Tuesday, October 25, 2022

From The Archives: Nov 2004: Whom Adjusted The Situation Of My Cheesy Comestibles? (not the original title)

[E@L was randomly reading stuff on his computer when he found the text version of the archives from his old blog, pre-Blogger, which was lost when there was a change the programming language when he wasn't watching so his free software didn't run anymore... He had already saved the more salacious ones to Evernote, but some, like this one, he had forgotten and hadn't reformatted.

Here for today's Nostaligia Hour is:]    


Business seminar and/or a self-help book I'd like to see

Who Took A Dump on My Cheese, Spread It Over A Pissed-on Cracker, Made Me Eat It, Then Forced Me To Say I Found It A Challenging And Rewarding Experience?: Coping with Change in the Multi-National Organisation, or Not. A Seminar/Book/AstrologicalGuide for Distraught Marketers, Traumatised Technical Support, Melancholoy Managers and Failed Salesmen. 

Coming to an unemployment agency waiting room coffee table near YOU! 


What is it with Big Companies' obsession with all this fucking around with Logos and Mission Statements and Prime Directives and Branding...? 

Fucking hell, the only guys making money out of all this change are; 

 1: printers: redoing your stationery and business cards every other fortnight 
 2: the logo designer: ditto... 
 3: the caterers for all those re-branding team meetings and "change" seminars 

 4: the "trainers" at said seminars. 

(I remember one "efficiency" seminar I was forced to attend where the guy in his opening 15 minute speech berated all hospital workers at the time - we were in the early stages of being Jeffed! - for being so inefficient that 30% of our time was wasted in unnecessary and redundant activities! He then started some John Cleese videos and went outside and to lie down in the sun, have a sandwich and a smoke, and stare at the back of his eyelids for two hours. That's about 90% saved time for him. Obviously this was the efficiency we were to aim for! And considering how much the hospital paid him -- sweet! However he never told us what those unnecessary and redundant activites were - x-raying the fractured skulls of motorcycle accident victims who were going to die anyway? [Fucking twat he was. Drove a Beemer. Total Quality Wanker!])

 5: the psychologists who deal with the stress and anxiety to intelligent, experienced, mature workers, those who had over the years gradually devised strategies for using the system to its max, and making things work smoothly, keeping things going, staying ahead of problems, anticipating issues... only to have a bloody/bloodless coup in upper management force everybody to try it THEIR way for a change... Until that "change" is revealed as a dismal failure and another coup takes place upstairs and everything changes again... Next narcissistic fucking young gun with their experimental MBA thesis, please... 


The assumption that your average consumer wouldn't know if his arse was on fire ignores the presence of all the pain receptors we have under the skin of our buttocks. So why rebrand? Why not just give up and sell your widget cheaper if it's so bad that sales are crap! Consumers distrust change. That why they use credit cards. No noisy heavy change filling up their pockets. No, I mean "change" as in alteration, difference, variation, cheese-moving.

And don't employees hate change? Yes, they do! They all know what it really means. More empty seats in the office, and fewer people in the shout on Friday nights. Bad news, in a word. You see, there's Change (rising tone then falling tone) and then there's Change (low tone.) 

Change would be OK if it was sold as "Improvement", but it is not marketed that way. It is just branded as ambiguous "change" and that implies the possibility of the quality of the changed thing going either way. To worse, or to better - who knows? Someone knows. But they don't want to tell you! And that's part of the strategy! Cunning! Indeed! They can always say, later when things go to hell in a handbasket that they had hoped we would all pull together (in a big corporate wank, a mass debate?) to ensure that the change would be for the better. As if they didn't know! 

You know that up top, in the head office, there really has to be someone in the organisation who has an idea of what is going down in the marketplace... Well, you can only maintain your sanity in the organisation if you have that belief. Like believing in God helps good people cope with world-wide suffering, cancer in lab mice, the coffee in Starbucks and other existential horrors. Unfortunately in most corporations, this person is most likely the building janitor.  Nevermind, God does a lot of minor running repairs as well, like, um, making statues bleed, and um, etc... I am sure there must be other things Alanis has done recently, but I'll save that for another blog (when I want to get kicked off my ISP again...) 

