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VNU bribes journalists into following anal dictats

Please tidy up and we'll give you some beer

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Dutch IT publisher VNU is now offering the incentive of free beer in an effort to get journalists to abide by its hated "clean desk policy". A year's worth of threats, memos and active litter terrorism has had little effect on the desks of journalists. For some reason, hacks still think that having source material to hand is a useful pastime (crazy fools).

(One great example was a senior editor having to call the front desk on a weekly basis for several months to bring back all the reports etc that he arranged on his desk. They had all been packed up in black bin bags because they were (gasp!) on his desk after 6pm. They returned in the same bags. Every week.)

Now, however, VNU High Command has fired another memo to employees, reminding them of the compulsory dress-down day this Friday and expanding the clean desk policy to include cupboards, shelves and presumably seats, bags, clothing and drinks machines.

Departments will be inspected before and after, given targets and the one with the greatest improvement will be given a case of beer. Yowee! Now that's what we call management.

The original memo is below:

VNU SUMMER FILING DAY
Friday 2 September 2000

It's official dress down and clear out day on Friday 2nd September.

Even the 'clean desk policy' doesn't account for the rubbish that accumulates in cupboards, on shelves and all around the building. So it's time for a summer clear out to bring our lovely refurbished offices back to their former glory.

Your line manager will be setting individual targets for your department and Brin will be touring the building to do a 'before' and 'after' check-over. The department and runners-up who have shown the biggest improvement will receive a large case of beer at 5pm to get the weekend off to a good start. John Barnes will be doing the same for the Wardour Street offices.

Facilities will be providing additional bins and sacks. Contact the helpdesk on 2002 to arrange your supply.

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