Managing Problem People. Behavioral skills for leaders (1988) - full transcript

In original a corporate training film, "Managing problem people" brings its subject with humor as it introduces us to Rulebound Reggie, Big Mouth Billy, Moaning Minnie, Wimpy Wendy, Lazy Linda, Silent Sam.


[MUSIC PLAYING]

I'm under enormous
pressure, Doctor.

I mean, I'm not working well.
I just don't know what to do.

Calm yourself, Mr. Jackson,
and explain it all to me.

Well, it's Reggie, in stores.

He's driving everybody mad,
and they're all blaming me

because he's my responsibility.

- I see.
- I mean, take the other day.

One of our young salesmen, Barry, had
a client drop in on him unexpectedly.

- Barry, Barry.
- Spot on, man.

- Nice to see you.
- How are you?

Sorry to drop in out
of the blue like this.

No, not at all.

I happened to be in
the area and thought

I'd like have a look at those
new fluorescent strips of yours.

What, the AP 700?

It's-- you got the
literature I sent you, then?

That's right.

You know, it really is a
breakthrough, the AP 700.

You can save up to 700 kilowatt
hours a year on one unit alone.

So I understand.

Listen, would you
like to see one?

Well, I would like to miss
the traffic, if it's possible.

No problem, no problem,
hang on a tick.

I'll just go to stores.
It won't be a second.

- Hello, Reggie.
- Hello, there, young man.

What can I do you for then?

Well, I've got a big
client waiting outside.

He needs to see an
AP 700 straight away.

And, uh, I'm fresh out
of samples, just one?

Certainly, my friend,
uh, you've got the IOF 7?

Ah, well, you see, the land
line to Birmingham's down.

And I thought, you know, as
it's urgent, just this once--

Sorry, chummy.
You know the rules.

No paperwork, no can do.

Got to have the docket.

Oh, well, I can get you
the order form tomorrow,

this afternoon probably.

It is urgent.

You reps are all the
same, aren't you?

You think you can ride
roughshod over the system.

I mean, look.

What would happen if
I let everyone just

walk off with my stock?

Bloody anarchy.

Well, I'm not just everyone,
and I'm not walking off with it.

It's a sample for a client.

I mean, for goodness sake, I'll
bring it back when he's seen it.

This isn't a lending
library, right?

Please, Reggie?

Look, young Barry, you see
what it says above that door,

the store room manager?

Look. I spent more years of my
life getting to that position

than you spent on this planet.

Now you think I'm going
to risk that and do

some favor for a young rep who can't
be bothered to do things properly?

Come on.

Well, I'm just going to have to go
and see Mr. Jackson then, aren't I?

Well, you do as you
like, young Barry.

Mr. Jackson will tell you
I'm only doing my job.

[PHONE RINGING]

[INAUDIBLE] All right,
all right, I'm coming.

We haven't got secretaries
down here, you know.

Hello, stock room.

Oh, it's you again, is it?

Look, don't talk to
me like that, sonny.

You know the rules.

If you want to change them, go
and talk to the managing director.

God.

Uh, hello there, Reggie.

Oh, hello, Mr. Jackson.

Young Barry come running
to you, has he then?

Now then, Reggie,
what's all this about.

Well, you know as well as I
do, Mr. J, rules is rules.

And if a rep wants a sample,
he has to have an IOF form.

Can't we stretch the point, Reggie?

Well, you're the boss, Mr. Jackson,
but it seems to me there's no point

in having a system if you're going
to break it every 10 minutes.

This is a special case.

[LAUGHTER]

Oh, they're all special
cases, Mr. J, oh, dear.

But can't you do it
as a favor to me?

I'll buy you a drink
tomorrow at lunch time.

Well, you'll have to
sign for it personally.

I'm not taking responsibility.

- All right.
- All right.

Look, do you think we could
leave the paperwork till later?

I mean, my client will be
eating the car park by now.

Do the paperwork later?

Have you run stark, staring mad?

Just this once, Reggie?

Anarchy, that's what
it is, bloody anarchy.

There you are, young
whippersnapper.

Thanks, Reggie, I owe you one.

Now then, Mr. J, as
it's a special case,

I will be needing a transfer
docket, a requisition slip,

and an internal order form.

Mad, he's driving me mad.

Heaven alone knows
how much time I waste

chasing after that
infernal man and his rules.

Fascinating, that is fascinating.

Well, can't you do
something, Dr. Mendel?

Yes, quite certainly,
there's no difficulty there.

Really?

Of course not, the
solution is in your hands.

What, a broken pencil?

No, I mean, figuratively
in your hands.

You see, each time you go
down on bended knee to Reggie,

each time you pander to his
self-importance, you encourage it.

The more you bend, the more he
puts up a show of resistance.

Yeah, but that's all
very well, but, I mean,

how else can I get what I want?

- You are his boss, you know?
- Yes.

Then act like it.
Stop playing his game.

Make him play yours.

Don't offer to buy him drinks.

That is reinforcing
his behavior pattern.

I don't know anything
about behavior patterns.

But, I mean, are you
saying it's my fault

that he's a rule-bound,
Bolshie son of a weasel?

Not your fault, no, no,
but you can stop it.

Next time, just give
him a direct order,

and be as cold and as
commanding as you can be.

A direct order?

Like?

Like, just do it, Reggie.

Just do it, Reggie.

May I say, please?

Well, you could
certainly say, do it,

and do it now, please, Reggie.

Do it, and do it
now, please, Reggie.

Be as cold and
commanding as you can be.

All right, I'll give it a try.

Don't talk to me like that, sonny.
Those are the rules.

If you want to change them, go
and talk to the managing director.

Can I have a word, Reggie?

Ah, so little Barry came running
to you, did he, then, Mr. Jackson?

Now then, Reggie, why wouldn't
you give Mr. Chase his sample.

Now you know as well as I do,
Mr. Jackson, rules is rules.

Well, do it now, please, Reggie.

Oh, but I can't go handing--

Just do it, and do it
now, please, Reggie.

If you want me to sign for it, send
the relevant documents up to my office.

I'm busy.
You're busy, and Barry's busy.

So let's just get on
with it, shall we?

There you are.
That worked, didn't it?

Well, he did it.

Well, what else do you want?

Well, he was very
pleased about it, was he?

Well, now, of course not,
that's the first step.

There will be resentment.

He used to feel important
because he controlled you,

and now his
self-esteem is lowered.

That is never good.

Now the next step
is to raise it,

but this time in the right
way-- encouragement, uh, reward,

a feeling of belonging
to the company.

Do you include him in weekly
departmental meetings, for instance?

- No.
- Well, that's worth thinking about.

Make him feel a part of things.

Yes. Yes, I think I
know what you mean.

Hello, Reggie. Uh, you know those parts
I asked to be dispatched to, uh, Carlisle?

Well, what about them?
I did them as quick as I could.

Yes, I know.
I-- I just came in to thank you.

I can't believe how
fast you managed it all.

Oh.

I've just had Carlisle on the phone.
They're delighted.

They've had a trade
fair on up there,

and they'd run out
of working stock.

Between you and me, I don't think they've
got a very efficient setup up here.

No, no, well, it was a bit
of an effort, actually, but--

Well, I can't think
how you did it all.

Oh, by the way, I've been meaning
to say this to you for some time.

We normally have the
department's weekly meetings

in my office on
Tuesday mornings.

I think it would be a good
idea if you sat in on those.

The weekly meeting?

I think your presence
would be invaluable.

Oh, well, I think I can spare
the, uh-- yeah, why not?

Of course.

Well, thank you very
much, Mr. Jackson.

- Ah, Reggie.
- Hello, young man.

Don't tell me the land
line's down again?

Well, now, don't blame me. It's not
my fault the land line's down, Reggie.

- Oh, dear, what do you want then?
- EZ 89.

One EZ 89 coming up.

[INAUDIBLE]
paperwork [INAUDIBLE]

Just a bit of management,
Barry, that's all it takes.

No one's all bad, you know.

Congratulations, you have
corrected the relationship.

