Team Leader


(Text100 [CC/ Flickr])

If a smile could win over an audience, our manager would not have needed to say a word.

No such luck.

“Good morning and I hope you’ve had a good weekend,” he said in a tone that conveyed no concern for whether we’d had a good weekend, or indeed whether we had a good morning.

“I have a couple of

things that I think need saying,” he said.

Of course he did. I darted my eyes to the left and to the right, to see a stir of opening notebooks.

Thus encouraged, the manager spoke with considerably more enthusiasm than he’d shown for our weekends.

“This is a great team. A really great team. But if we’re going to succeed – I mean really succeed, be the winners we all know we can be – the we need to think out of the box.”

Pens were twitching around the table, including mine. He took it as encouragement.

“And that thinking needs to be decompartmentalised. We need joined up thinking to maximise our deliverables. By thinking that way, we can internalise our externalities.”

Another line on the page. So far, so good.

The manager assumed a serious expression, letting us know he was coming to what he thought was the point.

“As you all know, we’ve fallen below our deliverable target for this month because of an unexpected challenge that should be resolved in the near future.”

We all avoided his eye except the intern. “Oh? You mean the IT guy can find the emails you accidentally deleted?”

Keeping my head down, I darted my eyes left and right to see everyone but the intern doing the same thing. It was painful to watch someone murdering their own prospects so obliviously.

The manager’s smile widened. “As I said, the prob – the challenge will be resolved in the near future. What I’m saying to you all now is that it’s not rocket science that to catch up, we need to be back on message by the end of the week.”

‘On message’. Damn, I’d missed that one.

“You know your jobs. You know how much we value your contributions. Now if anyone needs to speak to me,” he addressed the ceiling, letting us know he wasn’t addressing any of us, “my door is always open.”


The voice filled the room.

The manager scanned his gaze across us, but we were all looking at our notepads and ruing the loss of the sweepstake. All of us but one.

But the manager was never going to find out who among us had won the twelve quid.

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

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