Well, yeah, that person, (like every employee) knows that "change" is just a synonym for "mass sackings and profiteering before it all goes belly-up." But they would have trouble getting that past some of the more sensitive board-members and share-holders (for the whom the world was created), so they repackage their personal parachutes as Total 69 Quality Sigma Depowerment or somesuch and surf the boardroom on that wave for a while. Then, as part of the new deal, they alter the company logo so no lawyers, employees or customers can recognize who they are, where they work, or who the product was manufactured by, let alone who for. 

Then, lacking any other coherent methodology to improve sales, they do a round of downsizing that boosts the sales/employee ratio [this is a real ratio - even companies like Royal Dutch Philips, for one, put it in their annual reports! see below] and restructure some 3rd world (European) factories with a bull-dozer, all of which jumps the market price up a notch, then they take their share-priced enriched retirements... or would if they could. 

 (From Philips annual report, 2003.) 

So you either improve your sales or sack people - the result is the same. Which is easier? 

Well we're not going to take it anymore! We're on to you! We deserve to be more than a cell number in a spread-sheet, a liability on the denominator of our life-worth's equation. We want to know in advance the REAL direction any proposed "change" is going to take our work, our knowledge, our lives, our window desk! 

We're going to find out what it really means when you put some fancy Powerpoint 3D semi-transparent graphic of the new reporting structure on the screen and we're not going to take it lying down.

Ah, yes the Better/Worse HIAH ratio

(Adapted from Philips annual report, 2003) 

We certainly won't be lying down at all, as we haven't achieved that level of efficiency yet... 

Not even 


Trumpeting A Reunion

E@L caught up with a bunch of old school friends and some other guys he knew from that end-of-school era when some of my friends were at just starting at the brand new Deakin University. We are talking just shy of 500, sorry, typo, 50 years!

Hey, you, turn the Nostalgia Machine to 11!

We spoke of some common acquaintances from those days (1974-76). A few of those who were my closer friends back in the day seem to have vanished, though E@L knew of one who has passed away, The brother of one others was there, but he also had little idea where the once popular guy had gone. It's sort of sad, but it was good to chat to these two (no names, no pack drill), even though, as we were not that close, it took a few seconds for them to recognise the reconstructed  E@L (no wild surfie hair, no flat tummy, not any more).


And we were at a CHURCH!!! and no, E@L didn't catch fire or get hit by a falling spire that had been struck by lightning as he entered! Hoo wooda thunk!

Why was E@L tempting such the wrath of The First Cause? you ask.

Ah, another one of E@L's high school colleagues was heading up a small fund-raising concert featuring jazzed up versions of classical music such as Bach and Vivaldi, with some contemporary compositions, all in conjunction with the funereal bellowing of the large church organ! Wow!

Turns out the bandleader, trumpeter, arranger, and composer of some the jazz pieces, E@L's said school colleague, Chris Skepper, is one the most sought after trumpet players around, and legend amongst those who know. He was in backing bands for tours by Boney M, and Cilla Black, and has worked with most of the more media-exposed artists such as Paul Grabowski, and other Aussie jazz legends.


For all the way modern jazz trades ex-tempore 8s and 4s, which can get tedious until they get back the main theme (sorry jazz fans), all the musicians were at the top of their instruments' quality tree and the result was of course was great entertainment.

(Not my photos. Sorry Rob, no way of asking you for permission.)


Why did we know about this concert? Next week [last week now, forgot to publish this] there is an even bigger reunion planned, maybe 20 guys from school and surfing heading to Ye Olde Schoole Pubbe, The Gold Diggers Arms in Skeene St, where once upon a time they served you in your college uniform until you threw up in the hallway on the way to the exit... We found Chris on Meta, sorry, Facebook, and he told about this prior engagement and his inability to attend. So we decided to head there as well! 

So. No music at the Diggers, no Chris Skepper (his band is playing in Melbourne), just copious beer, and wondering who will remember/recognise


Free Podcast

Related Posts with Thumbnails