I told you it was simple.

Well, I can't thank
you enough, Dr. Mendel.

My usual fee is 250 pounds.

That should go some way
towards thanking me.

Yes, well, if you'd like to
send your invoice to accounts,

they will, uh, process it, provided
that it is accompanied by a J 306.

Then, of course, you'll
need to send a copy

to finance, together
with the D 19, and--

250 pounds.

[DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING]

Uh, excuse me.

- Cash?
- Please.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

The rules for dealing with Reggie are
the rules for dealing with everyone.

But with Reggie, they're
especially important.

Don't play his game.

Make him play yours.

Now you know as well as I do,
Mr. Jackson, rules is rules.

Well, do it now, please, Reggie.

Make him part of
the whole operation.

We normally have the
department's weekly meetings

in my office on
Tuesday mornings.

I think it would be a good
idea if you sat in on those.

The weekly meeting?

Congratulate him when he
behaves the way you want.

I just came in to thank you.

I can't believe how
fast you managed it all.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Uh, Jean, get me Mr.
Wooster on line 3, will you?

Uh, yeah, yeah, I'm talking to
Simon at the moment, thanks.

Uh, now, look, Simon, give me a
rundown on January's commissions,

will you, as soon as
possible, yesterday by choice?

Yeah, fax your secretary over.

I mean, get your secretary
to bike over a fax, OK.

Uh, see nothing in your
letter that justifies

the establishment of
a full, uh, network.

Yes, Simon? OK, right, let me
know if you can get that rep

to Huddersfield tomorrow
morning, will you?

Pronto, cheers.

Jean, have you got Mr. Wooster
on line 3 yet? Fine.

Hello, uh, Bertie,
Stewart here, listen.

Uh, that man of yours,
what was his name?

You said he was the most
resourceful valet you'd ever heard?

Jeeves, that was it. Well,
now, could you lend him to me?

I mean, if he's as
good as you say--

[THROAT CLEARING]

--I'd really-- come
in-- appreciate that.

Good morning, sir.
Mr. Wooster sent me.

- You were quick.
- I endeavor to give satisfaction, sir.

Well, um, thank you, Bertie.

So you're, uh, you're
Jeeves, are you?

Yes. If you will allow me, sir, I think
this will meet your requirements.

What?

The confection you are
favoring at the moment, sir,

is perhaps a trifle noisy
for an open-plan office.

Look, Jeeves, didn't send
for you to talk about ties.

I want advice.

I do beg your pardon, sir.

I was the victim of, uh, confusion
as to my function here.

- You what?
- I was laboring under a delusion, sir.

I fancied that Mr. Wooster sent me to
counsel you as to your habiliments.

- Ah, do you speak English, Jeeves?
- Whenever it is convenient, sir.

Well, look. It's convenient
now because I've got a problem,

and it has nothing do
with my clothes, either.

I like this tie.
Anyway, the CEO gave it to me.

Possibly, he was desirous
of getting of it, sir.

What? Well, look. This
is the problem, right?

I've got an area sales manager
under me called Billy Sargent,

and the fact is, well,
he's a real big mouth.

He promises, but
he never delivers.

- Most distressing, sir.
- Yes, it is distressing, Jeeves.

Look. Look. I'll-- I'll--
I'll show you, too.

Um, hello.
Uh, Jean?

I thought I asked you
to get Billy over here.

Well, send him in, will you?
He's coming.

Ah, Billy, uh, do sit down.

Now a bit of admin, I need your
department's expenses for this quarter.

They'll be on your desk
first thing after lunch.

Good, now, uh, what
about that new account

in your area,
Halbach and Kennedy?

I thought I asked you
to send someone out.

I was just about to do that very
thing, Stew, when you called me in.

Yes, but I asked
you a month ago.

Yeah, well, uh, I'm
tied up with a bit

of a shortfall of manpower
in the field at the moment.

But you said that you'd put
someone straight onto it.

Yeah, well, uh, I had to
judge for the right moment.

I mean, you pressurize these new
companies, and they'll distrust you.

Hmm, well, forget it, Billy.

I just had word they gave Parker and
Gibbs the big order, all right?

We missed the bus, Billy. I mean,
that was why it was so urgent.

Oh, yeah, well, these new companies,
I shouldn't be surprised

if they'll be bust within a week or two,
defaulting on payments here and there.

It sounded like a bit of a
Mickey-Mouse operation to me.

I reckon we're well out of it.

Uh-huh, well, uh, anyway, what
about this call-rate problem?

Look, I want a monthly report on
salespeople who fail to make calls.

Your area is one of
the worst, Billy.

- One of the best?
- What?

We're the worst
because we're the best.

We're such a hot, tight
little area, Stew,

that, uh, we simply
have more calls to make,

which means more calls
that we fail to make.

Well, anyway, I want-- I want
that report out by yesterday.

On your desk first thing.
- It better be.

And, uh, Industrial Carpet
Storage wanted a call.

They're thinking of
upgrading to Turbonet 7.

I will call on them
myself personally.

Yeah, you-- you're not
taking on too much?

I mean, you're not biting
off more than you can chew?

Hey, Stewart, I'm
famous for my bite.

I can chew with
the best of them.

I'll handle it
myself, personally.

Oh, by the way,
uh, I volunteered

to organize a Christmas
party this year.

I was wondering if you had
any ideas about the venue.

No, no, um, no, I'll
leave that to you.

But-- but-- but do the other
things first, will you, Billy?

Consider it done, Stew.

Ciao.
Hasta la vista.

There, and you can guarantee he'll only
get 25% of those done, if we're lucky.

That reminds me.

You ask him to do
something, and he's so sure.

And then he just doesn't do it.

Oh, hello.
Uh, Donna, Stewart here.

Billy's just left my office.

I forgot to ask him to chase
up the Pride account, OK?

Oh, and, um, if he's
going to the garage,

could he get them to fix the
telephone antenna on my Jag?

Thanks.

Well, I don't suppose he'll
manage those two, either.

[CLEARING THROAT]

May I ask, sir, is Mr. Sargent
otherwise an admirable employee?

Billy?
Oh, one of the best.

We used to say he could
sell shampoo to Kojak,

if he ever got around
to making the call.

Exquisitely droll, sir--
it seems to me, however,

sir, that you are something
of a forceful gentleman.

Well, is there anything
wrong with that?

No, indeed, sir, I
have often remarked

it is a most important
attribute for any manager.

Um, however, I wonder if you've
made it quite clear to Mr. Sargent

that he is able to
discuss your requests.

Well, you're not saying
he's afraid of me?

Not afraid, precisely, sir,
no, but you are quite a dynamo,

however, and give orders
with some alacrity.

Speak English, Jeeves.

Very good, sir, I have
often expressed the opinion

that the most important
part of management

is not telling someone
to do something,

but making sure that he
or she is able to do it.

Anyone can give orders.

You mean, you have to know if
the orders are feasible or not?

Precisely, sir.

What-- you're not
saying it's my fault?

Oh, no, sir, but it is your
problem, and it is for you to solve.

That is why you are a manager.

So I'm simply giving
him too much to do?

That is partly it, sir.

I'm not suggesting that
you treat him like a child.

Merely as a term, shall
we say, limit his actions?

Encourage him to be
honest and realistic.

Shall we start again, sir?

- What do you mean?
- Uh, rewind, sir.

[REWINDING]

That's clever.

Uh, hello, Jean, I thought I
asked you to get Billy over?

He is?
Oh, well, send him in, please.

He's coming. He's coming.

Ah, Billy, do, uh, do sit down.

Now, look. Um, I need your
department's expenses for this quarter.

They'll be on your desk
first thing in the morning.

- Are you sure?
- No problem.

- Well, it's quite a lot to do, you know.
- Hey, I can handle it.

Yes, but you don't think
that a couple of days

would be a more
realistic deadline?

That's fine by me.

You're right, a couple of days.

Uh-huh, I mean,
you should just say

if there's too much on
your plate, you know?

Hey, Stewart, don't
talk to me about plates.

