"We are out of toilet roll" my somewhat better half remarked.
"No we're not" I responded, holding up my latest copy of People Management Magazine.
But just as I was reaching for the scissors to cut the satin sheen pages into handy sized squares, I flipped open the magazine and cast my eye over the news items in the first few pages. "What's this?" I thought to myself. "A topical headling? In the News section of PM?" Shurely shome mishtake.
Astonished that it wasn't to do with some public sector, competency based, health and safety policy legal amendment implication, it caught my eye.
"Ineffective non-exec directors cited as factor in bank crisis." it said.
Mildly encouraged and perusing the thought that there must be a new editor in town, I read on to find it was regarding a recent round table discussion on the subject, held by the CIPD at the RSA.
Now, personally I try to avoid 'round tables' and the such like as, more often than not, the journo's always seem to take my sharp, witty and insightful pearls of wisdom and slap them carelessly into the article out of context, thus making me sound like a complete arse.
It appears this fate befell David (Fit To Burst) Fairhurst during the discussion. Unfortunately for David, someone asked him for his opinion on why Ned's (You are thinking 'Nerds' aren't you?! I was) are ineffective and published his response thus:
"Effective dialogue is the biggest generator of additional value, but its been deficient in too many businesses, whether from employee representatives, managers or leaders. Proper two-way conversations of a high quality are not happening."
Wtf?? That's what he said according to the article, I kid you not.
Worse still, he 'added' that firms were not giving proper induction training to Neds who were simply "left to get on with it". Great. I now have a vision of said 'Fred the Shred', when he gets his next Ned post (Inevitable I'm afraid) sitting with Kirsty from accounts and Bob from the warehouse, in front of Brian from HR, learning where the bogs are and when they can use the subsidised canteen. "Corporate greed eliminated by Induction programe". Thanks for that David.
I sometimes suspect that David suffers from SCA - Speaker Circuit Amnesia. Doesn't know where he is, doesn't care where he is and trots out another bit of jargon when prodded before tucking into another pie.
The only sensible comment on the matter came, surprisingly, from one of the CIPD bods, Laura Holbeche who commented that directors hired people in their own image for the job and the crop of headhunters they used to find them habitually fished in the same 'gene pool' for these overpaid part timers.
After a desperate flip through a few following pages I'm sad to report that the rag slipped back into expected territory with a piece entitled 'Let your employees take you higher'. No it was not about recreational drugs, more's the pity. It would seem that a couple of intellectual types have invested an awful lot of time and money in coming up with a new title for all employee meetings and offsite jollies - wait for it - Large Group Methods.
Christ on a bike. I think I'm losing the will to live. Incredibly, it's listed under the 'Most Popular' section of the website.
So, quite by accident I find that, for the first time ever, I'm in a position to recommend People Management magazine. It's not quite as soft and absorbant as your usual brand im sure, but it beats the cheap stuff from the corner shop.