UK: WEAK AT THE TOP - John Weak's Diary.

UK: WEAK AT THE TOP - John Weak's Diary. - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Black Monday!! Gold Executive Club Card about to slip to Silver Card.

Might as well announce you're a junior brand manager over the tannoy.

Ask Hayley (secretary) to arrange flight to Miami office before end of week to get points needed to avoid the drop. Boss (Sir Marcus Rigby, CEO) going on holiday so no one need be any the wiser. However, slight ointment in fly because before he goes Sir Marcus the Carcass (fat bastard) summons me in for thermo-nuclear roasting over marketing department overspend.

Says he wants to see 25% saving next year and absolutely no more 'Executive Clubbing' this year. Good job he's going away, I say.


Didn't sleep well. Gold Card expiry playing on mind. Hayley says we don't have Miami office but has booked flight anyway. Smart cookie, Hayley.

Decide to go through department budget with fine-tooth comb to identify possible savings. Can save money by changing our two Caribbean holiday competition prize winners' flights to 84-hour Aeroflot flight via North Korea. (The judge's decision is final and I'm the judge.) Have long lunch with Bill Peters with just the one bottle of red - economies have to start somewhere. He recommends outplacing (sacking) a junior marketing spod to save on salary and then have them work out their notice period by combing budget for further savings. Smart cookie, Bill Peters.


Ran over somebody on way to work leaving nasty dent in Porsche. Knocked him clean over a hedge. The bugger kicked up a real stink - shut him up by threatening to sue him for leaving the scene of an accident. Got to work and called in junior marketing spod - girl called Debbie - works in research or something low impact. Told her she had two major opportunities.

Firstly, to analyse financial savings for the department and then to add financial analysis to her CV when she applies for her next job. Of course she burst into tears. Why do women always take being singled out and sacked so personally? Left office early and met Howard at gym. Did 70 lengths of the pool - not bad I thought until I realised it was the hot tub.


Strode into Club Lounge at Heathrow and nearly walked straight into Sir Marcus the Carcass all togged up in Hawaiian shirt with bags packed for Miami beach holiday. Managed to stifle laughter and escape without being spotted. Went straight to desk, whacked down Gold Card and insisted on upgrade to first class to avoid the Carcass and mother of all bollockings for flying again. They said the last seat had gone. Tried fear-of-flying routine, then corporate travel buyer tack and finally abject grovelling.

Nothing! Waited until desk was clear and asked them in a whisper to be downgraded to economy. Possibly worst moment of my life. Spent seven hours wedged in 'slum clearance' (economy) with baby on one side and Blue Card holder on the other. Didn't know which worse.


After quick 'meeting' with G&T in Club Lounge in JFK, got the red eye back with points safely on Gold card. No one I knew in Club so I studied route map in in-flight magazine and started to plan marketing strategy for next year. Early long-haul marketing push in New Zealand and Polynesia clearly required. Got back and went straight into office. Hayley was out shopping. Debbie (the sackee) had volunteered to do my expenses - alarm bells rang through jet lag. Found report on my desk itemising my expenses and possible 25% savings on them, all copied to Sir Marcus. Called Debbie in for quiet team meeting. Agreed she should stay on if both reports were in my hand by end of play. Smart cookie, young Debbie. But I still ended the week ahead on points.

You can contact John Weak at:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."