A cow in Willesden

Public psychotherapy for a veteran auditor

Did I miss a meeting?

Bit random this week, sorry about that. Will have a more considered rant ready for next week. Also see if you can spot the deliberate grammer mistake, and the 2 deliberate spelling errors.

Did everyone get together while I was away and take some really silly decisions, and I got left off the meeting minutes? Did you all agree to these when I wasn’t here? Some examples :

  1. Is a chocolate milkshake OK for breakfast now? Does having something called Malt in it make it healthy? What is malt anyway, if its so healthy, why don’t they put it in other stuff, like bread and beer? I’d be the healthiest person alive if they did that.
  2. Why is there a debate over whether coffee that’s been made from beans that have been eaten and then defecated by a cat might be superior to coffee that hasn’t? Or if you live in England, why do you go to so much effort to make your coffee taste like its come out of a cat’s bum, even though it hasn’t?
  3. IKEA, if you’re listening, I don’t work for you. If I wanted a Saturday job, it probably wouldn’t be working for you. So why do I end up doing an hour of manual labour in your warehouse every time I want to buy some furniture from you? And why, when you run out of stuff, do you tell me its been ‘oversold’ rather than ‘understocked’ – as if its my fault for buying too much rather than your fault for not anticipating demand and managing your rubbish warehouse properly? Can you give me a list of the customers who bought it, so I can ring each of them and complain to them that they overbought the product, seeing as there is no-one at flaming IKEA who will listen to me? And the signs in your carpark were slightly unclear until I’d been there a couple of times and worked it out. Yeah.
  4. If you want to copy something and use it again, the word you’re looking for is ‘copy’, and not ‘leverage.’ Wouldn’t it be lever anyway, not leverage? Isn’t the word lever already a verb?
  5. Unpend. There is no way that is a word. I can just about accept that you might pend something, but if you’re going to unpend it, I’m going to complainerise about your indecent assault on my language.
  6. In what sense is ‘because of the late running of the train ahead of us’ an explanation for the delay? Knowing that another train is also delayed doesn’t give me additional information about the reason for the delay I’m experiencing, its just giving me more context about the extent of your mismanagment. And while I’m at it, you can either apologise for something, or you can claim its not your fault; you can’t do both. If its not your fault, you have nothing to apologise for. If you’re apologising, then you necessarily are taking the blame. And any questions or suggestions about that semi-colon would be welcome, I don’t believe I’ve ever tried to use one like that before and it doesn’t look right to me.
  7. How can you be so stupid as to play a computer game until you actually die? (A Chinese man has died after a three-day online gaming session in which he did not sleep and barely ate, reports say. The man reportedly lost consciousness at an internet cafe on the outskirts of the Chinese capital, Beijing. Pasted from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12541769> ) Really, what part of ‘game’ didn’t you get. Presumably if he’s playing for that long, his in-game character is performing basic survival tasks, as his instrcution? Couldn’t possibly spend 3 days just dying and reloading again at 10 minute intervals. I’m really in to my games, but this is just mental.
  8. Cream on scones. What? Would you put cream on your mashed potatoes as well, you fools? Don’t they already have a product that does the job perfectly? What you need is butter, not cream. That’s just silly.  
  9.  Why is there a Nike advert which calls England Grand Slam champions for 2011? They got beaten by Ireland, it was a pretty big score too.

Huh – thought I’d got to 10 but its just 9. I typed it without the bullets and put them in later. maybe I’ll take them out again. Ah well, that will need to do for now.

Not really part of the story, but in case you’re interested, the title was a line which I first heard from the legend himself Bill Hicks. This inspirational story about the progress of democracy in Ireland prompted me to think of it again recently. Limivady council, has 6 Sinn Fein Councillors, 6 Unionist councillors, and 3 SDLP, so a pretty solid majority in parties friendly to the Irish language (SF and SDLP), and apparently when a few of the Sinn Fein members left a meeting early one day, the Unionist councillors realised they had a majority, and they started overturning earlier decisions and policies and what have you! Like no-one would know it was them, or something. Amadans. Anyway, a pretty relevant introduction to the subject this time, but not very short so I thought I’d leave it at the end in case anyone reads all the way through.

Thanks for your endurance getting all the way down here. More audit stuff next week I think, I’ve got some good ideas but nothing finished yet.

8 responses to “Did I miss a meeting?

  1. The Man of the Hazel Gap March 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    My man, you need to start crediting your sources….

  2. Campaign Against Against Tautology July 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    A great meeting today. An exciting new project is about to begin and the project manager wanted to tell us all about it. We were told that the project would reduce the amount of duplication that occurs across the organisation, which sounds great. So great that the project manager reiterated this message 6 times. Is it just me, or does it seem somewhat ironic that someone would tell me 6 times that they were embarking on a project to increase efficiency by reducing duplication?

    • A Cow in Willesden July 8, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Ironic and annoying I expect, like pretty much everything since 1998. In my life anyway.
      I had a similar meeting recently. I can understand why people pad out their audit workpapers, and I have a lot of sympathy for that (although I don’t tolerate it). I can even empathise with people padding an audit report. But when people pad out their everyday speech, or worse a pre-written presentation, I really have to wonder about the state of our education system(s). You have my condolences.

  3. Audit Monkey July 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

    ACIW – have you worked for the Big 4 per chance? Leverage is a big Big 4 term, which is the flash term for copying, sorry, plagiarize what someone else has already written. As for pend, I’m sure suspend and pending are used interchangeably because no one has a clue what they are talking about.

    • A Cow in Willesden July 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

      I served my time at big 4, was actually big 5 for some of that time. And they did use the word ‘leverage’ even back then, and I protested about it quietly under my breath because I knew it was wrong (that there is a better word to describe what you are doing) but I wanted to wait and see what it was about this strange business world that made people behave this way. The moment I worked out what that was, I left big 4…
      Like your point about pending and suspend. Lots of mistakes like that get made, when they are convenient to make. Which looks better in response to an audit issue : A decision is pending on the project direction’ or ‘the project has been suspended due to management uncertainty’?

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