JULY 2014 AL S O INS ID E : S u m m er c o c kt a i l s
CLIMBING THE LADDER Making yourself the best route to advance your career
Wat chi ng o ut f o r t i m e pi e ce s
J U LY 2 014 It’s hotting up here at Olé Towers and summer is in full swing. In homage to the glorious weather, we’ve put together an issue aimed at raising the temperature on your career. Check out our article on the best way to take advantage of alternative benefits at work if that big pay rise isn’t forthcoming. Or if you fancy being a bit more proactive in your quest to get more out of your work life, turn to our feature on climbing the career ladder. We also hear from DJ and TV presenter Gemma Cairney for 60 seconds about her favourite nights out, check out some summer cocktails and look at some seriously stylish watches. Long live the summer!
NOTICE BOARD UPDATE Coffee toothpaste and freespending Brits SAY WHAT?! Fashion faux pas
ON THE JOB JOB NEWS The latest career news of choice INCENTIVISE AND THRIVE Making alternative benefits work for you CLIMBING THE LADDER Finding the best route to advance your career 60 SECONDS WITH Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney
LUNCH BREAK BREAKTIME Catch up with the latest reviews and recipes Editor George Carey
OFFICE CATWALK Take your time and treat yourself to a new watch AND ONE MORE THING… Lunchtime politics abound
senior account manager
CELEBRATING 75 YEARS
OF INNOVATION IN OFFICE PRODUCTS
StapLING 1939 Matador
1998 NEW Matador
2015 Optima 40 Compact
1945 Crystalfile® Classic Green
1992 Crystalfile® Extra
2010 Multifile Extra
2007 Mercury Jam Free
2014 Auto Feed Micro Cut
2014 marks Rexel’s 75th anniversary. From its inception, Rexel has been known for design, quality and innovation – from the 56 Range® of stapling products, the introduction of market leading Crystalfile® and Nyrex filing ranges, through to development of the awardwinning Auto Feed shredders.
George Drexler OBE, founder of Rexel
For the last 75 years, Rexel has pioneered the world of office products, and looks forward to continuing to lead the way in the future. One thing is certain - no matter how technology develops, Rexel will be at the forefront; providing the finest, most efficient products to the trade and end users alike. 1939
To find out more please see our interactive leaflet on www.rexeleurope.com
Strong black coffee, it turns out, has the potential to break down bacterial biofilms, an example of which is cavity-causing dental plaque. Research, published in the Society for Applied Microbiology’s (SfAM) Letters in Applied Microbiology journal, describes how an extract of Coffea canephora – a coffee variety mostly grown in Vietnam and Brazil – appears to cause bacteria in tooth-associated biofilms to break down. Lead researcher, Andréa Antonio, from Rio’s Federal University, said: “Dental plaque is a classic complex biofilm and it’s the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease. We are always looking for natural compounds – food and drink, even – that can have a positive impact on dental health.” Using milk teeth, donated to research by children, the team cultivated biofilms on tooth fragments using the bacteria in saliva samples. When the fragments were exposed in solution to an extract of the Vietnamese coffee beans, there were indications that the bacteria had burst open, or lysed. Professor Antonio continued: “We have to be careful to add that there are problems associated with excessive coffee consumption, including staining and the effects of acidity on tooth enamel. And if you take a lot of sugar and cream in your coffee, any positive effects on dental health are probably going to be cancelled out.” Ultimately, there could be a possibility of extracting just the useful chemicals to use, perhaps, in a mouthwash or toothpaste.
KATE NASH WINS BEST GINGER FEMALE MUSICIAN Kate Nash has won Best Ginger Female Musician in the first Music of Ginger Origin (MOGO) Awards. Created for and announced on Redhead Day UK 2014 with votes collected from the public, Kate was joined by Ed Sheeran who won Best Ginger Male Musician, Florence Welch who won Best Honorary ‘Redhead by Choice’ Musician and Dolly Parton won Best Song with Lyrics About Red Hair for ‘Jolene.’ A glass MOGO award with an engraved plaque was created for each winner and all will have a place in the Ginger Hall of Fame. A natural ginger, she said: “I won a MOGO Award! Ginger power!” She has been seen with black locks, and most recently a bright pink do, but adds: “Never forget your roots.” Nash is currently based in America where she has been touring, and has played Coachella, and is looking forward to famed festival Lollapalooza. She is also working on several projects including a Broadway play, new music and looking at new film projects. The multi-talented artist starred in three feature films in 2013. She is a platinum-selling artist and hailed as a global style icon, and is a front row regular at New York and London Fashion Weeks. She’s also a recurring face in glossy magazines and a model for clothing companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Northfoto / Shutterstock.com
COULD COFFEE BE GOOD FOR TEETH?
