Part of my position as Executive Ass for TheBoss and his compadres is ‘hospitality’. This is a euphamism for cow-towing to clients, sucking up to people you don’t like, making tea and coffee, arranging biscuits neatly on a plate or running through the rain to arrange a sushi or sandwich lunch at short notice. (Hard to believe I'm a people person isn't it?)
It means you become the whipping girl if we run out of milk or the fat ass if the biscuit jar is empty. It’s your fault if the rubbish is full and God forbid if a dirty cup is left in a boardroom the world as we know it will end. Fortunately, due to my seniority and deliberate grumpiness, I am rarely asked to partake in ‘hospitality’ for fear the requester might end up with a black eye or verbally assaulted ear. Nobody dares ignite the wrath of moi! One of the priviliges of age - I make Germaine Greer look like a pussycat. I have a Receptionist and Adminstration Assistant to cop the Partner’s patronising abuse, poor thing. Now don't get me wrong. If a client came to my house, I'd offer them a cuppa . . . but I wouldn't be compulsed to do so . . it would be an act of free will.
Now it’s not snobbery . . I’ve earned my stripes in a servile role – believe me. Besides being a wife and mother (suck that for starters) I’ve dressed up as an orange for a photo shoot, I’ve done ‘hostessing’ in liquor shops trying to get people to buy Bundaberg Rum and other disgusting spirits. I’ve worked behind bars and in fast food outlets. I’ve bought other boss’s wives flowers and booked their holidays making hubby look like an absolute saint. I’ve shopped till I dropped trying to buy the kids a birthday present cos he (and it always was the he’s) had forgotten. I’ve chauffered dignitaries and police commissioners. I’ve entertained on yachts and launches, I’ve organised conventions, farewells, dinners and Christmas parties and have generally been appreciated but . . . the reception offered to those providing ‘hospitality’ in the downstairs boardroom is nothing other than damn rude. No ‘please’, no ‘thank you’ . . . not even enough energy to to remove used cups and pop them ‘near’ the dishwasher. That is the job it seems of female Exec. Asses and their administrative support. These chauvanists have little women at home and at work to pander to their every whim and fancy.
So, when a singularly and particularly offending partner arranges a staff event at ‘his place’ on a Sunday . . am I going to attend and run the risk of becoming the dishwasher stacker?
Shit no! Will I be involved in a very promising luncheon where I won’t have to do any washing up . . . sheeet yeah!
I have managed to wheedle my way into a much more civilised lunch with liberated men and women at DeeWhy near the seaside. I don’t care if its raining I will have an ocean view, fantastic company, great conversation, total appreciation and a guaranteed laugh without having to lift a finger.
There is no way on the planet - never in a blue moon - not in a month of Sundays - not even an ice cube’s chance in hell - that I would give up a valuable Sunday for a business lunch until the powers that be learn to say “please”, “thank you” and “Oh, you sit down, I’ll do the washing up!”