Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Project: Evil - Project Logistics Meeting part 1

‘First of all,’ said Brian, scanning the room, ‘please welcome Doctor Froshdu who is joining the project as a consultant.  He specialises in deploying animal body parts into low Earth orbit,’ he added, pointing at Froshdu’s seat before realising it was empty.  Looking around, Brian realised that Froshdu had spotted the buffet and had pulled a couple of chairs up to it.  Froshdu raised a hand in welcome, but didn’t face the meeting. 
Brian bristled as the buffet traditionally wasn’t touched until the halfway mark.  He’d already revised the catering budget twice since Froshdu had joined the company and if he’d known how greedy Froshdu was, he’d probably wouldn’t have had to use the electrodes to get his information, would have only needed to threaten to make him miss a meal instead.  Daw had suggested that torture was totally unnecessary anyway – a plate of sandwiches could have averted the whole unsavoury episode.  One of the engineers raised his hand.
‘How do you become an expert in dropping animal body parts into low Earth orbit?’  Froshdu stopped eating momentarily, then half turned while stuffing a sandwich into his mouth.
‘It was Britain’s contribution to the European Space Agency project list,’ he said, spraying everybody with semi-masticated processed ham encased in cheap, white bread.  ‘We were so late coming to the table all the proper experiments had been snapped up by the Germans and the French.  They wanted our cash; we wanted to look like we were active in the space race, so somebody invented the project.  It could have been worse; Belgium got to research the effects of re-entry on cow shit.’
‘Which is?’ asked Brian, intrigued.
‘Blobs of red hot, cast iron-hard cow shit raining down on the land.  Kills over a fantastic range,’ spluttered Froshdu.
‘Cool, could we build something like that?’ asked one of the engineers.
 ‘No,’ said Brian, holding his hand up.  ‘We’re not changing design again, so soon after design freeze.  Unplanned, uncosted and improbably difficult design changes come much later in the process, well after the point of practicality,’ he said, quoting from the “PRINCE2 guide to Project Management” or perhaps “Project Management For Really Stupid People” – he couldn’t remember which book, they’d both taken up nearly an hour each to read months previously.  He put his hands on his hips to try and look like he was in control – now that was the PRINCE2 manual. ‘So, where are we up to with the logistics planning?’ Public Sector man put his hand up.
‘I’m having problems sourcing the Secret Service Intruder Klaxon, apparently there were only two ever made. One’s located in the Headquarters of the British Secret Service; the other is being used as an evacuation alarm at Pinewood film studios.’ Brian pondered the challenge – it was obvious what needed to be done, but his options were limited, the security at Pinewood was notoriously tight.
‘We’ll see if we can steal it from the Secret Services HQ,’ he decided. ‘Anything else?’ Dodgy raised his hand.
‘These revisions to the catering supplies, just how big is the island?’ That was a tough question, Brian hadn’t actually looked at the physical dimensions. Hey, O’Feld was planning to send five hundred employees plus five thousand uninhabitants there, so it must be pretty big, he reckoned.  He certainly couldn't see a reason why he should have checked previously.
‘Big,’ he announced, adding, ‘I wouldn’t get too worked up about the supply levels building up too large, just make sure that we can resupply at least twice daily,’ he said, looking at Froshdu working his way along the buffet.  ‘Make that three times daily.’  He looked at the engineer with an arm raised.
‘I’ve been looking at Mr O’Feld’s additions to the design, the extra fourth stage to a rocket design always intended to be three stages and the colour change. Do you know how many shades of beige there are?’ he asked, spreading a Dulux colour chart in front of him.


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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