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City GirlEvery year is the same. Come July, a frenzy ensues to secure funding for whatever training course can be thinly veiled as being aligned to meeting the requirements of the business. Everybody in the office suddenly has a desire to jump on the training course bandwagon and whip out their begging bowl for course fees to be paid for by the company.

I’ve been inundated with offers. First in the queue was an eager office junior with dreams to be a master in business administration.

I admit I felt her request was a little premature at this stage of her career. However, I chose to support her.

In the good old days, I would have authorised this myself straight away. But nowadays, the process is a bureaucratic quagmire of hoops to jump through.

The first port of call was the HR manager. It was a breeze considering the little chat she had with me last week about my apparently frivolous overspending. My crime, she told me, was buying my team a box of doughnuts after an arduous day. She pointed out that my indulgence could be construed as favouritism and likely to induce resentment from other staff with non-doughnut-buying managers.

My boss, however, had other thoughts regarding Office Junior’s aspirations.

“Who does she think she is?” came the snarling response after I’d dared to interrupt her online dating addiction which I fear will land her in the Priory.

After wading through other numerous variations on securities and futures, people management and the odd executive coaching request, I paused on an interesting case.

A woman in my team I suspected might be hankering for pastures new in the countryside wanted to seek out her inner Zen state and indulge in a lunchtime knitting meeting with me.

When questioned on how this would benefit the company, Zen Woman enlightened me to the networking opportunities and how it would also help her combat the stresses of the commute, thus making life at the workplace easier.

Thinking I might join her, I accepted her application. But it came as no surprise when my boss blocked the request, instructing me to inform Zen Woman that “we’re not a hippy commune”. On challenging­ my boss to explain what she meant, she retaliated by telling me that we couldn’t afford to carry anybody.

Pondering this thought, I walked away puzzled to know how she’d managed to cling on to the cash cow for so long.

Friday 27th July, 2007 posted by City Girl
Guest_KT says: Hi City Girl, I belong to a lunchtime knitting club and its a good laugh, you should come along. Shame about the doughnuts, your HR manager sounds just like mine....mean!
Monday 30 July 2007 10:39



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