Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The morning routine

8:59 - Arrive at work, take your seat for a minute and put down your bag. Switch on your computer

9:00 - Take a look around and smugly make a mental note of who has not made it in on time.

9:01 - Get changed into work shoes and clothes, smarten up, get ready.

9:05 - 9:15 - Breakfast time - cereal and milk, or if hungover / greedy go to the sandwich shop for grease.

9:15 - 9:30 - Coffee and check emails. If there is nothing un-toward or urgent continue at your leisurly pace.

9:30 - 9:45 - Discussion time. Since the death of real-time TV, you can't discuss what you watched on the telly 'last night'. Everyone watches DVDs, Sky+ or on demand TV. Other discussion topics include what you cooked for dinner, if you did anything interesting after 5:30pm, and how much sleep you got.

9:45 - Wonder why you spent 15 minutes of your life discussing monotonous, soporific domestic details. Exlaim how tired you are!

9:46 - 10:00 - Personal admin. Sort out your new phone contract / pesky bank account fail. Exlaim how little money you have left even though payday was last week!

10:00 - 10:10 - Shop run. Take orders and money from colleagues. Garner respect by getting off your bum to purchase confectionary for your lazier colleagues.

10:10 - 10:30 - Play the I-like game

10:30 - 11:40 - WebWatch. Rack up your favourite sites to keep up to date with all that important news and comment (mostly Sports related).

11:40 - 12:00 - Take a well earned coffee break. Appear kind and considerate to your workmates as you warm their cockles with hot beverages. More i-like discussions

12:00 - 12:20 - Exlaim how hungry you are! Discuss lunch options with colleagues, to Sandwich or to Sushi?

12:20 - 12:45 - WebWatch and check emails.

12:45 - 12:59 - Fire out a few emails that need to be dealt with before lunch. Mentally prepare yourself for the gruelling working afternoon ahead.

- - - - - - - LUNCH - - - - - - -

That was a weight off my shoulders. I feel like I have finally put pay to the naysayers who claim that I don't do any work.

bad ads #10

Spread your wings, and fly away to pun land. Have you ever dreamed of a job in animal care? Benefits include lunchtime wordplay, free Sun newspaper to learn about puns and poorly thought out metaphores, and a feather to put in your cap.

Media people want money, power, and free stuff from prospective employers. Endangered birds of prey do not fit into any of these categories.

Balls & Hooligan can fly south for the winter, and stay there.

Monday, 26 July 2010

bad ads #9

The return of Bad Ads!

It has been away for so long, and now it's back with a bang.

What a corker! Unfortunately, my lazy scanning doesn't show the true horror of what is going on.

In case you can't see exactly what it is (or more likely looked away in horror), the picture depicts an ugly man prepping his arm (complete with rubber tube and vein tapping), for some nice drugs.

Telementry (an online ad serving company) has come up with the rather good idea of promoting their service as 'truth serum'.

Positive images to associate with your company:

Truthful - check
Substance abuse - check
Disease and infection - check
Face meltingly disgraceful furious Scottish addict - check
Non-descript brown bottles - check.

I think this is the best yet.


. . .

I'm getting something through the airwaves.

. . .

A telepathic message. This company is probably going to scare off it's existing clientele by mailing them images of Brazilian slums and drowned kittens. They are now a couple of grand in the hole after placing this monstrosity too!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Drinking at lunch

I'm sure regular readers (who are likely to be members of the media fraternity) will be wondering why it has taken me so long to write a post on lunchtime boozing.

It is a rite of passage, a test of character and an essential skill.
People in other professions will tell you that they couldn't handle it. They would fall asleep and not get any work done. Business and pleasure don't mix.

In terms of networking, taking clients out and getting yourself known, a bit of social lubrication is always needed. This however, is a thinly veiled excuse for why everyone frequents pub in Soho Wednesday to Friday.

Some essential information is below.

Drinking times:
1-3pm (extended lunch)
This can be lengthened on a Friday or depending how on how brave you are.