IN BRIEF UK OVERSPENDING BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO SEEM ‘TIGHT’ New research among 3,000 UK adults from the Money Advice Service has shown that 48% of the nation admits to falling into debt as a result of their social lives. The average ‘social debt’ among this group is £1,260, with 56% of all UK adults saying they usually spend more than they plan to on social occasions. Fear of appearing less-than-generous in front of friends is fuelling much of this debt with 58% worrying about appearing ‘tight’ in front of others, and a third (32%) admitting this contributes to their overspending when out. A lack of self-control is a key reason for ‘social debt’, with 36% simply ‘getting carried away’ and overspending. Social pressures add to this with £341 spent on average a year solely to avoid looking ‘tight’ or ‘stingy’. One in five (20%) have cut back on food due to their social spending, and one in 10 (9%) have not been able to pay utility bills. Many say they get a raw deal when it comes to spending on social occasions, but a fear of looking tight stops them from saying anything. Two-thirds (67%) buy rounds expecting to spend more than they receive back. It seems the fear of social stigma could be well-founded – 35% think people who don’t buy rounds at the pub are ‘stingy’, while over a third (34%) feel they are simply being ‘rude’.
Moo-ve along Armed police were sent to chase a cow through the streets of Sheffield after it escaped from a farm. A firearms team was sent “for public safety” to pursue the cow along with three police cars as the animal became confused and agitated. It is believed to have been one of a number of cattle which escaped from the Animal Farm at Graves Park. No shots were fired and the cow was eventually coaxed into a trailer.
Dress to impress A man whose wife cheated on him with his best friend has put her wedding dress up for sale along with a scathing online advert. The man from Sydney says the dress has “a proven track record of producing an adulterous, deceitful, double-crossing and traitorous ‘soul mate’”. After one day, the ad racked up more than 50,000 visits.
We give you our pick of the top comedy viral videos this month. Click on the text below and enjoy. Tweet us your top videos @olemagazine
Buddy’s baby crawling school
Epic rap battle
Game of thrones impressions
T A H W S AY
A D R E S S Y A F FA I R
S PA C E I N VA D E R
My workplace doesn’t have a dress code, but my boss called me into his office to tell me my shoes were out of fashion and to get new ones. My industry can be very image-focused, but is he allowed to do that? Tim, Northampton
My colleague loves to bitch about other people in the office. While I think what she says is funny, I worry she does the same thing about me behind my back. Do you think she does? Pippa, Manchester
Yes, he can if he’s worried it will affect the business. Don’t take his comments too personally, he has a right to give you advice. At least he took you into his office and told you in private. While he shouldn’t sack you for your appearance, bosses have been known to let people go for less offending reasons, so be glad he didn’t skip the warning and go straight to the firing. Listen to what he says and, if in doubt, choose neutral, classic clothing that will allow you to look the business without looking a mess.
The short answer is yes, but don’t take it personally. She probably gossips to make herself fit in, and will come up with something to say about everybody. The best thing is to ignore it – don’t take part if you can avoid it and if it gets too extreme say something light-hearted like: “Talk like that’s going to get you in trouble”. Studies have shown that people bond in the work environment by talking about other people, so it’s often par the course. Some gossip is harmless, but if you like a chin wag, choose your topics wisely, i.e. if it’s about your boss, don’t go there.
This month’s picture
Last month’s winner: Sasha, Torquay
Nigel did little to hide his reaction to the lack of sugar in his morning coffee
Win £50 worth of M&S vouchers! Email your captions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Play with Navigator and Win 500 iPad miniÂŽ
To participate in the Navigator 2014 promotion you just need to get the code printed on the back of any Navigator ream. Visit www.navigator-paper.com and play for a chance to win one of the 500 Apple iPad miniÂŽ. ďż˝e Navigator 2014 promotion will run from the 1st of July to the 31st of December.
on the job
JOB NEWS TECH AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES THRIVE eative industries The technology and cr th in the next will drive London’s grow professional five years, followed by says the latest and financial services, ess Survey. CBI/KPMG London Busin sinesses said Nearly two thirds of bu nology and these sectors (69% tech professional creative industries; 65% services) are services; 62% financial ic growth. key to London’s econom believe Over half of firms (58%) y Wharf, the that East London (Canar rd) will be vital Royal Docks and Stratfo th, with 44% to the city’s future grow editch and Old also rating the City, Shor growth. Street as key engines of onomy Optimism about the ec ile half of the remains high at 65%, wh timistic about 128 respondents are op n firms over the prospects for their ow next six months.
