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to be glad I don't work in the corporate world anymore

(78 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Fri 26-Oct-12 22:03:17

I visited my old law firm the other night for drinks. All very swish and high tech. But the desks were banks and banks of white with aprox 2ft per person, no privacy and no personal effects welcome. You have to log in and log out even when going to the loo. Yuck. Twas like a gilded cage. Plenty of perks and salary but no autonomy what so ever.

In my current job I come and go as I please. Answer to no one really and incidentally still earn the same salary sans perks as my old swish suffocating law job.

So AIBU to think I am well rid of all that bollocks?

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Oct-12 22:05:45

<< Shrugs >> You can't really be unreasonable on that can you?

You prefer your new job so it's all good.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 26-Oct-12 22:10:50

but so many folk love that corporate shit, I mean really LOVE it. Maybe they would think IWBU. It's not about new job v old job really. The corporate world is something else to behold. The grip they have on you is unreal. When I was 38 weeks pregnant with DS1 they expected me to be doing 18 hour days including a shift from 9am until 4am the next day. Round the clock completion they called it

janelikesjam Fri 26-Oct-12 22:11:55

Also, unfortunately, the way things are going. No-one seems to have a private office anymore, except Head Honcho, its all open-plan ..

Logging in and out going to the loo though? Really?

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 26-Oct-12 22:14:52

well maybe going to the loo was an embellishment, but certainly to use the lift or open any door at all. All the screens were on full show, so no illicit net surfing.....

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Oct-12 22:17:22

I kind of know what you're saying but even if someone else did love that shit, it doesn't make you unreasonable for not loving it.

Good for you that you're out of there though smile

apostropheuse Fri 26-Oct-12 22:20:04

I don't know what I would do if I had to share an office with anyone - never mind that impersonal setup. I need my own space.

I would be constantly in "grumpy old woman" mode if there was too much noise.

Now I think of it, I'm probably just a little bit anti-social.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 26-Oct-12 22:20:16

cheers Worra grin

MissZombRee Fri 26-Oct-12 22:20:17

I also work for a large corporate law firm. Although we're not at "call centre" open officedness, the lawyers all sit in little glass fishbowl offices!

The last two years have been dire - a sea of tumbleweed. It's not a nice place to be. They've just halved our legal secretarial team to bring in cheaper "Assistant Secretaries".

Today was the first time since returning from maternity leave in July that I have been busy and actually enjoyed my job.

YANBU to be glad you're out!

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 26-Oct-12 22:33:22

I did it for 20 years Miss and now I am in the real world I can see it for what it is. Hierarchical corporate bollocks with them squeezing every penny of work out of you just for the benefit of one of the partners next Scottish Castle or Spitfire (I kid thee not)

stickthekettleon Sat 27-Oct-12 00:27:13

I do something similar but the atmos/culture is slightly better ths what you gave described. Interested to know what you do now?

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Sat 27-Oct-12 00:35:16

Funny I get what you're saying (have law degree though never practiced - could see it just wasn't for me....) and actually I lasted barely six months in my starter-corporate job before moving into fundraising which was much more 'me'. But I digress.... DH's job is very corporate, and actually pretty cool - top company, 7 weeks paternity leave at full pay, free gourmet food in the office, excellent diversity policies e.g. at cutting edge of LGBTQQ benefits, etc, etc. And very good salary! Not to say it doesn't have some of the corporate wankery bollocks that you have to put up with any corporate place, but all in all, a seriously fab place to work.....

Maybe don't tar 'em all with the same brush? grin

BlackDahlia11 Sat 27-Oct-12 00:45:15

YABU. Sounds more like a shit firm than shit corporate in general. Not all corporates are like that. Sounds crap.

CheshireDing Sat 27-Oct-12 06:53:26


Did you work where I used to work OP? All very expensive white desks, not allowed to even eat a chocolate bar at them. Finger print machine to go to the toilet etc etc.

I left.

catgirl1976 Sat 27-Oct-12 07:16:50

I have my own office but most people work on banks of white desks. I hate open plan so I'm greatful for my office.

Everyone has to log in and out if they leave thier desk even to go to the loo. That's just basic security - not sure why yhtat strikes you as unusual / odd

wordfactory Sat 27-Oct-12 08:28:45

I don't think it's all the same OP.

DH has his own office, his own fasct he has his own bloody microclimate (he has his AC at ploar velocity). He certainly comes and goes as he pleases.

