Providing solutions to Businesses through consultancy
My first degree at university was a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Mathematics and Physics. I love these subjects, I still do.
My second bachelor’s degree was a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Business Administration (Management). Following my graduation, I began my work as a business Consultant, working for 3 of the top 10 largest Companies in the world and others that were large Australian Companies. I loved it and ‘climbed the corporate ladder and helping companies ‘fix’ the problems they found themselves in or created.
I used to tell people that my job was no different to road rubbish collectors – part of my job was to go in and ‘clean up’ other peoples’ messes. I loved what I did and I was good at it. Very good at finding a solution to address the problem, by halting it’s progress or just minimising the consequences and probability of huge catastrophes from occurring.
I still am.
Saving companies a lot of money and heart-ache over that time. They paid good money for the advice provided too.
I spent almost 3 years for one such large Business Consulting in Sydney, Australia. It still remains as one of the best companies I’ve ever worked for. Predominantly Accountants and Lawyers with a few other ‘admin’ staff and IT and Marketing professionals. It had a great work culture, where we ‘worked hard and played hard’.
It was also where I met my wife.
Her smile stole my heart
We worked in different divisions and on different floors. I was on the 29th and she was on the 30th of one of the skyscrapers in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia.
I saw her for the first time at one of the photocopying/fax rooms. She walked by and paused, giving me the best smile I had seen in a very long while. I thought to myself – ‘wow!”.
She didn’t only have the best smile, she was beautiful too and I love beauty.
I didn’t see her again for another three weeks because I was out consulting at clients’ premises most of the time. But the Firm we worked at had terrific partners and a wonderful ‘fun’ culture. Old school with a modern twist. The Firm really got into celebrations, particularly the most famous horse race that stops the nation – the Melbourne Cup.
Everyone usually stopped work around 11am for the 3pm race.
A party atmosphere begins … alcohol flowing with lots of catered food and everyone getting in to the spirit of things. Employee and employers alike put on their best formal attire – men usually wore fancy hats and ties with their suits and the women came decked out in beautiful dresses and glamorous hats.
I loved those parties. They were some of the very best parties I have ever attended in my life so far.
A real festive mood.
Clients were invited to participate in our celebrations.
That is where I saw her again, my future wife to be.
Flirtatious versus Professional Behaviour
I think flirty behaviour and professional mannerisms don’t match. It is not a perfect fit like say, the symbol ’69’.
Even though I met my wife at work almost twenty years ago, I would advise not to date at the office in today’s world.
Erotic engagements in the course of business engagements tend to be anything but simple or romantic. It doesn’t matter how exciting the initial surreptitious encounter may have been. A Gentleman put in this complicated position will be hard pressed to keep his wits about him. So would a woman.
What if the relationship goes sour? What then?
Well, the worst case scenarios have been played out in the media for a number of years now and usually involve lawyers and tonnes of hours of consultants’ time which means a lot of money.
Private versus Professional Lives
Pessimism isn’t an attractive characteristic and is not a typical gentlemanly one. A relationship can go ‘sour’. The break-up question isn’t one to ignore when it involves a co-worker.
You’ll get asked the question by boss if he notices the two of you holding hands at the photocopier. In my case, one of the senior Partners saw us get in to the lift together several times in the mornings, and began getting suspicious. We tried to be very careful so as to hide any evidence of our involvement, agreeing on certain ‘ground rules’ in and around the office with regards to acceptable social etiquette.
Despite us being very careful, we became the talk and gossip of the firm, amongst the fellow employees and even the Partners at Partner meetings.
But no one had evidence.
This went on for almost a year. We worked very hard to keep our private lives separate from our Professional lives and we did quite a good job at it.
I’ve been married for almost twenty years now.
It hasn’t been plain sailing but, somehow, we’ve made it work, so far. Through the good times and the bad, we’ve co-captained this viking pirate ship of ours through the varying ‘seas of life’. Always trying to keep our ship afloat, despite the different weathers that we’ve endured.
We’ve stayed afloat, mainly through belief, God’s help and hard work – individually, and together as a ‘team’. Like all good long-term relationships worth holding on to, it takes a lot of ‘Hard YAKA” as we would say here in Australia.
But not all office romances end in marriages. A breakup would likely impact on your productivity and for the two involved it’s going to make personal and professional lives miserable.
I have witnessed this first hand at the very same firm I met my wife at. Breakups can be a torrid experience and messy. People tend to leave the firm for everyone’s sake.
Can you keep a secret?
Now, I have always believed that we are not as ‘in control’ of ourselves than we think.
When those sexual and love hormones flood our bodies and minds, we are completely helpless and the only way to handle it is to let ‘run it’s course’.
If you’re lucky, you would have been ‘in love’ at some point or another in your life, so you know what I mean. Modern Neuroscience also confirms this in human brain scans.
So, for those of you who decline to listen to this sage advice or your own better judgement and decide to ignite the spark you struck in the office break room or photocopier room like I did, I ask ‘can you keep a secret?”
This can, after all, be part of the attraction. It certainly added to the excitement for me and my wife in year we kept it secret.
Some secret office affair etiquette to keep in mind.
This list is not exhaustive by any means.
No public displays of affection; no lengthy toilet-breaks together; if the lift gets stuck on a regular basis between floors three and four with the two of you emerging dishevelled, people will talk;
And last but not least, if word gets out, be prepared to take your job termination and gentlemanly grace – no gnashing of teeth, no threats and no slamming doors.
No one can say you didn’t see it coming.
Your career and life depends on it.
All the very best in your decisions.
Cheers and Ahoy!
The old Captain Viking Pirate and ….. secret office affairs