Best practice:
More than one drink is essential
Avoid Rose wine as it can be extremely dangerous.
Plan your food consumption carefully, food in Soho pubs is usually inedible
Always take a media contact with you for expensing purposes
Switch the Out of Office on if you are going to be back after 3pm.
Leave that suit jacket on the back of your chair.
Switch locations every week to avoid becoming a regular.
Make sure to have some Coffee or other stimulants in the office if you have any real work to do P.M.

Types of lunchtime drinkers:

Worriers - spend the whole lunch hour worrying about work, their boss, and what time they will be back. detract from others' enjoyment.
Re-fuellers - the kind of people who don't work well running on empty. A lunchtime pint can kick start the day and increase productivity.
Sleepers - The mere smell of alcohol sends them into a deep slumber. The rest of their day is likely to be spent wandering around aimlessly, missing deadlines and moaning.
Crazies - Get that maniacal look in there eye once the second drink goes down. You get a sense of days gone by, raving in a warehouse in 1991 for 48 hours. Likely to AWOL.
Don't give a sh*ts - People who have one drink and go off the rails. Likely to give work the heave ho and get on it bigstyle. Known to say things like 'I don't care, I'm King of everything'
Liquid lunchers - Will go for a drink any day of the week, Monday, Tuesday, whatever.
Media Battleaxes - Hardened drinkers who can handle any amount of booze and return to the office a model professions. Practice makes perfect.

Well sorry if the spelling has been a bit wonky. I've only just got back from the pub you see. (Unfortunately this is untrue. I was laughed at for ordering a Blackcurrant and Soda, but managed to claw back some cred as it was a pint - yesss!)

Merry drinking, and a happy weekend.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The management team

I'm 50!

50, in terms of posts! Please congratulate me by way of monetary compensation for your enjoyment of my office based ramblings. If you don't enjoy reading and feel you are owed money back, this is also acceptable. Just let me know why you think the posts suck, and how much you are owed.

Is everyone getting sick of the horrendously corporate pictures I've been using?

Yes? Well you've been very quiet about it. Any abuse is welcome, I've even got buttons for it underneath the posts.

Obviously, the pictures are supposed to be ironic. The very encapsulation of everything that Executives dislike and are fighting against. I would like to make it clear that the use of said horrendous images is certainly not the product of an Executive's lazy searching on Google images.


This monstrosity of a mock US boardroom is supposed to represent the higher level management team in every Executive's office.
Most companies have an international management level, that Executives have little to know knowledge about.

Not only are these management structures incredibly complicated, but junior office bods baulk at even trying to comprehend what goes on up there. Up there in the rareified air of the upper floors of the evil media towers.

Managing Directors
Vice Presidents
Regional presidents
Chief Strategy Officers
Non-Executive Directors

These are all fairly indistinguishable titles of people who spend 60% of their time on a plane going to strategy meetings. In fact, I wonder if business would run smoother if it wasn't international. These bigwigs would be able to answer emails, write reports and do some actual work!

One thing that I have noticed about this slippery lot, is that they like to invent projects. In my workplace, the following secret projects have been created within the last 24 months.

Project Nero
Project 10
Project Clarity
Project Oxygen
Project Inspired
Project Max

Whilst these projects are supposed to be completely secret, I can exclusively reveal that one of the aforementioned projects was created with the sole intention of creating names for other secret projects.

Thinking about it, I could have used a better picture. Like one of a spy creating a secret project, or George Clooney in 'Up in the air' racking up those points on American Airlines. I think a part of me enjoys cringing at the stock business photography. It's reassuring to know that some offices are even more wanky than your own.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Air Con 1

I'm cold, I'm hot, it's freezing, it's boiling.

Different people, different temperatures.

The temperature regulation system is highly divisive in all offices. I know office workers who do not have air con, and cook in the summer. I have also worked in offices where all windows are locked, so as not to disturb the regulated temperature in an office.

Our systems have been set to 22 degrees recently, (but on a summer setting). This sounds positively tropical, but I can assure you the conditions are arctic. 22 degrees is an outright lie, it is more like 15. It doesn't bother me, I'm used to it as our floor has always been this cold. However, there are now 50-100 sqwaking members of other floors who are demanding a raise. A temperature raise!