[BEEPING]

Is he all right?

Oh, yes, sir, just on pause
for the moment-- now, sir,

you've shown him he can be more honest
and more realistic with deadlines.

That's excellent. However, sir,
I feel you made a slight mistake

in not telling him why you want
your department's expenses.

If he knows your reasons,
he'll feel a part of things.

That gives him an incentive.

Well, we've got a budget meeting
with finance on Tuesday week.

Well, then, you'll forgive
me for saying so, sir.

You have no need of your information
until Friday at the earliest.

Tell him so.

[BEEPING]

Ah, Billy, um, I've got a budget
meeting with finance on Tuesday week.

So I'll need your department's
expense sheets for this quarter.

Tuesday week? Well, I'll have them on
your desk by, uh, day after tomorrow then.

Day after tomorrow, can you-- could
you really have them done by then?

- Oh, really, done?
- Uh-huh.

Oh, well, I can really
have them done by Friday.

Friday, Friday will be fine.

[BEEPING]

- What?
- Well, if you'll excuse me, sir,

I have often thought that
it's not just as firm

a deadline as possible, but
also witnesses are very helpful.

Ah, I think I see what you mean.

Uh, unfreeze him, would you?

In fact, Friday is very,
very cool for me, indeed.

What? Oh, uh, right,
um, uh, Jean, uh,

Billy is preparing his
expenses on Friday.

Can you have someone pick
him up from his office

at, uh, what time
exactly, Billy?

- Uh, 3 o'clock.
- 3 o'clock? Thanks.

That gives me a chance to take it
home and read it at the weekend.

Now what about that new account
in your area, Halbach and Kennedy?

I asked you to
send somebody out.

I was just about to do that very
thing, Stew, when you called me in.

Yeah, but I asked
you a month ago.

Yeah, well, we're tied up
with a bit of a shortfall

of manpower in the
field at the moment.

I, uh, I wanted to wait for exactly
the right moment to pitch, you know?

You pressurize these new companies,
and [WHOOSH] they'll distrust you.

Well, forget it.

I've just had word they're giving
the big contract to Parker and Gibbs.

We missed the bus, Billy.
That was why it was so urgent.

But it was my fault because
I should have explained that.

I had an idea Parker
and Gibbs were pitching.

I'm sure if I had told you
that, you would have done it.

I'm sorry, Stew.

No, no, no, I'm sorry.

That sort of thing?

Perfect, sir, perfect.

Ah, anyway, now, um, now what
about this call-rate problem?

I want a monthly report on
salespeople who fail to make calls.

Your area is one of
the worst, Billy.

- One of the best.
- What?

We are such a hot,
tight, little area Stew,

that, uh, we simply
have more calls to make,

which means more
calls we fail to make.

Look, Tony's area
makes more calls

than you do and has
a lower failure rate.

Uh, yeah, Tony's area,
but, I mean, Tony--

So when am I going
to get that report?

Well, it shouldn't be
too much of a problem.

Uh, how about Wednesday we--

[BEEPING]

If I might suggest, sir, interim
meeting is often extremely useful

to discuss how far
he might have gone.

Ah, right.

[BEEPING]

--eek?

Uh, no, that's too soon to get a serious
report out. But I'll tell you what.

Let's meet Wednesday at, say,
4 o'clock and see how far you've got?

- Wednesday, 4 o'clock.
- OK, shove that in your diary.

If you're anything like me,
you'll forget otherwise.

Hello, Jean, uh,
something for my diary,

I'm meeting Billy 4
o'clock next Wednesday

to discuss his progress on
the failed calls report.

Good, tha-- oh, and, uh,
Jean, perhaps you'd like

to sit in and take
minutes of the meeting?

A master stroke, sir, a
veritable master stroke.

Thank you.

Now the other thing is
industrial carbo fluids.

They want a call. They're thinking
of upgrading to Turbonet 7.

Well, I'll, uh, I'll call
on them myself, personally.

No, no, I want you
to recommend someone

that we can send from
your area office.

Oh, well, Gordon
Marsh is pretty good.

He set up the account himself.

Good, make a note to tell him.

Oh, right.

Excellent, and, uh,
that's everything, eh?

Right, oh, by the way,
Stewart, I, uh, I volunteered

to organize a Christmas
party this year.

I wondered if you had any
ideas about the venue?

Oh, Billy, it's heroic
of you to volunteer,

but you're just too valuable
to us at the moment.

I don't think the company
can afford to lose your time.

So delegate it to
somebody else, will you?

Oh, right.

[BEEPING]

If I might suggest, sir, now
might be an appropriate moment

to employ a rather efficacious
psychological ploy.

Jeeves, you're a devil.

[BEEPING]

Oh, and, Billy, um, when
you delegate the party,

make sure you do it
to somebody good, huh?

I don't know if you've noticed, but
there's a lot of big mouths around here.

Oh, don't-- the bane of my life.

They promise, and then
they don't deliver.

You know the kind?
- Do I?

So before you delegate it, make sure
you think they can handle it, right?

They need smart handling,
the big mouths of this world.

- All noise, and no action.
- Right, yeah.

Oh, and, uh, what about
the Pride account?

It needs chasing up.

Sure, I'll get
right-- no, uh, no.

Listen. Um, Stewart, I've got rather
a lot on my plate at the moment.

Why don't you give it to, Roger? I
mean, he used to work at Pride's.

Good idea, Billy.

Um, one other thing, the
telephone antennae on my Jaguar.

Yeah?

I want you to forget that
you've ever heard about it.

[SPLATTING]

Buh-bye, Billy.

I'll see you, um, when was it?

Wednesday, 4 o'clock, ciao.

Well, I can hardly believe it.

Congratulations, sir.

You've increased his
confidence and let

him see that he can be more
honest about his workload.

You've discovered that he's
more likely to cooperate

if he knows the reasons
behind the tasks you set him

and shown that by structuring meetings
and enforcing realistic deadlines

you can create a much more
practical manner of working.

Jeeves, I don't know what to say.
You stand alone.

Give me that tie.

Sir, I-- thank you
very much, indeed, sir.

If I may say so, I
am convinced that you

will find its quiet elegance
much more in harmony

with the appointments
of your office.

And now, sir, if I may,
I will take my leave.

Jeeves, you're a marvel.

I don't know how I shall
manage without you.

No, but you've
already shown me, sir.

You'll manage very well, indeed.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Oh, that was clever, wasn't it?

Manage, aw.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Billy is a problem, but certain
basic rules for managing

anybody hold the solution.

Encourage realism
rather than optimism.

Hey, I can handle it.

Yes, but you don't think that a couple of
days would be a more realistic deadline?

- That's fine by me.
- You're right, a couple of days.

Explain the reasons
behind the tasks.

I've got a budget meeting
with finance on Tuesday week,

so I'll need your department's
expense sheets for this quarter.

Set deadlines with witnesses.

Um, Jean, Billy is preparing
his expenses on Friday.

Can have someone pick
him up from his office

at, uh-- what time
exactly, Billy?

Uh, 3 o'clock.

3 o'clock, Jean?
Thanks.

Agree review points
for longer projects.

No, that's too soon to get a serious
report out, but I'll tell you what.

Let's meet Wednesday at, say, uh,
4 o'clock, and see how far you've got.

Wednesday, 4 o'clock.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

John, it's not my fault. I
rang the printers yesterday,

and they said that some
of the floor matting

was wrong on some of the
pages in this new system.

I went on and on and
on about it to them,

and they only got
it to me yesterday.

John, I can't work like this.

I know you're used
to all this pressure.

But before you came, at
least I knew where I was.

The same thing happened
last month, damn it.

It's not my fault.
Don't blame me.

Blame this desktop publishing,
or whatever it is you call it.

It actually takes
some getting used to.

I still can't get the hang of
those digitater images scanning--

Digitizers, image scanners.

Scanners, yes, well, whenever
I put a photograph in,

it comes out all fuzzy.

There is a grayscale
half-tone control.

You know perfectly well that
Michael is there help you on--

Michael's always busy
and extremely impatient.

