"Yes, sit down, Wallace."
"Thank you, sir."
"I'll come right to the point, Wallace. Less than an hour ago, the Regional Director sent your team prospectus to me for my opinion."
"But I only just... I mean, he sent it to you? For your... opinion?"
"Tell me, Wallace, what is this?"
"It's our team prospectus, sir. A near-complete draft, which I fully intended -"
"And what, may I ask, is a 'near-complete' draft? Is it finished or isn't it?"
"Well, sir, the essentials of the plan are in place, but some of the specific details could be tweaked slightly so as to -"
"The final version of the prospectus for your team was due by close of business yesterday."
"But you didn't turn this in until this morning at 7:00, correct?"
"Ah... no. No sir. We didn't make yesterday's deadline. I delivered this draft a couple of hours ago, in time for the Regional Director to see it this morning."
"You say 'we'. It was to have been written by your Project Leader, David Jakes, with input from the rest of the team."
"Yes sir. That's how it's supposed to work, sir."
"But in fact, you wrote this, didn't you. Your Project Leader assigned the job to you?"
"Um... he asked me not to say anything about that, sir."
"And did he suggest some form of compensation for you quietly doing his job for him?"
"Sir, I -"
"A bigger office? A raise? A promotion, perhaps? Even though none of that is within his power to grant?"
"Sir, I just wanted to... well..."
"I know, Wallace. You just wanted get ahead by doing the job properly. Tell me, did Mr. Jakes review this document before you submitted it?"
"Yes sir. I sent it to him when I finished it at 4:30 this morning. He said he'd be up waiting for it."
"At 4:30? You mean you pulled an all-nighter to finish this?"
"Mr. Jakes didn't give me the assignment until last Thursday. I've been working night and day for a week to get this done. As it is, I only just missed the deadline."
"Writing these prospectuses typically takes two months. Are you telling me you put this document together in a week?
"Yes sir. I did."
"Did you review it before you sent it to Mr. Jakes?"
"Um... yes. I mean, yes, I did, but I'll admit I may not have had the freshest eyes to read it with. It's a big document and I was a little punchy before I sent it to him."
"And did he review it?"
"He responded by e.mail at 6:45 to say that he'd read it and that it looked fine. He told me he'd be in a little late this morning, so I was to print off a clean copy for the Regional Director. And... that I should sign his name on it."
"Which you did not. The signature line for the Project Leader is left blank."
"Yes sir. I... didn't think I should... I mean, this is a formal prospectus, and I..."
"I see. Wallace, when the Regional Director came in this morning, his secretary handed this to him. As it was separate from the other prospectuses, she thought that it had been set apart for special attention. Here, take it. Bearing in mind that you wrote it and Mr. Jakes approved it, ostensibly after reviewing it, I'd like you to turn to page 87. That's Question 6, Part 4, dealing with human resources and project management. Take a moment and look it over. You don't need to read it aloud, but just re-read it."
4a. Describe the human resources available for the project. [FIX ALL THIS LATER BEFORE GIVE IT TO JAKES]"Did you write that, Wallace?"
Human resources: The project consists of six team members: Mr. Cynical Burnout (Project Leader), Mr. Ambitious Unappreciated, Ms. Lazy Dumbass, Mr. Retired-In-Place, Ms. Fresh From University and Dr. Arrogant Primadonna. The project also serves as a vacation youth hostel for a rotating staff of useless interns, including (at the time of writing) Ms. History Major, Ms. English Major and Mr. XBox-360 Major.
4b. Describe the overall management approach.
Management: The project will rely on the 5-S management system: Sit down, Shut up, and Stay on task or I'll kick your aSS. The collaborative nature of this system serves to leverage the skills and abilities of Mr. Unappreciated to cover the deficiencies of the other team members. To facilitate efficient information sharing and increase productivity, staff meetings will be held monthly, semi-monthly or never.
4c. Provide a basis for demonstrating how the project team functions and makes decisions.
Decision making: Decisions will be made in secret by the Project Leader, who will then putatively empower the other members of the team by giving them a chance to express meaningless opinions and get into futile arguments. Courses of action which further the goals of the Project and which foster a spirit of collaborative effort will be mutually decided upon. The Project Leader will then do whatever will best serve his immediate and/or long-term career goals.
4d. Describe the evaluation plan to track outcomes.
Evaluation: The progress of the project will be monitored and evaluated primarily by wiretapping and eavesdropping. This will include IT-based evaluation tools, such as hard-drive mirroring, keystroke snooping and interception of e.mail. Where this is not possible due to electronic countermeasures and/or restraining orders, The Project Leader will use Project funds for bribes and payoffs for informants. These expenditures will be leveraged, as these informants will also serve a strategic role as targeted rumor-mongers. As per standard practice, the annual reports will be prepared by Mr. Unappreciated. The Project Leader will then edit them into the usual tissues of self-aggrandizing lies, relying on misdirection and innuendo to obfuscate the lack of activity from the other members of the team.
"Ah, sir, this was, ah, obviously intended as a placeholder text until I could revise it. Which, it would appear, I, ah... failed to do."
"Wallace, I'm not going to ask you if this is an accurate picture of how you see your project functioning. What I am going to do is ask you to come with me."
"Sir? Right now?"
"Yes, Wallace, right now."
"But can't I... I mean, can I have a few minutes to go clear out my desk?"
"Clear out your desk?"
"Yes sir. I mean... aren't you going to...?"
"Fire you for being such a god-damned idiot? No, Wallace. We're going upstairs. After reading your little report, the Regional Director wants to get your frank assessment of your project. We've been trying to get rid of David Jakes for a while; his instructing you to write the report is almost enough by itself, but directing you to sign it for him will tip the balance."
"Sir, I never meant -"
"I know you didn't. Just tell the truth about what happened. A bit of warning though, Wallace. When he hears that you wrote this in a week, I imagine he'll make you the new Project Leader so you can clean house and manage your bunch of misfits while you implement this prospectus."
"Good luck, Wallace. You're going to need it."
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