BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits
BOFH helps promote his company's 'Story' (if promote = bag of quicklime)
"Yes, but there have been significant changes to the company since then and these need to be reflected in the company branding, the logo, our mission statement and the website," the Director says.
"There's going to be a meeting about this, isn't there?" I sigh.
"There'll be several meetings. The thinking is that we'll have a series of whole-of-company meetings to brainstorm each of the areas - branding, logo, mission statement and website."
"Of course there will," the PFY sighs.
"Which is where you come in," he adds.
"Oh, I'd love to - but I'm vacuuming the server room floor that day," I say.
"And I'm vacuuming the server room sub floor," the PFY chips in...
"We need video conferencing. To the desktop," he blurts, ignoring us.
"All the desktops."
"All the desktops?!"
"Yes, all the desktops in the company. Senior management thought it would be a great way to get everyone together - without forcing them to leave their work areas. To get input from the common man in their workday environment, as it were."
"And you realise that pretty much no one has a camera?"
"So that's about 70 out of 800 staff - not everyone has a laptop. Should I go and buy 750 webcams?"
"Don't you mean 730?"
"I'm betting that 20 of the laptop cameras will have been destroyed by people trying to ensure they can't be snooped on by the invisible internet demon."
"So it'll take... uh... a few weeks to source that many cameras and another couple of weeks to install them all - or another 8 weeks if we just send them out to people and get them to install them by themselves. Is there a time constraint on this? Though of course the network won't handle it - and even if it did I don't know of a videoconference service that could handle the simultaneous connections - unless we implement multicast - and even if it did I think your multi-conference would just be endless audio interruptions of numbers phones ringing, fart noises and people saying 'can you hear me?'"
"Okay - maybe we could gather people into meeting rooms?"
"There's 30 meeting rooms nationwide, about 15 in this building and the rest at distal sites. That makes about 26.66 people per room. Those 10 square metre rooms are going to get cosy."
"Well perhaps we'll think of something else."
"Like magic you mean?" the PFY asks. "I've heard good things about Avada Kedavra."
"So who's chairing these meetings then?" I ask.
"What do you mean?" the Director asks cautiously.
"Who's chairing it? You know, who's riding that pony off the cliff?"
"DON'T TELL ME! It's one of the Boss' school pals who's read 'Corporate Branding for Complete Tossers' three times and now considers themselves an expert."
"I don't really know..."
"It's OK, there's nothing I like more than PAYING someone to PARAPHRASE WHAT I JUST TOLD THEM and produce a 20-page document that is worth less than it's weight in bog paper - which, incidentally, is all the document will be good for."
"I think perhaps once you get to know him you'll..."
...Two Days Later...
"So I'm just here to tease out the important threads," the "Expert" tells the PFY and me. "Brand Promise and Value, Recognisability and Position and finally the Company Story. Once we have that, we feed that into the design process to come up with a logo, banner, stationery elements and then at the very end we have the website restructure and rebranding."
"And so any feedback or thoughts you have at this point would aid that process."
"So do you have any input?"
"Uhhmm, no," I say.
"None at all?"
"Nope," the PFY echoes.
"What about your thoughts on where the company is, where it's going?"
"I'm only here because they said there would be biscuits," the PFY says.
"Chocolate biscuits," I add.
"Well yes, I have supplied some morning tea," he says, pushing a plate forward, "but I had hoped..."
"TECHNICALLY, you're claiming the food supplies as an expense - against our operational budget - so really WE'RE providing the morning tea."
Our expert pauses mid-chocolate-grasp as the PFY has a huge coughing fit. Deep, chunky coughs, all over the biscuits.
"Sorry about that," the PFY says. "Please continue."
"So I'm just wanting your input," he says, withdrawing his hand from the potential contamination zone.
"I... don't think we have any - well apart from the Pantome colours we use."
"You mean Pantone I think?" he says smugly.
"Uh, no, Pantome. It superseded Pantone - you know, because it wasn't metric."
"Of of course!" our expert nods knowingly while jotting down the word Pantome to look up later.
...While the PFY registers the domain name and creates plausible website content from his phone...
"But you have no other suggestions?"
"So you don't want to be part of this process?"
"To be honest, now that the biscuits are off the table this process is about as exciting to me as watching water dry," I say.
"And you've got me looking for a structurally rated ceiling member, a length of stout cord and a wobbly chair," the PFY responds.
"I hardly think it's that bleak for you," he counters.
"Oh it's not for me," the PFY snaps back.
"And I'd rather cross a 100 foot linoleum tile tightrope - between two skyscrapers - ON A WHEELY CHAIR than be involved in this process."
"No, actually I'd rather it was you on the wheely chair. If I'm honest."
"WELL, I THINK WE'VE PRETTY MUCH COVERED EVERYTHING," he says nervously.
"No, don't go, there's something over by the window I'd like to show you. Just slide on over."
"That's the problem with experts - no sense of humour," the PFY says later.
"True, still at least we have that Company Story organised - 'And they all lived happily ever after'."
"..except for that bloke on the footpath in that pile of linoleum being loaded into an ambulance..." The PFY adds.