Sunday, October 14, 2007
The Cymru Rouge School of Business Schools
Colleagues gaze adoringly at me and say "No Good Boyo, how did you survive being a manager during that halcyon age when The Bosses appointed anyone who'd sat in the same place for long enough?"
Now that I'm back among the workers by mutual agreement with the Board of Directors, the Crown Prosecutors and solicitors acting for Ms Jenny Agutter, I've decided to share some of my managerial insights with those who have yet to learn The Ways of the Welsh.
No. 1: If the Job's Worth Doing, Let Someone Else Do It.
Simple, n'est-ce pas? And yet how many aspiring young executives ignore this golden rule. Remember that you were appointed a manager for one or more of the following reasons:
a). The leathery chairman likes having you around because you remind him of dear, dear Justin from Brasnose, and you might be amenable to dressing up in a deep-sea diving suit filled with Swarfega sometime;
b). You got through recruitment because you're a glib sociopath who is to responsible working what Ed Gein was to bespoke tailoring, but employment legislation makes it impossible to sack you; or
c). you're a wall-eyed drone who loves to work, who wants to work, who loves to work, who's got to work, and so can be counted on to carry out such gruesome tasks as talking to staff and clients, implementing strap-on business plans, and chairing endless meetings with coked-out 500k outside consultants.
If you're a). then you probably have little to trouble your honey-hued, tousled head with but preparing for the chairman's marketing trip to Morocco and San Gimignano.
If you're b). it's congratulations time for, as long as don't actually bite anyone, you will be able to spend years plotting against that deputy accounts bastard who looked at you, you know, that way, at the inter-departmental do where that minx whatever her name is wouldn't stop crying. Maybe you could call Customs & Excise next time he goes on holiday. I wonder what colour he is inside, you know, deep inside, and would light come out of his eyes when you press them in and would he speak with God's voice? That sort of thing.
If you're c). then this post is for you. You were appointed by the boss because he has understood that If the Job's Worth Doing, Let Someone Else Do It. This presents you with a choice:
Option One. You have been conditioned to act like a gimp, and can go along with it for ages, mocked and despised, racking up the hours, losing your hair and physique, gorging on tubby food, panting eagerly as the chairman's PA (signing off in his name) flicks through your unread reports with the sticky fingers of an odalisque just to make sure the pagination is right, on and on until your heart shrivels then bursts open like a jelly supernova in your mid-50s.
The sale of the expensive house you never really saw will fund your slatternly wife and Emma/Toby kids through a few years of gardening boys, designer drugs and novel surgical procedures, and with that all memory of you ends.
Option Two. You can seek out a gaggle of wannabe drones still at shopfloor level, appoint a sociopath to coordinate them, and let them do the job for you. This is how all successful organisations work, from the Early Church to Stalin's NKVD and Murdoch's Sun.
Then you can lie back and laugh, ideally after pleasuring one or more of the drones' neglected life-partners, and take the credit for their sterling efforts.
The drones will be grateful that a manager is pleased with their work, especially if he gives the impression that he might have been willing to rein in the sociopath but, well, you know how it is...
The sociopath is buoyed up, sensing in you a tool in his plans to destroy all known life and build a Mary Chapel out of his secretaries' pelvic bones.
And you showed your colleagues that you appreciate the gravitas of their trust by Not Trying To Do the Job Yourself.