Chopped Liver – It Ain’t What You Do… It’s The Way That You Do It

When you spend over 20 years in the corporate world you go on loads of training courses and meet all sorts of people – offering you various amounts of bullshit. But you do pick up some interesting nuggetts along the way.

Like “Give a busy man an urgent task”. I’ve always liked that one. Someone who is very busy will be “in the zone” and will be able to juggle many tasks and when presented with a new task, they will realise it is more time efficient to just do it, than to waste time discussing/arguing about whether you have time to do it.

Quite why I felt the need to patronise you by explaining that, I have no idea… but it will take me longer to think about whether to delete it or not than just to leave it in there!?

Another nuggett was to make sure you read the “Terms of Reference” fully before proceeding. I will explain this. This means that if you are given a directive to carry out, make sure you know exactly what is required and exactly what is NOT required before you waste any time on the latter.

Now, why do I mention these two gems? Well, tonight I realised for the first time that they are mutually exclusive. If you give a busy man an urgent task with a Terms of Reference they will more than likely NOT HAVE TIME to read the friggin’ Terms of Reference and will instead hurriedly dive in, get it done and send it off.

As has just happened to me.

I have had a very busy weekend. Not all work. Some of it very pleasant socialising. Some of it running up and down flights of stairs waving to trains.

But it meant that I had a lot to catch up on this evening – workwise. So of course the phone keeps ringing and I have to deal with that. I have to bathe Weedy and cut his hair, and put him to bed and make the dinner, and speak to my mum, and do some of the urgent work things I had put off, and write my blog post, and then…

I get a call from the most connected man in North-West London asking me if I could proofread a document for him urgently – so he can send it off by about 9 or 10 this evening.

So, I drop everything, go into my emails, find the one in question and it contains 2 files. An 8-page file with a number of minor mistakes in it – but as it is a long document, and the phone rings twice during it, it takes me till after 9pm to complete. Anyway I send it off – and of course my laptop crashes. So I have to re-boot. I try and send it again but it is now in some sort of never-ending loop – so I manage to delete it from the Outbox, go into another email system and send it from there.

Then on to document 2 – only 2 pages – lots of mistakes this time but I am able to amend them, rephrase bits and send that off too.

Missed my deadline, unfortunately, but got them off anyway.

I got an email back saying – Oh, the long document was only a guide as to how the short one should look! It didn’t need proofing!

Sometime you just have to chuckle.

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One Comment on “Chopped Liver – It Ain’t What You Do… It’s The Way That You Do It”


  1. Oh O – David, it’s no wonder why the most connected man pick you out of all the people in the world – you are a busy man!


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