Friday, December 6, 2013

The Office

It's now become fairly clear to me that I will never work in an office again. For the foreseeable future it's just me at home in my pyjamas and Uggs boots slumped at my computer with Teddy the 6lb Maltese to bounce ideas off. To some that may seem like Nirvana but sometimes I'll get a glimpse of workyclothes; proper pants with heels or a dress or pencil skirt: and I'll think wouldn't that be nice? There is also a few of those phrases I long to use (beyond connectingthedots and perfectstorms.)

Cosmos. Beatrix. My office. Update re world domination of grey accessories
Samantha, while I'm looking down, please get George C. on the line
Samantha, while I'm looking down again, get that Maroon5 bloke on the line
There's a few other things I miss...maybe I'm delusional and they don't exist anymore.

*When I worked in an office in London I sat in a chair after someone called Topaz Amour (Can there ever be a better name? Topaz if you're out there, hope you married European royalty as you deserved to!) Across from me was someone whose last name was Shakespeare. I miss all those people who could totally herbaceous border the hell out of their syntactically correct sentences. No offence to Teddy but he dangles his prepositions as much as I do.
*Gossiping about colleagues in a way that would be incredibly helpful to them if they overheard, which hopefully they will not. 
*Agreeing with fellow colleagues over a reviving glass of Sauvy at lunch that our talents were unique and yet undiscovered and tragically likely to remain so.
*Pret a Manger

(All images from a Brit company called Pure Collection who in an ice-cream-to-eskimos-move is selling reasonably priced cashmere clothing to the US Not a sponsored post, not allowed to do those...)

That's all! By the way, what's the most annoying work or otherwise phrase you've heard this week? I have banned my husband from saying Itiswhatitis!!!







56 comments:

  1. I miss Pret too. I used to eat their Thai chicken sandwiches all the time. I was SO SAD to find upon my return to London, some 12 years after leaving, that they no longer made them!! I was crushed. But at least they still do those yummy little chocolate brownies.
    I miss the dress up of office wear as well. I went to a client meeting yesterday who commented I was very dressed up (it was my neighbour/ client, but still, I was going to do some work for her, and then I was going out and about trying to look professional at trade showrooms). I had on jeans, a white shirt and a blazer and ballet flats. Not a suit in sight.
    I also miss office gossip. But I get school gate gossip now instead. It's almost as good....

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    1. I get so happy when I know I'm travelling through Heathrow because I can do their oatmeal progress to bacon and egg and then onto chicken and bacon and then...I am obsessed with that place. They had loads of them in Washington and hope they make their way out to this side of the US!

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    2. Know what you mean about schoolgategoss. Much better than you would expect

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    3. It's all about wasabi now guys! You have to come and try it but I like the homeless shelter food runs Pret does.

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    4. Yes! was just going to say that! Love how they give the sambos to the homeless at the end of the day...otherwise think of the waste. Also when my Auntie Paula was alive and was staying in a convent in london (she was a nun) we ate those same end of day sambos saved for the homeless. All good!

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    5. It's their sesame pretzels that lure me in.

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  2. Can't say i'd miss work at all
    Screw clothes at my hall
    Sit naked as can be
    Feet up living free lol
    Annoying saying
    hmmm can't think of any off hand worth displaying

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    1. Sounds like how Teddy
      Enjoys his workaday day

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  3. We have Prets in NYC, but they went thru a major acclimation - Coronation Chicken did not sell here. Now they're doing ok.

    Overworked phrase: whatnot.

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    1. Nyorkers say that? How funny, I always thought that was so Kiwi!

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    2. Coronation Chicken - was it the creaminess, the curry? That combo is perfect, what are they thinking? Just add some Wasabi with and call it global pan pacifica

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  4. I am sick of in no particular order

    dynamic / dynamics

    organic

    kale, quinoa, sprouts

    i like them in principle really but way too overused in collloquial vernacular lately

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    Replies
    1. Fantastic! will add them to my portfolio when I particularly want to annoy. I was having a kale kind of a day until the fried chicken inbox hit me.

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  5. I miss my old colleagues and the funny banter we had; sending one chap many, many Christmas and birthday cards from a fictitious family - someone even got a letter published in the company magazine praising said colleague -sent in by the fictitious family! We worked for the government and had all signed the official secrets act, so parties were strictly staff only (as they were in-house) so it was a case of "what happens in the office stays in the office - Vegas style!!
    I never did the smart office clothes very well though....

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    1. Hilarious about the fictious family cards. Should do that - the family we should be rather the one we are. Actually the new thing here according to NY TImes is to send really truthful (and sometimes depressing) accounts of how you really are: annoying kids who don't get into college, breakdowns, lost job, marriage not too good, the whole caboodle. No more "everything is going gangbusters!" Though we still get that same phrase from the same family every year.....

