Saturday, 7 April 2007

The idleness of March

I took the month off. Obviously I still went into the office, but I have been pretty much inert. I reached a level of indolence that even I found troubling.

But, I managed to prevail. The business took care of itself, and I coasted into the last week, facing the final hurdle of a monthly Board meeting on Friday. No small challenge, as I had a brace of action points to contend with.

I parked the first, citing the complexity of the problem, and the need for a meeting dedicated to it alone - four weeks hence. At the aforementioned meeting it is true to say that the MD will eviscerate my proposal with forensic efficiency. Because, A: he is, and this is depressing to acknowledge, smarter than me. And, B: it's frankly, a piss-poor proposal. But, that's a month from now, a lot can happen in a month.

The second action is more troubling. At the Feb meeting there was a disturbing outbreak of altruism. People wanted to give the customers a better sales experience. Not to increase revenue or market share, just to be...nicer!?!??! Madness in principle, but more pressingly it's going to cost me about 1% in profit. I was a little more vigorous than is politic in my disagreement, but took the action to 'look into it'.

Being that I've been indisposed for the past few weeks, this 'looking into' had not progressed very far. So, Thursday evening arrives and I'm out on the town enjoying good gin and very agreeable company; but resigning myself to the fact that I'm going to have to swallow a 1% hole in the profit forecast the next morning. Facing the most unpleasant prospect of having to say yes something merely because I haven't got a decent argument against it.

But, fate, and Network Rail, intervenes. A points failure maroons me in the suburban hinterlands. I have nothing to occupy the hours but think. And think I do.

I arrive at the meeting, Friday morning, with a plan so cunning it could count the change in your pocket. A towering edifice of half-truths and inferences. Which presented in just the right light, at just the right angle; is cast in stone. And present it thus, I did.

Balance returns to the world - customers will continue to get a level of service which is good enough for them; and the money stays where it belongs, on my balance sheet.