Put the mouse down, and nobody gets hurt. No, I’m actually not joking. I was at a course on business-kendo a couple of weeks ago and one of the things we were taught is how anything on an office desk is a weapon if you look at it the right way. No, your mousemat isn’t a shield, though you might roll it up and smack the nose of Nate in Accounts with it. He could do with understanding that no means no. Or, given that he’s an accountant, that no means not-tax-deductible. Ah, I see from the look in your eyes that you’re starting to understand. No, no, I’m just putting the stapler down. You don’t need to flinch quite so much. It’ll come out pretty much of its own acco– no, don’t play with it, it’ll bleed.
Business-kendo. It’s a very good course and you should definitely arrange to go on it. Well, what department ever has budget for training unless the trainee is particularly useless? If you’re any good at your job then they can’t afford to lose you for the days you’d be off training. What you need to do – you should be taking notes, by the way – is offer to take the training as part of your holiday allowance. Make sure it’s booked, then cancel the holiday because your nephew has returned from Greece with some kind of rash and it appears to be contagious enough that his mother’s having trouble finding a doctor willing to treat it. Take pictures – Instagram has the right kind of filters for adding that, though you’ll need the special package. Yes, here’s a barcode you can scan that’ll give you access. Don’t mention it. Now, your holiday will be cancelled, but the cancellation fees for training courses can be ruinous, so they’ll send you anyway. Ideal. You can only really pull this stunt once a year though, so I’d pick your courses carefully. No, keep the catalogue of courses hidden away, that’s what desk drawers are for.
Well, after business-kendo I’d recommend the How to introduce business-sepuku course, but I have to declare an interest. Yes, I teach the course. Yes, I am Buddy. Yes, I am that Buddy. My, don’t you look like Worried and Cheerful had a child and you’re it?
I knew a man once, who made a habit out of insisting that his staff brought labelled cheese sandwiches for lunch every day, and then during the office meeting in the morning he would sneak out and swap all the cheeses around in the sandwich. They found him four weeks after it started, with all the pages from “Who moved my cheese” stapled individually to his face.
There is a meaning to that story, and it’s about moving cheese unnecessarily, but it’s not why I’m here today. I’m here to provide a little free training, a little business guru-ing for you. A little Buddy-zen, if you will.
Your aphorism for today is To succeed is business, it is necessary to make other people see things. The point of this should be obvious to you: if people can’t see things, then they don’t understand the problems that you face, or how your proposals can solve them. You don’t want to be known as Carol-who-thinks-we-always-need-more-toner any longer do you? The problem you have is that you are the only one who checks the printer queue, so it’s always you who notices that one of them is out of toner. If you didn’t do that – if you stuck to your own job instead – then other people would also complain about the toner. But you’re more efficient than that, so you don’t, and you end up always complaining about the toner. So, how do you get other people to see things?
Putting acid in the water supply would certainly work, but that’s not the right answer. If you reduce the number of printers in the office then people will start to see the benefits of the greater number, and understand the need to look after the– what is that?
What are you doing with that in the office? I’m not sure it is a permitted additiv– what? No, you really can’t – no, you shouldn’t– no, wait!
I see. Well, clearly you’re beyond the kind of advice and help I can offer you, and you’re going places all by yourself. No, no I don’t think I will explain what I mean actually. I’ll just go as well, and leave you to this. No, I still wouldn’t play with the staple if I were you, it’ll bleed. Yes. Exactly like that in fact.