smiley disposition (even when inside I am absolutely pooping my pants that I've messed up again) and my thorough work ethic have paid off. 

I left the meeting walking on air and treated myself to an hour long lunch break. I was feeling the bees knees, bopping along with a spring in my step and grinning at everyone in Mayfair because I am here to stay.  

My happiness lasted through to this morning when I was cycling into work, zigzagging up the roads in Mayfair and feeling very smitten with myself, like I owned these streets.  I paused briefly at a pedestrian crossing and that's when I heard him, a white van driver who had pulled up alongside me:

'Darling, I can see your panties!'

'What?!' 

I turned to him, outraged, thinking he was yet another white van man perve, ready to give him a piece of my mind. 

'Your skirt love, it's blowing above your head in the wind!' 

Oh god. Minus the scary opener this sweet looking old man was actually a bit of a grandfatherly do-gooder, trying to help a girl intent on displaying her undercrackers to all of town. I had cycled all the way from Clapham without sitting on my skirt, and in this blustery June weather the light fabric must have been lashing all over the place. 

When I arrived at work Pricilla was waiting by my desk to have a quick word: she'd seen my bright pink pant flashes from the window of her bus going up Piccadilly and wanted to give me a kind word of warning.

How the mighty fall.  

 

19 June 2015

19th June 2015

Um, bit of a situation... I definitely don't want to draw any attention to how stressed I am about this, but Bertie's borrowed my phone to photograph his expenses, and I’ve just remembered that I have a batch of semi naked pictures on there... Honestly I'm such an idiot, who the blazes forgets about the lingerie shots on their phone?? 

They're perfectly innocent shots as well, but it certainly wouldn't look that way if he did see them. Gee-ed up from passing my probation last week I treated myself to a beautiful new set from Victoria's Secret - I spent my lunch break trying so much on and snapping them all in the changing room mirror on my phone - Fran and I can't make a purchase these days without a whatsapp conference complete with a stream of changing room selfies. Fran told me at the time that flicking through these ones was like window shopping in Amsterdam, and now I've just handed them over to Bertie like I'm sharing some awful 'for your eyes only' shoot for him. Hideous! I need to get that phone back...

Just as I'm about to march over to Bertie and offer to take the expenses (and my phone!) out of his hands and do them for him, Priscilla appears by my desk, blocking my path. She's chasing me to submit my expenses for the three guys I support, so I explain I'm just waiting for Bertie to do his on my app. 

'Your app?' Priscilla says, 'My goodness, modern technology! How on earth does that work?' 

And before I know it we're by Bertie's side because Priscilla wants a demonstration. Bertie, suddenly on the charm offensive (because he's trying to convince Priscilla she needs to order him a new office chair) can't be more pleased to have the floor to talk her through the app. 

'Right let's start at the beginning', as he scrolls his way back through the images of receipts, one after the next.

It was like one of those moments where because the inevitable is happening and you have no power to control it, time slows completely and you watch your worst fears being played out in taunting, harrowing slow mo. Just one swipe too many and there I was in all my semi-nakedness, pouting away at the camera.

Priscilla and Bertie both fell silent. Priscilla looked like she’d been punched in the stomach and drastically winded. Bertie was visibly sweating. 

I grabbed my phone and Bertie’s pile of receipts and muttering something about taking the chore out of their hands I scurried back to my desk and buried myself in work. I haven’t been able to look Bertie in the eye since. Needless to say I have deleted all incriminating photos, this will NEVER happen again…

 

26 June 2015

26th June 2015

Is the client always right?

In my appraisal with Priscilla, one of the things she felt I needed to work on was my ability to 'Manage Up'. I nodded enthusiastically, asking when ‘Up’ would be starting with us and how much experience they had in the role...It turns out she was referring to dealing with my superiors. She explained, as I stifled my embarrassment, that excessive 'yes-saying' to the bosses leads you away from your day job and results in counter-productivity. I knew the sorts of things she was referring to instantly:

'Oh yes of course I can walk the equivalent of three tube stops to collect your lunch just because you have a craving for that particular salad!'  

'Busy? No don't worry, I'm only preparing the board meeting packs, but I’ll drop that to scour Oxford Street for an obscure nail varnish so that your wife can go to Ascot tomorrow!' 

'Absolutely no problem at all, your plumber and I are on first name terms, it will be a pleasure to catch up with him again!'

All lies, naturally. But I'm a born people pleaser and somehow I think doing all the above is what is required to make people think I’m good at my job.

Where clients are concerned I am even worse, more eager to please than Carol Middleton at a Sandringham Christmas. So this week when a client of ours calmly addressed me over the Reception Desk to ask whether I was single and whether I might like to meet his son, I couldn’t stop myself:

‘Of course, that would be absolutely lovely!’

What the blazes was I thinking?? Obviously I have a lot to learn about this ‘managing up’ thing. Our ‘date’ is now lined up for this weekend and I know it is such a terrible terrible idea. I mean what if it goes badly; will that affect our client relationship? But then how much further do I need to keep going along with this just for the sake of the firm?

The client’s always right, right? But are you allowed to romantically snub their family members? 

Help!

What’s the most bizarre or inappropriate client request you’ve ever received? Enter our competition to share your stories and you could win a £25 John Lewis Voucher – just add your entry in the ‘Comments’ section below for your chance to win! Good luck – we love hearing your stories!

 

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