Monday, 29 December 2014

Student induction day #1

1 December 2014

I do love the student induction day.  The new recruits are always so enthusiastic, so full of the stuffing they have not yet had knocked out of them.

But I shouldn’t talk about stuffing this close to Thanksgiving. 

This year we are treating the students to our spangly new-format afternoon session.  Instead of allowing them to snooze through my immensely fascinating talk on How to Write a Good Business Letter (which no-one needs to know now anyway because FYI no-one writes letters any more OMG DYNKT?), we allow them to talk amongst themselves for forty minutes about what they might want from CIPA if they cared enough to be bothered.  During these forty minutes I wander around facilitating the discussions, which means handing out sweets.  Then we all gather round Mr Davies and his flip chart and he writes down the students’ suggestions.  Soon the flip chart looks better than our Strategic Plan.

So this is what the students want from CIPA:

  • Mentors.  This is an optimistic idea, I suspect.  Patent attorneys are not naturally the nurturing sort.
  • Collated information about IP attorney firms, both for potential recruits and for potential clients.  Forgive me, but in order to collate data don’t you need a proper database?  So that one’s dead in the water until we get our whizzy new CRM system.
  • More social events, such as a CIPA sports day or a CIPA University Challenge attempt.  Can you imagine what patent attorneys would be like on University Challenge?  They would spend most of their time construing the questions.  No, that would not work at all.  But a sports day…hmmm… jousting tournament, anyone?
  • A fireman’s pole leading directly from the third floor to the hostelry below.  Now you’re talking!  We could use it to transport Council members straight from their monthly meetings to the monthly happy hours.  To make sure they had all arrived safely we could do a Trumpton-style roll call at the bottom: Vee-Pee, EyePeePee, Onssek, Eggsek, Peeee!!

To round off the afternoon, we interview Mr Heap from IPReg.  Mr Davies pretends to be Michael Parkinson and asks Mr Heap some deep and meaningful questions like What is regulation? and Why?  We have given Mr Davies a script to work from, but it bothers him not one jot.

While all this is going on, there are also some exciting events unfolding, which require the Officers to drop everything and make momentous decisions and stuff.  I have great fun going into the room where the students are milling, and then excusing myself to go through the firmly closed Door of Importance (which is the door to Mr Davies’s room), and back out to the students, and back in through the Door of Importance again, just so they are in no doubt about my exalted status.  I am not actually doing anything to help behind the Door of Importance, other than to tell the Officers that the students are still there.  But people seem to cope without me on both sides so I figure my skills are probably best put to use opening and shutting the Door of Importance in order to impart a sense of gravitas to the proceedings.  We need more gravitas.

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