Selected Extracts

Chapter 1 : The Late Night Senior Executive Stand Up Meeting

(note: These extracts taken before final proofread, so apologies for any typos)

………..

Tony was the CEO of the Build Well Group, one of the largest and most successful construction companies in Australia. Like his company he was overly large, with a large fat belly, large rugged reddish nose, large flabby mouth and a largely avaricious ego.

He was rude and blunt, or as he preferred to call it; ‘honest’. He was callous and a bully, or as he liked to call it; ‘ambitious’. He was also disliked and feared, but, as with everything he had his own version of the truth, so he called it; ‘respected’.

………..

For Bill and Bridget, this video conference call was funnier but less useful than the audio teleconferencing they used to have. With audio teleconferencing they could press the mute button after the first “Hallo” and then either make silly faces at each other while Tony waffled on……Sometimes they would just have sex during the whole meeting. Now they both had to be visible and try not to make each other giggle too much. Bill was also wondering if  he could program a static picture of themselves to play on the video device, so they could  have still sex without being seen. Sex during the teleconference was something that seemed to turn Bridgy on recently, and he figured the video element could ramp her up even more. He made a note to discuss the possibility of using the Oceans 12 movie concept of replaying a video with the head of technology,  Greg Timid….

………..

Chapter 2: Zack

………..

As on every recent bus journey, when possible he had slowly maneuvered himself to a position in front of, but also slightly to the side of a particular young lady that always caught the same bus. He did this specifically to make the most of this inertially-filled accidental moment. It would allow him to bodily lunge forward and into the young lady in front of him, and by mistake knock her mobile phone from her hand. His cunning plan was to knock it to the floor, and then, like a hero pick it up and hand it back to her.

However, in the process and in the few seconds of panic and distraction, he would be able to deftly flick it onto settings mode and turn on open bluetooth…..

………..

The second email was a notification from the Service Desk that an Application called X-easy would not be available from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. due to a software patch upgrade. He wasn’t sure whether to delete that one or not as he may need to know about it at some stage later – after all this did apply to his role as Total Service Technician  (or TST). This was the new name which had been renamed from Total IT Technician that was the original suggestion, until someone pointed out to Greg Timid that the acronym was TITT and the team was therefore called the Tits. However then there was some discussion as to whether anyone would notice that the TST’s new nickname had become the ‘testes’. As usual in Build Well, it was best just not to mention it and let life go on.

………..

Chapter 3 : The First Program Steering Committee Meeting

………..

“So PM, are you agile?” Ed switched to what he believed was a more business-like approach by calling Effie by her role of Project Manager instead of her name – as if now it was official and she had been promoted from a mere person to a title. It’s something he took from his military days in the Navy Reserves, when mates changed into a strict disciplinary hierarchy as soon as they put their caps on.

“Well, reasonably,” replied Effie demurely. She had only been called agile twice in her life. Once by her mother when she had first done the splits mistakenly during a ballet concert and the second time more recently when Kelvin had asked her to re-enact the Cameron Diaz windscreen sex scene after watching the movie ‘The Councelor’. Both memories included pain and neither was pleasant …..

………..

Chapter 4 : Projects Brown Bag Session

………..

She had never heard of a brown bag session and she naturally assumed that therefore she needed to take a brown bag along, but clearly she didn’t have one. So she quickly backtracked to the kitchen area nearby to look around in the cupboards for a brown paper bag. There she could only find instead a white plastic shopping bag that had been left with an old take-away box of rice in it. The rice was clearly very much past its edible date as it had started going mouldy so she felt justified in throwing away the box and rice and re-using the plastic bag as her brown bag.

………..

Chapter 5 : The Wall

………..

There was just no more spare walls available anywhere that didn’t have lines of masking tape, yellow, green and blue stickers, little quirky avatars and posters.

Even meeting room glass walls were covered. Outside windows were used too in some cases, even with laminated drawings and posters on the outside of the glass so they could never be removed. Even the side of a filing cabinet was used for a mini project and because it was physically low the ‘stand-ups’ became known as ‘kneel-ups.’

………..

Chapter 6 : The End of the day

………..

Many were in fear of the Stand-Up meetings as if one stood too close one would get summoned to speak, if one was too far back one couldn’t hear and if you asked any questions you were likely to end up with an action.

………..

Chapter 7: The Diversity and Inclusion Committee

………..

“I see,” interjected Tony feeling a little uncomfortable,” as long as you don’t mean we are going to start employing homos now?”

There was another shocked silence broken only when Jeanette said “What do you mean ‘start’ Tony, do you think there aren’t any gays working for us now?”