Yes, all right, so when can I
expect the first copies by, please?

I don't know.
That's what I'm telling you.

I rang the printers--
sorry, the bureau.

And they said their lineotron
was down, or whatever it is.

I don't know this
whole new system--

Yes, all right, thank you, Minnie.
Yes--

[MINNIE COMPLAINING]

--yes, yes, yes, yes, thank you,
Minnie, tremendous, so helpful,

as always, just get on with it, please.
Thank you.

[MINNIE COMPLAINING]

Oh, that woman, I could
just-- oh, bother.

Why-- what is the point?

[HUMMING]

[COUGHING]

Golly, goodness sakes,
oh, it's been a time.

Where are we, then?

Well, it's not Baghdad.
That's for sure.

It doesn't look much
like Samarkand, either.

This is the office of the senior
PRO of Paxton Hydrochrome.

Oh, it's an office, is it?
Ah, yes, I see.

Well, that would
explain it, wouldn't it?

Just who the hell are you,
and what are you doing here?

Greetings, master.

I am-- oh, I should have
a card here somewhere.

Ah, it got burned up
in the manifestation.

I am the genie of
the lamp, master.

Your every wish is my command.

This-- this is some
kind of joke, isn't it?

Is this-- is this Frank
and one of his genie grams?

No, no, master, you rubbed
the lamp, didn't you?

- Well, I suppose I did.
- Come then, oh, eagle of the desert.

Tell me of thy wishes.

- Well, um, how many am I allowed?
- As many as you like, master.

It's leprechauns that
only grant you three.

Um, well, I could use another
cup of coffee for a start.

Another cup of coffee, oh, joy
of the seven moons, no problem.

Sim saladim.

[POOFING]

- Um, is it decaffeinated?
- Decassta?

Yes, never mind, I suspect
you're a little bit out of touch.

Now what I really
want you to do is

have a look at this dossier
on this employee of mine.

Hmm, well, she is
attractive, master.

You want her scrubbed
and brought to your tent?

I'm married.

Ah, and how many wives
have you, oh, magnificence?

- One.
- One, strange.

Yes, um, can we just
forget about the wives?

I want you to stop this
person from moaning.

Pray explain, moon
of my delight.

Well, she sprays me with excuses and
complains, but she never delivers.

Well, can you not, oh, radiant
sturgeon of the Caspian Sea,

now lay down the
needle of insinuation

and pick up the club
of plain statement?

- I'm sorry. I don't understand.
- Exactly, I don't understand.

Look. I joined this
company some months ago.

Now one of my most important
jobs is to supervise

the editing of the
monthly in-house magazine.

You follow me?
- Like a mountain lion, master.

Good, now this PR
person here, Minnie,

is in charge of the day-to-day
running of the magazine.

And she used to
be very efficient.

- Well, so they claim.
- Before you came.

- What's that supposed to mean?
- Nothing, oh, silvery leopard of the sky.

Yes, do you think we
could stick to John?

Now one of her
most important jobs

is commissioning, editing
articles, that sort of thing.

She has other PR
duties, too, but I

want her to concentrate
particularly on the magazine.

I see, oh, John.

Good, when I arrived, I laid
it on the line with her.

I used to work for a
national newspaper.

And I told her I like to
work fast and to a deadline,

also that we were
upgrading our production

process to the new desktop
publishing technology.

How exciting for her, oh, John,
Sultan of Paxton Hydrochrome.

Well, quite, I laid
my cards on the table.

At first, it seemed fine,
but then the excuses started.

Excuse me, master, I'm--

[MUSIC PLAYING]

--trying to conjure
up the image.

Minnie, I've got a copy of
the chairman's editorial.

Why don't we have
that on page 3,

instead of that, um, pool
team photograph, hmm?

- But page 3 is made up.
- Well, then, unmake it.

That's the point of this system.

And I shall need a
laser-printed copy of page 17

so I can check
out Ron's article.

- Page 17 isn't ready yet.
- I asked for it yesterday.

The copy came in late, and
then I had to go down to stores

and get some fluffy disks.

Floppy disks, not fluffy.

Well, whatever, anyway,
they only had the big ones.

And they didn't fit, so I
had to go out and buy some.

John, do you know what it's
like buying flappy disks

in the High Street
at lunch time?

It's absolute murder. It takes you hours
to park the car. You get to the shop.

It takes you half an hour to find an
assistant who's free, then he's rude.

Then he goes off.
He gets the disks.

He brings them back.
They're the wrong ones.

You have to queue
again for half an hour.

You get back to the car,
and it's been towed away.

Why couldn't you
send someone else?

Don't you think I would
have done if I could have?

Rebecca's been off all
week with a virus actually,

and Mary was collecting copy
from all around the office.

Yes, yes, yes, where is page 17?

And there's the interdepartmental
tennis match to organize.

Don't forget, the
interdepartmental tennis match

doesn't actually run itself,
I think you'll find, John.

Forget the interdepartmental
tennis match.

You are supposed to
be running a magazine.

Well, you try telling that
to marketing and finance.

They're playing
each other tomorrow.

I'm going to end up having to set
up a net in the car park if it--

Minnie, I want page 17!

(WEEPILY) But everyone is using
the laser printer at the moment,

and it never used to be
like this in the old days.

Minnie, I don't want excuses.
I want action. Now get on with it.

I don't actually have
12 pairs of legs, John.

- You see?
- Indeed, I see, oh, frustrated one.

So can you change her character so
I get more action and less whinging?

- No, master.
- No?

- No one can change her character.
- What do you mean?

Well, her behavior can be changed,
perhaps, but not her character.

Well, change her behavior, then.

But only you can do that.

What are you talking about?

This is a good woman you have here,

a-- a good employee, oh,
star of the Silver Sea.

Nonsense, you just heard that.

I heard you, master. I have
been in the lamp, remember?

You come in here with
a new system, which

I'm sure is a fine system, lord of
my life, but you give Minnie no time.

You make no consultations
or deadline.

You shun all discussions.
You treat her like a slave.

Slave? You should see
a newspaper office.

You are not running
a newspaper office.

This is the world of business,
where management is a skill

and not a shouting
match, oh, tree

upon which the fruit
of my life is hung.

Minnie is used to one
way of doing things.

So if you wish her to change,
you must encourage, not threaten.

Assist, not terrify.

Encourage with patience.

Assist with realistic deadlines.

Discuss practically
in a clear way.

You must give her time.

But this is a pressure business.

Time is the one
thing we don't have.

You must be the master
of time, not its slave,

oh, monstrosity of my delight.

You're given no
alternative but to hide

behind the boulder of excuse
and the thicket of complaint.

Check with her.
Share your thoughts with her.

You are not Lou Grant.

Dyspeptic slang and
sour recrimination

achieves no results
with real people.

I don't have time.

You have all there is.

Look, I'm a busy man.

I can't waste my time
chasing and mollycoddling.

If she can't stand the heat, why
can't she get out of the kitchen?

Now I hear you moaning,
and you offering reasons

why you can't do
your job properly,

oh, whinging hyena
of discontent.

Your job is
management of people.

Right, right, a fine genie
you've turned out to be.

So what do I do?

I shall show you how
I would manage Minnie.

What do you mean?

Imagine that I am you
and that you are me.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hello, John.

Ah, sit down, beloved
pantherus of the Bosporus.

Beg your pardon?

Uh, Minnie, Minnie, Minnie, um, I have
got the chairman's editorial here, Minnie.

What do you think about
putting it on page 3?

Page 3 is already
made up, I'm afraid.

Well, well, how long would
it take you to unmake it?

I don't know. Uh, Kathy is out
of the office all day today,

and I've got to go down to stores
to get some more floppy disks.

Yes, well, there are
some important things

today, Minnie, and one of them
is to get that page remade.

And then we must produce a
laser-printed copy of page 17

so that I can check
Ron's article.

Page 17, it's not
ready yet, page 17.

Right, well, those are the two
things that we need done today.

But, John, there's the
departmental tennis match.

