Posted tagged ‘unfortunate’

Chatting up the Chief Exec

October 7, 2011

Which one of these gives me a trapdoor?

Picture the scene; it’s 8am and you’ve been a good girl, got out of bed super early and headed to the office to get a head start on the day. Whilst clutching your corrugated paper cup of over-priced but crucial coffee you wonder aimlessly through the front door of the civic centre only to bump into the Chief Executive waiting for the lift.

I know him a little so say hi and get the following response:

So Mrs WLLG, did you enjoy the recent staff away day?

(he uses my real name as this blog is anonymous and I doubt he even knows it exists; not really a blog type if you get my drift)

In a normal circumstance, I would have come up with a diplomatic but truthful answer starting with the positives and then if feeling really brave suggesting an area that could be improved; (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

But it’s 8am and that corrugated coffee is still sitting there scolding hot and undrunk in my hands so I say:

‘Well, I don’t think those are the sort of things you’re meant to enjoy’

‘Oh’, he says; ‘how do you mean?’

My coffee cup is screaming at me; ‘back track, BACK track’ but the coffee is still safely ensconced so I blunder on:

‘Well, the whole meeting was about cuts and savings so it’s never going to be cheery is it (doing well); plus, it’s hard to be strategic when all we have is a 15 minute round table discussion about strategic issues and then the rest is presentations (oops!)’

‘But the finance presentation was really good’ (I say desperately trying to win back a situation)

The Chief Exec isn’t the sort of guy who gets flustered and he says ‘thanks for the feedback’ and wishes me a good day.

I take a swig of coffee…

Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t say anything out of turn as such; it’s just that the way I said it and the fact that I did it whilst standing in a lift at 8am in the morning when the Chief was probably just trying to be friendly meant that it was probably a little unwise.

That evening, when I had recovered, I dropped an e-mail to my WLLG colleagues and asked for any examples that they had of things they shouldn’t have said to their Chief Exec. I think it’s possible some of the following are made up: