Casting my mind back to late June 2007 and I was working in PR for Bite Communications in an office at Ravenscourt Park, London, England.
I had been working there since July the previous year. A busy job but I loved it by all accounts. On my last day of working there, I was given a list of “dares” to do, by my manager Jonathan Hopkins. Nobody in the history of the company Bite Communications had ever done all the dares. So as soon as I was given the task, I had to do them and I knew I would do them, and more. The night before had been my farewell drinks party in London, and the following day I would start my backpacking adventure by flying to Toronto in Canada. I was buzzing and got into work early for a coffee and to read my e-mails, do a Media Report for Apple and try to get everything cleared up and ready for leaving the job behind. I wanted to be as professional as I could on my last day, work wise, but I also wanted to give everyone and laugh and not be forgotten too easily.
So the dares were:
1. E-mail the whole company saying you are going for a poo (I even sent this e-mail to EVERYONE in Bite globally).
2. Do a cockney impression over the phone tannoy system.
3. E-mail round your top 5 (girls from Bite who you’d allow to “have a bite”).
4. E-mail Cat the HR resources manager saying you fancy her.
5. Run around the office for no reason, run up the stairs and slide down the hand rail.
6. Go and pretend to take a shower, then run back out in your towel to your desk to get something and go back.
7. Pull a moonie (show your ass) from the boardroom to the whole company through the office window.
8. Ask a fellow member of staff to waltz through the office.
The highlight for me was pulling a moonie, i.e. getting my ass out in front of the whole company. Please try to envisage this. I did it from the boardroom, while there was a meeting on in there between 2 directors and some Senior Account Executives. I pulled my pants down and mooned against the glass window to the whole company. I kept my ass there for about a minute. My colleague Graham Day takes the credit for the photo which appears on here. You also need to remember that Bite is an excellent, all hands on deck, boundless limits PR agency. We were cool and we were quirky, but we were also damn hard working and cared about the brands. For one minute, all those on conference calls, all those sending important emails, all those scanning, printing, answering phones were sat at their Friday afternoon desks staring at my ass. They didn’t have to. They could have just got on with their work.
And that was that, within a few hours I had been given an inspiring farewell speech which was totally unexpected. I had handed in my notice a month beforehand and everyone knew I was travelling the world before moving back to Bournemouth to finish my degree. I was emotional the moment I walked out of Bite that day and I still love my time there and the people I met. After leaving, I received a wonderful e-mail from a colleague (I’ve attached the email above) and they will remain anonymous, but I have been inspired by this e-mail ever since. It said that I put a lot into life and not to lose that passion. I broke down in tears as I planned my next adventure. I’m pretty sure that I could work for Bite again if I really wanted to. But you know what, I do my own PR now, I get out and see the world and tell everyone about it. That for me is why it seems appropriate that this was my final fling with office work…
The next day I boarded a plane to Toronto, met two fellow travel bloggers, started my travel blog and haven’t looked back since. Yes, I enjoyed working for Bite Communications and showing my bum, but who wants to spend their life sitting in front of a computer in an office making phonecalls and replying to e-mails?? Certainly not me, In the intervening years, I managed to visit all seven continents, work in over 20 different jobs and I’m now up to over 110 countries on my journeys round the world. Stay safe and happy my Bite colleagues, but don’t work too hard. Nobody asked you to…
For the record, the PR office of Bite wasn’t the only place I got my bum out, you may have read my naked Antarctica story, my mate also caught me on the act while backpacking through Prague…
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