Is work much more fun down under?

Please find following a fairly close transcription of a conversation I overheard in a client office recently:

“Well, wasn’t that just the meeting from hell?”

“I thought it would never end. When that jackass Jack got on that tirade about moving every database in the shop up to version nine in one fell swoop, I swear I was gonna fall asleep.”

“Sure takes the long way around to his point, doesn’t he?”

“You know how he is with that stuff – he gets so wound up that it’s hard to slow him down.”

“I was just about asleep until he started taking shots at Ted’s infrastructure team about how unstable the servers have been lately.”

“Was everything he said there true, or did he exaggerate a little?”

“Mostly true, but not politically correct – I thought for sure Ted was gonna throw a coffee cup at Terry’s head if he mentioned it one more time.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen Ted that angry in the last six months.”

“As if that wasn’t enough, did you see the e-mail that Jack fired around afterward rubbing it in? Gettin’ a little big for his britches, don’t you think?”

“Somebody ought to talk to him; that kind of behaviour’s gonna get him in deep trouble with management…”

“I’ve had enough for today, let me buy you a beer…”

Fairly straightforward, nothing out of the ordinary, just a usual exchange between technical people – not much colour, not much pizzazz to the Canadian ear.

But it isn’t like this everywhere. Trust me. I’ve been hanging out with Kiwis and Australians lately, and you know what? They talk different, and no matter what they say, it just sounds that much more interesting than just about anything I hear day to day.

Even the really common stuff – we take a car to a body shop to get a ding taken out, they take it to a “panel beater” – sounds infinitely more interesting down under.

Let’s take a look at that same technical conversation if it took place in Sydney or Auckland:

“Well, wasn’t that just the meeting from hell?”

“Gawd I thought it would never end. When that yobbo Jack went on his tiki tour about the upgrade to version nine, I swear I was noddin’.”

“Went out to the never never, past the whoop whoop and around the black stump didn’t he?”

“You know how he is with that stuff – bit of a fart in a wetsuit.”

“I was just about gone until he started throwin’ the toys out of the pram about the Ted’s servers – up and down more often that the seats in a bar dunny he said.”

“Was everything Jack said on the furphy?”

“Mostly. I thought for sure Ted was gonna’ throw a bikkie at his head if he mentioned it one more time.”

“Ted really spit the dummy on that one, didn’t he?”

“I thought he was gonna throw a wobbly.”

“And as if that wasn’t enough, did you see the e-mail that bloody great Galagh flicked out around afterward to rub it in? Jack’s gettin’ to be a bit of a tall poppy, methinks.”

“Somebody really ought to talk to him: He tries that kind of stunt again and he’ll be in more sh__ than a Werrybe Duck”

“I’ve had enough for today, let me shout you a tinnie…”

“I’ve had enough too…after all, how much can a koala bear?”

OK, so the last line wouldn’t likely be there, but you get the point.

My suggestion: add a little curve to your pitch, a little pepper to your pasta and a little Kiwi (or Aussie, if you prefer) to your everyday speech. As they say, “Bonza, and good on ya mate.”

Hanley is an IS professional in Calgary. He can be reached at [email protected].

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