User namePassword 

 Print this Issue Home  •  Archive  •  About Us  •  Contact  •  Advertise  •  Merchandise Subscribe  •  Free Trial
Victoria Mole
21 December, 2009  
Going public

Ms Mole goes on secondment from The Firm to The Department, where the absence of time recording makes up for the poor quality stationery … Plus there’s a retro vibe

imageWhy hello strangers …

Apologies for the radio silence.

I’ve spent the last month on secondment to the public service where the internet connection is so miserable that it takes me until lunchtime each day just to check my horoscope.

As for operational access to external email servers? You’re dreamin’.

Take note Big Corporate. Shyte infrastructure may be that little something-something you’ve been after to boost staff productivity, now that no one even clicks on the apocalyptic emails from the CEO threatening redundancies.

If the web isn’t worth surfing, the pens not worth stealing and the coffee undrinkable, what’s a junior lawyer to do but work?

Difficulties ascertaining my astrological destiny aside, it’s been a fun old month.

I’m walled up in a tatty brown 1960s office block with spitball ceilings straight out of Life on Mars (although this doesn’t mean you can smoke in the office – I did clarify this in orientation).

There’s even a nice selection of side-burned eye candy to add to the retro vibe.

When I’m not checking out the wildlife and swearing at the pens, I’m meant to be processing a backlog of licensing applications.

I’m working at a gentle yet thorough pace. The longer it takes for me to work through the pile, the longer I get to stay here, getting paid a corporate wage (albeit frozen) to wear flat shoes, go home at five and not have to time-record.

What’s more, I don’t have to follow the Firm’s stupid new policy that mandates employees to take leave for the first two weeks of January, wasting half their leave entitlements at a time when only the nobility can afford to travel.

I’ll come back on the 4th, thank you very much, and continue to ponder my pile over an iced Nescafe.

I’ve become quite the instant coffee Masterchef since arriving in the Department.

My first not-in-Kansas moment came when I walked in on a tearoom conversation about the optimal combination of Milo and Nescafe to hide the taste of the latter.

“Miloffee” is the technical term for such a creation, I quickly learnt, and a considerable spectrum of flavour can be achieved through the various permutations of ingredients.

The glamour goes up a notch for the Christmas functions – bring a bottle down to the Yarra and watch the accounts staff Macarena; pay-your-own dumplings followed by happy hour jugs; or just a cuppa and a bit of festively decorated “sloice” made by one of the secretaries.

It’s just about having a laugh, rather than a parade of saccharine networking events to guilt more work out of over-milked clients in the name of baby Jesus.

There’s got to be at least another few weeks work left in that pile…

Tidings of comfort and joy to you alls



Reader Comments

Posted by: Anonymous
Date: December 23, 2009, 7:06 pm

Not to mention the sartorially challenged colleagues who spend 15 minutes per hour outside fagging, and the remaining 45 expounding what's not in their duty statement; the so called "para legals" who won't take shorthand or type correspondence; and the "managers" who couldn't organise sexual intercourse in a house of ill repute with a gob full of $100 notes, and who speak in a strange new language involving "going forward in that space".