There is a team of dedicated employees at your organisation that meets secretly every day. Sometimes more than once a day. This cross-functional group is intentionally furtive and includes some of the most senior executives. And the chances are their brief and snatched conversations are often about you and your department.
But entry to this group takes sacrifice, discomfort and some social exclusion. If you want to join them their next meeting is around now. Just look out of the window. The smokers will be there. And they'll be analysing the latest edicts or plans.
But seriously – and no, I’m not going to go on about health issues (smokers know about them and soldier on in any case) – where else, aside from the Christmas party, do staff from the whole company meet and discuss what’s going on? Thrown together by anti-puffing laws, they are sometimes conspiratorial. Gossip may be closer to the mark, but as a non-smoker, aren’t you at least a little intrigued?