There is one person that the buck stops with, is responsible for clearing up the cock ups we make and who, at every opportunity, side steps responsibility. It is the Principal Operating Officer.
Now, I have been in the big leather chair and it is lonely at the top. Good management books will tell you that you should disassociate yourself with those you manage. You need not do this as those who were once your muckers are now critics of “the idiot in the big leather chair” and now spend their time criticising you.
POOs live by the tenet IKWIWWISI (I know what I want when I see it – a fool proof and irritating mantra of a clueless POO) they will spend their time chasing the BHAG (Big, Hairy Arsed Goal. A bold and difficult objective that must nevertheless be undertaken) but work to the 50-90-50 rule (the rule that suggests when something has a 50-50 chance of working out, it will inevitably go wrong 90 percent of the time). This is the antithesis of Five nines (Tech jargon for the highest realistic level of reliability, i.e. 99.999 per cent) which POOs strive for.
To them the BMWs are not the ultimate driving machine, but the staff (Bitchers, Moaners and Whiners, without which no workplace would be complete). Unfortunately this can’t be done V2V (Voice-to-Voice, or speaking on the phone if you like) this has to be done face to face, and tends to be like Kicking A Dead Whale Down a Beach (Unpleasant arduous work).
The POO, or otherwise known as the Corridor Cruiser (So prevalent is the meeting culture that a class of office drone has developed that spends it is time shuttling between never ending management pow-wows. Handheld devices such as the obligatory Smartphone are specifically targeted so that they can keep in touch while on the move) spends much of his time doing the Muppet Shuffle (Rearrangement of awkward and useless members of staff) and dealing with Picnics (Problem in Chair Not in Computer. IT speak for idiot).
When not Dining Al Desko (an inevitable eating arrangement while pulling a late night or working for a company where lunch breaks are considered a luxury) the POO will engage in unscheduled walkabouts that will send the BMWs into a frenzy of Dog Whistle Politics (The type of speech which uses coded language that can only be understood by the group at which is targeted i.e. not the POO ). Their hope is that their Bandwidth (A now largely redundant internet buzz word, retooled as a substitute for a person’s capacity to work. Questions regarding one’s bandwidth signify imminent dumping of tasks in your vicinity) wont’ be questioned.
Other than the BMW, a POO must deal with several other co-workers. There is the iPod (Insecure, pressurised, over-taxed and debt ridden. An acronym coined to describe 18 to 30-year-olds saddled with debt and unable to gain a foothold on the property ladder), Dumpies (Destitute, unprepared, middle-aged professionals. The people who opted out of the company profit share scheme but forgot to opt into something else), Open-collar workers (those who work from home. The idea that most even wear a shirt with any type of collar is laughable) and Title-creeps (those who over emphasise the importance of their position through the ridiculous inflation of their job title).
But we should remember the POO is one of us, albeit older.They go through the Menoporsche (The male mid life crisis which may lead to the purchase of an unnecessary and impractical sports car) and suffer from Nanostalgia(Reminiscence from the too-recent past i.e. anything post-2000).
During the Covid-19 pandemic many POOs are Offline (once the term for not being connected to the Internet, now redefined as a period of time in which staff are not in a meeting, i.e. they can do some actual, productive work) and need not get their PAs to do their Homing from work(attending to the POOs domestic arrangements from the office).
The POO is just itching to get back in the office.
For them, they are just waiting to return to using phrases such as Dial it up (to them it means ‘make a phone call’ rather than ‘amplify’), What is the red thread? (their code for ‘What’s the risk?’ rather than ‘What is the consistent theme?’”, Nice to see you’re Fleek (once used to describe perfectly-groomed eyebrows) misused by the POO try to ingratiate themselves with junior members of staff by pretending to be an Omega Male (Inevitably the opposite of alpha males, who revel in the incompetence and always defer to their dominant female partner) and all those annoying online acronyms that they use in the workplace.
As the events industry gets back to normal, expect an encouraging email from the POO, something along the likes of, “Now that we’re back in the office I’m hoping you have the bandwidth to circle back on your projects and deep dive on new ideas. We are trying to align with the sales team to really move the needle for us, so it is boots on the ground to make our efforts more impactful and ink more deals. Feel free to ping me with any out the box ideas and we can touch base to unpack the ideas”.
Try not to laugh too loudly at them.