Friday 22nd April, 10am. Eighth-floor boardroom: Section heads meeting. Spittle begins to fly from Mike’s mouth as our esteemed UK boss gathers stride in what began as rant against this year’s intake of “work-shy, entitled, insolent graduates”, before metastasising into blast against what he calls the “Home Eff Work shenanigans”.
The official GBH line is we are a caring, sharing, mental-health-aware organisation that understands staff might only want to pop in two days a week. “But obviously never on a Friday, especially if it is raining,” he storms.
Indeed. As I travelled up in the glass-fronted lift this morning, all I could see was tumbleweed, with just fifth-floor deal teams at their desks. What tripped Mike’s switch was a ‘Town Hall’ Zoomie with 70 first- and second-year graduates at 9am this morning.
“If you want to get on – get in.” That’s all I said! What did I get back? Whines about ‘work-life balance’ and demands to pay for travel time. Half of them had cameras switched off. “I don’t care if they are under the duvet.”(He does.) “Common courtesy to be seen as well as heard.” Then he turned on us: “Their biggest moan? You lot don’t come in much, so why should we? You lot! Back in here, five days a week from 8am until 6pm. FROM MONDAY.”