We leave many clues behind us in the office. How many shreds of evidence are you leaving around for colleagues to decipher? Is nothing sacred? To listen to an excerpt from the radio broadcast, please click on the green play button below.
Here is a transcript of the audio file.
Jonar Nader: I was around in the carbon copy days and the funny thing was they left so much evidence behind and no one wanted to touch them because they were so dirty so they used to put them straight in the bin and the inquisitive used to go at 5 and 6 o’clock at night and read the entire story. Today, although people lock the evidence, lock their pcs with a password, they send them to the central printer to the print room. So today if you want something you go and get the original copy off the lazer printer and beat someone to it or just photocopy it and put it back.
Host: Inter-office gossip and interpersonal message systems are deadly too, if you are conducting a romance with someone in the office it can certainly be around the whole office in just a few seconds.
Jonar Nader: What happened in the early days when we had those commander systems and the telephones where you had flashing lights and you had up to 6 lines or so and you had the new innovation called intercom where you could ask if someone was in the room. Well the boardroom always had one of those phones so what you did before they all assembled to have a board meeting is you buzz the board so the line was now open and the entire board meeting could be heard right down the corridor or wherever you initiated the conference from. Then someone at the telephone company thought we will improve this we’ll put a flashing light but then all the secretaries did was get that liquid paper and they actually put it underneath the light so you couldn’t see the flashing light it just looked dead. Also in the olden days people used to go to the telex machine you know the old strips of tape, they too were evidence left behind. Today what some people do is they go to your expense form because when you stay in hotels around the world they actually itemise every single phone number to bill you properly but when you come back to submit your expense form it shows where you stayed which hotel what number you called at what time, and I’ve had many a girl come up to me to say guess what, the MD was talking to so and so at 2am in the morning!
Host: nothing is secure in the office of the future or the past. I bet you can’t remember tea ladies though.
Jonar Nader: Oh I do. They knew which biscuits I wanted. Tea ladies were like mothers.
Host: Do we still have tea ladies in Sydney or anywhere around the NSW?
Jonar Nader: I saw them just recently on what was called the top floor where the execs are. They were more servicing the board rooms because it is cheaper to have your own tea ladies than to bring in those caterers, but I guess the foreign caterer is your tea lady these days. You dial a number they charge it to your department and they come on up, but they don’t have the sense… the tea ladies virtually knew everything.
Host: They were like the office email.