I’m part of the executive of a large media publisher, sit on the management board, blah di blah. Recently I changed offices back into the main site. As usual there was the usual administrivia to go through and for the first week I haven’t been in the directory, on the security lists, etc etc etc. Yesterday, I had invited in a senior partner in a firm trying to sell us some work worth some millions.

Poor guy shows up at the main gate, and on mentioning my name gets the complete run around because I “don’t work there”. He calls me on the mobile and I get to my feet to walk down and greet him (normally my PA’s job, but she’s not here yet, pity she’d likely have handled it better). I get there, put on my best smile certain that this will be sorted out without much problem.

Now I get the run around. Despite the fact that I had come from inside the facility, because I wasn’t in the system, had the wrong security card, etc etc etc I was clearly a fraudster and we must be terrorists out to blow everything up. I keep the smile on my face, despite the momentary urge to say “Do you know who I am”. I long ago promised myself to never ever utter those words. I suggest he call’s up the CEO’s PA to sort it out, but he refuses claiming it would be a waste of her time (true, but not for the reasons he thinks, she is ruthlessly efficient, protective of “her” executives, and would likely have given him a tongue lashing he wouldn’t have fogotten).

Turning to my now laughing contact I shrug my shoulders and offer to take him out for a coffee. As we walk away I hear the security guard mutter “Wanker” under his breath, and double up my inner mantra of “He’s only doing his job, he’s only doing his job, he’s only doing his job…”

Sigh, my humble pie for the week… Almost certainly does my inflated ego some good. Mind you, the coffee was a damn site better than I’d have got from the tea lady…

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