Monday, April 11, 2005
The Evil Overlord Of Middle Management
"...and I'd like to go through that with you beforehand...", said Martin, looking up for the first time, a slightly sheepish expression on his face. Derek resisted the urge to punch him. No punching, that was emphasised in the course too.
"Go ahead, Martin". Derek wasn't sure what Martin had been talking about, or why he was in his office. Derek had been told to have an "open-door" policy, but he was sure it didn't mean you had to entertain your fuckwitted subordinates all day long.
"Right, well, the board meeting is on Tuesday."
"Yes, I know." No punching.
"Well, I wasn't sure what form my presentation should take."
"You're just presenting the department accounts, Martin, nothing tricky", said Derek as he repeatedly pressed the button hidden under his desk. Nothing happened. The bastards had disabled the trapdoor.
"I know, but I wanted to run through what I was going to say."
"Say what I normally say: we're doing fine. We're under budget, thanks to some cutbacks, but we could do so much more with a few more resources."
"But, that's not true, sir. They slashed our budget for this year when they found out about that volcano island underground base project. "
"Yes... they'll pay for that, oh yes...", Derek rubbed his hands together and gazed out of the window across the car park.
"Er, sir. You're doing the laugh again. You know you're not supposed to..."
"Silence! Insolent dog!"
"Sir, I don't want to have to report you to Human Resources, please", said Martin, edging his seat back a little. At the mention of Human Resources, Derek's face paled and he shuddered. Not the management course, not again.
"Sorry, continue Martin."
"So, I, er, made this model of the boardroom. This is where I thought I'd stand to begin with, moving around the table as I mentioned all the wonderful things we've produced in the past. The monorail system, the orbital defence array, the one-man submersible technology-"
"The death ray?"
"No, sir. I was going to skip that one."
"What about the sharks with laser beams for eyes?"
"Um, no. Not really a project with wide applications."
"Damn. I liked that one."
"Anyway, once I'd reminded them of our usefulness, I was going to press for an increase in our budget."
"Of 500 billion dollars?"
"No, sir. This is departmental budget allocation meeting not a ransom threat."
"I always treated them the same way."
"We can't do that any more, sir."
"It got results."
"It also got you sent to the training facility." Derek flinched as Martin said it.
"So, what are you going to do if they refuse the increase?"
"Ah, six months ago the boardroom was refurbished and I took the opportunity to install a laser, left over from the shark project, into the security camera over here."
"Martin... I'm impressed."