Just a couple of days to go now, a wand is waved our cast is complete, and finally the audience take their seats. So we wish you….
Advent 2016 – Part 4
The Fairy Godmother.
We all hope to have one of these at work, but we don’t always notice when we do. In pantomime they often come in a glittering dress with wand at the ready. But sometimes they are in disguise like the old lady gathering wood in Cinderella. In reality they come in all shapes, sizes and sexes. The more obvious fairy godmother in business could the boss, dispensing pay rises or a Christmas bonuses. Even that’s not always an easy role. Can you avoid being condescending and looking like Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey presenting a new brush to the anonymous shoe shiner in the cellar? Are the gifts fairly shared and appropriate? However if the relationships are already right the Christmas bonus, gift or party can be enjoyed by all, giver and receiver.
The fairy in disguise is often not the boss. Some gifts are still tangible if not so glamorous. Keeping the filing up to date, making a cup of tea (the boss can do that too) or getting in to work through snow, white out and thaws. Other gifts are even less obvious, avoiding the office gossip, not complaining or just giving a welcoming smile.
The Chorus and Juveniles.
In amateur shows these characters are either thin on the ground or overwhelming depending on the pool the producer is drawing on. Sweet and cheeky small boys and girls in animal costumes, older ones in tights or frilly skirts and adult dance troupes. The adult chorus at least provide a foil for the main characters, encourage the audience, sing with gusto and laugh in the right places. In the workplace there may be a massive chorus on the production line or shop floor. In a tiny business it might be one person running an office and holding things together. They can easily be overlooked in pantomime or business but often play vital part.
Without the audience the performance will be in vain. The pantomime attracts an audience from across the board all ages, social and ethnic groups. They often come back year after year. They know what they are going to get and plan it into their Christmas. They tell their friends, neighbours and work colleagues. They might arrange an office outing or a children’s party. It’s been said that the pantomime “isn’t what it was” and “they have had their day” but they keeping on being reinvented. The costumes reflect fantasy or street fashion. The latest stars from popular music or television appear. The jokes are topical and political; no doubt script writers have been working on their Brexit and Trump jokes. The more the audience is drawn in the more they and the cast get out of it.
Every business works the same way. It needs to know its customer audience and what it wants. Customer service needs to cope with the heckler and encourage the other customers. The product or service must maintain quality but meet changing needs. There must be a fresh offering which attracts customers back and encourages them to sell on to their friends and family. The hero, leading lady, dame, good fairy and chorus all have their part to play in meeting those needs. So hopefully the business you are in can put it’s villains behind it, applaud its’ staff, accept the cheers and praise of its customers and open, after the holidays, to a long and prosperous New Year run.
Next time – the fairy godmother and the rest.
Meet those already on stage here……
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