Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 4 May 2012

Project: Evil - Another Flaming Friday Brunch part 1

‘This is outrageous,’ exclaimed O’Feld, slamming the expense claims on the table. ‘Four pounds for a latte?  There should be laws against these crooks,’ he said, signing away the various receipts Brian had submitted to the EVIL Officer.
‘It was a very nice latte, for a carry out,’ justified Brian.
‘A carry out?’  O’Feld looked fit to burst.  ‘Right, this is now company policy – no more lattes over three pounds unless they come in a china mug, OK?  Execution for the next latte expensed for more than that,’ he said. Brian shrugged, it seemed reasonable.  O’Feld wasn’t finished, though.  ‘Soap seems quite reasonable, mind.  Are you sure the Rhino was ovulating?’
‘It’s what they say on the wrapper,’ Brian answered, panicking as he recognised the look in O’Feld’s eyes.
‘Talking of rappers - it’s Friday, where’s your communications lead, I want an update,’ he demanded.  Brian got ready to flush, but held off in case O’Feld raised the subject of the claim from the Secret Service for royalties.
‘I thought I could deliver the update this week,’ he said, lamely.  O’Feld waved him down.
‘Nonsense,’ he said, looking at the door, adding, ‘that’s what I look forward to on the Friday brunch, not your meaningless facts.  Bring Slippy Doggy Doo in,’ he insisted.  Brian opened the door and waved the rapper in.
 ‘Oy, Fow Eld, Yow the duck are hoo fooing?’ Slippy asked as he set up.  O’Feld just raised his hands up in exasperation.
‘I just wish the rest of my senior management team could speak to me as clearly,’ he said, adding, ‘continue.’
‘Well here is the truth, From Slippy Doggy Doo,
‘Told from me, To shitty evil you,
‘Gonads we’ve got, Fifty thousand or so,
‘Armadillos, I hear, So the project’s a go,
‘Bought at huge expense, From a shop that’s posh,
‘Brian’s bought some gold, that he’s expensing for....’
‘Stop!’ shouted O’Feld, thumping the table and startling everyone within firing range which, given he was holding a hunting rifle in the other hand, pretty much included everyone. ‘What’s happened to the cacophonous din that accompanies this rubbish?’ he demanded.  Slippy looked embarrassed.
 ‘Fum sother nucker micked it,’ he said.
‘I can explain,’ said Brian, ushering Slippy towards the door.
‘Don’t bother,’ exclaimed O’Feld, stopping Brian in his tracks, ‘it seems we’ve had a wave of robberies in this organisation lately; parking passes, Slippy’s boogie box, God only knows what else.  It seems to me that we’ve a cause for corporate celebration here.  Execute the rapper; he’s nothing but a pain in the arse.  And take the EVIL Officer down with him, too’ he said, staring at Lurch, ‘because he’s getting on my tits as well.  I’m sorry Brian, but you’re going to have to manage the finances for the project yourself going forward,’ he said, adding, ‘and the project communications also.  As it happens, it fits in with my new management process – we’re adopting Lean.  Do you understand the philosophy behind that?’ he asked.  Brian was prepared for this; Lean had cost him every job he’d ever held down, and in this job a payoff was pretty much unlikely, unless it was used to weigh you down in the Thames.
‘I’m comfortable with the concept of the Four Ps, Five S, Six Sigma and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’ he answered, quoting from the management textbooks, ‘and if you want me to adopt a Lean approach I can do that, too.  I’ll need to bring in consultants, redeploy operational staff and costs will double in your pursuit of cutting them, but at least the increase in costs will be tax deductable.  It may be worth paying tax just so that you can claw it back,’ he explained.  O’Feld considered what Brian had told him.
‘That’s what I thought, sounds like a plan.  Ditch the tax angle, though.  I don’t want my competitors to think we’ve gone straight. Now, moving on, I understand Daw has some news for me,’ he said, polishing his monocle absently.  Daw shuffled his papers nervously before responding.
‘Well, as you know, we think people are the heart of this organisation,’ he said, scanning the room, adding, ‘among other body parts. Which is why we think we should celebrate our employees,’ he stated.  O’Feld interrupted.
‘I thought we only used people because they are cheaper than machines?’ he asked.  One of the senior engineers raised his arm.
‘I think, Mr O’Feld, that it’s the opposite way around – machines can be designed to be run day and night for extended periods with very little attention paid to them, then replaced cheaply when they grind to a halt.’  Daw coughed in an attempt to stop the man digging a hole any deeper.
‘When he says machines, of course he means henchpersons and uninhabitants,’ he suggested, with O’Feld nodding in agreement.


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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