Flashback: The counter attack arrives
This instalment is originally from the FD's Diary, dating back to 2003.
December 17 – The CEO has heard the news, and the counter attack arrived. So Ops and I were back in meetings with him today. And of course, he wants our support (at this rate that salary deal seems decidedly premature now).
Ops and I agree there’s only one way to survive this. Play it straight down the middle, or we’re in deep trouble. So we did. Of course he has our support as CEO, he always has, but our duty is to the shareholders as a whole, I uttered (whilst Ops looked on and wondered where this rubbish came from – I explained afterwards that PE1 law has some use after all).
And talking of the law I suggested to him what I then promptly suggested to Mrs CEO by phone (because that’s the first rule of playing down the middle – copy everything to everyone) and that is that they both get in to see separate lawyers as fast as possible and agree what they’re going to do about this. Both say they’ll do everything they can to make sure the company comes to no harm. That can’t last. If they’re really going separate ways the hatred will be out in the open soon – and I want some protections in place before then.
Talking of which, back in accounts I had a credit control meeting with #3 and Tree Ferns and they confirmed my worst fears. #4 does really think I saved her. Well better that than she also turns to thinking about the law (heaven help us – after all, if it had been anyone else but the CEO we’d have been sacking them for gross misconduct and how do you justify our failure to do so to a Tribunal?) but I find myself on one hand being begged for favours from my shareholders and on the other begging two really useful staff to persuade #4 that there really is no chance I’ll reciprocate any emotion she has to offer.
I’m changing my mind about Christmas. I suddenly need it very badly.
And a few cheques from some old debtors wouldn’t come amiss before then either.