Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Project: Evil - The Stakeholder Meeting part 1

‘This is totally unacceptable,’ said O’Feld, waving the mass of expense claims passed to him by the EVIL Officer before the meeting.  Brian looked at the wad and wondered which one would be challenged; the multifarious repair bills for his car, the excess insurance charge for the car he rammed or the PayPal charges for the Klaxon.  He also nurtured a fear that Bund had complained about the feedback Brian had provided; it was company policy to provide negative feedback, but Bund probably wouldn’t understand that. However, he had a valid excuse for each issue that would stand scrutiny; unfortunately none of them would stand scrutiny against each other.
‘We’ve never paid a parking fine in our corporate life,’ stormed O’Feld, popping his monocle onto the table, ‘that’s why we issue everybody with blue parking passes,’ he said.  Brian was irritated; Bund had nicked that pass to go with the two Brian had passed him already.  The way things were going, O’Feld Industries would be providing blue invalid parking passes for the entire British Secret Service.
‘My pass has been stolen, we may have a thief in the organisation,’ muttered Brian.
‘Of course we do, we have a department that specialises in theft,’ O’Feld reminded Brian.  ‘Now, how about this project report?’ he asked, nodding at Slippy Doggy Doo.  Slippy pushed the ‘Play’ button, starting the thumping cacophony that accompanied his rap.
‘Yo, Man O, Feld’s the best, trust ol’ Slippy, to provide the rest;
‘Project’s run, for the man, looks like it’s goin’, down the pan;
‘Money’s tight, can’t get no cash, EVIL Officer, don’t do flash;
‘Brian’s low, on his fund, and now he’s talking, with James...’
‘That’ll be enough,’ said Brian, stopping the boogie box and hustling Slippy out of the door.
‘Whut the fack?’ complained Slippy as the door was slammed in his face.
‘So, the EVIL Officer is still starving you of funds?’ asked O’Feld.  Brian was impressed and frightened in equal measure – if anyone started to understand the nonsense spouted by Slippy then there was a risk that they’d understand how badly the project was being run, admittedly as per the PRINCE2 guidelines.  That was why he’d chosen a dyslexic rap singer to provide communications; too many projects had been stopped in the past because the stakeholder management found out how deep the shit was. Apart from the public sector where the shit was seen as a project deliverable, anyway.
‘Pretty much,’ answered Brian to O’Feld’s question, adding, ‘I’ve tried to appeal to his better nature...’
‘Have you tried putting a loaded pistol in his mouth?’ asked O’Feld.
‘That’s what I said,’ answered Brian, confused.  What the hell did O’Feld think appealing to his better nature meant?  One minute he could understand inarticulate burble from a dyslexic rapper, the next he was incapable of understanding plain double speak.
‘Then pull the trigger next time,’ suggested O’Feld.  ‘The man’s a pain in the arse.  Now, how’s the search for fifty thousand armadillo gonads going?’  The whole meeting leant forward in anticipation; this was the first time O’Feld had found a weapon more ridiculous than anything Gold Digit had dreamt up. 
‘We’ve applied to be nominated as Megalomaniac Organisation With The Most Stupid Method Of Destroying The Planet Award,’ said Daw, holding up the TV Times, an artist’s impression of the planet being split in halve on the front cover.  ‘Ant and Dec are the hosts this year,’ he added.
‘Applied?’ asked Brian, ignoring the cruel irony of two megalomaniac presenters hosting the show who revelled in dropping D-list celebrities into the Australian outback, making them suffer humiliations that Lurch would shy from.  O’Feld had publicly said that he only held off recruiting them to his team because they had a habit of going back into the jungle to bring the losers back.
‘OK, I bribed the organisers,’ grumbled O’Feld, ‘but everybody does that.  We’ve been nominated twice before, but never got anywhere close.  Brass Digit,’ he said, giving Daw a steely stare that was reciprocated with a shrug, ‘has a team of jokers dreaming up daft ways to achieve world domination around the clock; this is the first time I’ve employed a bona fide idiot to do the job for me,’ he said.
‘And he wins with the ideas his team dreams up?’ asked Brian, intrigued. There could be a job opportunity here, he thought. O’Feld nodded.
‘I thought I was in with a chance a few years ago.  We invented the Collateralised Debt Obligations, financial instruments that should have been a boon to the market; but we spiked them with lots of stupid subprime debts that only a moron or a banker would think was a good idea.  In fact, most morons recognised it was a bad idea as soon as they saw them, only being market traders on commission, they didn’t care.  We nearly crashed the whole of the developed world with what was arguably the most stupid idea known to modern finance.’
‘And you didn’t win?’ asked Brian, incredulous; it sounded so daft, it couldn’t be made up. O’Feld rolled his eyes in frustration.


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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