Oh, uh, well, we'll get someone else
to sort that out, don't you think?

Who?
Who's going to do it?

Well, let's deal with that in a moment.
Minnie, I've been thinking.

This, um, present job description
of yours, public relations office,

it seems to encourage
everyone to take up your time.

I was thinking it might be
better, with your approval,

to call you managing
editor of the magazine.

Oh, I see, managing editor.

Now I know I've been rushing you
recently, perhaps a bit too much,

but some things do have to be
done quickly, like page 17.

Well, I would if I could, John,
seriously, but the office--

Can you have it done
by this afternoon?

- Or tomorrow morning?
- No, that's not early enough.

Um, uh, can I get you some help?

No, I'm perfectly capable
of doing it myself.

The thing is that there is a
meeting at 2 o'clock this afternoon

about secretary allocation
and I really have to be there.

Well, look. I'll call Don and tell him
that you can't make it. Would that help?

I need to know what they decide because
if I know Don, he will automatically--

I'll-- I'll tell Don to send you
the minutes, and you can read them.

And if anything special comes
up, they can give you a ring.

But we must get
that page out, hmm?

Now is there anything
else you've got to do?

Um, no, no, no.

All right, well, let's
say, uh, 4 o'clock then?

Yes, all right.
Yes, I can have it done by 4:00.

Right, and I'll get, uh, Robert
to sort out the tennis matches.

I'm in favor of his idea anyway.
- Oh, good, thank you.

Good, so come in around,
uh, 4:00ish with the copy,

and we'll have some yak's
milk and sheep's eyes, OK?

Uh, tea, tea, tea-- about
4 o'clock, we'll have tea.

OK, John, yes.
Um, right, fine.

And, uh, any problems, you
let me know straight away, OK?

I mean, uh, you know, don't
moan about them later.

I mean, come and talk to me.

We'll be able to sort
everything out, OK?

Fine.

[HUMMING]

Do you see, master?

Well, she certainly
seems more cheerful.

- Of course.
- But for how long?

Oh, she will always be a moaner.

You can't expect to change that.

But if you manage her well,
she will be an efficient worker

who happens to be a moaner.

And you must manage her well because
in the long run it will save you time.

Let me show you.
- It's tomorrow, right?

Oh, yes, so it is.

Hello. Oh, uh, Minnie,
John here, how's it going

with the marketing
supplement for the magazine?

Uh-huh, uh-huh, well, um,
we must put a rocket up it.

Shall I call him for you now?

Uh, if I do that, you
will make the deadline?

Yes, fine, I'll do it.
Bye.

You see, it's better
to spend a little time

on making that extra phone
call that gets the job done

than to waste much
more time later on,

hearing why she
hasn't managed do it.

And if you do, then in time, maybe
this sort of thing will happen.

John, there's been
a bit of a problem.

I sent the front cover
off to the printers

with a note about the typeface,
but they messed up the layout.

So it's going to be
a few hours late,

but I'm going to go down there and
make sure that they get it right.

I'm terribly sorry. I thought
they could be trusted to do it.

Well, it's a nuisance,
but it can't be helped.

Oh, well, thanks for telling me.

Perhaps we could learn
something from it?

Exactly, my fault, I
should have made sure

they knew precisely what I wanted.
So stupid of me.

Anyway, I'll bring it up
as soon as it's ready.

Mind you, they haven't
a clue, you know.

You'd think by now they'd
know the difference

between Galliard
and Garamond typing.

[COMPLAINING]

[CLANGING]

You see, master, still moaning, but
getting the job done nevertheless.

But will that really happen?

Well, that's up to
you, light of my life.

You must begin to show her that
she is a part of the company

again, and not a slave.

Slaves are never happy, master.

But you, you're a slave.

I know.

Oh, well, one good
turn deserves another.

Is there anything
I can do for you?

Oh, master, it has long been
my ambition to go freelance.

Well, um, how can I help?

- Smash the lamp, master.
- Why don't you do that?

Do you know, I'd
never thought of that.

Thank you, master.

[CLANGING]

Thank you, master.
Farewell.

Farewell.
Farewell.

John, what's happened?
Are you all right?

I'm, uh, um, yes,
fine, fine, fine.

No, yeah, I just, um, dropped
that old, uh, that old lamp.

That's all, just-- just dropped it.
So, uh, Minnie.

Right, no, well, look at this. The
printers have messed up the classifieds.

I never approved this.
"Registered genie,

available for Masonic functions,
bar mitzvahs, children's parties."

I mean, I ask you.

Oh, I think, uh, I think we
should leave it in, Minnie.

It might get a laugh.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Managing Minnie isn't different
from managing anyone else,

but certain rules are
particularly important.

Give her clear priorities.

Kathy is out of the
office all day today,

and I've got to go down to stores
to get some more floppy disks.

Yes, well, there are
some important things

today, Minnie, and one of them
is to get that page remade.

And, uh, then we must produce
a laser-printed copy of page 17

so that I can check
Ron's article.

Page 17, it's not
ready yet, page 17.

Right, well, those are the two
things that we need done today.

Agree her deadlines with her.

Can you have it done
by this afternoon?

Or tomorrow morning?

No, that's not early enough.

Um, uh, can I get you some help?

Get her personal
commitment to deliver.

Now is there anything
else you've got to do?

Um, no, no, no.

All right, well, let's
say, uh, 4 o'clock then?

Yes, all right, yes I
can have it done by 4:00.

Monitor her progress
and help her out.

Oh, uh, Minnie, John here.

How's it going with the marketing
supplement for the magazine?

Uh-huh, uh-huh, well, um,
we must put a rocket up it.

Shall I call in for you now?

If I do that, you will
make the deadline?

Yes, fine, I'll do it.
Bye.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Three days and no
sign of a case.

You know, Watson, it's
at times like these

that I sometimes think
I may be too clever.

Oh, I wouldn't say that.

Well, it's beginning
to look as if there

are no problems or
adventures left in the world.

I've solved everything.

You couldn't manage that
crossword the other day.

- Watson.
- Yes, sir?

- Be quiet.
- Oh, right, sir.

If only I--

[RINGING]

Wait.
Wait.

Do you hear that?
- Hmm?

The client bells, come on, man.

Look busy.
- Oh, right.

Oh, yes, come in.

Well, Watson, I think we
can tell his royal highness

that he need worry
himself no further.

If my deductions are correct,
it looks-- yes, what is it?

Mr. Holmes?

Yes, I am he, and this is my
friend and adviser, Dr. Watson.

I'm sorry to intrude, gentlemen,
but I'm at my wits end.

Look, I can see you're busy.
I'll come back again.

- No, no, please, I beg you, be seated.
- That's very kind.

I have just come to the
end of a fascinating case.

Well, I'm not quite
sure where to begin.

Um, my name is Maureen
Sullivan, and I am a--

Personnel manager for a company based
in the Midlands or the Northwest?

Coventry, I should guess.

You are unfamiliar with London,
and you have two children.

But this is witchcraft.

Oh, no, Mrs. Sullivan,
it is simplicity itself.

You're carrying a Euston
Station shopping back.

Euston is the railway
terminus which services

the Midlands and the Northwest.

Judging from the time
of your arrival here,

you came off the
335 from Coventry.

You arrived by cab.

I heard the squeal of the
breaks in the street below.

Anyone with a reasonable
knowledge of London would know

that it is quicker to walk
from Euston to Baker Street

rather than to endure the hazards of the
Marylebone Road by cab in rush hour.

There is a loose leaf protruding
from your file of effects.

It is a personnel form.

You are too well dressed
and have too much the manner

of somebody who is
accustomed to command

for me to believe that you are
anything other than a manager.

I see from the inside
of your shopping bag

that you have been
buying some toys.

One is a remote control
car, and the other a rattle.

I cannot believe they
are for the same child.

Hence, I deduce
that you have two.

- That's brilliant.
- No, no, elementary, I assure.

Oh, I thought it was rather
clever, but if you think not then--

All right, well, it was
really quite brilliant.

