|Football Baron, Anthony Adekojo Williams|
every company and place of work there will be social protocols. Know them and use them. They might be quite simple:
never take partners to the staff do
always turn up for the staff meetings on
your days off
never park in a certain couple of spaces even though they aren’t marked because
they are unofficially reserved for the MD’s partner and kids
always give a fiver to the leaving envelopes that go round but only a couple of
quid for the birthdays
never take the jam doughnut with the
coffee because that’s Sylvia’s – always has been, always
always refer to the MD as Charles to his face but as Charlie
to the rest of the staff, but as Sir Charles to his PA
is OK to order wine with lunch but beer really is frowned on.
may never know where some of these unwritten rules come from – Charles
once got soundly thumped by a beer drinking employee, hence no beer at lunch; Charles
was once embarrassed by the wife of a junior manager who made a not completely
unsuccessful pass at him at a staff do, hence no partners.
course, these social protocols may be obvious – Sylvia likes the jam doughnuts and she has both the
clout and juice to get her own way – the important thing is to identify them,
file them away if you like but by golly you’d better know them if you don’t
want to make any terrible social gaffes.
once worked for a company where it was considered taboo to drink during a
working day in any way. You couldn’t even have a beer at lunch. Alcohol was a
big no, no and I couldn’t find out why.
I was happy to go along with this, as I am no drinker, but it puzzled
me. I eventually found out that the
company had had a finance manager who had spent every afternoon having forty
winks in his office – sleeping it off.
In fact he wasn’t. He did drink a
lot every lunchtime, but the afternoons were spent carefully siphoning off
funds to his own accounts. He was eventually caught and dismissed, but after
that ‘no drinking’ was the rule—and no closed office doors.
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “Knowing the rules about the authority” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)