First thing is I like color yellow – green string makes its first loop around the thumb. Second thing would be that my lucky number is 13 – second loop. I live in London for 4 years. I like cats. That’s what I should have said, she thinks. That would be simple, questions answered without giving them anything, straight thick line separating working life from private life. Or something like I live in London for 4 years. My first job here was pole dancing in one of the Shoreditch strip clubs. My hobby is riding my crotch rocket. I’m addicted to the psychoactive drugs. Controversial and obviously a lie. Message would stay the same.

Instead she told them some rubbish, something obvious, something lovely, I like cats and this sort of stuff. Everybody had green strings – the longer string you got, the more loops you could make around your finger, the more you had to reveal. Other people talked about getting married in two weeks time, having 4 y.o. lovely boy, or 7 sisters and only one brother, things causing awwwwws or laughter, things that make you likeable and popular on every company induction, interview or assessment centres.

Boring meeting she just attended was an induction of a new company that from now will be cooperating with her present company. So… They are great company to work for, they have awards, they offer trainings, perspectives, they like to give their customers great Experience, their staff are their biggest asset, because¬† you can copy good ideas, you can’t copy people. Promises, promises, promises… Time will tell. I remember – she thought – current company on their induction, also showed us a great vision – working together to deliver the highest standard, listening to their people because they are the ones who know what’s best.

It turned out that team work doesn’t exist – and it’s not even team’s fault. Work is organized so badly, you have no chance to help your colleagues, you have to keep moving on with your own job. Otherwise it will be either waiting for you later, when you won’t have enough time left to finish it or you will have to leave it for another person to finish. And what sort of customer service are we talking about if a staff member keeps jerking from coffee machine to the till strategically placed 10 meters away, trying to restock the drinks in the fridge in a meantime? Or another employee up to her elbows in a sink with dirty dishes, sweating, with clothes not always clean – normal in such job – is called to another till? She has to there and be cheerful because smile costs you nothing as one of the top managers, Frank, once said on the meeting. It does cost the whole energy I have left after working 8 hours a day, 5, sometimes 6 or even 8 days straight, because that’s how they make rota, treating people like slaves. The other comparisons I heard was prisoners, soldiers in the army or concentration camp’s prisoners.

How about listening to people? Any inquiries, suggestions, polite requests meet the wall. Don’t answer back or I’m a manager, you are catering assistant, I talk, you listen – are two the most common responses.

Talk is cheap. Time will tell.


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