1 Apr 2003

Independent Deterrent (Part One)

Bernard called us into his office today. On a management course he attended a couple of years ago, he learnt the expression ‘Drains up’, which he now uses to refer to meetings where he analyses a situation to the nth degree. It has never been so appropriately used as it has with our Bog Blocker situation.

There have been further incidents of the toilets being deliberately blocked, and our commitment to a peaceful resolution was being put under question.

Bernard was at his animated best, stood at the flip chart, jotting ideas down in a flurry of strokes and counter strokes to form a strategic diagram that made perfect sense during the meeting, but an hour later, when I had to prepare the minutes, was completely incomprehensible.

“The cost to result ratio is causing me concern. We have paid over four thousand pounds in call out and plumbing charges last week. It can’t go on. Let’s have a brainstorm …”

“A thought-shower.” Janice politically corrected him.

“A golden-shower.” Call Centre Tony suggested to lighten the mood.

Everyone, including me, looked at him with a hard stare.

“Please.” Janice looked disgusted. “Can I remind you of the ‘Valuing Dignity Policy’.”

“I’m not being funny. But you’re all taking this too seriously. Besides, I have the answer …” Tony said.

(to be continued)