You can learn a lot from the internet: where to eat, what to wear, who’s nearby and morally flexible. There is a wealth of information on the ‘world wide web’ and some of it is even accurate. It’s a triumph of quantity over quality, proof that more is more, not less. More or less.
What the collected wisdom of the internet also tells us is what not to do. You only need to spend a short time looking at You Tube to know that if you find yourself on a skateboard in a concrete and steel environment in the proximity of a camera that the odds of becoming impaled on the architecture are high and you’re likely to break your face or worse. So you can learn from watching the video not to ever get on a skateboard if you’re mature enough to wear your trousers around your waist and you won’t get hurt. You might learn that driving in Russia inevitably ends in chaos or tragedy. You’ve probably also learned not to get involved in any debate about the colour of a striped dress as they invariably end in enormous losses of productivity and unnecessary friction in the office.
If you’re old enough to remember the nineties, back when people used phrases like ‘world wide web’ with anticipation rather than with irony, you may also remember a time when not everything happened on a screen and that you can also learn from human interaction. You learn something from your successes in life and more from your failures. In the same way you can learn from the internet not to set fireworks off while clenched between your buttocks and save yourselves from serious burns, you can learn from our experience from working with real life contractors and avoid making these rookie contracting errors, some minor, some magnificent and all real:
· Don’t steal wine from the company fridge and consume it in the toilet. Not stealing anything might be a start.
· Don’t get drunk at client functions and grope the nearest groin. Even sober, others’ groins should be off limits at work.
· Don’t be the super user of facebook, twitter, linked in, instagram, email or the internet. The Stuff quiz is not legitimate research.
· Don’t tell company secrets to everyone you know. Even if it is legal, it sure isn’t ethical.
· Don’t leap on the band wagon and join a political crusade in the office. (See avoiding the pitfalls of office politics for more on this subject)
· Don’t spend the remainder of the budget you have to organise a company event on expensive champagne and luxury accommodation for yourself.
· Don’t share pornographic material even if you recorded it yourself and own the copyright.
These contractors have suffered for your benefit just as the gravel-grazed skateboarders and 3rd degree-burnt fireworks enthusiasts have on You Tube so you can learn from their mistakes. For You Tube stories with happier endings check out our channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdDXOfuaXkVUElcdfHTngrw