ZoZuidAs is opgezet door drie jonge vrouwen. Temidden van turbulente tijden zijn wij onze carrière begonnen op de Zuidas als advocates en bankier. Het is geen Londen, het is geen New York, maar de Zuidas staat voor een beetje zakelijke glamour in de polder. Wij beschrijven wat er leeft op die vierkante kilometer kantoorspeeltuin bij het WTC, want we kennen het wel en wee van de Zuidas van binnenuit. De kredietcrisis liet ook de Zuidas niet onberoerd. Na 3 maanden dalende billables en dagelijks terugkerende hyvesmarathons, hadden wij tijd en inspiratie om onze habitat wat beter te bekijken. Onze observaties plaatsen we sinds 2009 online. Geniet ervan en stuur de posts door! Onze stukken verschijnen o.a. in Glamour. Voor tips en commentaar zijn we te bereiken via zozuidas@gmail.com

maandag 13 september 2010

Boy Wonder

It's a Thursday afternoon in an office buiding. Six men in power suits are sitting around a table exchanging niceties...
"Nice tie, Phil. How was your flight from Brussels?"

The men start negotiating a deal, expressing their views. "I see your point" leads to "I think we're on the same page here" and escalates to "That is not market standard! How do you expect me to sell this to my client?"

The camera cuts to the sixth power suit at the corner of the table. Hiding behind a notepad and seemingly writing a full transcription of the meeting, this ill-fitted suit is an extra at the table.He was supposed to be serving the coffee to the production team that day when one of the extras phoned in sick. So he donned a power suit and took his seat at the big boys' table. He could have just as well been a chair or other prop.

Scene two: coffee guy has been an extra for a year now, and has carved out a little niche for himself. Not only is he the note taker, he has also become something of a silent movie star. He squints, he frowns, he looks out of the window, he strokes his chin. He sits back, nonchalantly playing with a pen. His gestures mean that this is not market standard, that he can't sell this to his client. Or "Let's park this issue for now", or "Let's work our way around it". As the seniors do the talking, our corporate Marcel Marceaux is in the background miming the deal.

In the next scene, our boy wonder has cracked the silent movie genre and is on the verge of a breakthrough role. But just as George Clooney needed to go through Attack of the Killer Tomatoes before he could do Oceans Eleven, our budding thespian has to earn some B-movie stripes as well. He has been put in charge of negotiating a low-value deal for a client the firm doesn't care about. The frowning and chin stroking have made way for clunky, poorly thought through dialogue, awkward compliments and back slapping. Arguments explode on take off, and highly spurious declarations are made as to what is market standard. Although the performance was hammy, someone saw potential. The client was impressed, a star is born!

Final scene: our boy wonder is all grown up. In fact, he is so acclaimed, that he doesn't need to speak full sentences at the table. Five suits are focused in his direction. He grunts, he hums and occasionally chews on his glasses. When he does speak, the table nods in agreement at the wisdom of this sage. In a funny way, boy wonder is back where he began, in silence. He looks at the corner of the table. There, the boy that served him coffee yesterday is scribbling the transcription of the meeting.

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