The Underside of Enterprise
PublishedJune 10, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

The Underside of Enterprise

You know the game where eight or nine
People whisper down the line,
And ‘reinforcements to advance’
Is ‘twenty-four cents for the dance’;
By the time the misbegotten
Message trickles to the bottom?
That’s roughly how it grabs the guys
Underneath the enterprise.

And peering up the Tower of Babel,
From somewhere in the corporate navel,
Is apt to give the ones below
Communications vertigo;
As papers flutter down in legions
From pent-house to the nether regions
Producing, for the common herds,
A corporate flatulence of words.

And all this mangled up mularkey,
Cascading down the hierarchy,
Produces, quod est demonstrandum,
Asphyxia by memorandum;
Until what those on high intended
Is warped or otherwise distended,
With questions as to who’s the wiser,
The doorman or the supervisor.

And as they multiply their sizes –
These Janus-headed enterprises –
And spawn division on division,
By dining on the opposition,
The aimless, disconnected sections,
Pursue their contrary directions,
Unable to resolve the riddle
Of what the head said to the middle.

So knowledge of the things that matter
Is roughly inverse to the data
Which shroud the monolithic giants,
Disguised as information science;
A state most frequently resulting
In fees for experts in consulting,
Grown fat upon the arcane arts
Of re-connecting corporate parts.

And as for the recurring myth
Of passing up the monolith
The views of these below the stairs
To those who breathe the upper-airs,
The evidence is in the scrawl
Of pained graffiti on the wall
Suggesting ‘Antony was here!
Could anybody lend an ear?’

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The Annual General Meeting