The security aspect is to stop randomers getting in. It was instigated after 7/7.

Ephiny Sat 27-Oct-12 08:34:21

Yes I used to work on a big trading floor and I never got used to the environment, it was one reason I ended up leaving in the end. Just didn't suit me (though plenty of people love the 'buzz' of it). Good pay though.

Bellakins Sat 27-Oct-12 10:12:44

Surely the logging in and out to go to the loo is for security purposes? Data protection, client confidentiality and all that. Similar thing where I work.

The set up you describe sounds a bit grim in all honesty but not all corporate environments are like that.

EuroShagmore Sat 27-Oct-12 10:15:41

Not all law firms are like that. I have my own office.

And in the past I have refused to interview anywhere that has their lawyers open plan. I don't think it is conducive to the work lawyers have to do as well as being awful for illicit net surfing .

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 27-Oct-12 10:36:56

the firm was actually much better when I worked there as they were in their old building which was far less conducive to being kept tabs on the whole time. I hate the thought that my every move is being watched. They don't just use those fobs for security you know. They know exactly how much time you have spent away from the office/in the toilet etc.

I'm sure that some corporate environments are good, in fact a friend works in a smaller private equity firm and they seem to be very good employers.

I now work for a small commercial agency doing lettings sales and management and it's so much more me. I don't have to tell anyone where I'm going and what time I'll be back

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 27-Oct-12 10:40:27

Cheshire where did you used to work?

Am grin at so many people saying fobbing out to go to the loo is for security. It's not, it's to make sure you don't spend too many chargeable hours in the bog. And most firms manage to maintain a good level of client confidentiality without banks and banks of security

Softlysoftly Sat 27-Oct-12 10:43:46

They turned my old place (marketing) into totally open plan including all the directors. Cue of us wandering the kitchen/ hall/doorways for private calls and the chairman + head of HR regularly to be seen spending 2 hours in their car.

Who the fuck thought open plan HR was a good idea confused

dolcelatte Sat 27-Oct-12 11:53:48

I wholly empathise with your view OP having left a similar environment myself. I have friends who are still there and they tell me that it has become even worse; everyone now has a 'pod' which is a very good description (there are apparently 4 peas per pod!). However, whereas the drones are packed in nice and tight, a lot of space is given over to meeting rooms to impress the clients - a bit like a latter day Downton Abbey really.

I can't say too much, for reasons of confidentiality as I was in a senior position, but leaving was one of the best things I've ever done and I am also better off financially. Suffice to say that the partners were, if anything, treated worse than the staff (no employment rights, you see!). Everything revolved around the 'bottom line' and I just couldn't believe how greedy some of these people were. Some partners were seriously put out that I gave my team some vouchers at Christmas because they thought they would be obliged to do the same (despite earning 5-10 times their salary).

I think corporate identity is fine when there is a genuine desire to include everyone in common goals and the sharing of success and rewards. It is not ok when the real ethos becomes divorced from what is being communicated to the staff. That is when the decay sets in.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 27-Oct-12 12:44:06

docelatte agree WRT the public areas. The reception area in the firm I'm referring to has the same sized floor plate for the whole of a 200 person department. It is 'filled' with 2 receptionists and some sofas...............something not quite right there!

E320 Sat 27-Oct-12 12:55:20

I will be leaving a large corporation at the end of November. I cannot wait :-) Since we moved to the swish new office building in June the atmosphere has taken a nose-dive. We no longer have our own desks! It is called "smart working". There are only enough desks for 80% of staff, so if you are any later than about 07:30 the choice is limited or you work in the quiet area (a misnomer if ever there was one, the only difference is that you get a cubicle like the Black Hole of Calcutta and no telephone).
It takes me 100% more time to get from the tram stop to where I work as I have to walk through both buildings, then find a desk, then hook up the laptop, which I either have to cart round with me all the time or I can lock in a locker overnight.
In addition I am no longer able to eat in the staff restaurants (I am a contractor) as the only way to pay is with AmEx. I do not have an AmEx card and do not like the idea of paying for food with a credit card.
I spent 2 days this week working in my hotel room. At least it was quiet!
I seriously wonder if this corporate stuff increases productivity, it certainly damages the collegial atmosphere that we used to have.
There is no logging in or out, as such, but we log on to our laptops with smart cards, so your time online can be monitored.
Like you, OP, I am glad to be out (soon).

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