The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager – Too senior to deal with the detail

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager - Too senior to deal with the detail Dear Diary,

I am beginning to think I need to outsource a specific segment of our assignee population – the VIPs. They disproportionately take up so much time and I’m sure they could be looked after equally as well with a VIP service from our relocation vendor.

The feeling that words are falling on deaf ears

Last year an extremely senior person from the mother ship (HQ) had to have a flat leased in London for himself to use. Even though I went on and on about the relative ease of letting a really nice corporate serviced apartment etc… to no avail, oh no, it had to be a lease.  I remember postponing my plans for the week and turning my attentions, and many hours, to working with the destination services providers and the in-house legal team to check the lease so it could all be agreed for the senior person to move into. Within a month or two, due to organisational changes, the said senior person was no longer in role!!

Credit where credit’s due

Thank goodness the lease was in our company name so we could use it for another inbound employee (credit to the legal team here as I would not have had a clue on this). The legal team produced some additional paperwork to go to the landlord regarding the new tenant and all seemed to be sorted nice and easily.

Overlooking the basics

The rest of the lease was thankfully uneventful until right at the end. The one thing I had not thought to factor in was that, with the second person being super super senior, they were highly unlikely to go around checking gas and electric meters at end of their lease.  There ended up being as discrepancy between the meter reading the destination services provider took and the landlord’s meter reading. This issue inevitably landed on my desk as I had organised for the original lease – so must be my issue to fix! (The original lease issue had only landed on my desk because they were from ‘overseas’ and therefore it had to be a GM issue). No matter what I did to clear this meter reading issue, it was literally like a bad smell. Just when you think it was dealt with, paid and cleared, another silly letter would come through weeks later, with a different amount.

Seemingly some email addresses and payments did not seem to be recognising our efforts to clear this. The utility companies had been given my name like 10 times but no, they still sent letters/reminders to random places in the business – which then took a while to travel back to me again.  Finally, last week, to try and draw this matter to a close, I had to get the super super senior person to sign an authority to let the utility companies deal with me on his behalf.

Not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing that I am on first name terms now with this super super senior employee. I think I would prefer it to be for the amazing service I provide to our many assignees and not for dealing with lease issues that won’t go away….


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