Business Time: The Cheeky Columnist Everyone Should Be Reading
May 28, 2014
* * *
I’ve hinted at my love for Lucy Kellaway before, but in case the message wasn’t clear, let the record reflect: I love Lucy.
As a columnist for the Financial Times—the London-based paper adored by Brits and those who prefer their news on salmon-hued paper—she trains her desert-dry wit on a topic near and dear to our hearts at MM.LaFleur: the modern workplace.
Her musings range from the cheekily mundane (“New Excuses Needed for Ignoring Emails”), to the strategic (“How Small Talk Can Propel Your Career”). But no matter what the topic, Lucy is honest and unapologetic.
On office chitchat: “If you don’t chat, people don’t like you much. “
On Eton boys and their not-so-impressive careers: “They arrived at that school at 13 … to spend five years wearing tailcoats and becoming members of one of the world’s most elite networks. Yet there they were [at their reunion], in their prime, and it had amounted to not very much at all.”
I also appreciate that, despite being a woman who writes about work, Lucy seems unfettered by the all-consuming “Lean In” conversation that’s so dominant on this side of the Atlantic.
Sheryl Sandberg, Anne-Marie Slaughter (Credit: Denise Applewhite)
Over here, we can’t seem to talk about women in the workforce without arriving at the same question: Are you Team Sheryl or Team Anne-Marie? (Exhibit A: The cover of Bloomberg Business week last month stated: “Freeze your eggs, free your career.”)
The topic is important, but in our efforts to be the generation that “figures it out,” we seem to have forgotten how to talk about anything else.
And then there’s Lucy, who is shaping her own conversations through her wide-ranging observations and her signature dry wit.
So, Lucy, thank you for reminding us to stop taking ourselves so damn seriously. You remind me of my favorite childhood heroine, Madeline: “To the tiger in the zoo, she just said ‘pooh-pooh.’”
Here are some recent favorites from her column. You’ll have to sign in to get access, but I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
- We need new excuses for ignoring emails.
- Working 9 to 5 – What a great way to make a living.
- Think you work hard? Bet you don’t.
- Public speaking and removing my jeans on stage.
* * *