the bored room bug

Scene: Boardroom
Theme: Boredroom
Cast:
V: Head-Sales
M: Head-Company
A: Assistant to M
J: V’s Boss
S: Assistant to V
L: A very senior person in a quite inconsequential role who attends most meetings
R: Brand manager (who is absent for reasons that become apparent as the events unfold)

Time: Monday Morning Sales Review

V: (starts with a pre-emptive move)
V: “I can definitely see a problem. We are well below our targets. We should have been doing better”
M: “Then let’s discuss it! This is what I have always been saying. We need to find the time to sit together and discuss this. A, please add this to my calendar. I want a review immediately on this”
A: “But, M, that’s what we had agreed last week also. In fact, you had asked me to plan for a meeting this week. But we are waiting for you to give the time”
M: (Gives a sheepish, helpless smile that leaves no one in doubt as to who is the most over-worked individual in the group)
J: “M, I have gone through the data with a fine tooth comb with V, and what clearly emerges is that there is no one problem. We have an issue on the demand side, supply side, quality, cash availability and man-power. I have had a detailed chat with V, and he has to come to me with a plan that addresses it all”
V: “J, I don’t control any of the 5 areas you spoke about. I have requested all the support functions to go to the market and give me a recommendation on the same. In the mean time, all I control are the fellows on the field. I have asked them for a detailed presentation on each of the areas and I will be reviewing those 100 presentations tomorrow.
M: “That’s exactly what I have always been saying we need to do”
A: “But that’s exactly what we did last month also. V, you were supposed to circulate the action points from that meeting”
V: (Turns back to look for his secretary, who has suddenly been woken out of his trance)
V: (Screams) “S, Where is the minutes of the meeting for the last meting? I told you I wanted it on my table almost 2 weeks back!”
S: “But sir, I have left the draft on your table the same day”
V: “How often have I told you that won’t do? I have a hundred things to do! Get it signed from me first thing tomo morning”
M: ” A, I have repeatedly told you, we should have a review of all meetings that happen in the company and I want to go thro the minutes of every meeting that happens”
L: “M, I fully agree. In fact I have mailed you my last full years’ meeting minutes. And I am waiting to discuss the point 7 in my meeting 4 from month before last, where I had raised the issues of taking up rose plants in the factory garden”
M: (ignoring the interjection from L totally and addressing V) “But let me try to understand. What were the key takeouts from your last sales review?”
V: (Removes his glass, and places it on his ample gut, and draws a deep sigh. Pinches his nose, crinkles his eyes, and acts as if a lot of data and numbers are getting crunched somewhere in the region of the brain. You almost feel that something terrible is going to be uttered)
D: “I think we have an issue with the brand”
(Pause, as the gathering finally comes to terms with the gravity of the situation)
M: (Gets up and starts waving his hands about like in a chopping motion)
M: “Then let’s do something about it! I want the brand manager here this instant. Where is R?”
A: “M, R is shooting a film in South Africa, and is currently in Brazil to do the screen test”
J: “I didn’t know that! He never told me! Who sanctioned his trip?”
V: (A smile that lets it known that a very open secret is now being discussed at last)
V: “G, I think you are being quite lenient with the brand team. Its very unfair on our guys in sales, you know”
J: “O yeah! Then what about the party I threw last month for achieving one of our SKU’s sales targets, eh?”
V: “But I heard that the bash you gave in Singapore to fete the new advertising award was much more lavish and wilder!”
J: “Bullshit it was!! I do not want talk of the Singapore party being taken up again and I have told you about it a million times!!”
M: (Obviously relishing the fight) “A, I think we need a full review of all celebrations in the company and I want to go through, in particular drinks ordered and the entertainment details”
G: “M, I think there are far more pressing issues in the company that we need to discuss! We have a problem on our hands!”
K: “That’s exactly why I have given up all my important commitments and come here. But I don’t see any systematic discussion of the problem! How do you expect us to add value here?!”
J: (Takes charge now. Directly talks to V’s secretary) “S, where are the presentations from last month’s review?”
S: “Sir, I have recd the presentation from 13 of them. 17 of them are still to send. 3 are on leave and couldn’t present. The remaining 70 did not find time that day to present. We have slotted time in the next review for them”
J: “Well, can I have a look at the 13 then? And pls send a stinking reminder to the 17 to send immediately, or else threaten them with dire consequences”
S: (Pushed forward a sheaf of papers, that are in all shapes, sizes, colors and formats)
J: (Takes one look at them and pushes them forward to V)
V: (Bunches them together. Aligns them along the length and breadth, and hands it over to S)
V: “S, file it”
M: “Ok. My time is over now. I have to leave to attend to a visitor. A, please carry on the meeting and keep me posted on the progress” (leaves the room)
J: “Reminds me! I have to rush for buying flowers for the director’s son’s wedding! V, just discuss everything with A, and keep me posted” (leaves the room)
A: (Looks expectantly at V)
V: (Gets a call. He pretends he is not able to hear clearly and walks out of the room) “Hello! Hello!…”
S: (Smiles at A)
A: (Smiles back)

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