It's A Wellington Life header image 2

The Department of Stodge

May 5th, 2010 by the_lifer

Sit bolt upright on the edge of your seat, rigid as a post, and you’ll have the same posture as Winona, who is in the middle of her job interview.

On her way in, she surveyed the Department’s location with interest. They are tucked into the bad side of an office tower in the middle of The Terrace (bad side = looking out over the motorway, not the gorgeous harbor). Their work is one-third science, one-third business, and 100%  schmoozing. They are a subdivision of a larger Ministry, a relic of government structures even larger and more byzantine than the current ones. It would make sense for them to merge with their parent, but they are currently being held at arms’ length after some recent bad publicity.

En route to the interview room, Winona passed the remnants of a team lunch: fish and chips, a “savouries” assortment, lamingtons, artery-clogging old school treats. To herself, she nicknames the place the Department of Stodge. It’s not what Winona would have picked. But she’s on a second interview, in a trapezoidal conference room with a scratched rimu-wood table and her interviewers. One of them is large: the other one is nervous.

Nervberg taps a stack of papers. “We recently had a… negative PR incident. It took place before you returned to New Zealand.”

“I did see the articles online, though,” Winona says.

Largeman raises his eyebrows.

Flustered, Winona adds, “I Googled it. It’s…always unfortunate when those things happen. If I was with your Communications team at the time, I would’ve handled it by deploying some social media and a more on-message PR response.”

“Social media?” Largeman asks.

“Interactive modes, giving the organization a – a personal aspect. Facebook, Twitter, blogs…”

Largeman says, “Ah, yes. Our previous comms person didn’t think much of them. Called them Matesbook and Fritter.”

Nervberg clears his throat. “Then again, he’s in Australia now, and if you can find out all about it five months later, and you say if you used those things then you wouldn’t be able to, it’s something we should look into.”

This most definitely not what Winona meant. She didn’t even know that someone could interpret it that way. But after eight months of unemployment – should she clarify?

Tags:   · · · 1 Comment

1 response so far ↓