Weak at the top - John Weak's diary

Weak at the top - John Weak's diary - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Bit off the job at the moment. You work your teats off for 20 years and then a bunch of snot-nosed kids with laptops become millionaires overnight.

Hayley (secretary) asked if she could go on self-assertion course. I said no. Found criminal type lurking on Directors floor - grungy teenager with more studs in his ear than a Welsh prop forward. Called security, who told me his name was Neil and he's on work experience from the Prince's Trust. If the Prince trusts little scrotes like that, then god help the monarchy. Got him changing photocopier toner. It's work and he should experience it. Cheered myself up at the gym checking whether no-bounce sports bras contravened Trades Description Act.


Sales director Ross Fulbright dropped in to tell me our fruit yoghurt sales were going pear-shaped and what was I doing about it? Reassured him we had a major advertising campaign planned. He said that was great but what about sales? Told him that was his job and to get his Mondeo back on the road. Those sales boys are a menace in the office - they should stick to their Little Chefs. Told Neil to clear out cigarette butts from my desk drawers. It's all good experience and he can put 'environmental management' on his CV. Surreptitiously counted his studs - a couple more perforations and you could rip parts of his head off like a postage stamp.

Hayley asked me nicely about self-assertion course. I said no. Why do secretaries need to assert themselves? That's my job.


Supply Chain Management meeting (lunch) with Bill Peters to talk about saving yoghurts. He said they already had every chemical known to man (and some still hush-hush). Half the chemicals kill the live yoghurt and the other half embalm it. Apparently, they use children's yoghurt to mop up after acid spillages in the factory. Over a very acceptable bottle of red he asked why I was bringing my love-child into the office. I explained about work experience and suggested it was never too late to try it. Bill said he was too old to start complicating his job with work. Got back from lunch and Hayley asked about course again. I said: read my lips - no. Neil gave me dirty look. I gave him bin bag and told him to clean the car park - 'logistics streamlining' on CV.


Friendly motivational chat from Sir Marcus (CEO) - ie, yoghurt JFDI or P45. If I had a monkey I certainly wouldn't give it for yoghurt - if you can't drink it, chew it or smoke it, you shouldn't put it in your mouth (slightly different for women, obviously). Applied first rule of marketing: when in doubt, brainstorm - you either get an idea and take the credit or you get nothing and blame the agency. Either way, your arse is well and truly camouflaged. Agency said they'd be happy to organise it (I'd be pretty happy, if I charged what they do) and can we bring along a couple of free thinkers. Considered Bill Peters but agency couldn't cope with that kind of lateral thinking (he does it lying horizontal in the gutter).

Said no to Hayley before she opened her mouth again and got Neil busy straightening files - 'horizontal integration' on CV.


Piss-poor brainstorm. Took Neil along as token free thinker (real thinkers don't have time for brainstorms) but he just played with the stud in his tongue. I asked him afterwards if he had metal fatigue. He grunted and passed me a grubby piece of paper with 10 corking ideas for marketing yoghurt to youth market. Amazing stuff. Offered him job as youth 'consultant'.

He said he was already setting up a net-based agency for the youth market called large.com. Saw my dot.com retirement package taking shape and suggested he might want some heavyweight business experience on the board. He said: read my lips - no. Clearly learnt a lot from his work experience.

You can contact John Weak at: john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

What are Simon Roberts’ big 3 challenges at Sainsbury’s?

The grocer's new CEO has taken the reins at a critical time.

Should CEOs get political?

The protests that have erupted over George Floyd’s murder have prompted a corporate chorus of...

“You literally have to rewrite your job description”

One minute briefing: In hard times, your network becomes more important than ever, says Prezi...

5 bad habits to avoid when leading remotely

In a crisis, it can be hard to recognise when you've taken your eye off...

A top-level guide to scenario planning

COVID creates unprecedented uncertainty, but there are tried and tested ways of preparing for an...

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...