Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dealing with English people at work

What I find intriguing about working and dealing with Londoners, well English people really, as generally Londoners are young foreign ourselves...

1. The love their tea...and I mean love it. There is one person here who has a kettle at their desk!! Really. Plus it needs to be hot, and very hot. Its not enough to use the Zip hot water machine....noooo one must use said hot water put into a kettle and boiled yet again. To get it hotter - seriously water gets to 100 degrees and that's it - but they don't seem to get this.

2. Still on the tea thing, they love to get each other cups of tea. BUT beware you must return this favour if asked, which is hard when you only have one or two cups a day, as there becomes no opportunity to return this favour. If you don't do this you become black banned and no one asks you anymore no matter how many times you offer if to them from then on after. I didn't work out the timing on my being banned but I believe it was a couple of months.

3. No one takes responsibility for anything, no one wants to do anything and they then they still complain about what they do actually do - nuf said on this. (But I will add that this is because I am exhausted from being on the phone to customs where I spoke to 5 people in 5 different offices before someone could help me with a package that I had coming over and note I added up the phone call time and it was nearing on 3 hours in total!!!)

4. They whinge a lot, but never to whom it actually matters. I.e. you ask one person to do something they don't like or something they don't like is happening and they complain no end to someone else. Not to me, not to the person whom they have the problem with - but to anyone else who will listen.

We have a perfect example of how this is the case. Mark had the sardine issue with his 8.30am train, ok so they replied and said not enough carriage ra ra etc etc. Then the next week and since then the 8.35 train (the longer train) has been coming at 8.30am so that he no longer has the issue of being a sardine on the train and everyone who previously squished up can now get on.

So if you complain to the right people (i.e. not the neighbours, cat or your uncle) things actually get done. This is proof, so we just need to announce this to all the people who whine about the tube now.

My newest tactic when I get an earful of a complaint is to say "did you complain to whomever (the person, government office etc) in question" - if I get a negative response, well I go "well no wonder nothing happens". The general response to this is "oh it won't matter if I do" - but they never try so how do they know!!!

5. They hate change.

6. They won't recycle - office recycling is retarded here, I just don't bother because; no one double sides anything, all the printers are colour, the paper is the glossiest ever, and they think nothing of printing a report that is a ream long only to find an error and do it again.

I have already refused to provide our client with a hardcopy of a report because it was 500 pages long, and they were not happy about this even when I gave them the file electronically. The office kitchens for recycling, well don't get me on that. Plastic cups, plastic spoons, sugar in sachets...... need I say more. The greening the office team from Santos would be staging riots and picketing in the hallways I tell you.

7. No one wants to work long hours, they are in at 9.30am if your lucky and well out the door by 5pm - I was writing this at 6pm and the office was empty, even some contractors I have won't work longer hours and they get paid by the hour!!

8. They hold grudges and play silly games - one guy from our client cannot get us a report we need because his boss won't talk to him. This guy is a pain but and I refuse to deal with him because he is verbally abusive - he is leaving so I am relieved.

9. People love to talk about doing things.....but don't actually do things.

10. And finally....since I am running out of things to that my favourite people in the office are the Aussies, there are 4 of us and we get things done god damn it!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With all those faults it makes you wonder how the poms managed to colonize most of the world,win most of their battles including a World War!