This was my day yesterday. I wish I was kidding.
- 8 am: Meeting with my assistants, daily tasks are allocated. “Let’s get shit done today! Come on guys, it’s Friday! If we plan our day and finish this project we can all leave by 3pm.”
- 8:30 am: My assistants disappear to make themselves some breakfast.
- 9 am: Colleagues arrive in the office.
- 9:30 am: Assistants emerge from the breakfast room.
- 10 am: Meeting with a client that frankly, should have been an email.
- 11 am: Quick check on my assistants. One is doodling a caricature of my boss on his colour-coded to-do list but not doing any actual work. The other is nowhere to be seen.
- 11:01 am: Assistant is quickly berated and put to work.
- 11:45 am: Wayward assistant got locked in the bathroom and didn’t think about using his mobile phone to call for help until 45 minutes later. He is rescued by the janitor much to everyone’s amusement.
- 1 pm: I decide to grab a quick sandwich at my desk while I crack on with my project so that I can leave at a reasonable time.
- 1:01 pm: Everyone in the office goes off for a three-course 90 minutes lunch. I get peace and quiet until 2:30 and make lots of progress.
- 2:30 pm: Colleagues return from lunch. One of them starts freaking out about a report that he needs to write for Head Office in English. He can’t speak English.
- 2:31 pm: Non English speaking colleague goes crying to our boss.
- 2:32 pm: Boss unceremoniously dumps said report on my desk and asks me to translate it into English before the end of the day *
- 3 pm: Yet another meeting that should have been an email.
- 3:30 pm: Boss announces that he’s done and leaves for the day.
- 3:45 pm: Non English speaking colleague announces that he’s also leaving for the day.
- 3:46 pm: “Please tell me you are fucking kidding. Oh you are not? Great, you can help with my project while I translate your shitty report.”
- 3:47 pm: Non English speaking colleague sheepishly sits back at his desk.
- 5:30 pm: I email my colleague a list of Spanish to English translators, my boss is CCed in.
- 5:31 pm: Shitty report is fully translated. Non English speaking colleague feels bad and offers to buy me a drink.
- 6:30 pm: This is one of the best mojitos I’ve ever had.
- 7:15 pm: “Why yes thank you, since you are buying I’ll have another one.”
* Very few people in my office are English speakers and, while I don’t mind helping people out with the odd couple of hundred words, translating is not what I do. I have other things to do and I manage my time accordingly. It’s particularly uncool to dump other people’s work on my desk when they are perfectly aware that their job requires them to speak English and yet they don’t bother paying for lessons.