“Are there? ” asked Tony leaning forward, genuinely surprised.” You mean we have some poof-dah builders?”

………..

Chapter 8: The First Stand Up

………..

All of a sudden Zack appeared with what seemed like an entourage of people all holding cardboard coffee cups with a stuck on label imprinted with the word ANDRÉ. The group even included Uncle Geoff, who looked particularly odd as he was dressed in a rugby jersey, short pants, socks and studded boots. He also frequently did a little jog or a stretch as if to keep warmed up.

………..

Chapter 9: IT Project Management Lesson One

………..

…..everyone knows that it is a glorious moment when one can sit at home, ‘dialed-in’ to a meeting and imagine all the suited or ‘business dressed’ people sitting tidily around a soulless meeting room table, at the centre of which was you; represented by a triangular piece of technology called a ‘conference phone’ which everyone knows is generally an overpriced and underused bit of technology. You say things like ‘I’m there in spirit’, but of course you are actually not ‘there’ at all in anyway. You are sitting in your pyjamas, nibbling sweet things and watching the muted TV or possibly surfing the internet area of your choice. It really is bliss.

………..

Chapter 10: The Budget Crisis

………..

There was a new policy of no-alcohol on the premises – brought in by the Wellbeing and Nutrition Committee for Action – which Tony, not surprisingly, called the WANCAs. Of course he ignored this policy by having a wine rack in his office that was frequently used and kept stocked at all times

………..

Chapter 11: The First Project Team Meeting

………..

Chapter 12: The Second PSC Meeting

………..

….but any project above $2 million has to go through a tender process, which in itself will cost at least another five hundred thousand. So your new budget is $4.5 million. Don’t worry, we know what the answer will be, its an upgrade after all, but you just have to go through the process. Make sure you involve the probity team so you make a fair decision!

………..
Chapter 13: Carson’s Solution

………..

“It will now become the perfect 21st Century company; with a great brand and one hundred percent outsourced. It’s a beautiful thing.” Carson grinned widely.

………..
Chapter 14: The Second Project Team Meeting

Chapter 15: Truth – Project Management

………..

“Okay, so what RAG status would you give to a project that doesn’t have any defined scope, its budget is not agreed and the resources have not been allocated and it has no project plan.”

“You mean like your project?”

“Well, yes.”

“Oh that’s Grey of course ….

………..
Chapter 16: Truth – About Kelvin

Chapter 17- Truth – Uncle Geoff’s Revelation

Chapter 18: Common Sense – The Architects Meeting

………..

Just then he noticed that a scuffle had started as two architects had started grabbing one of the few working whiteboard pen from each other’s hand. They were shouting now at each other both saying, “if you could just let me finish” and in the processes they knocked one of the coffee cups that was simultaneously holding down a large poster and also acting as a model of a database. Unfortunately it still had one tablespoon of day-old cappuccino in it which quickly spread itself over a range of coloured printed icons depicting physical application components mapped onto business capabilities and the liquid was smudging the ink lines linking them to strategic business imperatives and business change drivers.

………..
Chapter 19: Common Sense – Inventing TACOS

Chapter 20: The Third PSC Meeting

Chapter 21: The Inner Circle Meeting

………..

“Hang on, Zack has just sent me a text, he says,’ Mr Piranha is eight they could sell to the Congress. No tints to warts as it must be stupid’, I’m sorry mate, I don’t know what the hell that all means?”

“Bugger auto-correct” muttered Zack, “Chinese, dude.”

“Ah I see it,” said Effie as she leaned over and peered at the Munro’s phone, “It’s ‘Puraama’, and ‘they could sell to the Chinese’, now what are tinted warts Zack ?”

………..
Chapter 22: The Ingermann Proposal

Chapter 23: The Last Project Stand Up

Chapter 24: Munro’s Solution

Chapter 25: The Last PSC Meeting

Chapter 26: Tony’s Last Late Night Exec Stand-Up

………..

“But didn’t you say that we would be signing up five year contracts right? So the money was guaranteed at least. She can’t get out of that can she?”

“Well yes that is true, except for clause 13c.”

………..

Chapter 27: Zack’s Last Words

………..

The arguments some people had with their fitness tools or health software had started creating a need for a new brand of therapy app to support them. There were even many cases of people who were paying for plug-ins that would allow their therapy app’s to integrate with the fitness app in order to arbitrate and negotiate a less exhausting regime on the grounds of mental health for the owner. The war of the apps had started.

………..

Chapter 28: Effie and Munro

………..

They had already had the conversation about tea and she knew he liked it the same way she did.