Funny old day today. I was asked to run a risk workshop for a nascent project we might be undertaking. If it goes ahead, there’s going to be some significant “corporate change”, which, as we all know, is code for “a load of fuckers lose their jobs”.
There’s a perverse pleasure to be had by running one of these for an area of the business for which I (currently…. more on that later) have no responsibility as I get to tease out the strengths and weaknesses of the key stakeholders by putting them on the spot without notice;
“So, Human Resources Bint; what’s the relevant Fair Work Australia legislation mandate in this situation?” or
“Hey Spreadsheet-Wanker; what’s the accounting rules for capitalising this work?”, or
“Lawyer pedant; what’s the negotiation starting point for liability on this?”.
We had all those usual suspects in the room furtively avoiding my gaze but there was a character I’d not met before in my 12 months of swanning around corporate HQ in the best suit in Sydney.
Mr Industrial Relations.
First impressions are important, right?
Bad suit, 10 year old polyester shirt, child-molester tinted glasses, someone else’s teeth and breath smelling of a rare combination of Listerine, pickled onion and last night’s Toohey’s New at the RSL Club.
And a remarkable resemblance to a bloke who is responsible for at least one smashed TV screen at Chez TNA, Labor (sic) apologist Graham Richardson;
In fact, as the workshop wore on, it became clear that he was “Richo’s” Communist twin brother.
For those who don’t know how a corporate risk workshop works, the process is very simple. The method might vary from place to place but generally, we first all call out all the things we think could possibly go wrong. Then, we discuss them to tease out the actual risk (e.g. is it a risk that we’ll lose a bunch of staff or is it just one or two specific people we’re concerned about?) and then grade the risk. Lastly, we work out the appropriate mitigating actions and assign owners and timescales to these.
It’s not rocket science but done correctly it is very effective.
“Richo”, on the other hand, seems to be of the understanding that the process seems to involve an emotional outpouring of all the reasons why the suggested work is going to be the ruin of us all and all future generations of mankind.
And repeating the same rambling point regardless of the fact the subject has been covered already and closed.
And constantly staying that “the union won’t like it”.
As you can imagine, me and him hit it off like soul mates on a road trip with all our favourite music on the car stereo.
I’ve yet to negotiate with the union in this current gig but thank fuck I met “Richo” today so I don’t make the embarrassing mistake of assuming he was representing the union when I do.
Its a worry though because the
socialist corrupt wankers union officials have presumably been trained for years to deal with a very compliant, pliable and supine negotiator.
It’s going to take them a little while to get used to my personal style and well-honed approach to union negotiations which bears more similarity to Don Corleone than Don Giovani.
Oh, and the news no-one at the workshop knows yet? As of next Monday, the department works for me…..