STRESS AT WORK ON THE RISE The government’s work and wellbe ing agenda is under major threat as a survey shows its flagship ‘Fit Note’ programme is failing to deliver on getting people back to work four years on from its introduction, whilst lon gterm absence rates have increased . The 2014 Sickness Absence survey , published by EEF and Jelf Employee Benefits, shows, that overall levels of absence have reached a record low of 2.1%, equivalent to 4.9 days per employee per year. However, the survey shows long-te rm absence has increased, with almost two fifths of companies saying it has rise n in the last two years. While this reflects, to some extent , the fact that short-term absence is better managed and, therefore, long-term absence occupies a higher proportion of overall levels, the survey highlights an increase in stress and mental health illnesses as a cause of long-term sickness absence.
on the job
CALLS FOR TARGET ON REDUCING PAY GAP The next government should impose a target for reducing the gender pay gap, says the CBI. The business group called for a commitment from the next government to bring the issue sharply into focus, in the same way the Davies review has shone the spotlight on women on boards. Reaching the target would require progress in the areas that impact on equal pay, such as improved careers guidance in schools, an increased understanding of the benefits of flexible working for parents and businesses, and affordable childcare. Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general, said: “Gender should not define what people earn and we need to put equal pay in the spotlight. Too many areas of work – often those with high pay potential – are seen as male-dominated, with women steered away from options that give them better access to higher pay and seniority. “This simply has to change. We must focus on tackling the pay gap by providing the right careers advice in schools and boosting support in the workplace for career development. A future government should ensure an overall target for the reduction of the gender pay gap."
COMPANIES’ PENSION PROMISES FTSE350 companies’ ability to support their defined benefit (DB) pension obligations has dramatically improved and is close to reaching pre-recession levels, according to PwC analysis. PwC’s Pensions Support Index (PSI), which tracks the overall level of support provided to DB schemes of these companies, shows that the economic recovery is making pension schemes more manageable. The Index has improved by seven points over the second half of 2013 to a score of 83 out of a possible 100. This is the largest positive six-month improvement in the Index since December 2009 and is only five points away from the pre-recession Index high of 88 in June 2007. The fall in pension deficits can be attributed to an improvement in company performance and a sharp rise in gilt yields in the second half of 2013 (10-year UK gilts improved from 1.4% in July 2012 to 3% by the end of December 2013).
S TAT AT TA C K
Average number of sick days per year that UK employees take
on the job
INCENTIVISE AND THRIVE Not getting the monetary recognition you deserve? GEORGE CAREY looks at other ways to reap the benefit at work
on the job
t’s easy to feel that work is a thankless task but there are ways to make your work life more appealing, without an extra nought on the pay cheque. It’s worth noting that some employers use benefits as a way of topping up the salary to attract talented staff when they are first hiring them, so they are able to keep their basic pay within a certain salary band. For all those interested in getting more bang for your working buck, we bring you a list of alternative office perks that may not cost your company much, but will do wonders for staff morale. PENSIONS While retirement may seem like a long way off for younger workers, pensions are an important benefit to help you plan for the future. Make sure your company offers you a tax break on contributions. According to Totaljobscom, final salary pensions used to be popular, but now stakeholder, group personal pensions and money purchase schemes are more usual. Most companies will offer employees an advisory service to discuss your options in more detail. SHARES IN THE BUSINESS Offering employees shares in the business is a good benefit, without having to shell out money up front through salaries. This is well-suited to start-up businesses with potential that are unable to pay their staff what they would want to – so employees are investing in the company’s future success and motivated to help improve the performance of the business. It’s worth bearing in mind that your company may ask you to stay in your job for a certain amount of time to qualify. HEALTH BENEFITS Health-related benefits include anything from private medical insurance to a gym membership or advice on health issues related to work. If you’re shelling out for an expensive gym membership, or would like the security of health cover outside the NHS, it may well be worth asking for this. TRANSPORT PERKS Some jobs, particularly those that are based in the field, still offer a company car, usually as a cash allowance to lease, purchase or hire a vehicle. Other transport-related benefits include a company paying for your travel to work, particularly if you have been recruited for a specialist role
