Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Self-yelp books

I'm on sick leave today, after having foolishly gone to work yesterday and alternately shivered and sweated my way through the morning. Eventually M. felt so sorry for me that she sent me off on an early-mark, pointing a rifle (but only a small one) at my head and cooing in sympathetic tones, "Get thee hence, blaggard, and take thy noxious fumes with thee!"

So now, I have the internet available at the switch of a button, several books at my side, and a copy of John Adair's masterwork in that rightfully, if not frightfully neglected genre, self-help, open at my side. 'Effective Decision-Making: a guide to thinking for management success' is a boon to a person in any profession. Let's apply some of its tips to some commonplace jobs, shall we?

1. Barbarian

Well, Conan certainly was in something of a fix when he found himself surrounded by the savage Skeletal Hordes of Earl Garlok Garrchnagyar, but after reflecting to himself briefly, he remembered this passage from 'Effective Decision-Making':

Imaginative thinking in action

... When a famous football player is being praised for playing imaginatively, he is not being praised for fantasising in his armchair or writing novels about football. Rather ... he is quick to anticipate, to see and act upon things out of the ordinary. He surprises his opponents and yet is not taken by surprise. He exploits the unexpected and the lack of routine.

By applying imaginative fighting skills to his task of Barbarianhood, Conan was able to escape with little more than a severed hand and a bruised toe. The hand was later restored by the Enchater Princess Marmagudilion, but his toe remains bruised to this day.

2. Lion-taming!

It's man against the King of Beasts in a terrifying tussle that could result in sanguinary death, with the floors flowing with the blood of the lion-tamer! There's many a lion-tamer that has been bettered by his beast-like companions in the circus arena, and none more so than this nameless lion-tamer, who finds himself confronted by several starving carnivores, baying for his blood!

Thankfully, the tamer remembered the following passage in 'Effective Decision-Making'...

Trusting your intuition

If you are now inclined to be more aware and to give more status to intuition in thinking you have already taken the first step towards making better use of it. The next is to learn to trust your intuitive powers. That does not mean always, nor does it mean occasionally, because one cannot generalise about how often you should do it. But you should be prepared to give your intuition the benefit of the doubt...

In this case, the lion-tamer had a sudden intuitive idea that perhaps the best way to distract the lions would be to shout loudly for help while walking to the cage door. However, as it turns out, he should not have used his intuition in this case, as the lions were only driven further into fury and ripped his throat out there and then.

3. Farmer

In many cases, an ordinary job - farmer, for instance - may seem utterly simple and mundane. But it's surprising how circumstances may call on you to make a quick and effective decision, and think your way to management success! For instance, as documented in the film Black Sheep, you might find yourself suddenly the owner of a flock of savage Were-Sheep, one of which is standing on the top of your car baying for your blood. What are you to do in this case?

Developing a range of options

... The word feasible is crucially important because it saves you time. When it comes to scanning options it helps immeasurably if you know what you're looking for.... The first task is to sort out the feasible options from the greater number of possible options... Then you proceed by elimination.

In this case, two of the possible options were shooting a gun through the roof at the Were-Sheep, or driving through the sheep; but both turned out not to be feasible. (In the first case, the bullet would possibly richochet of the roof; in the second case, there were too many sheep to drive through.)

So our farmers therefore chose a third option: sit there and wait to be turned into Were-Sheep. It wasn't a very good option, but later in their existence as half-man, half-sheep, half-wolf (I don't know how that's possible, but it is) they were able to utilise their experience in effective decision-making and become successful owners of independent, organic human-meat factories.


As for myself, I made another important and effective-decision just recently: I put a torch to John Adair's book, Effective decision-making, and used it to boil my coffee. I'm sure that, in time, this will turn out to be a stunning, life-changing, and, dare we say, important managerial decision. I mean, making decisions in the workplace is one thing, but coffee is what's really important.


Mitzy G Burger said...

During my sick-leave day yesterday I made spinach and riccota canneloni. Looks like you were engaged otherwise!

TimT said...

I may make sticky date pudding this evening, I haven't decided...

Dale Slamma said...

Any helpful tips for choosing between English breakfast and Irish breakfast tea bags, that one always has me in a dither.

nailpolishblues said...

I think I need a self-help book on how to get to bed before 3am. Or, possibly, just more coffee in my life.

alexis said...

Oh nose, thou art sick. ("Nose" being your'n, Tim.)

TimT said...

If only I was sick enough to have had another day off.

Is there a doctor out there who will sign a certificate that says I have a case of hypochondria?

Email: timhtrain - at -

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