Now, Mrs. Sullivan, tell us
the nature of your problem,

omitting no detail,
however slight.

Right, well, as you've
already deduced, Mr. Holmes,

I have recently been
made personnel manager

for Macaulay Ross in Coventry.

They manufacture
packaging equipment.

Well, it's an excellent job, but
every silver lining has its cloud.

And mine comes in
the shape of Wendy.

Wimpy Wendy I call her, because
every day it's the same thing.

So I'll expect to put
some ads in the magazine.

Kevin, I'll call you back.

[CLEARING THROAT]

Yes, Wendy?

Sorry to interrupt you, Maureen, but I've
got Mr. Enright from dispatch outside.

He wants to know whether or not
he's entitled to an extra day off

because of his coming in
to work on New Year's Day.

Well, I thought he
was, but I thought

I ought to check it with
you because if he wasn't,

and I had said he was,
and then he wasn't, well,

he'd blame me, wouldn't
he, for saying that he was.

Yes, all right,
Wendy, well, the thing

is he earned a lot of
overtime, didn't he,

for working on New Year's Day.

And I really think it's up to him
if he wants to give up the holiday.

Ah, no, you see, Mr. Proctor
actually asked him to come in.

I've got Mr.
Proctor's note here.

He didn't want to give
up his holiday at all.

Yes, you see, and under Article 19
of the 1976 Trades Union Agreement,

he is actually entitled.

- Well, then, you're right.
- Yes.

- Sorry, is he entitled or not?
- Yes.

Yes, that's what I thought.
Thank you very much.

Well, I just thought
I'd run that by you.

- Fascinating.
- Hmm?

- Oh, uh, fascinating.
- That's not all, gentlemen.

I've outlined below the precise
job description for three posts

to be filled in the
quality control department.

And I'd like-- um,
Wendy, how can I help?

Sorry to bother you, Maureen.

Um, but Mr. Jarvis from accounts
has lost his car park card.

You know, the one that
lifts the barrier.

Well, we're not supposed
to issue duplicates

until a week has passed
in case he finds it.

And anyway, we don't want
too many cards in the system

because you know
the trouble there.

Anyway, I've told him he can use
the general car park this week,

but he's ever so angry.

I thought I ought to
tell you about that.

No, well, you're
quite right, Wendy.

You'll just have to tell him you're
simply not allowed to issue duplicates.

I mean, he should know this. I'm
sure he's just stringing you along.

Along isn't he, Maureen? That's right.
Thank you.

Holmes, this is
fantastic, isn't it?

I would like to offer them for internal
application and would therefore be grateful

if you would run the ads in the
in-house magazine for next week.

- Wendy, how can I help you?
- Sorry to butt in like this, Maureen.

It's just Sally from marketing.

You know, she took a
few days off last week

because she said she
wasn't feeling very well.

Well, she's pregnant.
It's that nice?

Yes, anyway, she wants to know whether
or not she's entitled to maternity leave.

The problem is she's only been
working here for a year full time,

and really you should work for the company
for two years before you're entitled.

Have you explained that to her?

Yes, but it's a bit more
complicated than that

because she's actually been working for
us for five years, part time, you see.

So technically,
she's not eligible,

but, of course, it
is discretionary.

Her manager has no objection.
I wondered if--

What is normal procedure?

Well, normally, Maureen,
we would, in fact, say yes.

- Then, yes.
- Thank you, Maureen.

So you see, gentlemen, it just
makes my life so difficult

because I'm doing her job as
well as mine half the time.

She's just such a wimp.

Hmm, this is not an uncommon
problem, Mrs. Sullivan.

Would I be right in
thinking, I wonder,

that she has been in trouble
at some stage for taking

a decision that went awry?

That is amazing,
Mr. Holmes, yes.

It was before my time,
but apparently she

authorized the use
of a company car

to somebody who
wasn't entitled to it,

which meant that everyone
else then wanted it.

She got into a terrible row.
- Hmm, a piquant little problem.

- Do you mind if I smoke?
- Yes. I thought so.

Never mind.
Watson, guard the door.

We don't want her coming
back again for the moment.

What I have to tell you, Mrs. Sullivan,
may come as a surprise to you.

But it is you who are in many ways
responsible for this situation.

I?

You are clearly an
administratively skilled manager,

but there are human skills a
manager needs, too-- devices

and techniques which enable
you to handle problem people.

It is your otherwise very
commendable patience

and willingness to advise
and to listen to people

that encourages Wendy to turn to you
to back up her every little issue.

But I thought--

You thought that good managers encourage
subordinates to come to them, correct?

But good managers also encouraged
subordinates to think for themselves.

Tell me this.

If she took the decisions herself,
would they be the right ones?

Well, yes, I mean, she
knows her job backwards.

Then you must make
her take them.

But I did tell her from time to time
that she is-- well, she's so insistent.

Telling is not
always the answer.

Oh, good heavens,
what on Earth is that?

What?

You see, I didn't tell you to
get up and look over the desk.

If I had, you might
have questioned me.

I made you look over the desk.

That is a cheap
trick, Mr. Holmes.

At that level, yes,
it was, but there

are higher levels of managerial
skills which are as effective.

You can use them to make
Wendy take decisions.

- How?
- Be too busy.

Wave her away.

Be as friendly as you like, but
make her decide for herself.

Right, I'll try it.

- Watson.
- Huh?

- Move away from the entrance.
- Right-o.

Hello, Martin. I was wondering whether
you would like to sit on the panel

of interviewers for the northeast
area sales manager next week.

Yes, well, I really think that this
time-- hang on a minute, Martin.

Sorry to interrupt you, Maureen.

I'm on the phone at
the minute, Wendy.

Uh, the thing is, Martin--
No, it won't take a minute.

It's just about the supervisor vacancy.
That's all.

Ah, now you deal
with that, Wendy.

Um, I'll send you the job applications
and the job descriptions and--

- Well, I just wondered--
- Hang on a minute.

Just wondered-- I just wondered where
we should advertise it. That's all.

That's up to you.
You decide that, Wendy.

Um, I'll have seven
internal and three external.

- But Maureen--
- Yes.

- Maureen.
- Um, Wendy, you decide.

It's up to you. I'll go along
with whatever you choose, OK?

Well, we've decided not to
do that this time, Martin.

Mm-hmm, well, the main
problem was the salary level.

I think that could
be difficult, too.

It really is a policy question,
and I think we have to watch out

in case the other sales managers
get up in arms about it.

I think the best idea is if
we leave it at this rate.

And then if nothing happens, then we'll
just have to think again, yeah, OK.

I don't believe it.
- That's the major step.

She will, however, be
a little worried now.

She will try you again.
You must be strong.

Perhaps the most effective way
of building up her confidence

is to reverse the whole process.

- Meaning?
- Do to her what she does to you.

Oh, you mean bombard her with questions
all day so she sees what misery it is?

Not quite, ask her advice on
an issue where she herself

is more knowledgeable than you.

She's been here
longer, after all.

If you seek her advice, it will give
her a stronger opinion of herself.

She won't think me weak?

The skill of management
is knowing how to manage,

not knowing every
fact in the universe.

Good managers always seek the
advice of those who know the most.

Oh, and always praise her
when she takes the decision.

Right, I'll try.

Jill, could you get me Leo
Colston's number, please?

- Wendy.
- Maureen, sorry.

I know you're very busy.
- No, don't worry.

Actually, I'm glad
you popped in, Wendy.

I was about to come
look for you myself.

- Oh, were you?
- Yeah, come in.

Take a seat.

It's about Leo Colston,
the new area sales manager.

Well, you know,
his job is actually

graded between manager
and senior executive,

and I'm actually not
sure what group of car

he would be entitled to.
What do you think?

Oh, that's the same sort of grade
as the senior research chemist.

Now he has a sort
of in-between grade,

and he drives a group B. Perhaps
this chap should have the same.

Well, of course,
that's a good idea.

Here is his CV, by the way.
Take a look. See what you think.

Oh.

Oh, but he looks
ideal, doesn't he?

