Friday 6th November 2015 – Off Duty Brand Ambassadors
Why oh why do I keep getting the dress sense side of things wrong? While my Halloween lacy cat suit number worked wonders on the Charlie front, imagine my extreme mortification when none other than the lovely Sam (aka one of my bosses!) arrived at the very same party that I was at! I mean essentially I was on my own time, doing my own thing, with my own friends – nothing to do with our firm – so why did I feel so horrendously unprofessional, cowering away in my sheer lace, skin tight ensemble the moment my boss was thrown into the equation?
I guess it’s a grey area these days: at work I am an 100% on show, all guns blazing, brand ambassador every second of the day. I present (or try to present!) a polished, pristine image that is in keeping with company policy at all times. That is my job and duty, perched right in centre stage, front of house. But do I still represent the company on my own time? In an age of being Facebook friends with your boss so that they are privy to your every private move, and where potential employers can readily ‘google’ your name to discover Instagram streams of revealing Halloween costumes, or to uncover your teenage inappropriate tweets, are we always on show? Must we always be professional? But then when do we get the downtime to play?
I feel like I’m having a bit of a Friday moan, it’s definitely because I’m still feeling excruciatingly awkward about Sam seeing me dressed as a slutty cat last week and I need somewhere to channel all that energy! Of course Sam also discovered the truth about mine and Charlie’s little ‘thing’ we’ve got going on, so I am sure that by now (just one week later!) that fact that we’re dating will no longer be an office secret.
Never mind, Charlie and I are off to the fireworks tonight, expecting an utter mud bath underfoot so I’ll be stomping around in my wellies. Luckily at fireworks there shouldn’t be too many opportunities for an off duty brand ambassador to slip up! Oh but when will it stop raining??? Such bad Friday blues!
Friday 13th November
But not me today! I bet you’re shocked aren’t you, but I’ve had an accident free week. Nailed it!
I realised while looking back over this year’s postings that my diary is pretty much a catalogue of failure… Hopefully chronicling my slip ups helps me to learn from them though whilst also providing you guys with a little Friday light relief. I mean we’re only human, right, so what else can you do when you make a mistake but chalk it up to experience, learn from it and have a giggle about it with your besties over a stiff G&T? I just hope I’m still employable after broadcasting so many mistakes over the internet…!
Anyway, in an effort to improve my professional reputation this week’s entry is dedicated to my achievements (toot toot!)
So here we go kids; top 5 things that I am proud of:
1) Having Priscilla on side – what an effort in the beginning, but I absolutely won her over. I think it was nailing her perfect cuppa that did it – it’s the key to her heart for sure
2) My promotion: I’m so pleased they got me doing PA duties after only a few months!
3) Winning office bake off – who’d have thought it?
4) Getting out of the CEO and his wife’s personal marital tussle (relatively!) unscathed – still don’t know how I managed to wade into that one!
5) Bagging Charlie. Not strictly work related, but a serious plus point nonetheless.
Friday 20th November
There is nothing more terrifying than becoming a strategic pawn in someone else’s marital warfare: being blasted over the battlements into a political and emotional minefield you’ve had no prior training in, and absolutely no desire to be a part of! It is completely impossible to come out that sort of thing unscathed.
It all started yesterday when our CEO’s wife Emma called in:
‘Pssst – Lucy, it’s Emma, Ed’s wife – don’t give away that it’s me!’
‘Oh hello Mr Smith, how can I help this morning?’ – Cunning. Lucy Green, international spy.
‘Perfect, good girl. I need to talk to you one on one, I’m looking for my own PA and I want you. I can offer you a pay rise, better working conditions because for starters you won’t have to work with any misogynistic pigs [I think she may have been referring to her own husband here…], great prospects, what do you say?’
Obviously I was enormously flattered – does this count as being headhunted? Noone’s ever tried to poach me before! And Emma’s an Interior Designer, it would be amazing to move to a creative industry, more in keeping with my degree…
‘Well…. I… I don’t know what to say, I really wasn’t expecting that, but I…’
‘Think about it Lucy, I’ll send an email with the terms of the offer in a moment, but I need to know on Monday.’
