Saturday, July 09, 2005

Obviously we have been cursed by the Chinese, for we are surely living in 'interesting times'. The blood thirsty nutters of Al Quaeda murdered a 100 or so (which looks likely to be the final figure) innocent people on Thursday and mangled and maimed many more. Apparently this strikes a blow for the 'nation of Islam'.

However, it is clear to me that the majority of muslims want nothing to do with these plonkers. They would be more accurate if they were to say they had struck a blow for the tribe of islamic psychopaths, and not try and drag the rest in to their twisted view of the world.

I agree that the Iraq war was an equal travesty, but this sort of thing doesn't actually improve the situation, or address the central issues. I guess what needs to happen in the first instance is for there to be an Islamic Reformation, and a real shift towards democracy in the wider islamic world. In this latter, although it really pains me to say it, Bush has a point.

The G8 statement was a pretty limp affair, although many commentators seem to have welcomed it, and Tony Blair has gone up in my estimation for a number of reasons, the fact remains that the Americans have once again contrived to torpedo a wonderful opportunity to get things rolling for the benefit of all. But there we are, I would expect nothing less of the Americans. What a benighted country.

Here I had a farewell drink with the crew on Thursday night. They are a grand bunch and I miss seeing them each day. Since my summary 'execution' a new regime has been implemented, and they have been told that they must smile more, and if things don't 'improve' the whole department risks being wound up by Christmas.

What nonsense. This dictat comes from the US offices who in my considerable experience couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery if you gave them a can opener and a book of instructions. Because they are unable to sell effectively, or manage projects properly, it is apparently everyone else's fault. So, as the bosses seek to weasel out of the consequences of their own ineptitude, they have to make it look as if they are doing something to 'aggressively address' the problems. This means that senior management at PAREXEL doesn't get rid of them, well not yet anyway.

But it's only a stay of execution, because they have clearly destroyed the morale at Creative Services. In due course they will resort to more serious bullying tactics as things continue to go wrong and indeed get worse as people will not willingly go the 'extra mile' so get projects out of a hole. Then the experienced people will leave and the whole thing will collapse in blizzard of acrimony and accusation.

The whole thing is underpinned by some fundamental consequences of American corporate 'culture' (sorry for the oxymoron). A flexible labour market in their terms means being able to hire and fire people at the drop of a hat. This leads to a climate of fear and intimidation which leads to people always seeking to cover their backs and point the finger at others. This leads groups to shelter behind 'Standard Operating Procedures', and thus creativity is stifled since stepping out of the bounds of the prescribed way of doing things could mean going home unexpectedly early without a job any more. Thus the 'flexibility' in treating the work force ultimately backfires. And they want this imported into Europe! Bugger off, I say.

It was summed up for me a couple of years ago when I discovered that the Americans have an 'employee appreciation day'. What do you do the other 364 days, chaps? Every day should be an employee appreciation day, after all, who's doing the work?

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