Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who's in charge?

Have you noticed in your dealings with large service industries (such as your utility companies, transport companies, etc) that it's very difficult to determine who's in charge especially when something appears to go wrong?

Well, extensive, laborious research has determined exactly who is in charge of these important service providers. Technically, it's nobody. Well, actually, it's not a person, but a largish white document contained in a buff folder marked 'Important stuff' (usually with a date and an illegible signature). The document itself is roughly, exactly 25 pages long and describes the organizational chart of the company, with a coffee mug stain obscuring the central and higher management. The remaining pages contain information on the processes in the company, well actually it's just the curious phrases TBD and references to other documents that have TBD next to them.

This large document is kept in a grey filing cabinet in the store-room and is referred to in every persons contract under the name 'as-stipulated-in-the-company-policy-handbook-document-TBD-001' (this is in fact the official title of the document, 'Important Stuff' is a higher management term). All matters of importance are referred to the document and it is this document, and this document alone that provides wisdom to the staff to enable them to combat these matters of importance.

That is why when you contact your large service provider of some service you are often told about company policy in vague terms since the staff themselves are not allowed to directly quote from the unseen document as this would almost certainly destroy the wisdom of the document. Indeed, if you lodge a query you may notice that your query is ignored. This is not negligence, this is the document working its wisdom. Study of the document 'as-stipulated-in-the-company-policy-handbook-document-TBD-001' has revealed that queries should be allowed to cluster and mature so that they may find their own wisdom and thus the solution to their own problem (a far more enlightening and rewarding effort).

No comments: