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Thursday, 28 June 2012

A young man with a crazy dream

Oft, when on my office chair I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
It flashes upon my inward eye
Some perfect organisation could be construed.
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
Maybe it’s hidden in the nearby hills.

A company where you are not sent an email
Just three metres away, from one’s assistant
Where office politics are seen to fail,
And communication is accurate and consistent.
Where company strategy is not left to chance
But is clear, logical and known in advance.

A company that values all its staff
Where it is pleasing to come to work
Where toil is hard but you can have a laugh
A customer focus, from MD to clerk.
I gaze and gazed but with little thought
Such a dream could come to ought.

A crazy dream and yet bright It shines
A hope that somewhere this organisation exists,
After all the dross perhaps it could be mine
A man can dream, hope persists
Progression not on time served but on my skill
My career aspirations I finally fulfil.

My 30 day plan is over - that's it folks, move along please.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The language of the office

So why, in the land of Shakespeare, is vocabulary so poor?
Conversations at work could take half the time they do,
With just a little thought, I’m sure.
Do you talk like this at home with your partner and your kids,
Or do you put your foot down,’ This I really do forbid.’
You can be assertive without the aggressive language crutch,
Is it really necessary in the office
For everyone to swear quite so much?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

You talking to me?

Staff are leaving, some are joining, meetings are rearranged,
We need this room, we forgot to invite you,
New plans, now everything is changed.
You’re on the rota, no you’re not, why are you here today?
We’ve published new policies, you didn’t know?
Why have you turned up, this is really quite a mêlée?
We have a strategy it’s brand new, we’ve told no one but you should know,
What do you mean you’re all fed up
And think it’s time to go?
‘We should have told you, we agree, it wasn’t very clear,
Anyway what do you think of Corporate Communication? ‘

I think it would be a very good idea.

Monday, 25 June 2012

We know

Mushroom management, kept in the dark,
The suits they try to fool ya.
It never works, someone talks,
Learn the truth by the water cooler.

Secret plans, behind closed doors,
Through stealth the suits try to rule ya.
They always fail, someone knows
At the fount by the water cooler.

Reviews and change are underway,
We know what that will mean.
The code is cracked, the word is out
From the oracle at the coffee machine.

We’re not so dumb as you seem to think,
We will not be lambs led to the slaughter.
When you try and keep us uninformed,
We find out at the source of the water.

Friday, 22 June 2012


At this moment in time we need a paradigm shift,
We don’t want to get thrown under the bus
Especially when going forward,
We value-add, quality is job one, we don’t fuss.
I’m drinking from a fire hose but let’s park that robust idea for now,
Because we’re getting some push back at the coal face,
Take if off line, it’s going viral and trending but actually we don’t know how.
We think it really Web 2.0 but definitely needs some more boots on the ground,
Let’s square the circle with Marketing,
It’s our cash cow, the synergies are sound.
Pick the low hanging fruit, take a deeper dive, then salute it,
And score some very quick wins,
We’re singing from the same song sheet,
No sloppy thinking, we’re using the very same next gen hymns.
The USP needs more bandwidth, let’s blue sky do the visionary thing,
We’re team players, but this is game changing,
Ready, fire, aim, touch base later, there you go the fat lady sings.
I sit in meetings baffled, their speech leaves me confused and reeling,
The language is one of obfuscation, thinking not structured but fuzzy,
It totally numbs me and I’m left with no feeling,
Well we are where are and it is as it is and these thought leaders lead us to success,
However where we are going is muddy not transparent,
It's opaque I have to confess,
I stagger out none the wiser, I hear what you say, I’m your go-past guy,
At the end of the day I learn nothing, have a nice day, but please excuse me,
Deal with it? I’m going over there to cry.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Mangers want analysis and data to aid decision making,
They want to know everything before a direction can be taken,
Some important things can’t be measured, though lots of unimportant things are,
Statistics are used as a corporate shield, a figurative pole star,
I prefer to give approximations,
Guidance, summaries and arguments that are logically strong,
On the whole I’d rather be approximately right,
And not precisely wrong.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Let's talk about the coming year

