WEAK AT THE TOP: John weak's diary

WEAK AT THE TOP: John weak's diary - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Utter disaster!! Tim Smallwood has introduced timesheets to improve efficiency and save costs. Normally, I ignore any kind of initiative from the finance department, as they're paid to stop initiatives. Had an extended lunch with Bill Peters to discuss how timesheets reduce people to worker ants. Bill was outraged that he was being asked by finance to account for his movements in 1999. Of course, the main reason behind all this cost-cutting is that last year Smallwood bankrolled an internet start-up called Blackhole.com and he's trying to recoup some of the millions that went into it.


Finance department has decided that our global competitiveness will be enhanced if we charge staff 2p for vending-machine coffee. I call this visionary new policy 'change management' because it means that everybody has to carry around four tons of loose change. I fiercely resisted this at board meeting, but Smallwood said look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Bollocks. If you spend the whole time looking after the pennies you end up with a sack full of coppers. After work, went with Howard to the gym, where we had one too many warm-up drinks and then lifted an exceptionally heavy weight onto the chest of a nasty little man in a headband who we've never really liked.


Arrived late for work after lengthy search down back of sofa for coffee money. Shirley on reception had world's largest thermos sitting on her desk. I like Shirley. She's got balls and I like that in a woman. Smallwood is on a roll. He has now instituted a new policy of double-sided photocopying, which he believes will impress the City analysts. Notices about the new policy have gone up around the building. They are a bit difficult to read because they've been copied on both sides. Had crisis lunch with Bill and we agreed that Smallwood wouldn't be happy until we are a cost-free company producing profits from thin air (ie, a consultancy). Our suspicions were confirmed when we discovered Smallwood had cut expenditure on biscuits for staff. This was a bit rich, considering he insists on chocolate Hobnobs at all board meetings.


Shirley is now selling Jammie Dodgers at 10p a shot - probably the most profitable part of our business right now. I spent the morning filling in my timesheet, divided between 'Filling in timesheet', 'Finding change for coffee machine' and 'Turning over photocopies'. Smallwood circulated the report he'd prepared for the board meeting itemising all the cutbacks without mentioning the Blackhole fiasco. He's hoping we'll forget he's pissed away 10 years' profits. Faced with that kind of corporate shenanigans, Bill and I decided a little pushback was required. Before going home we put together a plate of chocolate Hobnobs and glued them all together.


Board meeting to discuss mid-year results. Smallwood started crowing about slashing costs. Hayley brought in the coffee and Hobnobs. Bill emptied a little bag of coppers onto the table and started working out what 2p times 12 was. Hayley then asked me to fill in her timesheet. Then I got mine out to write: 'Filled in Hayley's timesheet'. Smallwood reached for a Hobnob and lifted the entire plate off the tray. Some bastard had left a Post-it note underneath which read 'Blackhole?' I asked everyone to turn Smallwood's report over. Someone concerned with cost-saving had photocopied a summary of the Blackhole losses on the back. We then got down to the real business of slashing things such as Smallwood's salary, reputation, department, bonus, future etc.

Contact John Weak at john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk.

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