Monday, 3 June 2013


“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.  No, seriously, that’s just going to –.  Well.  Ouch.  That’s quite a lot of blood you’re losing there, don’t you think?
You don’t need to shout.  In fact, I have my doubts that you’ll be able to shout much longer if you don’t do something about that blood loss, and quickly.  You’re staining the carpet as well, you know?  Oh, you hadn’t noticed?  Well you are, and I believe that Facilities are very big on charging these kinds of things back to you if you can’t demonstrate that it was genuinely an injury occurred during your working day.
Well, you’re in the office, even if it Saturday.  Facilities aren’t going to just roll over and play dead because it’s overtime you know.
No, I’m not in Facilities.  I find that quite complimentary actually, they work very hard at what they do, and if it all goes smoothly then no-one ever comes up and congratulates them on a job well done, do they?  What?  No, I’m not going to call an ambulance for you.  I’m Buddy, I’m here as a corporate guru, your helper through the minefield of office politics.  My job is to see that you’re fit for the chase, not to pick you up half-way through, kiss your boo-boos better and tell you ‘better luck next time, child’.  Call your own ambulance.
Well, pressure on the wound is definitely a good idea, though I’m not sure I’d use my belt as a tourniquet like that.  Because it’s going purple, that’s why.  Fine, if you’re comfortable like that, you do so.  You should still call an ambulance in my opinion.
Why am I here?  Ah, I’m glad you finally asked, I was starting to think I was just part of the furniture to you.  I’m here to talk to you about Forcing.  Oh don’t look so embarrassed, even HR knows about the magazines in the locked drawer of the bottom of your desk, but that’s not what I meant.  As a life-lesson though: don’t keep that kind of thing near people you don’t want seeing it. Keep it at home, or if that doesn’t work, put them in a heavy-duty plastic bag and find a field somewhere, with some concealing bushes, and bury it there.  After all, and this is, you understand, only peripheral, your drawers can be forced too, and locking them just makes that all the more appealing.
No, of course the drawers don’t look forced.  Facilities have all the master keys, for those days when you lock your laptop in there and accidentally swallow the key.
Forcing is about taking an idea whose time has clearly come and sanding it down a little, smoothing away the rough edges and trimming off the inconvenient corners until it will fit like a tight little peg in the hole you’ve picked out for it.  Like family-trees, only with fewer recriminations and withheld party invitations.  It’s big with the kind of people with corporate, non-food, uses for transglutaminase.  Actually I know you know what I mean, but you should be aware that you have a tell when you lie.  You breathe.
You’re at the point in your career now when you need to consider Forcing as an option.  The corporate ladder doesn’t just grow new rungs when you need them, nor do people climb down very often, or fall off without a little help.  You need to figure out how to use Forcing to shoulder your way up to the next rung and stay there, elbowing the people around you until you’ve cleared enough space for you to be confident of Forcing your way up to the next level.  No, it doesn’t have to be illegal.  Unless you feel there’s no other viable options I suppose, but I’m sure there will be.  I’ve never had a client yet who actually needed to do something illegal.
Well, we have some simple exercises for you to do – although I would recommend that you call that ambulance before you try any of these.  Yes, I’m aware how hard it is to use a touch-screen phone when your hands are all bloodied and weak, but you don’t need to know the details of that.  Just keep trying, you’ll get there eventually.  But back to the Forcing: do you remember your secretary telling you about the cruise she’s booked for her fifteenth wedding anniversary?  Your secretary.  Short woman, wears purple a lot, types at 150wpm and drinks camomile tea from a mug with a yellow daisy painted on it.  Your.  Secretary.  Yes, that one.  The ambulatory shrub, yes.  How much blood do you think you’ve lost now?  Well, her holiday will mean that she’s not around during the next corporate retreat, which you’re expecting to give three presentations at.  Ah, that look on your face means that you’ve seen the issue as we– oh, I see if meant you’d just lost control of your bladder.  Oh well.  Facilities will be charging you for that too, you know.
Back to your secretary: if she’s on holiday you won’t be organised enough to give all three of those presentations, but you need to in order to show everyone that you work much harder and are more committed.  So you need to find a way to get your secretary to be available, you need to Force her.  More than that though, you need to provide her with an outlet for her anger at your Forcing, and that outlet should be Scott’s PA.  That way Scott won’t be as-well-prepared as he should be, and you can leapfrog him.  Yes, quite possibly literally; I hear there’ll be team-building events on this retreat.  So you need to find a way to cancel her holiday and make it Scott’s PA’s fault.
Are you listening to me?  Hello?  Don’t make me hit you.
Huh.  I guess that ambulance is going to be a bit la–.  Ah, you never actually managed to hit the Call button.  No ambulance then.  
I wonder what Scott is doing today?

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