and have a long commute, or a zero-interest loan to buy an annual travel card. CHILDCARE For staff with children, some companies can offer help with childcare in the shape of an onsite crèche for larger corporations or vouchers to use towards a nursery. If you have children and you haven’t had the conversation about assistance, it’s worth asking as the tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) rules for employersupported childcare changed recently to include exemptions to encourage more employers, including those who have never done so before, to help their employees with their childcare responsibilities. WORK SOCIALS If you feel you and your colleagues are overdue for some company bonding, you may want to ask your employer if they would be willing to sponsor or part-pay for an employee outing, even if it’s the occasional drink on a Friday after work. Before you approach your employers, it might be a good idea to ask around to find out what kind of things they would be interested in. FLEXI-TIME Longer lunch breaks later starts, or earlier finishes are perks some companies may well be willing to negotiate with their employees. Of course, it depends largely on what kind of business you work in, and you may want to speak to your work mates first to find out whether it’s something your bosses would consider. TRAINING Career-driven individuals who see their current post as merely a step on the ladder should consider asking their company to sponsor or help pay for training that would help them take that next step – whether it’s a degree or qualification. It may mean having to work for the company for a set period of time before moving on, however. POOCH POWER Lastly, according to a survey by Maris Interiors, most employees (85%) who have dogs would like to be able to bring them to work, 38% of whom admitted they would consider changing jobs if it meant they were able to bring their dog in, while 16% of dog-owners surveyed would give up one weeks, holiday in order to have their pooch in the office, and 14% would even take a pay cut.
on the job
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Working hard but not seeing the return? GEORGE CAREY brings you some good advice to put you in line for that next promotion
on the job
ow good are you at your job? Perfect? If that’s the case, you probably don’t need this article to tell you how to be better at your own job, but even those who deliver what’s expected of them with the greatest of ease wouldn’t say no to a promotion or more money. There are a few things you can do in your existing workplace to better your own experience. Employees often pride themselves on having the technical skills to get their job done. These are the skills on their CV that got them through the door, but there are others with similar CVs who may well be able to demonstrate comparative skills. So how do you set yourself apart? It’s all about what you do and who you know. WORK FOR THAT PROMOTION Promotions are rarely handed to you on a plate, so don’t expect to be recognised for doing the job you’re getting paid to do. The way to get noticed is when you do that little bit more than what is expected of you. “There is a saying in business that the way to create strong, long−lasting business relationships either with clients or partners is to always deliver more value than is expected. This same principle applies to your job,” explains Frederic Premji of iNeedMotivation. It’s the little things at work that will make the difference: volunteer yourself for projects and become a ‘yes’ person, brimming with positivity. People will notice quickly – and that will make all the difference. Along the same vein, socialise with the movers and shakers in your workplace and stay away from the negative people that will hold you back. THE NETWORK EFFECT If you’re already working hard at your job, feel overdue and overlooked for a promotion, you may wish to consider networking as a fast-track way to a better job. Research by the University of Virginia in the US shows that active networkers have more positive performance evaluations, faster promotions, higher compensation and form more successful teams while at work. “One of the things that we often say about
networking is that it certainly doesn’t replace talent, but it does make sure that your talent gets noticed,” agrees Tony Newton, co-author of The Network Effect. “There’s plenty of evidence that what people really want most from a job is not just pay, but recognition and thanks for a job well done.” But if it ain’t broke, why fix it? If you’re already doing an excellent job in your current role, your manager might be hesitant to move you onwards, thus creating a gap that needs filling. This is where speaking to other people in your company can deliver in spades. “Active and effective networking can ensure that others, elsewhere in the organisation are aware of your talents and give you somewhere to go if your line manager appears blind to your abilities,” recommends Newton. Forming a network of colleagues and contacts can act as your eyes and ears for that next job opportunity. “There’s some nice academic research which makes the point that, from a networking standpoint, the really important people are not your best friends, but the people on the periphery of your network who can bring opportunities to your attention that you’d otherwise never have heard about,” explains Newton. “And telling people what you’re trying to achieve in the job search or promotion stakes is crucial – otherwise, they just don’t know how to help you.” ASK FOR FEEDBACK It’s never a bad idea to request feedback if you’ve been working really hard to improve your work output. Schedule meetings with your bosses to discuss your improvements on a regular basis, then when you’re ready to ask them for a pay rise, it won’t seem like it’s coming out of the blue – and they’ll already have their eye on you. If you’re concerned that regular assessments of your work could make room for criticisms, remember you’re the one requesting them so the power is with you. “If you do your work appropriately, you have nothing to worry about, and you can dictate the pace of the conversation,” reassures Premji. “Remember, companies need valuable employees, so the ball is in your court if you play your cards right.”
on the job
6 0 S ECONDS WITH…
GEMMA CAIRNEY The Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter tells us about her party priorities Gemma Cairney is undisputedly a party girl. The Radio 1 DJ, TV presenter and women’s rights activist is so used to being the heart and soul of the party - be that on her early morning radio show, in the weirdest corners of Glastonbury or among her own friends - that she has decided to take the revelry on the road up and down the country.
