Yesterday I spent a day in my actual UK office, the thought of sorting through the years of junk that we had accumulated in stores (which was the primary task of the day) did not fill me with much excitement to be honest. But it did turn out to be more fun than I anticipated – to the point of laughter when you’re doubled over and tears are streaming down your face. Sadly I was on a conference call with some colleagues in America at the time, which did not do a great deal for projecting my image of a respectable professional person.
My colleague and I set about clearing through the marketing stuff that we had been accumulating over the last decade. Then word got out that we were giving some of this old outdated stuff away. First it filtered into finance, you can always count on a bean counter to come round to try and scavenge something for nothing. That was before the email went out explaining that that people could come and help themselves to the likes of company branded photo frames, years old mouse mats, and some exhibition storage containers. From this point on, within an hour the pile was reduced to just a whole lot of mouse mats that no one wanted. There I was getting in a tizzy about the waste and this lot of scavengers had done us proud.
So that was that, I could resume with some other work, like trying to get one of the printers installed on my laptop. This is where my big mouth started to get me in trouble. All this clear out had a proper motivation, which was a bit of an office re-shuffle. Where some people were moving to was under debate and the rumor mill was kicking in strong. I did not help the matters by declaring to IT as I went to them with my printer install problems, that I heard they were moving desks. Moving desks is quite a big thing for someone who works five days a week in the office – you spend a hell of a lot of time at work at your desk. A gobby dirty minded shopaholic (a lovely one at that) might not be your ideal desk neighbor – but this is about to change for some. IT were a little surprised by this statement and declared they’d heard nothing of this change. I went back to my colleagues who had told me this, and apparently they weren’t supposed to know yet…ooppps! Big gob Betty goes again.
I consequently went back to IT to collect my laptop (after having a chat with my knitting friend on the way) and
begged asked them to at least wait until I was half way home before going to senior management and telling that what they’d heard and who they’d heard it from.
Realizing the time, that I was late for a conference call with a few of my colleagues in America, I dashed back to my desk to dial-in. I slapped on my headset and then the fun began. My marketing colleague sitting next to me happened to return to his desk to resume the desk move chat, just as I slapped on my headset in a rush – which I admit did look rather rude. The problem is, my headset is not a subtle small set of earphones with a microphone, it altogether much chunkier and admittedly does look quite pricey (it wasn’t, I don’t get a special office stationary budget – erm have you seen my brick of a laptop that rocks when I type?).
Anyway, he and the queen of dirty minded jokes took this opportunity to take fun of me, joking that I looked like an air traffic controller landing the planes, or a DJ rockin on my decks. All this, I might add, was as I joined the conference call. This was too much for giddily ol me; I was doubled over in hysterics, trying to contain myself during the meeting that I had turned up nearly an hour late for.
To top off of the conference call, IT then came in to resume the office move discussion and share the bomb shell that I had reported to them earlier. All while I sat hunched over my laptop waiting for the ground to swallow me up as I streamed tears over my keyboard.
So lessons learned:
1) Keep your BIG mouth shut no matter how trivial the story may seem
2) Avoid conference calls while in the office – the joking and giggling while I’m trying to professional is more than I can keep contained.
Put the embarrassment aside for the day, I had the best belly laugh I’ve had in ages.