JOHN WEAK'S DIARY: Weak at the top

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

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Nasty little Vauxhall Nova parked in the spot for my Porsche. Might just as well have put a sticker in their window saying 'Abort my Career'. Read The Art of War by Sun Tzu over the weekend. We've got a major competitive struggle on our hands and I need all the help I can get. It's quiz night on Thursday and if marketing lose again my office credibility will slip to HR director level. Sun Tzu says know your strengths. Have analysed marketing and realise we have too much beauty and too little brain. The most intelligent person in the building is Len, the night security man, who's read a book a night since the Blitz. Have seconded him into marketing as close partnership between marketing and night security is vital in the new economy (at least until Thursday night).


Sun Tzu says know your enemy. IT have a junior nerd who knows all the science questions so arranged for him to look at my computer on Thursday afternoon. Sales team are hot on all subjects so I ordered a crate of champagne for them to be delivered lunchtime Thursday. Tim Smallwood (finance director) says Jenny in accounts is their secret weapon as she has a brain the size of Cardiff. Could be a threat but it's impossible to nobble people in accounts unless you surgically remove the spreadsheets from their souls.

On the way home was cut up in car park by a Vauxhall Nova. Had to calm myself by accelerating past it at 150mph. Met Howard at the gym and we shed a good few pounds at the bar.


Fire alarm went off and everyone hotfooted it to the car park. Sun Tzu says seize opportunity. Slipped into Clare Bridport's office - chairman's PA, major-league swamp donkey and Quizmaster. Riffled through her papers, found the list of questions and ran it through the copier. Looked out of the window - great to see all the non-smokers shivering outside. Lit four cigarettes on my way down and breathed smoke over everyone's desks.

Noticed Jenny from accounts getting into the Nova. (If accounts are so worried about costs, why aren't they using public transport?) Finally got back to the office and discovered I'd accidentally photocopied agenda for Friday board meeting with surprise questions from Sir Marcus to keep us on our toes. Gave questions to my lot to answer by end of tomorrow as 'teambuilding exercise'.


Spent day rehearsing board questions. Junior IT spod came round and pronounced my computer dead (not surprising, as someone else from IT 'fixed' it yesterday).

I told him to work through the night or I'd wipe his hard drive. Got to pub for quiz and found the entire sales team completely cabbaged. They'd been drinking champagne since lunchtime and were now in the loos taking turns to drive the porcelain bus. IT team couldn't answer anything because their star nerd was working through the night. But Jenny from accounts was answering like the talking clock. Sun Tzu says be aggressive. Made a quick call on my mobile and got the barman to ask anybody owning a Nova to move it, which gave our night marketing man Len time to list the members of Boyzone and secure us total victory. Sun Tzu would have been proud.


Board meeting. Other directors suspiciously jolly. Told me they'd all bet on marketing winning because they knew my ego couldn't stand losing.

Slightly miffed but kept rattle in my pram as I knew what was coming.

Sir Marcus breezed in and started asking underhand questions like 'What is our mission?' I answered everything without batting an eyelid while Bill Peters looked as if he'd walked into a plate glass window. I said this stuff was all in The Art of War. Sir Marcus asked if it mentioned anything about not leaving your original on the photocopier. Made a mental note to check what Sun Tzu says about having your pants well and truly pulled down. Let air out of Nova's tyres on way home.

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