How one small PR email can ruin your weekend

So you know the score. It's 5.55pm on Friday afternoon, you're taking one final look at Twitter while counting down the 300 seconds until you can leave the office, then a little alert pops up in the bottom right of your screen.

At first you try to ignore it. You force your eyes to stare at the Tweets coming in from Barkha Dutt and  Shashi Tharoor. You do a quick Google news search for coverage – the more Google alerts you have, the better you are at PR apparently. But eventually, you give in and glance at that little box in the bottom right.

Subject: URGENT: Status Report needed covering past two years – by EOB

To: PissedOffPR

From: Clueless manager worrying that the client will ask them a question OR clueless client worrying their boss will ask them a question

And that's it – it's all over. You have opened the email that decides your fate. You will either be in the office until 8pm or you'll not bother, but suffer a weird I've-forgotten-something-and-I'm-going-to-be-screamed-at-for-it feeling throughout the weekend before you get in on Monday to be faced with that same infuriating email.

Except now the boss is on your back. If the email came from them, they “question your dedication“. If the client requested the ridiculous report, the boss will suggest that you get this to the client by 10am before “questioning your ability to manage your workload“.

So the only half-decent option is to just get it over with. Give up your Friday, yet again, despite the already too-long hours and  not-enough-money-to-tolerate-this pay. It's that or get the dreaded “We really need to step up” chat with your boss who is worried someone will ask them a question about the account.