Net naughtiness can lead to gross indecency

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 June, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 June, 1994, 12:00am

WE are still looking for the biggest gap between gross floor areas and net floor areas in commercial properties.

Remember, the difference between the two is accounted for by the office's share of common space, such as your share of the lift lobby, the security guard's desk, the cleaner's cupboard etc, plus a fantasy factor which is a little more difficult to explain.

We have had one 1,480-square-foot office that came down to 750, but no one has yet managed to find an office whose net area is actually less than 50 per cent of the area quoted by an agent.

There is another angle, though, which is that anyone stuck in a contract like this could try invading their share of the common areas - by putting a filing cabinet in their share of the lift lobby, for instance.

Sounds impossible? Well, the inspiration came after visit we paid to the Silvercord Building in Tsim Sha Tsui recently.

A company run by legislator Henry Tang Ying-yen is tenaciously holding on to a corridor leading to its offices and some nearby toilets, in spite of claims by other tenants that the space is part of the building's common area.

We estimate the area allegedly appropriated to be about 500 sq ft, which Mr Tang's company Peninsula Knitters generously offered to buy at $6,630 per sq ft earlier this year.

The going rate for office space in that building last month was about $10,000 per sq ft.

MBA mania THERE was a dose of sheer hell at the Conrad Hotel yesterday, home to an exhibition of colleges offering MBA courses.

The organisers ruled that the 80 or so stalls were not allowed to aggressively compete with each other.

Now if there's one thing MBA students are famous for, its aggressively competing with each other - presumably they learn this from their even more aggressive tutors.

You could almost hear the teeth grinding as they sat demurely in their little stands, saying things like: ''Would you like a leaflet?'' when they really wanted to grab passers-by by the scruffs of their necks and shout: ''Yes, roll up folks for the best MBA course in the universe.'' Lie detonator STILL with exhibitions, the Securitex '94 expo in the Convention Centre is the place to be for narcissistic types this week, thanks to the dozens of firms selling closed-circuit TV systems.

An outfit called Great Cathay Products had one of those electrified briefcases with a big sign above it in mainland characters, which meant no one could read it and, therefore, no one was prepared to go within two metres of it.

One of the British firms present was Birmingham Barbed Tape, which makes razor wire, the modern equivalent of barbed wire.

The guy on the stand had managed to do quite a bit of damage to his fingers putting his wares on display, and one of his shoes was looking rather ragged.

If we'd wanted 50 metres of razor wire - useful in a crowded office, perhaps - we would definitely have bought it from him. Very impressive.

Best Gadget Award goes to CCS for their Truth Phone: ''Without any indication to the other party, the Truth Phone covertly analyses a person's voice for sub-audible micro-tremors that occur with stress and deception.'' It has a rather neat little display indicating, in theory, the chances that the person on the other end is telling whoppers in every second of the conversation.

It would be intriguing to borrow one and ring up a load of Legco members and business people, although we'd be afraid of CCS billing us for about $30,000 if the device went off the end of the scale and exploded during the first call.

In the spirit DEPUTY Director of Trade Christopher Jackson used some very strange friends to try and illustrate the benefits of free trade to the Rotary Club of Peninsula yesterday.

Apparently, he'd just read a book by an American academic called Russell Roberts, which records the conversation between the ghost of David Ricardo, a British economist who was an early advocate of both monetarism and free trade, and Ed Johnson, a fictitious American TV manufacturer in 1960.

David Ricardo was the son of an English stockbroker and, given that he was born in 1786, this shows how long the London Stock Exchange has been running.

Ghosts, nostalgia, technology . . . Russell Roberts' book has three out of the four ingredients required for a blockbuster.

Action station HERE'S a warning to those who enjoy harvesting the marketing freebies outside Central MTR station: you could get yourself in serious trouble.

A warning fax arrived yesterday from a reader who usually collects all those free samples of face cream, shampoo, coffee etc, and gives them to his secretary.

Who says bosses aren't generous, by the way? Yesterday, he was just about to hand his haul over and realised at the last moment that his freebie for the day was not quite what he had thought. It was a condom.

Now he wants to make sure others don't make the same mistake.

If we get this new legislation on sexual harassment - and don't bother asking the Government about this as there seems to be some confusion on the issue - then handing condoms to co-workers may become a dangerous activity.