I'M drawn in horror and curiosity to a story on the web about executive sleepovers.
That's right, a sleepover. With your boss. In your jammies. In which you have to face colleagues in the morning with your scary morning face. Not since I was 14 have I had a sleepover.
And it comes as no surprise that this wacky concept is from our friends over the pond, the brainchild of Whole Foods Market's chief executive John Mackey, who believes escaping from the office and spending time with your workmates in a personal setting is the key to bonding and building relationships.
Hold the phone. Since when was drinking in the pub not enough? On my first day in journalism, my then editor took me to the paper's local. She said: "You'll come out of here stinking of booze and cigarettes but you'll find out everything you need to know about your colleagues." This presumably referred to the latest salacious gossip rather than any relationship-forging information.
But the corporate world is a very different place. For one, the language is different. They speak English, but they say things like: "We've got the sausage, now let's find the sizzle!" or: "Let's park that idea in the multi-storey for now." I didn't Google this stuff. My husband, who works for a bank, reported that, during a recent meeting, one co-worker said (now brace yourself): "I'm not one to pee on someone's bonfire; I'm usually the one throwing on the gasoline." I kid you not.
Problem is, hubbie brings this jargon home, ingratiating it into our everyday life and rounding off comments with a smarmy-smooth confidence that makes me feel like he is somehow pulling the wool over my eyes.
He refers to things like my "competencies" and "deliverables" when chatting about simple topics, like what I might make for our lunch. He wields this to deflect blame and complicate simple discussions. It's beyond cringeworthy; it's maddening.
Honey, can you take the rubbish to the bin, I might ask? He'll respond: "Babe, I hear your issue. I'm going to leverage my time and action it by close of play. It's one of my competencies, I know, so I'm going to deliver, because you're a very dear stakeholder to me."
I exaggerate, of course - but only just. Fact is, when it comes to our professions, we live in two different worlds. And I accept that. But if he comes home and says he's going on a corporate sleepover, I'm telling him to "sunset" that idea.
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