The following samples are taken from;
The Ultimate Guide to The Organisation & Other Pieces
Nothing is more stirring than the sound of lusty young voices raised in the Latin School Song. Only the Latin master has any idea of what the words mean, but the nostalgia persists through middle to old age, tugging not only the heart - but also the purse-strings to good effect. Not surprisingly, therefore, the Business Schools, in their incessant search for image and endowments, have embraced this unfailing formula. Memorandum est Scribendum (Take a Memo) is a moving example of this genre.
Memorandum nunc, Anate - Aquatica* celere
Est scribendum Directori venditorum hodie.
(Get right in here, Miss Puddle-Duck,
And take a memo, right away.
Address it to the Sales Director.
Move! Ain't got the whole damn day!)
Quaere lupae cunctatorem quid obstet hunc filium,
Fax instanter est mittenda, sine faece bovium.
(Ask the lazy son-of-bitches
What-the-hell's got in the way.
Say I want a fax this minute,
And no bull-shit now. OK?)
Benedicte, quo collapsis dividendis fugimus,
Quid sit Urbis declarandum Institutionibus.
(Would he kindly make suggestions,
Now the profit's in collapse,
As to where we hide, or tell these
City Institution chaps?)
Cogitamus ergo sumus placebat philosophis,
Neque vero elegantis illis monetariis.
("I think, therefore I am" 's a treasure
Old philosophy enjoys,
But cash provides the only pleasure
For these banker fancy-boys.)
* an allusion to Jemima Puddle-Duck,
(Jemima Anate-Aquatica) a well-known beauty and pin-up for early 20th century businessmen and business school professors.
Directors are the firm's Úlite;
They fall, but mainly on their feet;
For once they have their Board regalia
Most seem impervious to failure;
And changes, when the critics frown,
Are mainly somewhat lower down.
They come in two quite separate blends,
Professionals, and Chairman's friends;
The former tested by survival,
The latter non-executival;
The first have offices and functions,
The second don't, except for luncheons.
We love our Board, and hold them dear,
So long as they don't interfere.
Accountants are a race apart,
Among the social-swingers,
For only they have made an Art
From counting on their fingers!
Their tools of trade to get ahead
Are pens and calculators,
With ink - some black, but mainly red -
And Institutes for status.
By looking, as the artist looks,
At debt, or tax affliction,
They've made the keeping of the Books
The highest form of fiction.
The rest may make and sell, but they
Most often have the final say!
Economists, like those at law,
Are masters of the 'either-or';
They speak, in dark and Delphic prose,
Of putative scenarios,
But will not be specific on
The Future, till it's been and gone;
And even then, they disagree
On how it was, or came to be!
They flatter our directors' brains
With supper-talk of Marx of Keynes,
But leave them feeling what's so wrong
With just plain muddling*-along?
Thus Economics re-implants
The art of flying by your pants!
* or, as suggested by the great Sir Alec Cairncross, 'modelling-along'!
Legal men in corporations,
Thrive on doubts and hesitations;
Answer questions with another,
And 'on the one hand, on the other';
The art of sitting on the fence
Was built on legal precedents.
Their major task, beyond a doubt,
Is bailing the directors out;
When, in despair at 'pro' and 'anti',
They act, and find they're 'in flagrante'.
The lawyer's, meanwhile, with his claret,
Inside Regina versus Garrett!
The law's an ass? not so the classes,
Who clean up nicely as it passes!
Salesmen, of whatever races,
Look the same at fifty paces;
Notwithstanding girth or size,
Something lurking in their eyes
Indisputably asserts -
This guy's in Sales, so watch your shirts!
Salesmen must, however fearful,
Act indomitably cheerful,
Riding round their carousel
Of never-ending need to sell;
And knowing, if they meet their quota,
It's up, for each successive rota.
How they do it, no-one's saying;
But when they don't, it's time for praying.
Up and down the hierarchy,
Heads of this-and-that exist,
But it's hogwash and mularkey
To the firm's receptionists!
When visitors creep through the door,
And take a hesitating pace,
It's not the Board they're looking for,
But 'welcome' on Reception's face.
So they're the ones who set the style
On which the whole damn show depends;
Not press-releases, but a smile
Which turns the strangers into friends.
A business, in the world's perception,
Is sitting there, behind Reception!
