JOHN WEAK'S DIARY: Weak at the top

JOHN WEAK'S DIARY: Weak at the top - MONDAY

by JOHN WEAK, who can be contacted at
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Week started at low ebb. Presentation by IT Director on Knowledge Management. The first slide was about Knowing What We Know and the next 400 were variations on this theme. Mentally, I spent the time trying to work out whether Clare O'Keefe, the Operations Director, was wearing one of these new gel-filled bras, a standard Wonderbra or whether she'd had a little Operation on herself. All in all, it was a presentation well spent. Until, that is, Sir Marcus said he wanted all departments implementing Knowledge Management by the end of the week. Knowledge Management is Sir Marcus's latest whim. The question is, how do you manage an MD who has more whims than the Dutch parliament?


Got in late due to clocks going forward while I stayed put. Was staring at my pot plant for inspiration on Knowledge Management when a tidy little piece came in and watered it. Bending over with her watering can came very close to sexual harassment. Sometimes I think having women in the office at all is tantamount to sexual harassment on their part. I think it's time we had burqua days in the office so us men can get some work done. After work, went to the gym with Howard. Decided to see whether it was possible to get squiffy on low-alcohol beers. We managed it after drinking the equivalent of three gallons each, but then Howard went though the wrong door and relieved himself in a flotation tank. This must have changed the chemical constituency of the water because the lady in it slowly started sinking.


Got in late due to unusual curvature of earth, possibly alcohol-related. Discovered that my pot plant had gone. While looking for it I heard a rumour that Bill Peters had been working late. The definition of Bill working late is returning to his desk after lunch, so the thought of him still there past five was unbelievable. Either Mr Bojangles is now delivering red wine to his desk or Bill is shunting some bright-eyed graduate round the executive carpet. Thought I'd check this out, so managed to work until five (in the process inadvertently finishing a month's work) and then snuck round to Bill's office. Chatted with him for two hours about the problem of Knowledge Management but no-one came except the cleaner.


Got in very late to make up for previous night's late working. Struggled to think of anything constructive to tell Sir Marcus about Knowledge Management. In Marketing we Know It All unless proved otherwise by plummeting sales figures, and then clearly it's the fault of the sales guys, who generally Know Sod All. It's not what you know in business or who you know - it's what you know about who that counts. Walking through the office, I noticed there wasn't a single pot plant anywhere. Someone said they'd seen Bill Peters rolling a big plant in a terracotta pot into his office. I thought about the cracking little watering can girl and it suddenly clicked. Good old Bill was trying to get his hoe in her allotment.


Still no thoughts about Knowledge Management. Went round to ask for Bill's advice and found every single pot plant in the building in his office. It looked like the hothouse at Kew. I hacked my way to Bill's desk. An even bigger surprise was that he was there working on what looked like flattened pieces of scrumpled paper. The cleaner walked in and swapped Bill's empty bin for a full one. It was Sir Marcus's bin full of all the e-mails he gets printed out because he doesn't know how to use a computer. Bill told me it was his version of Knowledge Management. I asked him whether he knew what Sir Marcus's management whim would be next week. Bill looked around his personal jungle and said it might have something to do with Environmental Management. Naturally.

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