Mm-hmm, well, I'll be
ringing him in a minute.

I'll tell him about the car.

Right, oh, I see he used
to work for Pinchart's.

Now they don't offer
private medical insurance.

Perhaps you ought to
mention that we do.

Good thinking, yes, I'll do that.

Thank you.
- Right.

- Thank you.
- Right.

Oh, Wendy, um, what did you
do about the supervisor ad?

Oh, I put it in the
recorder because we only

got one response to
the gazette last time.

Excellent, all right, well done.
Thank you.

- Thank you, Maureen.
- Thank you.

- No, thank you.
- Thank you.

You see?

She actually forgot what
she came in to ask me.

First, you set them on their own
two feet by being unavailable.

Secondly, you build
up their confidence

by seeking their
advice yourself.

And thirdly, you
praise them warmly

every time they take a
decision without coming to you.

The wimps of this world are only
wimps because we let them be.

Perhaps we even
enjoy the superiority

their own lack of
confidence gives to us.

But it wastes our time,
and it stunts their growth.

With cunning and
good handling, they

can be encouraged to
believe in themselves.

Well, I can't thank
you enough, Mr. Holmes.

[COUGHING]

- Holmes.
- Yes, Watson?

- My gloves.
- Yes?

You must find them for me.

Have you left them behind?

Well, that's what I thought.

I took them off to
undo my overcoat.

I didn't hand them to anybody
because there wasn't anybody there.

And they're not in my
pocket, so where are they?

- You tell me.
- Well, you're the detective.

- I am too busy.
- Oh, dash it all, Holmes.

I mean, you-- behind.

[CHUCKLING]

Oh, oh, Holmes, wimps
can be very valuable

if you're prepared
to work on them.

Every Holmes should have one.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Wendy needs more self-confidence,
but so do most people.

So the rules for
helping Wendy are

the rules for helping everyone
realize their potential.

Make her take decisions.
- Maureen?

- Yes.
- Maureen?

Um, Wendy, you decide.
It's up to you.

I'll go along with
whatever you choose, OK?

Ask her advice.

It's about Leo Colston,
the new area sales manager.

Well, you know,
his job is actually

graded between manager
and senior executive,

and I'm actually not sure what
group of car he'd be entitled to.

What do you think?

Praise her when she
shows initiative.

Oh, I put it in the
recorder because we only

got one response to
the gazette last time.

Excellent, all right, well done.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Go on then, Debbie, what sign are you?
- Hmm?

- What sign are you?
- Oh, Virgo.

Virgo, right, "don't
allow personal worries

to interfere with
your work today.

Your romantic
problems have a habit

of sorting themselves out."

Oh, if only.
- Judy?

Sagittarius.
Oh, you're the same as me.

"A voice from the past may well
upset your equilibrium today.

Those in authority will
seem to pick on you.

You may be irritated, but
do not be blind to your--"

Linda, have you completed
the late payments list yet?

- No, Betty.
- Well, do please get on, dear.

You're the only one.
- Yes, Betty.

You'll never guess whose
birthday it is today.

Mickey Rock-- oh,
don't I fancy him?

Did you see him in that
film with Bob Hoskins?

I went with Terry. Terry got
really jealous. It was so funny.

Did I show you those photographs
of me and Terry after

our engagement party
down at Springer's?

Yes.

Oh, right, it's only 12 o'clock.

I'm just off down to
the lady's, all right?

My mousse hasn't set properly.

Oh, dear.

[PHONE RINGING]

Hello.

Mr. Morton, yes, we
haven't quite finished yet.

Well, you know what
the girls are like.

Yes, Mr. Morton, as soon as
possible, thank you, sir.

Whatever am I going to do with
that wretch of a girl, Linda?

She is such a scatterbrain.

Of course, what she
needs is a nanny.

[KNOCKING]

Good heavens.

[HARP PLAYING]

Good lord.

- Hello, Nanny Goodbody, how do you do?
- What--

Well, I've come in answer
to your advertisement.

- Advertisement?
- The girl needs a nanny, you said.

Well, so here I am.
Well, let's get on with it, shall we?

Hustle bustle, time doesn't
grow on trees, you know.

- Well, um, it's about Linda.
- Linda, eh?

She doesn't eat her custard?
- No, not exactly.

- She doesn't brush her teeth?
- No, that's not it at all.

- Refuses to tidy her bedroom?
- No, it's just that she's lazy.

Lazy?
Lazy Linda, where is she?

Well, here she comes now on
her way back from the bathroom.

She spends a lot of time there,
doing her nails and her makeup.

The rest of the time
she spends gossiping.

I mean, what she does, she does well.
I grant her that.

She's a very bright girl.

I think that's half the problem really.
She gets bored.

Bored?
No such word.

Are you firm with her?

Well, I don't like to nag her.

I mean, that
wouldn't do any good.

She thinks of me as a
sort of school teacher.

Besides which, I've got five other girls
to supervise and my own job to do.

I can't possibly run
after her all day.

That young lady would be a lot
more cheerful if she bustled.

Yes, well, if you'll
excuse me, I must go

see if the late payers
list is completed.

I'll come with you.

No, no, I don't think
that's such a good idea.

She won't be able to
see me or hear me.

Well, if you're sure.

What a strange nursery.
What exciting toys.

Linda, have you finished?

- Not yet, Betty.
- Well, why not?

- All of the other girls have.
- How far have you got?

Well, if the other girls
were to give me a hand,

I could be finished
in five minutes.

Oh, well, I suppose--

No, no, no, she must
finish her work herself.

But it's nearly lunchtime.

- What?
- Nothing, dear, nothing.

Just make her do it herself.

The others have all got
their own work to do.

You can go when you're finished.

But Terry's waiting.

Well, he'll just have
to wait, won't he?

Well, he'll-- he'll just
have to wait, won't he?

But I promised him
I'd be off at 12:30.

You can go as soon
as you have finished.

You can go as soon
as you've finished.

Right, all right.

Well, that's only
temporary, of course.

She'll whiz through
her work and be

finished before you
can say Jack Robinson,

or before you can say Jack Robinson
a few hundred times anyway.

I don't want to keep treating her
like a child, but she's just so lazy.

It is you who are lazy, Betty Sargent.
- Me?

Yes, lazy or timid, now have you
had a real heart to heart with her?

Well, I have told
her to hurry up, yes.

No, no, no, no,
a heart to heart,

tell her how unhappy her
behavior is making you.

- Well, surely she must know.
- Well, obviously, she doesn't.

So all change, new
broom, clean sweep.

I don't like to--

Nobody likes to, but
managers have to.

You must be frank and firm.

Well, you must always be firm.

You must always strive to be
firm because firmness is all.

Well, I'm sorry, but this
is not a Victorian nursery.

I don't want to treat my employees
like naughty schoolchildren.

Besides, I treat her exactly
the same way as I treat

all the other girls, and
they do their work just fine.

Hmm, everyone is different,
and that's my rule.

Those girls are human beings.

I mean, what sort of
manager would you be

if all you had to do was
switch on a few machines?

You must do more than that.

You must manage six
separate individuals.

So hustle bustle, let's
get on with it, shall we?

- I'm too busy.
- Too busy?

No one is too busy
to do their job,

or else what are
they busy doing?

It doesn't take
more time to be firm

or to explain to your manager
why the work isn't being done.

- Yes, yes, you're right.
- I'm always right.

It's one of my most endearing
qualities, you'll find.

- So you'll talk to her?
- Yes.

- And be firm?
- Yes.

Kind but firm, and
that's the ticket.

Praise where possible, and
enlist that girl's pride.

- Finished.
- Oh, good, off you go then.

No, no, no, we must
check it first.

Oh, yes, good idea.

Let's have a look then, Linda.

You said I could go for lunch.

Well, you can, but I'd
like to check it first.

I must say, you were
splendidly quick.

Well, uh, this is under 90 days,
and this one is over 90 days.

Excellent, these are very good.

Now why couldn't you
have done this earlier?

I had a paper jam, and
then my nail broke.

