4 Feb 2004

The Ugly Bug Ball

It was the day of the visit so I herded the ugly squad into a room in the accounts department away from the Call Centre. I needed to keep them occupied while Call Centre Tony was chaperoning the suits from The Catalogue That Cannot Be Named.

Fido and Bess were exchanging dieting tips. He was horrified to learn that he was eating too many sausages on the Atkins. “I figured that it was meat so it would count. It turns out that there are too many carbs in a sausage. Can you believe it?”

Bess nodded and sucked her teeth loudly.

I didn’t really have anything planned. I intended to default to the usual Team Manager rule of thumb:

Fill as many sheets of flip chart paper as possible with nonsense.

I gave them free reign. I gave them the opportunity to create a Utopia: “If you were in control of the Call Centre – what would it look like.”

I diligently captured their vision of a Brave New World, resting my tongue unconsciously on my bottom lip, writing on the paper with a pen that didn’t work: “Better choice of meat in the canteen,” “Bigger Staplers”, “More Car Parking”, and so on.

“Stick your tongue in.” I turned round. It was Bess, smiling and sucking her teeth.

An offer I could not refuse.