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  6. I canNOT see you sitting for more then a second.You are pouring out these posts like crazy this week………don't you have other things to do???!!!!!I spent yesterday from 7 am to 1 wrapping and clearing the kitchen table!!!
    LOved your family photo of THANKS GIVING by the way…………I must run now the tree has yet to be done…………….already exhausted!

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    1. The blog lies! or at least is smoke and mirrors! I am the most blobby low energy person you will ever meet. Thank goodness for your festiveness fabulosity - doing decorating vicariously through you - we are not doing a tree this year as off to NZ and I miss the smell of the pine. Christmas my fave.

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  7. I worked with a guy who constantly used the phrase "at the end of the day..." Used once, I could tolerate, but 4-5 times during a 5 minute conversation? I don't think so.

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    1. I thought that went out 10 years when they coached the Brit soccer teams not to say it on telly when they were interviewed. Like sick as a parrot. Sadly we arrived in California and people seemed to have taken it on board here whole heartedly!

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  8. I worked in many offices....I worked in a courthouse as well, in 3 of the offices on different days. The traffic, civil and probation offices, I had to dress up every day. Many very annoying people came in and out and drove me bonkers. I also never ate so much junk food in all my life working in an office, someone was always bringing in some kind of baked good or fast food. But, with the amount of stress the job brought from all the crazy people who claimed their traffic ticket was wrong or whatever else, I ate quite a bit, haha!! That was the best part of the job actually! But, the dressing up was not for me, because at the time I was a majour tom boy. I still am sometimes now, but I wear dresses more. Have a great weekend doll xx

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    1. You always wear the fabulous dresses, you don't need the office. I cannot imagine dealing with parking fined people, they are at their very worst. You deserve some special place in heaven for that!

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  9. I don't like the condescending tone when people say "whatever"
    You can still dress up and work...take your laptop, if you have one, to a coffee shop with WiFi. I see lots of people working in the coffee chops near where I live.

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    1. Loathe "whatever"! Should be banned along with itiwhatitis. Don't like that whatever from my 12 year old daughter either.

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  10. Lovely clothes - and don't cross an office off the list so soon. One day the kids will all be out of the house. Believe me, it happens. It happened to me before I even knew it.
    My least favorite phrase (used both in business and social settings) is when someone asks my husband about something and he (pretends) to defer to me and says it's because, "What makes Beryl happy, makes me happy!" Yuck and Grrr!

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    1. My husband says exactly the same thing! Ha!

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  11. I'm just trying to picture Topaz Amour who sounds like a character from a romatic novel! Just been catching up on your posts and admiring your Thanksgiving Day outfit. The red dress in the first photo here is so elegant too. Must pop over and have a look at Pure Collection.
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. Think Pippa M. is a big wearer of it, good enough for Pippa...

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  13. When I worked in radio, shit-tie-jacket was the norm. When I worked for the church, it was pretty much the same. Now, in retirement, sweat pants, t-shirt, and heavy flannel shirt-jacket. Still, pretty dressy for a Bear.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    Replies
    1. laughing about your typo or what I think is a typo ...

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  14. Even though (as a former nurse) I've done night shifts in a Hackney* Accident & Emergency Department, there is still nowhere as mad and unpredictable as the place I work today - a school. I do love it and, even though I'd also love more time to myself, I know I would miss it like mad if I left. also, if I worked at home, I would raise prevarication to an art form and probably smell quite a lot. (* Hackney - arse end of London).

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  15. I just popped over from the Optimistic Existentialist blog. I've dangled a few prepositions too :)
    Rick, your latest follower.

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  16. Darling, I live in Pure Collection cashmere!

    It's true, I have cardis from them in turquoise and coral and beige plus one of those office type dresses in grey, with a fab visible zip down the back. Of course, like you, I'm usually dressed in slobwear but the dress has now and again had an airing, when I'm trying to look important...

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  17. Not so long ago I heard a phrase that made my hair stand on end "Let's run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes" Seriously????

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    1. oh my gosh, I hear that during many meetings. seriously.

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    2. Heard the first part but not the second...The salute part of it is troubling...

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  18. Half the Royal family traipsed through my office... only it wasn't really an office, it was Lloyd's of London. I miss the buzz. I miss my loafers. But that's about it.
    Sx

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    1. I was one of about 3 women amongst 5000 men when I entered Lloyd's in the 70's - after 19 years of petty men and their dress rules, don't miss it one bit

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    2. Monix - I was reprimanded by one of the Waiters for wearing DMs!
      Sx

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  19. I work with builders so every second word begins with F.....every third word would be an improvement.