Personal development, PDRs, performance appraisals,
They’re really all the same,
Invented by someone under employed in HR years ago,
We know it’s a just a game,
We meet and set the year’s objectives,
The employee we attempt to enlighten,
Management then move the goalposts
New objectives are set to frighten,
Let’s just get it over with, I’m not doing it for my health,
Whatever it’s called we all know it will just be filed,
Then forgotten on a dusty corporate shelf.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Line in the sand

You can bully, swear and abuse me,
You can ring me night and day,
You can set impossible objectives,
You can even reduce my pay.
But there is a line you cannot cross
You’d really go too far,
If you ever dare try and take away my prestigious company car.

Friday, 15 June 2012

You know it's true...

Smiling and back patting, saying ‘How very succesful you've become,’
Put money in the collection, sign the card, the rite of passage must be done,
Ask about the new salary, position, status and company car,
Tell them they deserve it, worked so hard, you’re sure they will go far,
The final day, the drinks and nibbles, the goodbye hugs and tears,
You can hardly bear their enthusiasm, their luck with their career,
‘I’ll miss you, we’ll keep in touch’ you know you won’t, it must be noted,
Don’t you so hate it when your colleagues get promoted?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Success is...

Strategy is useful, creativity good,
Ideas are needed, customer’s wants understood,
Empathy helps, good employees required,
Keeping the good ones, poor performers are fired,
But don’t kid yourself that you're an indispensable tool,
The company’s success being based upon your rule,
Or your Business School thinking with theories that are newest
Success is based on companies whose cock-ups are fewest.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Conference file

 To the tune of 'Summer holidays' by Cliff Richard and the Shadows.

We’re all going on some lovely jolly days,
Pretend to be working for a day or two,
All expenses paid on our lovely jolly days,
It’s a shame you can’t come too,
I don’t mean that, it’s not true.

We’re going where the sun shines brightly
For a seminar or two,
It gets us around the tax rules,
They’re boring but it’s what we have to do.

We can’t wait for our lovely jolly days
We’re hardly sober night and day
Eating, entertainment, never working on our jolly days.
Barely sober and we don’t pay,
The company lets us all play.

We’re going where the sun shines brightly
We missed the seminars, it’s true,
We still get around the tax rules,
What would you expect us to do?

We pretend it’s hard work on our lovely jolly days
Working hard, no time at all to relax,
We’re fooling no one lying here in the sun,
We come back with sunburn on our backs,
Of the conference our memories are lax,
We can’t remember any facts.

We went where the sun shone brightly
We can’t wait for the next one to be arranged,
We’ll still pretend it’s hard work,
But we won’t be fooling anyone, nothing’s changed.

We’re all going on some lovely jolly days,
Pretend to be working for a day or two,
All expenses paid on our lovely jolly days,
It’s a shame you can’t come too,
I don’t mean that, it’s not true.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Exactly right

Your background sounds so wonderful, you’re perfect for the role,
The other candidates should surrender now it’s a shame they’ve not been told,
You’ve been through all the interviews, every question you have aced,
You’ve ticked the boxes of HR’s brief and that’s competency based.
We’ve seen your CV, you’re brilliant, we couldn’t ask for more,
But we can’t give you this job unless you’ve done the exact same one before.

You see we need to make sure the successful candidate is absolutely right,
It’s not enough to pass all our tests and be so insanely bright,
We need to know the new employee is a completely safe pair of hands
You have to be able to do the job immediately, we’re sure you understand,
You’re by far the tops, so highly qualified, we couldn’t ask for more,
But we can’t give you this job unless you’ve done the exact same one before.

