Recruiter’s Zeitgeist – Social Undistancing

Published by Millie Goadby on

What are your most pressing concerns in the era of coronavirus? Now that we’re (sort of, I think) allowed to go out and see people again, you might be worrying about how to socialise in the era of social distancing. Well then spare a thought for those whose entire lives are dedicated to the art of ‘social climbing’, how can they be expected to cope in this brave new world?

Tatler has stepped in to save the day. 

The magazine dedicated to all things fancy have released their ‘new rules of social engagement’, a guide to navigating ‘the minefield of being upper class in the age of coronavirus’. I must confess, this is an issue I hadn’t previously considered. I hadn’t spared a single thought for the plight of people trying to make sure that other people still know that they’re posh while there’s a pandemic going on.

Sorry, I shouldn’t be saying posh, apparently, the correct terminology is ‘U’ as in upper class.

Now, as we all know, pre-pandemic referring to yourself as ‘sick’ was an appalling transgression, as only ‘ill’ is appropriate for the U. While this is apparently now acceptable, we need not fear that all our graces are lost. Saying ‘toilet’ will never ‘pass muster’ and neither will ‘cycle’ – it’s ‘bike’, of course.

Other than sick, what else has been elevated to U due to the pandemic?

Air kissing is likely to take over as queen of the greeting, surpassing it’s long-term rival, the hug. These kisses are also likely to become even airier. Speaking of air, they’re proposing the return of the fan to high society, as a ‘sort of face mask’. So, I’m pretty sure that a fan won’t actually make an effective face mask but maybe I’m just not U enough to know how these things work. I’m much more convinced by the prospect of opera gloves making a comeback – for reasons of both hygiene and glamour. Most importantly, though, live-in staff are now ‘practically a prerequisite’ in case of a second wave. No one wants to face the dreadful prospect of having to clean their own house or look after their own child again. 

Some notable new U qualities are as follows: 

  • Doing your own nails (unless you hire a live-in nail technician)
  • Zoom calling your therapist 
  • Separate bedrooms
  • Dressing for dinner (I tend to switch between night and day pyjamas)
  • Paying for a new hospital wing 

So what’s fallen out of favour?

Other than non live-in staff:

  • Careless kissing (previously one of the main occupations of the U)
  • Crowded drinks parties
  • Cheating (previously totally fine, see careless kissing)
  • Weddings abroad
  • Hot tubs on skiing holidays

These rules might seem a little frivolous to you, especially if you’re not part of the Tatler set. But, as we discussed in one of our previous issues, elitism is rife within UK careers. This means that a lot of the high-level executives you’ll want to be befriending in your recruitment career probably are part of the Tatler set, so, if you want to get ahead, you need to know how to communicate with them. Less careless kissing, more air kissing.

TT’s top story

Data platform company InfoSum have raised $15.1m for their marketing collaboration platform. Their technology allows advertisers and media companies to work together on campaigns without needing to share sensitive customer data.

Have you heard?

Pret a Manger needs you…

…to go back to the office. The government is launching an ad campaign encouraging people to return to their traditional workplaces. This is largely due to the damage being done to city centre businesses by the absence of workers, rather than a lack of productivity. People aren’t necessarily willing to risk the ‘rona in order to get an overpriced panini though, and nine in 10 employees who have worked from home during lockdown say they would like to continue to do so in some form.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all still advising people to work from home where possible, and even Health Secretary Matt Hancock seems to be straying from the party line, saying he cares more about how employees performed than where they worked. General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady, has said the ‘prime minister needs a credible plan to help more people travel and work safely, not a scare campaign’, while employers’ organisation the CBI has warned that city centres could become ‘ghost towns’ if the government doesn’t encourage staff to return.

I’m not an expert but maybe if employees don’t want to come back, employers need to figure out the reasons behind that, and make their offices more appealing places to return to.

Speaking of the delights of the office…

Dettol have tried, and pretty resolutely failed, to highlight some of the appeals of the traditional workplace and commute. Their tube advert has gone viral on Twitter, with people initially assuming it was part of the government campaign – it’s not, but it is a collaboration between Dettol and TFL. So what have they gone with to make offices sound appealing?

Well, there’s ‘carrying a handbag’, ‘seeing your second family’, ‘proper bants’ and even ‘leaving early for an afternoon in the sun’. As many Twitter users pointed out, these things don’t sound that appealing, and if these things are the most appealing things you can think off to make the office seem appealing, that just kind of serves to highlight the fact that going back to the office isn’t that appealing. You know what’s better than leaving the office early? Never going in.

App of the week

Small Talk: has your chat gotten a little dry due to lack of practice? Well this app is going to get it as wet as Cardi B’s p-word. Small Talk keeps you interesting by sending you six ‘stimulating’ subjects to talk about daily, providing knowledge and inspiration.

Word of the week



Clearly visible

The recruiter was hoping that their resentment at being made to go back to the office wasn’t too conspicuous.

Dog of the week

This is Lola. Lola goes to work everyday with her dad at his roofing shop. She takes her job of greeting the customers very seriously. 

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