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    « Sully's swansong | Main | Nicola Roxon »
    Friday
    Sep092005

    Allens fires the wrong people 

    The bitchy email exchange between two members of staff in the Sydney office of Allens spiralled out of control ... Missing ham and cheese sandwich drama ... Secretaries sacked but fee earner who made offence personal remark survives ... Values  

    Katrina's missing lunchThe level 19-20 emails between two Allens Arthur Robs members of staff in Sydney have flown around the globe and scarcely a soul with a computer would not have seen them.

    The weird thing is that this exchange between Katrina Nugent and Melinda Bird contained no recommendable quality of wit, yet was found to be so riveting by so many ... just like eavesdropping on someone else's inane phone conversation. 

    It is one thing for two people to engage in spiky remarks mistakenly thinking it is private, but in this case arguably it is a third party, Allens' solicitor Jeremy Levitt, who made the most personally intrusive email contribution.

    Justinian will not republishing Levitt's remark because it affects the alleged sexual relations of others. All we can say is in the Allens' "value" system fee-earner Levitt survives while Nugent and Bird get the chop.

    It was immediately after Levitt breached one of these women's privacy that the email banter within the firm promptly stopped, only to accelerate externally.

    Allens' flack James Walker issued a tight-lipped official response:

    "We are not prepared to discuss any disciplinary action taken or the reasons for it. Given all the circumstances, we have acted appropriately.

    Employees have been reminded of the appropriate use of email as a result of an unfortunate email exchange last week." 

    Why should these two women be sacked over their silly private email, yet the bloke who posts the really snide observation lives on?

    Fresh from its James Hardie triumphs that's what Allens must mean by acting "appropriately".

    How does it fit with Allens' boast as an "employer of choice for women"?

    The firm also has a set of high minded "values policies":

    "We respect each other, we consider others and respect people's individuality and their contribution. It's important to us that individual staff members feel free to be who they are and that they feel safe and valued."

    For those who can bear it, here's the exchange, with the gross bits expunged.

    From: Nugent, Katrina
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 9:39 AM
    To: sydflr19A – Senior Associates; sydflr19L – Lawyers; sydflr19S – Support Staff
    Subject: My lunch ... 

    Yesterday I put my lunch in the fridge on Level 19 which included a packet of ham, some cheese slices and two slices of bread which was going to be for my lunch today.

    Over night it has gone missing and as I have no spare money to buy another lunch today, I would appreciate being reimbursed for it.

    Katrina Nugent

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 9:55 AM
    To: sydflr19A – Senior Associates; sydflr19L – Lawyers; sydflr19S – Support Staff
    Subject: RE: My lunch ...

    Katrina

    There are items fitting your exact description in the level 20 fridge. Are you sure you didn't place your lunch in the wrong fridge yesterday?

    Regards
    Melinda

    From: Nugent, Katrina
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:06 AM
    To: Bird, Melinda
    Subject:

    Melinda

    Probably best you don't reply to all next time, would be annoyed [sic] to the lawyers.

    The kitchen was not doing dinner last night, so obviously someone has helped themselves to my lunch.

    Really sweet of you to investigate for me!

    Katrina Nugent

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:14 AM
    To: Nugent, Katrina
    Subject: RE:

    Katrina

    Since I used to be a float and am still on the level 19 email list I couldn’t help but receive your ridiculous email -lucky me!

    You use our kitchen all the time for some unknown reason and I saw the items you mentioned in the fridge so naturally thought you may have placed them in the wrong fridge.

    Thanks I know I'm sweet and I only had your best interests at heart. Now as you would say, 'BYE'!

    Regards
    Melinda

    From: Nugent, Katrina
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:15 AM
    To: Bird, Melinda
    Subject: RE:

    I'm not blonde!!!

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:16 AM
    To: Nugent, Katrina
    Subject: RE:

    Being a brunette doesn't mean you're smart though!

    From: Nugent, Katrina
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:17 AM
    To: Bird, Melinda
    Subject: RE:

    I definitely wouldn't trade places with you for 'the world'!

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:19 AM
    To: Nugent, Katrina
    Subject: RE:

    I wouldn't trade places with you for the world ... I don’t want your figure!

    From: Nugent, Katrina
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:21 AM
    To: Bird, Melinda
    Subject: RE:

    Let's not get person [sic] 'Miss Can’t Keep A Boyfriend'.

    I am in a happy relationship, have a beautiful apartment, brand new car, high pay job ... say no more!!

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:23 AM
    To: Nugent, Katrina
    Subject: RE:

    Oh my God I'm laughing! happy relationship – yep really happy relationship with ..., beautiful apartment (so what), brand new car (me too), high pay job (I earn more) ... say plenty more... I have 5 guys at the moment! haha.

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:24 AM
    To: Pawlukowski, Dorothy
    Subject: FW:

    From: Bird, Melinda
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:24 AM
    To: Watson, Amanda; Snowdon, Georgina
    Subject: FW:

    From: Pawlukowski, Dorothy
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:27 AM
    To: Cresswell, Michael; Thompson, James; Levitt, Jeremy; Bechler, Matti; Tehrani, Ash; Burrell, James
    Subject: FW:

    ok this is the last one, it's getting too intense. 

    Regards,

    Dot Pawlukowski
    Mergers & Acquisitions

    From: Levitt, Jeremy
    Sent: Thursday, 1 September 2005 10:29 AM
    To: Pawlukowski, Dorothy; Cresswell, Michael; Thompson, James; Bechler, Matti; Tehrani, Ash; Burrell, James
    Subject: RE:

    apparently (on good information) ...

    [This is the personally intrusive bit of tittle-tattle that Justinian is reluctant to republish. Call us old fashioned – but that’s it.]

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