What’s your favoruite thing about a night out?
At the end of the day, getting together with your best friends is the best thing to do in life. It’s always when you are most comfortable. One of the best traditional things about a girl’s night out is the getting ready together. It doesn’t really matter what you do afterwards, everybody loves getting ready together and catching up and setting the tone. In terms of the rest, obviously different girls will like doing different things, it could be disco dancing the night away, it could be going for a big dinner, it could be staying in and having a party. But that bit before, that getting ready bit is kind of always the same, and if you’re with your mates it’s so much fun.
What is it you love so much about organising parties?
I am obsessed! I am so bad, I am so busy. I’ve just got up, I’ve got 35 emails to go through, but if somebody said to me now: ‘it’s my birthday tonight and I haven’t organised anything’ I’d be straight on it! I don’t know, maybe I’m a control freak! I just love people having fun. I like doing things especially for people with certain personalities that they would like. I like the whole shebang, the glitz, the spangle, the dancing and sourcing venues in different places, finding interesting ways to get everyone together, introducing people - I just think at heart I’m such a host.
How are you coping with the 4.30am starts on Radio 1?
It’s a bit nuts, and it feels like a roller-coaster. Sometimes you have loads of energy and you get loads done by 10am, and other days you just drop and sleep on the train. But it’s loads of fun when you get there, among fun people. People astound me, working all sorts of hours through the night on their own. So it’s really inspiring. Gemma Cairney is the curator of this year’s Tia Maria Dark Room. For further details head to www.facebook.com/tiamariadrink.
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BREAKTIME desktop dining WEST END W AT C H
PA R M I G I A N O R E G G I A N O PICNIC RISOTTO BALLS MAKES 15-20 BALLS
G R E AT B R I TA I N
Parmigiano Reggiano Picnic Risotto Balls
The opening of this new show, starring Billie Piper, has been delayed by the huge phone hacking trial as there are more than a few similarities involved in the case and the plot. Great Britain is a satire on the press, police and the political establishment with Piper, returning to the stage after her triumphant performance in The Effect, playing Paige Britain, a young, ambitious news editor of a tabloid newspaper. It promises to be a wonderfully salacious affair…
INGREDIENTS 1 medium red onion, finely chopped, 1 large clove garlic, crushed, 2 tbsp olive oil,25g butter, 75g shitake mushrooms, chopped, 75g chestnut mushrooms, chopped, 150g Arborio risotto rice, 150ml white wine, ½ pint vegetable stock, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 75g grated Parmigano Reggiano cheese, 1 tbsp crème fraîche, 100g dry breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, beaten, salt and black pepper
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
• Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter. Cook the mushrooms for a minute, then add the rice, stirring until translucent, and add the wine • Once the wine has reduced add the stock, a ladle at a time until the risotto rice is tender. • Once the rice is cooked, add the lemon zest, 50g grated Parmigano Reggiano and crème fraîche. • Mould the risotto into golf-sized balls. • Mix together the breadcrumbs and 25g grated Parmigano Reggiano cheese with plenty of black pepper. • Dip each ball into beaten egg and then into breadcrumbs before carefully lowering into hot oil to deep frying for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lemon and crème fraîche.
T R E AT Y O U R S E L F WATCH THIS
LISTEN TO THIS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to 2011’s Rupert Wyatt-directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, continues the story of how ultraintelligent simian Caesar presides over the fall of human civilisation. Led by Caesar, the growing nation of genetically evolved apes is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves shortlived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Out now
Morrissey World Peace Is None of Your Business is the tenth solo studio album from the former Smith’s frontman and is produced by Joe Chiccarelli. The lead single off the album, World Peace Is None of Your Business, was released on 13 May alongside an accompanying music video featuring Morrissey performing the song in spoken word. Other song titles include Neal Cassady Drops Dead, Earth Is the Loneliest Planet, Smiler with a Knife, Kick the Bride Down the Aisle, and The Bullfighter Dies – it’s evident that the singer hasn’t lost his humour. This is a must buy album for any Morrissey fan. Out now
POWER HOUSE Interval pilates High intensity Interval pilates (HIIP) is guaranteed to make you sweat and improve your fitness in no time at all. The new HIIP class will consist of exercises both on and off the Reformer Pilates machine and will boost your fitness, strength and stamina while also burning fat. Classes last for 55 minutes and will cater for all levels of fitness. Instructors provide attendees with a challenging workout to a fast-paced soundtrack while ensuring exercises are performed properly and motivation is high.