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  20. Topaz Amour? That's like a made up porn name!
    In London I worked with someone called "Pony" - doubt that was on her birth certificate!

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    1. Never met Topaz but heard some great stories about her. Once she went into a story meeting and said it wasn't fair she had to attend because she didn't have any stories. She was let off the hook immediatemoi!

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  21. I don't really miss working in an office because I"m a saddo and quite like working at home alone - but I missing dressing up. Now, I have no reason to dress although I refuse to sit around in PJs or sweats. That is just too depressing. It's jeans and a sweater (at the moment for me).
    And dangling prepositions? Tut tut.

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  22. I *AM* missing dressing up. I haven't suddenly lost the ability to form a complete sentence.

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  23. I too miss the office days. Of course it's a grass is always greener thing, but those were some good days, good lunches and some crazy co-workers to make fun of…Not to mention customers..I worked with a girl Precy and it took forever for anyone to get her name right and myself as well… Topaz Amour? That is too cool…Love Pret-a-Manger!
    xxKim

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  24. I'd miss everything you miss except I don't know Pret-a-Manger. Just did #2 * today but no glass of Sauvy, dammit. I used to play bull**** bingo when I did meeetings with a woman who would talk entirely in those overused and meaningless cliches. A sample: Since we work at the pointy point of the spear, we need to roll up our sleeves and turn over every rock to find that diamond in the rough; harvesting low-hanging fruit goes without saying but remember to look at what's in our job jars and stay in our swim lane. No kidding or exaggeration, that's the way she'd speak.

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    1. I copied this down from the radio verbatim yesterday, for another reason. This is the head of patient experience for NHS England, trying really hard not to say that some of our problems in maternity care stem from a chronic nationwide shortage of midwives which no-one is doing anything about:

      'I think listening to women is absolutely essential in actually moving our services forward … their feedback is so so helpful … We need to work with our local hospitals and our local clinical commissioning groups … to actually look at their report and to look at their staffing numbers so that we can actually demonstrate change at a local level … What we did last week was actually publish a significant piece of work actually looking at staffing levels and safe staffing levels … part of that was actually about looking at the issue of how many midwives are actually on duty each shift and actually making that really visible, and where there are gaps working with organisations … such as … the Care Quality Commission … to actually say “Is this an issue that we need to explore further?”. We are working very closely with the Royal College of Midwives to actually look at this specific issue and where they are needed we will continue to champion for that … I think there are definite opportunities to look at the staffing levels …

      And again it’s working with our local teams to say “What’s the feedback for your area and what are you specifically doing about it?” … encouraging the women to actually come to us to us to actually say there’s an issue so we that can resolve it immediately. It’s working in partnership to resolve some of these very basic elements … We need to be really responsive to that feedback, so actually getting this information from women and actually doing something with it is what we’re absolutely committed to doing.'

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    2. Gosh, my kids will be able to do that job, evasive answering at length....

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    3. Tiffany, must have been hard not to burst out laughing, all that hurly burly in the jars, on spears and lakes and streams, sounds like the next travels of the hobbits and dwarves

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  25. Mhm, Pret a Manger...
    'You only live once' must be my absolute hate-phrase at the moment. Or to make it even worse: 'YOLO'! *cringe*

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  26. Funny you should ask that as I just did a post on:;
    'He's one of a kind.'
    Totally incorrect in the way it is used.

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  27. I love that you still remember Topaz Amour's name. These are the kinds of things you can't even make up. I am thankful I no longer have to worry about dressing for the office although those office Christmas parties are pretty priceless.

    xo Mary Jo

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  28. I am in a workplace- and clothing- hinterland, not sure where I'm going (not back to clinical medicine, I think, but if not there then where?) or what I need to pack. Part of me has always hankered after being officed-based, flawless in high heels and a smart shift (a daily uniform of nylon scrubs doesn't have quite the same glamour), and I will confess What to Wear has cropped up in trying to sift through what I might do to earn my keep!

    I heard someone say something brilliant at a mediation the other day. A no-nonsense northerner, she damned a detail entirely with "It's neither use nor ornament." I have been trying to use it as frequently as possible since ... so far I have managed a grand total of once.

    Philippa

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    1. "use nor ornament" concentrates the mind that is for sure! Also that great accent adds to the gravity!

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  29. From Julie, who's just started a new job: "I totally get this one! Started work last week and I’m loving wearing work clothes (including heels), going out to lunch, and . . . having to show my ID to the cute security guard every time I enter the building ;)

    I also miss Pret a Manger!

    Hope you’re having a fun holiday season!"

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