Friday, September 14, 2007

Office Friday

The idea is that you spend Monday through Thursday wherever the client may be, work really long and hard (which really often isn't all that big of a deal because there's just nothing else to do anyway in the isolated part of the world that your client is located in), catch the last plane home on Thursday evening and have a nice easy Friday in your home office - show up at 9:30 or ten, fill in your expense sheet for the week, go for office lunch (provided by the firm), exchange a few stories about the week's adventures, prepare a few things for Monday, go home at five, take a nap, start the weekend. When this works out, it's a really nice routine, and you are so much more likely to forgive the client his unforgivable location if your Fridays are spent at home.

When they aren't, it's really hard to suppress a foul mood. And over lunch on Friday those who did make it back in good time always have a few words of sympathy for those who didn't. 'Bob? Oh, still stuck in Tennessee I heard. He's with that crazy PL who doesn't let his teams go home on Thursday as a matter of principle, even if there's absolutely nothing to do.' If you are part of such a conversation, you are well advised to take a mental note of that PL's name, just in case staffing ever tries to match you with him (or her - women can be just as bad). Sounds suspiciously like someone on a mad power trip, which happens. And such persons ought to be avoided at all cost.

Or you come across colleagues who did make it home in time, just to be suddenly bombarded, at about four p.m., just when they were beginning to think about going home, by desperate emergency requests from freaked-out partners, PLs or CEOs. Poor souls. I myself made it back yesterday night and was out of the office today by 5:30 p.m. Not too bad.


Anonymous said...

You clearly work for an easy master, if you can leave the client's site in XXX wherever it is in the world and fly back on Thursday evening. Whatever happened to dedication? Most of us can't leave for the flight back until late on Friday. Then it's first flight out on Monday for the next week!

Please could you let slip the name of the clearly extremely consultant-friendly employer you work for? All of us as international consultants would like to work for this doss consultancy, so we could see more of our families at the weekend!

Covert said...

So you weren't even promised (sort of kind of) that you could mostly spend Fridays in your home office when they hired you? Wow. That's a stern employer you've got there. With our firm (and the same is true for friends who work for the competition) the rule of thumb is that if you make it home on three out of four Thursday evenings (granted, by the last plane), you are doing okay. It varies with location and practice area, of course. SF and tech stuff, bingo. Whole projects of commuting back home from the South Bay every night! NY and steel? Not so good. But yeah, my firm takes pride in, and is known for, being nice. I suppose it is, relatively speaking.