Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 23 March 2012

Project: Evil – Design Freeze Meeting part 1

‘How are things going with Miss Bigtits?’ asked Daw.  O’Feld huffed heavily.
‘She’s very demanding, asked me this morning why she isn’t dripping gold, like all the other Megalomaniac Mistresses,’ he said, holding up a copy of the latest edition of “Megalomaniac Mistress Monthly.”  ‘This magazine is nothing but trouble, if you ask me,’ he said, looking up as Brian coughed.
 ‘The purpose of Design Freeze is to decide for once and for all what the project will deliver,’ Brian reminded the assembled group of engineers, scientists and senior management.
‘So we can’t change anything once we agree on this meeting?’ asked O’Feld, looking at his watch, wondering if the gold paint would have dried yet.  Brian shuffled nervously; he hated this part of the project.
‘Ideally, no, not without Project Sponsor agreement, agreement on extra funding and acceptance that deadlines might change,’ he said, wincing.  The trick of all successful projects ever known to man – both of them – was to keep the Project Sponsor thinking that Design Freeze meant what it said.
‘Is the Project Sponsor the most senior person in the organization?’ asked O’Feld, surprising Brian as a potential escape route presented itself.
‘Not necessarily, and in big organizations such as this very, very big organization then the head honcho is often way too busy to deal with the trivia associated with project sponsorship.  That’s often delegated down to some Junior Senior manager,’ answered Brian, trying to make sure he flattered O’Feld enough to dissuade O’Feld from killing him, but not so much that O’Feld would decide he was the only person in the organization capable of sponsoring this project.
‘We got rid of all our Junior Senior managers in the management review, didn’t we?’ O’Feld asked Daw.
‘No, we got rid of all the Senior Junior managers in that cull but left the Junior Senior managers until the Head of Catering advised we were getting low on meat supplies,’ Daw answered.
‘Menus are being prepared, freezers being tidied and I reckon I could squeeze an additional Project Manager in too,’ piped up the Head of Catering.
‘So, who is the Project Sponsor?’ asked O’Feld, looking around the table, adding, ‘because I suspect he’s overdue a cull himself.’  Unsurprisingly nobody spoke up, which seemed to please O’Feld.  ‘So, by default, I reckon I must be the sponsor, which means I can agree changes anytime I like without having to shoot anybody,’ he said.  Daw looked up from the personnel handbook he’d been consulting as O’Feld had spoken.
‘I think you mean “fire anybody”,’ he pointed out.  O’Feld nodded his head.
‘Same difference,’ he said, then turning to Brian he tapped his pencil on the table, ‘So, what’s the proposal?’ he asked.
‘Well, we can’t get any antimatter, so the Super Heated Antimatter Gun is dead in the water,’ Brian said, adding, ‘but on the positive side we’ve managed to arrange for an airstrip to be flown in using Hydrogen Airships, so we can supply everything we need soon after the airstrips are delivered and assembled.’  O’Feld held a finger up, which Brian resignedly acknowledged.
‘Isn’t Hydrogen the gas that changes the voice pitch?’ he asked.  One of the scientists leaned forward.
‘No, Mr O’Feld, that’s Helium,’ he said.  O’Feld wasn’t convinced.
‘When my grandfather sabotaged the Hindenberg, he said it was full of Hydrogen and when it went on fire all the passengers voices went up an octave – “oh f*ck, we’re on fire”,’ he said in a falsetto.  It was agreed that O’Feld was, as usual, correct.  Brian continued.
‘Once the airstrip is in place we can fly in the materials to build the launch pad and mission control.  In fact, since we no longer need to buy antimatter we can afford to build a pointless false volcano and place the rocket launch facility in there.  The engineers think having mission control around the blast tubes with inward facing windows would be a cool idea, too.’
‘Wouldn’t that be foolhardy and stupidly dangerous?’ asked O’Feld, warming to the idea.  Brian held up a sheet of paper with some rough calculations scribbled on.
‘Ordinarily, I’d agree, but NoDangerStyle UK have agreed to provide glazing for the inwards facing windows, and being double glazed uPVC units they reckon they should block out some of the blast sounds too.’  The Health and Safety Lead rubbed his hands together as he realised he could get away with fewer earplugs, easing his budget. 


The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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