Neil Armstrong, Margaret Thatcher, President Kennedy, Winston Churchill, so many from the past
Were deemed acceptable candidates, their reputation lasts,
No previous exact experience didn’t cause them to fail to make the grade,
The world remembers them for achievements and the differences they made.
Your logic is completely faultless, the other candidates you far outscore,
But we can’t give you this job unless you’ve done the exact same one before.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

In the day

The weekend started Friday lunch times, the company always paid,
The team would meet for steaks and beer
Expense accounts were for spending, no savings to be made
Lunch times during the week were also part of work
The best restaurants, fine wines on expense accounts,
How fitting for us young Turks.
Then off at nights to entertain our clients, more dining, foreign trips,
The times were good, the money flowed
Fun, expenses paid, no thought of hardship.
Prizes, performance vouchers, a regular change of cars
The list was almost seemingly endless
We were shooting for the stars.
So what happened to the spending, to those very hazy days?
What happened to my expense account,
The bonuses, the performance pay?
Lunch became a sandwich eaten whilst staring at my screen
Fine wine became machine made coffee
That’s never seen a coffee bean.
So when did the suits decide to take away all our fun?
Set agendas, targets and performance goals,
Make work a place where you have to get things done?
When spending limits are carefully set and finance rule the day,
Where all you get is a lot of silly rules
And then just your monthly take home pay?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I wish I'd had a Wendy

I learned the truth at seventeen
That the future is not certain, decisions not clean.
At seventeen I really could have done with Wendy.
I learned a truth that even passing exams with ease,
Would mean ‘Not going to Oxbridge? Next please.’
I wish I’d had a Wendy.

I learned the truth at nineteen
That the wrong university course might have been foreseen.
At nineteen I really needed a Wendy.
I found myself, uncomprehending, alone, likely to fail
A lecturer understood, arranged a transfer, I could safely bail.
I should have had a Wendy.

Wendy is the guide we all should have when still at the choosing stage
An oracle, a guru, a pointer to a choice
A real school career councillor who gives us options, a balance, a gauge
An independent voice.
Not head teachers obsessed about results and the number of A star passes
But oddly don’t mention all those who struggled daily in their classes.
Or parents who seek bragging rights about offers to a Redbrick college
That this may not be right for their child, they may never acknowledge
They all should all listen to Wendy.

I learned the truth late at fifty six
That dreams and aspirations can still be realistic.
At seventeen you need a Wendy.
Your future might be moulded around something you really want to be
With information, guidance, facts and a chance to foresee,
You should wish you had a Wendy.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Work for free

To the tune of the regimental song 'The British Grenadier'

Some work with full time professionals,
And some with part time roles,
There’s on call duty doctors,
Retained fire fighters slide down poles.
But of all the country’s workers
There’s none that can compare
With a no, no, no, no really no,
To the British volunteer.

The clue is in the name,
It really does appear,
That the problem with this type of staff
Is will they actually appear?
The Government thinks staff for free
Is something we should cheer,
With a no, no, no, no really no,
To the British volunteer.

If I’m in an aircraft flying,
On under a surgeon’s gaze,
Or taking a solicitor's instruction
Being guided through a legal maze.
I really want someone good,
Who has trained for years and years,
With a no, no, no, no really no,
To the British volunteer.

I really do admire
Volunteer’s enthusiasm time and panache.
I’d rather try herding kittens
Volunteers can make such a hash.
If the Government thinks the role is needed
Using unpaid staff is just a veneer,
With a no, no, no, no really no,
To the British volunteer.

So come and join me worrying
When help we seek to find
I want someone who is time served
Dealing with big problems of mine
I don’t want to seem disparaging
But actual qualifications I do revere
With a no, no, no, no really no,
To the British volunteer.

I so admire St John’s Ambulance
Special Constables, School Governors and the Lions
So many people contribute unflinchingly
To help other people’s lives
But we shouldn’t reduce professionalism
Let the Government know we are clear
They can’t expect everything for free
From the British volunteer.

Two sides

Sales targets, deadlines, Blackberry, decisions, meetings
Phones, emails, faxes, invoices, client greetings
The pressure can be intense.

MD’s edicts, debtors, credits, iPhone, upstarts
Presentations, unions, customers, performance charts
The pressure can be immense.

Miles commuting, politics, holidays, sales disappointment
Tiredness, illness, weary, doctor's appointment
Stress can be thankless.

Uninvolved, invisible, undemanding, mundane, bored
Paperwork, filing, photocopying, completely ignored
Role underload is relentless.