BOOK THIS BILBAO BERRIA
HHHHH What is it? Australian-born Ash Mair won BBC2’s MasterChef: The Professionals in 2011, then went on to work with the restaurant Bilbao Berria in Barcelona and write a well-regarded cookbook, My Basque Cuisine. Now, he’s heading up Bilbao Berria’s London flagship restaurant. 2 Lower Regent Street London
LOVES Now that the glorious British summer is here to stay for at the least the next… two weeks, what better time to enjoy a cocktail. Have you tried all of these?
W AT E R M E L O N M A R G A R I TA
This easy-to-make margarita features fresh watermelon muddled with Mexican agave syrup, a natural sweetener derived from the cactus.
This summery, rum-based blended drink is beautifully simple to make. Lime juice and a fresh fruit garnish complement the sweetness of the pineapple juice and spiced rum.
Named after the hurricane-lampshaped glass in which it’s served, this cocktail became popular in New Orleans in the 1940s. Combining light and dark rum, passion fruit and orange juice, this is a summer classic.
CUERVO ESPECIAL OASIS
Enhanced with triple sec and a blend of juices, this easy tequila cocktail is a welcome treat on a hot, sunny day. A mix of cranberry and orange juices is the secret to its pretty sunset colour.
Fruit flavours generally mix well if they’re from the same botanical family. This cool and light summer cocktail works because cucumber and melon both belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.
O F F I C E C AT W A L K Take your time this summer and treat yourself to a new watch. Not only will it look great, you can use it to get yourself a nice big watch mark to show off your tan
WOMEN 1 Karen Millen, Snake effect watch, £85
4 Oasis, Blue and gold watch, £40
1 Links of London, Richmond, £450
2 French Connection, LBW, £75
5 Foli Follie, Watchalicious watch, £205
2 Superdry, Battalion steel watch, £99.99
3 Rotary, Croc effect strap watch, £139
3 M&S, orange strap watch, £25
AND ONE MORE THING ...
THE LAST SUPPER Office manager Steven Gregory laments the political dangers of dining in the office environment
STEVEN GREGORY Office manager
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There is one branch of office life that doesn’t often get a mention but can be the difference between a tear-soaked, soggy Ginsters alone in a car park and a delicious treat from the local eatery with friends. It is of course ‘lunchtime politics’. The peculiar everyday ritual where allies are made and enemies established and plotted againstwelcome to the hurly burly world that exists between 12 and 2. When you start in a company you are usually given a free pass to go to lunch with the main crowd, a welcoming hand of friendship this is not: this is your audition – get this wrong and it’s you that will be left in the office on those rare and beautiful summer days to answer the phones whilst everyone else is enjoying a sun-kissed lunchtime knees up at the pub. This is your colleague’s first chance to see how you act outside the office arena; to see how you cope with a blob of coleslaw dropping on to your best new office outfit; to see whether you fit in. This is almost as important as being able to make a decent cup of tea; careers have been won and lost in the beautiful piece of theatre that is lunchtime. A lot of it, as with so many things in life, comes down to timing – are you out the door at 12 on the dot to feed the ravenous beast languishing in your lower intestine or do you wait till later to try and take the pressure off that long afternoon stint, and prevent any suicide attempts at ten to three? It’s a tricky business negotiating lunchtime’s perilous waters and certainly not for the faint hearted. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of it, there are other questions to be answered: do you bring your own? This opens up a deadly culinary fashion parade, where only the owners of a celebrity chef’s fancy pants manual will be able to repel the onslaught of humus with red pepper and butternut squash a thousand ways. I think I’ll just stick to the Ginsters…
Does this look familiar?
Lost and broken tapes. Poor quality sound. Backlogs.
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Go to olemagazine.co.uk for must-read office and career advice, along with ideas for your lunch, competitions and funny stuff to make your nine-to-five go by quicker.
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