On being a shite manager

So the employees of PeopleChosen Inc. looked up and cried, “Why have we not heard of the management in a long time? We grow apprehensive, as the silence of the managers is rarely a good thing!”

Then the spirit of management went into Moses, and he spake Ten Commands of Workplace Conduct to the workforce; and the workforce said: “What? No stealing? Not even Post-It notes or a few biros?”

So Moses became the line manager, and Joshua after him; and Joshua was known for his aggressive takeovers of other companies, and of then ruthlessly downsizing those assets, all of them. And under Joshua the company became a brand.

But the employees grumbled, and adopted alien practices, and dallied with headhunters; and the successors of Joshua were wroth. And some of the people took their coffee break to cry up for succor; and the management sent four and twenty bears that tore into them.

And the successors of Joshua said: “Do not meddle in the affairs of the management, for they are subtle and quick to anger; and slow to anger, too. Actually they are capable of anger on a wide variety of timeframes.”

But in time there came a man who had the spirit of the management in him; and he spoke in parables and platitudes, and was forceful and coolly anti-authoritarian; and the people said of him, “he is like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs combined, come before they did.”

The line managers terminated this man’s contract with extreme prejudice; and he started a company of his own.

In his own company he was difficult to reach, and the company was stricken with division and dissent: for some said the man had been a manager in a man’s guise, and some that he had been manager on the left side and a man otherwise; and still others said the man and the management were inseparable and made one in him. And, miracle of miracles, this strife did not cause the downfall of the new company, but much expansion because each party was eager to get to customers before the other did.

In time the founder’s actions were written into a biography in four parts, plus appendices on the early days of the company and motivational essays by one of the early directors; and though the book was something of a PR device, it was a very nice book, except for the last part which people generally thought was for a corporate vision a bit too heavy on the blood and gore.

But once again the employees cried up, saying: “The working conditions are a bit shite down here. Some limits on the plague, hail and bandits please?”

But the answer that came from the directors — for the manager in the sky was silent — was merely this: “You shall have a fuller life once you retire; as for the present time, preparations for a process of quality assessment are under consideration; and the floggings will continue until employee morale improves.”

And some of the employees cried up: “What about workplace romances?”

And one director said: “All work is a romance!”

And a second director said: “Romance is evil, for your devotions should be directed at the management that loves you. And it does; have a poster that says so.”

And a third director said: “Love is not for the directors! And honestly, if it is not for the directors it’s not for you either!”

And a fourth director said: “Workplace romances are a sweet, good thing, but not within the same department; for that is an abomination unto the management.”

And a fifth director said: “Disregard that, I approve romances within departments.”

And there was much confusion, and many employees said they rather obeyed the voice of the management that was within their own breasts; and the directors generally were of two minds or more about this.

Then a great war came to happen in the United Annex, for the employees in the North Building were for the rights of the IT staff; and the employees in the South Building were for putting the IT staff in cages and beating them with sticks. Mostly because cages, unlike IT staff, can take a beating.

And the employees of the South Building pointed at the memoirs of the founder, and said: “See! It says there you shouldn’t beat the IT staff too much, but it doesn’t say you shouldn’t beat them at all! Also states’ rights!”

And the employees of the North Building pointed at the same book, and said: “Extrusions of bovines! It says also, every employee is your fellow employee so treat them right forever.”

And then there was a great argument on whether a specific rule overruled a general rule or vice versa; and as the management above was silent, it came to sniping and catcalls and a leadership conference at Gettysburg; and the interpretation of the North Building was victorious.

Then the question of intradepartmental romances and marriages came up: and as the management above was silent, there was much division, and many employees lived out their careers fearing the discovery of their romances, and a premature retirement thereby. And the directors said, “the management has spoken already, we have the book, and it would be silly to demand the management to speak again.”

And the employees nodded and said: “Yes, it would be silly to accuse the management of poor communication skills. Why, these small problems of IT staff, of intradepartmental romances, of the wages of skirt-wearing employees, of contraception during work hours, of director misconduct, genocide and the like, are clearly something for which the management cannot be blamed for we are sinful employees and solely to blame. No efficient, quality-conscious management would ever deign to micromanage matters so small as these. Go on, blame us some more!”

And the directors said, “Wait a minute, that was not sarcasm, was it?”

And so the shite parable was ended.

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