The day my boss threatened me

After accidentally insulting a well-connected woman at a networking event, I had to face my boss's wrath -- "Oh, look, it's the male Carrie Bradshaw. Good morning." Jess was sitting at her desk, fiddling with her phone. "Why do I tell you anything, Jessica? Honestly." I threw my man-bag down. "How are you, good weekend … Continue reading The day my boss threatened me

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I tried to reinvent myself in the office

I walked into the office on a sunny Monday morning. It had been just over a week since my networking meltdown and - as I was yet to reap the whirlwind - I began to relax. As usual Jess was in before me. Unintentionally slamming my faux-leather satchel down, I greeted her with a salute. … Continue reading I tried to reinvent myself in the office

Gender pay gap reporting: HR’s perennial obsession

In the U.K. organisations over a certain size have to report on their 'gender pay gap'. Leaving the veracity of it all aside for now, I have to say I am fed up with the way 'gender equality' (in general) is handled by HR departments. I left the following comment on the linked article below. … Continue reading Gender pay gap reporting: HR’s perennial obsession

Why we fire people

I run the HR team in a corporate office. Today one of my people, Esme, said she stopped a manager from arbitrarily firing someone. "But he can't do his job," the manager said. "He's been here two weeks," Esme said. "And you haven't actually spoken to him about your concerns." The manager shrugged. "But he's … Continue reading Why we fire people

I ridiculed myself at a networking event

This is the story of how I was forced to 'network'. And how it nearly ruined my career. --- Rita, the HR director, summoned us to the grey inferno that was her office. She was a tall, skeletal brunette with razor blue eyes. After some cursory chat about our still-broken air conditioning she commanded my … Continue reading I ridiculed myself at a networking event

Why we need to stop eating at our desks

This whole eating at the desk thing is getting out of hand. I always think this when I see my colleagues out in the 'open plan' munching away at multi-course meals: Henry VIII style feasts - or they would be if Henry VIII ate porridge, cabbage and rice. And if he were a woman. Wait, … Continue reading Why we need to stop eating at our desks

The tyranny of the Christmas jumper

My colleague Jess bounced into my office. I had recently been promoted and had just moved into my own space. The fittings were new but functional. To offset the bland, corporate decor I put up a vintage map of the world: "my domain" according to Jess. It will be, I assured her. As it turns … Continue reading The tyranny of the Christmas jumper

The terror of office work

"I need to get away," I said. "I think of myself working in an office for the next thirty years and it just fills me with horror." "Oh god," my colleague Jess said. "Not this again." We were in the Costa across the road from work. It was a Monday morning - very often the … Continue reading The terror of office work

My hellish date with a coworker

After asking out my colleague Charlotte we go on a date. --- We met up on a wet afternoon. It was strange seeing Charlotte in her casual array, she had dispensed with her pencil skirt and heels and gone for a many layered floral outfit. It wasn’t easy to see where the skirt ended and the … Continue reading My hellish date with a coworker

The day I asked out a work colleague

My work-friend, Jess, has just tried to set me up with our colleague, Charlotte. --- Jess had done the heavy lifting with Charlotte, all that was left was for me to ask her out. I should have been overjoyed but I was concerned – rejection would mean a black mark against my name. I turned … Continue reading The day I asked out a work colleague