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The case of the missing lunch

Friday, September 09, 2005

Article taken off from theage.com.au. A follow-up from the e-mail argument posted yesterday.

I wouldn't trade places with you for the world … I don't want your figure!" squawked one secretary to another during an email exchange that started inside leading legal firm Allens Arthur Robinson late last week, but has since been forwarded to half the lawyers and investment bankers in Melbourne and Sydney.

It all started when the first secretary sent a group email message asking for some financial reimbursement because her lunch — a packet of ham, some cheese slices and two slices of bread — had been swiped from the fridge on level 19 in her Sydney office.

The message was received by another secretary, who, after clicking the "reply all" button, inquired as to whether the aforementioned lunch had simply been misplaced, because she had spotted some similar items in another fridge on level 20.

There was obviously a bit of bad blood between the two because it wasn't long before the exchange spiralled into a catty little game of one-upmanship between the two ladies (we use that term very loosely) as they began arguing over who had the happier relationship, better boyfriend, more beautiful apartment, newer car and — wait for it — higher-paying job.

One girl even impressively claimed to be juggling five boyfriends at once, while our favourite line went something like this: "Let's not get personal, Miss 'Can't Keep A Boyfriend'."

At some point, somebody decided the emails were too good not to share and by the end of the day they had been circulated throughout the firm and made their way into the outside world.

The spat then made its way onto the email servers of PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, JPMorgan, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ABN Amro, Westpac Bank, Macquarie Bank, Deloitte, Phillips Fox, Mallesons, Minter Ellison and Deacons — just to name a few — before popping into Full Disclosure's inbox yesterday.

An Allens Arthur Robinson spokesman was unable to comment on individual staff members, although he said that use of email was "totally unacceptable", as was "that type of treatment of a work colleague".

He said the company would be reiterating its email protocols to all staff.

We hear both ladies are now looking for new jobs and the mystery of the missing lunch remains unsolved.
posted by Ivan Choe, 10:06 pm

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