The problem is that people can walk up and increase or decrease the setting as they see fit. Some people think if you put it on 30 degreees, it will reach 24 quicker. Some people actually believe the control to display the genuine temperature, and some people don't relaise that turning the damn thing off stops any air flow creating a stuffy, still, putrid air.

Basically my point is lock the control, as long as it is consistant it doesn't distract you, and you can freeze or fry in relative peace.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Optimists vs Pessimists


In every office there will be optimists and pessimists. Whichever camp you fall into, the opposite personality will madden you.
Realists are a breed of people who manage to balance the frustrations of work with staying positive, liked and rising to the top of the pile. Needless to say realists are a very rare breed, and if you are reading this, you're either a confused optimists, or a bored pessimist.

How to spot a pessimist:

They never agrees to work instantly. There will be at least one block to the required task being completed
Complains about the management structure / policy to other pessimists, with no intention of raising it formally
Someone who makes you aware exactly how hard they work
Has been in the same role for over two years
Bored of office perks, would prefer to have nothing that something 'nearly good'
Says things like - these sweets are making me feel sick, whilst shovelling them in
Someone stuck in a routine that they profess to 'tolerate'
Complains about office temperature / office music without changing them
Often self deprecating about their contribution to the company
Claims to be waiting on work from 'other people / other teams'

How to spot an optimist:

Has misplaced faith that everything 'will be OK'. The recession doesn't matter yeah?
Says things like 'c'est la vie', or 'oh life', or 'oh well'
Talks about things other than annoying workmates at the pub on a Friday
Finds joy in the minutiae of office life - 'Oooooh new blinds, excellent'
Thought England could win the world cup prior to 07/06
Has too much on their plate as they say yes to work
Gets incredibly excited about freebies or industry events
The last to know about promotions / office politics
Gleefully participates in tea rounds

Remember to be kind and friendly to those around. Love each other, and keep your dark thoughts about culling members of your office to yourself.

You can turn from a Optimist to a Pessimist in the blink of an eye. Staying Realistic is hardest of all. I guess you need a little of all three to be a true PRO

Monday, 5 July 2010

On the dot

Unless you are the busiest person on the planet, you'll know and embrace the term 'Clock Watching'.
All executives are all guilty of it, however well we do our jobs during the day.

The Media industry is run by the clock. YoY figures, Quarterly reports, Friday deadlines, and Monday meetings. We must all start at
9am, take lunch at 1pm and finish at 5:30.

These strict time rules are of course punctuated by:
9:01-9:30 breakfast
11:00-11:20 coffee (from outside source)
2:00-4:30 AWOL period (mandatory for sales reps)
5:00-5:30 clock watching

You may only leave 'on the dot' at 5:30 if you have verbalised throughout the day that you need to do this. 'I have to get out on time today' 'I can't be late I'm meeting someone'. You may only use this once a week or other executives could accuse you of always nipping out early and shirking. If you do not verbalise that you need to leave 'on the dot' you may only leave at 5:35. It's simple manners.

Some additional time based etiquette:
Do not call anyone before 9:30 (especially on Mondays or Fridays)
Set your Out of Office for long meetings
Never leave before an inferior member of the team. Do whatever you have to to stay. Brush teeth, check train times, re-organise desk, archive emails, delete text messages to save memory on your phone.
Remember to congratulate someone for still being there if you call later than 5:45pm.

I have observed many creative clock-watching techniques in my time as an executive. These include:

Starting to slowly pack bag at 5:25
Going for extended toilet break at 5:15
Saying 'Is it 5 o'clock already! Wow the day has gone fast' (covering your tracks).
Making a sandwich at 5:20 as you need energy for the gym / heavy night of drinking.
Scheduling 4:30 meetings and not returning.
Avoiding looking at watches or wall clocks (as you could get caught). Other clocks are available on your office phone or mobile.
Running important errands (greetings cards or postage) before the shops close.

Please feel free to add your personal methods and techniques.

It's time I clocked off.