“Hi Arun are you free?” Natasha may have sounded eager, but this was a conversation that she definitely wasn’t look forward to.
“I’ll be along in 10” Arun, LB Law’s COO replied “Is this about the office party?”
“Yes - and the sooner we do the post-mortem the better I think”
“Post-mortem? I know I left a bit early …. but no one actually died did they?”
“Ha! See you in 10”
In what she did appreciate were her particularly grumpy moments, Natasha often thought that if as much effort and energy went into the average business development initiative as was applied to the firm’s festive bash we’d all be a lot better off.
But then her mind then drifted back to the standing ovation and weeks of gushing feedback she had received for her (vodka enhanced) Beyoncé karaoke moment two years ago and of course her slightly close encounter with Jess the leather-trousered paralegal a few years before that. Her pleasant reverie was interrupted by Arun stepping through her door, sitting down and then getting up again to shut the door.
“So where do we start Arun? We have obviously got the Jack/Carrie issue and more importantly Mark is still very upset and I don’t blame him. Anything else?”
“I heard there was also a Jack/Debs issue, but anyway, yes, I agree about Mark and then of course there’s Trudi and the issue of our amazing IT deal”. Natasha didn’t like the way Arun was counting off the “issues” on the fingers of his hand. She hoped he would only need one hand.
“Ok so let’s start with Mark” Natasha interrupted briskly, “At least Steph and Dan have apologised and I’m sure they mean it.”
Steph and Dan had been on stage doing their comedy stand-up routine and yes, they had checked and been told it was ok “to have a bit of a go” at some people in the firm (including her) … otherwise “what’s the point” as they put it.
The remark about Mark and his desperate need for publicity by “hanging out with the celebs at The Priory” had obviously been unscripted. And was partly provoked by Mark’s heckling from the floor. But the fact that Mark had spent two weeks at The Priory was not common knowledge and the reasons not disclosed. The official line was that he had simply had two week’s holiday. When all the eyes in the room swivelled towards Mark it had been uncomfortable in the extreme.
“Exactly who have Steph and Dan apologised to and what did they actually say?” Arun asked.
“To me” Natasha replied, “because Mark hasn’t been around since and that they thought it was common knowledge - and that they had heard tales of Mark bragging about how friendly he had got with some C-list soap star who was in rehab at The Priory. And I have heard the same rumour, but even so you can’t use mental health problems for comedy material ….. can you?”. Natasha felt she was getting way out of her comfort zone.
“No you can’t. They need to apologise to him and make a public statement to the firm”. Arun sounded as confident and sensible as usual. Natasha sighed as her mobile buzzed impatiently. “Ok Arun, thanks and let me think about it and we’ll need to talk about the rest another time.”
How is Natasha handling this and what is the right way ahead?
Have you had any firm event dramas or dilemmas? Have there ever been issues around the disclosure of personal information about people in your firm?
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