All of us in the office were buzzing last week, as news came through that the Australian team had been shortlisted for no less than five gongs at the Campaign Asia Pacific PR Awards to be held in Hong Kong later next month, including the prestigious Agency of the Year. By all accounts, that makes us the single most nominated office of any PR agency in the region.
But of course being shortlisted is a long way from winning. So we’re all getting on with the business of our business and doing a terrible job of skirting around the issue at the water-cooler for fear of jinxing our chances.
In fact, so hilarious has the subversive no-speak policy become, that we’re toying with the idea of re-badging the awards Voldemort or Macbeth or something equally non-conformist and luck-testing in the hope that such irreverent humour will stop us thinking about it.
For some of our colleagues in Asia Pacific, a willingness to even consider the prospect of flying in the face of good omen is insane. But then it’s the Australian way, isn’t it – a tendency to buck the trend, say it as it is and get on with the task at hand rather than worry too much about what anyone else thinks. Or at least that’s what we like to believe.
The fact is Australians are as superstitious as anyone, despite themselves. Our history is built on stories and beliefs passed from generation to generation. More-so, the ever-evolving cultural diversity of our nation has brought a richer tapestry of traditions and superstitions to our shores. And of course pavement-crack avoidance remains as popular on our city streets as does hopscotch in our junior schools.
So for all the collective unspoken thoughts across the agency that “what will be, will be”, I’m now waiting for someone to plonk a golden dragon on my desk with the assurance that it might improve our luck at the Campaign Awards given the location and its significance to Chinese culture in 2012.
And whilst I’ll chuckle at the ridiculous notion that at $5 trinket will secure our good fortune, I’ll also quietly ensure that it sits at right angles on my desk, adjacent to the window that over looks the courtyard so that its glow reflects gently across the office floor. It is, after all, wholly un-Australian to decline someone-else’s well-meant generosity.