I don’t know the origin of this phrase but it means to get on and do something however distasteful, in pursuit of a goal. Well, on Monday it wasn’t a frog but a caterpillar.

I was in our office in Kirkwall last Monday. The girls there have been taking it in turns to bake something from the latest episode of Bake Off. This time it was Katie-Anne’s turn and so on Monday morning, she came in with a Colin the Caterpillar cake.

It was very nice, although probably not so good for the waistline, but it’s that time of year after all. The second piece was just as good, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. I was refused permission to photograph the cake!

There are two important lessons here. Firstly, we all have to eat that frog from time to time or give up the pursuit of a goal. But maybe we just did not want that goal enough to be willing to do whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties in achieving it.

Secondly, the advice from Colin the Caterpillar is that it is important in any work environment to have moments when it is not all about the work. It would be a dull place without the occasional laugh (or piece of cake). These are the sorts of things that help to build relationships in the team. After all, we probably spend more time with our work colleagues than almost anyone else, particularly during the working week. So, it is important that we all get on.

Certainly, when we are interviewing to fill a vacancy, one of the important factors for us is whether that person will fit and get on with the existing team. Being able to do the work is one factor but getting along with the rest of the office is pretty much up there as well.

Anyway, thinking about cakes and festivities, have you got your office parties and outings all organised? We are trying some new venues this year so we will see how we get on. We tend to break into two groups, Kirkwall and Thurso have traditionally gone out in Orkney. Inverness and the two offices in Elgin come together. Last year it was held in Elgin but this year it is back in Inverness at Prime, the steak and seafood restaurant down by the river, and then possibly to the Wee Bar upstairs afterwards.

I think it is nice to be able to relax and spend some time with the people you work with, outside of the office environment. I think it helps to oil the wheels when you are back in work mode especially as we will be going back after Xmas to be immersed in January and that crazy month when life seems to revolve around filing tax returns.

In a funny sort of way, I actually like January for that very reason. We are focused on just one objective: to get all the tax returns filed. I also enjoy it because Helen and I book a short break in February just so we have something to look forward to, which keeps us sane during January. So January madness is just the lead into a short (all phones off) holiday.

December is just around the corner. Time to get the office Xmas tree dusted off for another year.

Xmas jumper anyone?

Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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