18th October 2013

There are no Mean Girls at Tangerine PR

By Helen Gradwell on Friday October 18, 2013

Starting a new job is always daunting, no matter how exciting the new company is. Before I started at Tangerine, my nerves weren’t helped by the fact that, every time I mentioned that women make up about 90% of the workforce, almost everyone (men and women alike) said something along the lines of “good luck with that, lololol herp derp.” (Yes, those were their exact words…)

Perhaps it’s just that I need more intelligent friends, but I think there is an expectation in society that, if you fill a room full of women, it’s only a matter of time before they’re at each other’s throats.

So I thought, as it was Mean Girls day on October 3rd…

…I should use some examples from Mean Girls to show how Tangerines disprove these stereotypes every day. Plus it’s a great film.

So, although in fiction, an office full of women would probably end up like this…

…the reality is so much different. From seeing a lovely office full of hard-working people at my interview with Mary and Sarah, to lots of reassuring contact from Marie and Charley, to my first Friday bar (before I started) when I encountered some of you Tangerines for the first time, every stage of the recruitment process made me more and more excited.

The day before I started, I was already almost positive that there was no way my first day would end up like this:

And after finishing my first month at Tangerine, I’ve noticed some truly remarkable things about this company – things I’ve never encountered or even really heard of in other workplaces.

For example:

There are no secrets at Tangerine

In Mean Girls, Gretchen Wieners’ hair is so big because it’s full of gossip and secrets. Now, although there are Tangerines with very voluminous hair (Sandy) there are no secrets in this office. Everything is out in the open, and people are not just prepared, but excited, to share what they know with everyone else.

This was clear in my inductions, when lots of Tangerines set aside some of their time to tell me about what they do here and the ins and outs of each client. It’s also clear in the fact that people from the senior management team sit amongst us, instead of behind closed doors in their own offices. If you want to know something here, you only need to ask.

Nobody talks about you – they talk to you

Everyone gets something wrong from time to time. I’ve found that, at Tangerine, if you get something a bit wrong, you do not receive blame or criticism. Instead, it is seen as an opportunity to teach you something new. Whenever I have got the wrong end of the stick on something, the project leader or execs have sat down with me, gone through it, and emphasised what they were looking for. It’s never “you did this wrong”, it’s “this is how I suggest you do this.”

Similarly, all concerns are addressed directly to me so I can rectify them myself. It’s never discussed behind closed doors with other people – because if that happened, nobody would know what they need to improve.

Everyone is a writer

This was one of the biggest surprises for me when I started at Tangerine. I am an agency n00b, so I didn’t expect almost every single person to be writing their own press releases as well as all the other stuff they do every day.

I expected to be helping people by taking on press releases and copychecking when needed. However, I am also learning about writing from everyone else, too, which I feel will improve my skills massively. There are some very keen copycheckers in this building!

So nobody is asking how to spell “orange.” (Although if they did ask, we would very politely tell them it’s spelt T-A-N-G-E-R-I-N-E).

Tangerines always look out for each other

Whenever anyone is feeling bogged down or stressed, whether that’s by their workload or personal problems, everyone rallies around to help – whether it’s taking a piece of work off their hands, or just listening while they talk about how they’re feeling.

In summary, I’m so glad I’ve landed at Tangerine PR. There are so many different personalities here, and the days are so full of interesting things to do that they just fly by.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all better, proving myself as a copywriter and, of course, our Halloween social: