BOFH: Knitting bobble hats on the steps of the guillotine

While the Boss happily skips up the steps and puts his neck on the block

Where do you see yourself in two years' time?

“I, uh...”

“I bet they waited for you to suggest a committee, working party or taskforce and then implied that it will be a lot of work. You, on the other hand, are thinking that you’ll be so busy wheelbarrowing cash to the bank that you might actually need someone to help you, and before you know it, you’ve created yourself out of a job.“

“In three months, when that usability clause kicks in,” I chip in.

“I, uh... what do I do?” he sniffs.

“If it was ME...” the PFY says.

“Yes?” the Boss asks.

“... I’d slip into the Director’s office and give him a couple of swift kicks to the scratch magnet. I mean, why not? You're for the high jump, anyway.”

What the PFY lacks in employment law he more than makes up for in insincerity.

"Or..." I say.

"Or?" the Boss echoes.

"... Or you crank the knob right round to 11."

"I'm not sure I follow."

"You beat the bastards at their own game."

"How?"

"The MOMENT you imply you have any form of solution you are stuffed. Instead, you spend your time 'gathering information' to determine the problem."

"Yeah... I..."

"Pretend you're one of those touchy-feely consultant types that produce meaningless reams of paper which tell you everything you already know, make recommendations that have already been made and basically paraphrase everything they've been told until now. What's the first thing they do to rack up a bunch of cash?"

"Uh... do a survey?"

"YES! Crank out a 20+ question, hopelessly ambiguous survey which asks crap questions like 'Do you like our website?' 'Do you know anyone who uses our website?'"

"Right. 'And what do you like/dislike about our website?'" the Boss asks.

"Hell no! That's a stage 2 question!"

"Stage 2?"

"You're milking this baby like a Jersey/Friesian cross!" I say. "Stage 1 is yes/no questions. Stage 2 is a round of 20+ more questionnaires, each expanding on one of the Stage 1 questions. So you have a Stage 1 question like 'Do you like our website?' For the 'yes' people, you have a bunch of questions which expand microscopically on the question asked – i.e. 'Do you like the font of our site?' 'Do you like the layout of our site?' 'Do we use too much red on our site?'"

"I UNDERSTAND!" the Boss gasps. "Before I know it, I'll be back in my job just to stop me asking questions!"

...

"Or before he knows it, he'll be out of his job for repeatedly spamming our users," the PFY says.

"Indeed. And there'll be a short-term job wheelbarrowing money to the bank till the company can disestablish that position..."


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