Columns

Covertly Corporate

© Google MapsIt’s raining as I step out of the train and onto a sodden city central platform. I marvel at how I choose to go corporate on the very day the heavens open in Queensland.

I commend myself on my choice of outfit—in essence, my spare wedding ensemble from my niece’s recent nuptials—the sensible attire I rejected in favour of a frothy, frivolous dress.
Fashionistas Trinny and Susannah would be proud. The ensemble consists of black pants, black boots, a dove grey chiffon blouse, matching scarf and red trench coat. I cannot help but admire myself in shop windows; such is the novelty of seeing self looking corporate and not cuddly in home office velour and slippers.
A small blot on the otherwise faultless fashion landscape is a large black and pink Eukanuba golfing umbrella. A teensy sacrifice under the torrential circumstances. Am sure T and S would understand.
I emerge from the cover of the station out onto the street, trying to find directions with A4 printed out Google map. I walk briskly; decisively at first, stepping gracefully over streams of water flooding gutters and drains. I turn my map upside down to get correct bearings and compliment myself again on choice of sensible boots.
I turn into alleyways sheltering skulking early morning smokers enjoying their guilty pleasure. I pass the Tokyo Restaurant. Up Anne, left into Wharf, right into Turbot, left at Bowen, up Mein and then I’m there—Boundary Road. Half an hour early. What a novelty to find bearings so easily. I considerately place my wet umbrella outside the entrance to drip on tiles rather than carpet and breathlessly announce my arrival.
‘Hello! I’m here for my 10 o’clock appointment—half an hour early but don’t worry, I’ll read.’ The reading matter even looks corporate. Not a New Idea in sight.
I am handed some forms to fill in. I soon become woefully aware of my dearth of computer skills. It takes me precisely one minute to fill in the application form as I skip numerous boxes—Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver…and tick the Microsoft Word box. I cannot even decipher some of the possible skills I could have had in my academic arsenal.
I am already crestfallen but decide that experience, communication and charm counts far more than a thorough knowledge of Excel spreadsheets and for my job, I won’t require those anyway.
I can’t resist another quick glance at Self in glass window. Red jacket—such a good choice.
I have my chat—a bit too brief for my liking but not all in vain, it seems. There might be some work after all. We’ll see. I thank everyone profusely for seeing me. Wave goodbye.  Smile at very corporate client in waiting room.
Retrieve soggy Eukanuba umbrella and step briskly into bank of rain. Retrace steps to station. Pass more skulking smokers. Resist shopping with potential earnings from potential job.
Catch train. Step off train at final destination. Station master makes my day.
‘What a beautiful red jacket!’ he grins.
‘Thank you!’ I gush, so flattered I step off into the wrong direction heading for a precipice straight onto the tracks.
I turn around when the train leaves. Head for my car.
Back home, kick off shoes, strip off corporate gear and climb back into sublimely comfortable velour tracksuit and Ugg boots.
Ah the joy of a home office.
Copyright © 2009 by Lois Nicholls

I commend myself on my choice of outfit—in essence, my spare wedding ensemble from my niece’s recent nuptials—the sensible attire I rejected in favour of a frothy, frivolous dress.

Fashionistas Trinny and Susannah would be proud. The ensemble consists of black pants, black boots, a dove grey chiffon blouse, matching scarf and red trench coat. I cannot help but admire myself in shop windows; such is the novelty of seeing self looking corporate and not cuddly in home office velour and slippers.

A small blot on the otherwise faultless fashion landscape is a large black and pink Eukanuba golfing umbrella. A teensy sacrifice under the torrential circumstances. Am sure T and S would understand. I emerge from the cover of the station out onto the street, trying to find directions with A4 printed out Google map. I walk briskly; decisively at first, stepping gracefully over streams of water flooding gutters and drains. I turn my map upside down to get correct bearings and compliment myself again on choice of sensible boots.

I turn into alleyways sheltering skulking early morning smokers enjoying their guilty pleasure. I pass the Tokyo Restaurant. Up Anne, left into Wharf, right into Turbot, left at Bowen, up Mein and then I’m there—Boundary Road. Half an hour early. What a novelty to find bearings so easily. I considerately place my wet umbrella outside the entrance to drip on tiles rather than carpet and breathlessly announce my arrival.

‘Hello! I’m here for my 10 o’clock appointment—half an hour early but don’t worry, I’ll read.’ The reading matter even looks corporate. Not a New Idea in sight.

I am handed some forms to fill in. I soon become woefully aware of my dearth of computer skills. It takes me precisely one minute to fill in the application form as I skip numerous boxes—Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver…and tick the Microsoft Word box. I cannot even decipher some of the possible skills I could have had in my academic arsenal.

I am already crestfallen but decide that experience, communication and charm counts far more than a thorough knowledge of Excel spreadsheets and for my job, I won’t require those anyway. I can’t resist another quick glance at Self in glass window. Red jacket—such a good choice.

I have my chat—a bit too brief for my liking but not all in vain, it seems. There might be some work after all. We’ll see. I thank everyone profusely for seeing me. Wave goodbye.  Smile at very corporate client in waiting room.

Retrieve soggy Eukanuba umbrella and step briskly into bank of rain. Retrace steps to station. Pass more skulking smokers. Resist shopping with potential earnings from potential job.

Catch train. Step off train at final destination. Station master makes my day.

‘What a beautiful red jacket!’ he grins.

‘Thank you!’ I gush, so flattered I step off into the wrong direction heading for a precipice straight onto the tracks.

I turn around when the train leaves. Head for my car.

Back home, kick off shoes, strip off corporate gear and climb back into sublimely comfortable velour tracksuit and Ugg boots.

Ah the joy of a home office.

Copyright © 2009 by Lois Nicholls

Filed under: Columns

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With over 20 years writing for newspapers, magazines and the web, journalist and author of ’Aussie, Actually‘, Lois Nicholls thrives on capturing the essence of a story, business offering or cause. Over the years she’s been published in Longwall Magazine, Good Health & Medicine, Country Style, The Sunday Mail, The Courier-Mail, Blue Care’s ‘BluePrint’, Vale Australia’s ‘Vale News’, PeopleConnexion’s News, Readers Digest, Country Life, Woman’s Value, London’s TNT travel magazine, The Sunday Tribune, Pretoria News and The Mercury.