And she was gone. Two minutes later the outlined offer dropped into my work inbox.
I was over the moon: ridiculously chuffed. No-one has asked me to be on their team since I accidentally broke Megan Dudley's nose in a Uni netball game. In my defence, her dress sense meant her graduation photo was always going to be ruined regardless. But anyway this move could be really good for me, I mean I wasn’t looking, but Interiors would always turn my head.
Feeling incredibly pleased with myself and unable to hide the excitement in my voice I called Charlie at lunch. He was quick to keep me grounded:
‘Lucy do you not think the fact that it is your CEO’s wife, the scorned woman whose husband has so many public affairs, that has contacted you is suspect? Everyone knows how miserable they are – whenever he’s on the phone to her you can hear them flinging crap at each other – you know how brilliant he thinks you are, are you sure she’s not using you to get at him? Hell hath no tastefully decorated fury like an interior designer scorned.’
Charlie’s assessment was proved right when I got back to my desk. Sitting in my inbox were two further emails from Emma. In the first she had replied to my email where I had thanked her for the offer and told her how desperately interested I was, but that I needed to think about it over the weekend. Only cc-ed in the recipient’s bar was Ed Sterling – my CEO!
What the hell was Emma playing at? The next email from her simply said:
‘Whoops, so sorry, I cc-ed my husband completely by accident…don't worry, I'm sure he won't mind, he has a pretty laissez faire attitude when it comes to loyalty, contracts and commitment to a single person’
Was this just some stupid game, does Emma even want a PA? Why on earth did she have to drag me into their private marital spat? And is my job at my current firm now in jeopardy??
Honestly, I’m a professional PA and Receptionist, not some bored married couple’s cannon fodder. This is my career they’re playing with, has Emma no respect for that at all?
I obviously don’t want to accept the job with Emma now, I don’t want to work for such an unstable individual, but I don’t know what to say to her either. And I have no clue what to say to Ed! How has this happened??
27th November 2015
Everyone's gone absolutely crazy for this Black Friday phenomenon! I’m having a Black Friday for a whole different reason as I’m suffering horribly after work drinks again. This can’t go on guys, why does no one else in the office seem as sluggish and unwell as I am? This has got to stop people, I need your help…
You can't get anywhere fast in Mayfair today: it's absolutely stiff with people marching shoulder to shoulder towards Oxford Street, clogging the streets in the name of a Christmas bargain. The girls here in the office have been rotating turns to wander out into the furore, coming back with hauls of discounted smellies and war wounds from the front lines: bruised ribs from battling elbows, broken nails from snatching the last Christmas knit, sweaty and disheveled from the stampede. Even Pricilla's been spotted browsing the deals online - I was slightly disturbed to witness her bulk buying a year’s supply of M&S briefs at bargain basement price. How many pairs of pants does one woman need?
Not me though, not me. Christmas drinking season started last night, which means Christmas hangover season has commenced today. As I mentioned, it was work drinks, but everyone else seems totally fine today, while here I am again, gulping down the sick urges and stifling the waves of nausea. Why is that? I'm the one with youth on my side, surely I'm the one who should bounce straight back?
We've got our Christmas party next week so I’ve just realised I am going to have to drag my sorry bottom up to Oxford Street later to bag a new dress for the occasion. But given how I'm feeling today, I'm more worried about surviving this season of mulled wine, prosecco and Christmas cocktails, and still having a job at the end of it!
I can't hold down a job if I spend the next 3 weeks feeling like this so I need your help, office working but Christmas loving people of London: please tell me your best hangover avoidance or curing tactics… Share your secrets!! Is there anything you do the day before you start drinking in preparation, or the day after in desperation that never fails you?
Please email your advice via the RMS girls: email@example.com
The best tip shared will win a £25 John Lewis voucher!