I observe, in the press,
Embarras de richesse
Of ideas for relief
Of executive stress.
And, with each diagnosis,
Some further prognosis,
On optimum means
Of a metamorphosis.
Some believe in mens sana
In corpore sano,
And the marathon jog
By the Thames or the Arno;
Till the rampant corpuscle,
And ache in the muscle,
Put paid to the pains
Of executive hustle.
While others, I find,
Are more strongly inclined,
To some Freudian view
That it's all in the mind;
And executive gloom
Can be traced to the Womb,
Or the Ego and Id,
As they elbow for room.
But until we exhume a
True cure for the tumour,
I recommend massive
Injections of humour;
The kind we can give -
Laughing not at, but with -
As the most therapeutic
Incentive to live.
When a smile meets a trauma,
It's mainly the former
Which tends to prevail
Where the atmosphere's warmer.
By temperament, the Businessman
Stays optimistic when he can,
And, in adversity, supposes
Everything will come up roses!
Wholly disinclined to whining,
Every cloud's his silver lining,
Even while - as may await us -
They're showing in the liquidators.
It matters not the bank has said it's
Cutting off his line of credits!
Guess who's factoring his debts
For one more fling to back his bets?
Always in tomorrow's mail
May come that one stupendous sale,
And chance to tell the bank - oh bliss! -
To stick what up which orifice!
Even as the business crashes,
He's rising, Phoenix from the ashes,
Confident, if none the wiser,
He'll sell the ash for fertilizer.
Before they've snipped the umbilical,
He's bouncing to the business cycle,
And, in his genes, already feeling
His destiny in wheeler-dealing.
For such a one, who in his sleep
Could sell the fleece back to the sheep,
There is no cure for this addiction
By bankruptcy or such affliction.
Life's a never-ending look
To find a deal and make a buck;
And when he's deepest in the ditch
He never doubts he'll make it rich!
So, up and off to seek the prize,
Pursues commercial pastures new,
Incorrigibly smiling through!
Domine illuminatio mea,
Look favourably on this our prayer;
That these poor wimps, in statu pupillari,
Become not too inquisitive nor starry-
Eyed, nor radical, nor witty.
But let them lust for riches in the City,
Wherewith, by covenant or charter,
They may endow their grateful Alma Mater.
Temper their yearnings to be wise
With visionary calls to Enterprise;
And exorcise all ghosts of shame or sin
At ventures of this dubious kind we're in.
A thousand years on, we commit to Thee
The relaunched Oxford Inc and PLC.
May Academe, old fruitless passions spent,
Embrace this New, Improved Enlightenment;
And may these new-found Customers for Knowledge
Get richer quicker for their Dear Old College!
The poet sang he'd never see
A poem, lovely as a tree;
Whereat, some less poetic japer
Hacked it down to make the paper,
On which we read, and so destroy,
The unique fountain of his joy.
Of what once innocent desire,
Each for his Chariot of Fire,
Is made man's manic devastation
Of quiet road and friendly station?
His automotive Armageddon
Of motorway, to spill his dead on?
Even to climb the lofty peak,
And hug the heavens, cheek to cheek,
To glimpse the golden eagle soar,
May pull, behind me, thousands more;
Perversely churning rock to sand,
His solitudes to Disneyland.
How 'free' is 'freedom' which impairs
The equal sanctity of theirs?
Who chose the 'choice' which sets our greed
Above our own, and others', need?
Where were we, when the bust-or-boomers
Pronounced us, finally, 'consumers'?
What ignorance induced the guilt
On which the marketeers have built
Such parodies of what we know
We humans are, and need, and owe?
On what naivety the telly
Prescribed this primacy of belly?
What idiocy oiled the plunder,
Mixed too small wisdom with the wonder?
Robbed 'freedom' of the saner stuff,
Which knows excessive from enough?
Dream on - but wakeful to the meanness
That mocks the green-horn in our greenness.
Not one more child to die of famine,
Dolphin of our filth he swam in,
Penguin from our oily spillage,
Jungle, strangled by our pillage;
Not one more endangered species
Suffocating in our faeces,
Tributary, beach or skua
Asphyxiated in our sewer!
All die, bequeathing last regards
To our rapacious credit cards;
To 'choice' that lives on borrowed worth
And debts, long underpaid to Earth.