Excuses, now we're not
at home to excuses.

Now we're not at home to-- the others
seemed to manage it, didn't they?

I expect you'll be wanting
your lunch, won't you?

Now hustle bustle.

- Hustle what?
- Hustle bustle, Linda.

Right, now after lunch, you start
a new regime with that young lady.

- I do?
- You do.

You must make it clear to
her that she must finish

her work allocation on
her own and on schedule.

You must be firm and insistent.

Stick to your guns.
- Stick to my guns.

Yes, in fact, I've
got a rule about that.

If you sugar the pill--
- They work with a will.

Oh, you knew it.

Well, she'll soon
find out that laziness

has its own punishment, and
diligence its own reward.

Congratulate her on a
job well done, though.

I mean, praise pays.

- Praise pays.
- Of course, it does.

I mean, after all, a little
flattery is the butter on the toast.

Will it work?

Of course it will work.
I never fail.

That's one of my least
endearing qualities--

but first, the heart to
heart, all out in the open.

[CHATTER]

They're coming back from lunch.

- Then call her in.
- Linda.

Courage, Betty Sargent.

Take a seat.

Now it's time you and I
had a little talk, Linda.

Now it's time you and I had
a little talk, Linda.

- What about?
- About you.

About you, Linda, and your work.

Well, it just
won't do, you know.

And you're not too
old to be spanked.

- Is anything the matter, Linda?
- What do you mean?

Well, it's just that you are one of
the brightest girls in the office.

Your typing is
fast and accurate.

But you don't seem
to get through

as much work as anyone else.

Now wait.
Let her own up.

I had a paper jam.

All the others have
paper jams, too.

You see, if the
others see you getting

through less work
than them, they

wonder why they're
bothering, don't they?

- I-- I can't--
- Can't is a word we never use.

Can't what, Linda?

I don't know.

You see, this is an
efficient department.

People respect us, but not
if we hand in our work late.

And time and time again, you've let
us down. You've let yourself down.

It's so boring.

Well, not every job, surely.

All the one's you've given me.

Well, that's because the other
girls finish their routine jobs

first.

Oh.

So what are we going
to do about it?

We can't go on like this.

Well, if it was
more interesting--

All right, if you can promise me that
you'll try and do your work more quickly,

I'll see if I can find more
interesting things for you to do.

What about that?

Yeah, that's-- that's good.

Right then, back to work.

I'd like you to take out
some credit references for me

on some potential clients.

I believe you did it
rather well last time,

and the other
girls in the office

don't seem to understand
the lists we get.

Well, it takes some
getting used to.

That's all.
- Very well then.

And remember, Linda, I shall
be watching you like a hawk.

And remember, Linda, I shall
be watching you like a lynx.

Yes, Mrs. Sargent.

Remember, Linda, like a lynx.

Hmm, hawk was better, I think.

I prefer lynx.

Well, I must be off
now so hustle bustle.

Oh, must you go?

Yes, you don't need me anymore.

Just remember-- be firm,
fair, and friendly.

Oh, and if you ever get
worried or depressed,

there's a little something
you should learn.

Working works, and
shirking hurts.

But work is hurt
when shirking works.

- But that's impossible.
- Why?

Well, I'll never learn
something like that.

Oh, of course, you could,
with a little practice.

Goodbye.

Working works, and
shirking hurts.

But work is hurt
when shirking works.

That's it.
That's it.

I've got it exactly right.

Nanny, Nanny, I've
got it exactly right.

Oh, what a shame
she didn't hear it.

I got it exactly right.

I said, worky shirtsy
fartsy-- working shirts you.

Work your shirts--
something like that.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Linda is a difficult case, but
the rules for dealing with her

are good rules for everyone.

Talk over her behavior in a
frank, firm, and friendly way.

You see, this is an
efficient department.

People respect us, but not
if we hand in our work late.

And time and time again,
you've let us down.

You've let yourself down.

Make her meet
performance standards.

The others have all got
their own work to do.

You can go when you're finished.

Praise her good work.

Back to work-- I'd like you to
take out some credit references

for me on potential clients.

I believe you did it
rather well last time.

Reward her improvement.

All right, if you can promise
me that you'll try and do

your work more
quickly, I'll see if I

can find more interesting
things for you to do.

What about that?
- Yeah, that's good.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[CRASHING]

Stand back, Gathron,
or I'll blast you

to the other end of the galaxy.

[WHOOSHING]

Oh, bother.

Um, excuse me.

Oh, hello.

Oh, don't be frightened.
- Who are you?

My name is Zon.

Can you tell me what
planet we're on?

What-- what pla-- what planet?

Earth, where else?

- Earth.
- Yes.

Oh, well, that's all right then.

Oh, well, I'm sorry to intrude.

The fact is, one of those things.
You know what I mean?

One minute, you're facing
Gathron Stinkbender,

one of the worst
pirates in the nebula.

The next, you walk
through a tear

in the fabric of the universe.

Goodness knows when
it'll open up again.

You-- you mean to say
that you're stuck here?

Could be for some time.
Oh, it doesn't matter.

When I do go back, it'll be
exactly where I left off.

Well, you can't stay here.

I'm busy.

I can't have my office cluttered
up with creatures from outer space.

Well, I could go back, but
I would need certain things

to help me open up
this time portal again.

What sort of things?

Oh, I'm afraid they're
very rare and valuable.

There is a precious solid-state
liquid we call glass.

I'd need a nugget of that.

Like this, you mean?

Good Lord, it must be
worth millions of botliks.

Where did you get it?
- Bournemouth.

- It's amazing.
- What else do you need?

Uh, there is a substance called water
which flows on the planet Schtun.

Is this the stuff you mean?

I can't believe it.

Is this all you need?

Yes, but I'm afraid I haven't
got a single botlik on me.

Is there some other
way I could repay you?

Well, I expect our computer systems
must seem very primitive to you, but--

I'm sorry.

I can't help with technology.

The first rule of time travel, book 1, page
1, paragraph 1-- no technical assistance.

Well, I don't suppose
you have any advice

on how to deal with people.

Oh, yes, I could do that.

- Really?
- Oh, yes.

Well, I have this chap
who works under me, Sam.

He's a systems analyst.

Lazy, rebellious, incompetent?

No, no, no, hard working,
extremely clever in his way,

it's just that he never
seems to contribute anything.

He never comes up with
ideas at meetings,

lets us go on planning things, and
never tells us about the snags.

- And why would he do that?
- I don't know.

Perhaps I had better
see for myself.

How far back in time
do we need to go?

Three months.

[WHOOSHING]

So the branches just key
in the delivery nodes,

and the data goes straight to finance
and stock control simultaneously.

Which means the job only has to be
done once, instead of three times,

and accounts can pay in time
to claim maximum discounts.

- Yeah.
- And you've got the terminals anyway.

That's marvellous.
Brilliant.

Oh, by the way, would it help to do
away with sending attendance sheets?

- Could we really do that?
- Oh, yes, I think so. Have a look.

[PHONE RINGING]

Excuse me.

Yes?
- Sam, Hillary, can you come up?

Yes, now, it's about
an idea I've just had.

Nick and Sarah are coming, too.

We need a brainstorming session.

Right, see you.

[KNOCKING]

Come.
Oh, good, coffee?

- No, thanks.
- I'll get it.

How was your weekend?

- Oh, not bad, you?
- Can't complain.

- Oh, Sam, great, uh, sit yourself down.
- Coffee, Sam?

Right, look.

Um, you all know that garment
sales are seriously under budget.

I've come to the conclusion that
we ought to offer a greater rate.

- Uh, fitting range or fashion range?
- Fashion. We need more lines.

Action togs are the people to go to.
Their stuff is moving very fast.

Yeah, but we've taken most
of their range already.

Uh, yes, women's wear, but suppose
we add their men's wear range.

Wow.

Yes, 70% of their men's
wear is bought by women.

- That could really move.
- Sam?

- Well, it needs a bit of thinking about.
- What does?

- Um, stock allocation.
- What about it?

- Well, I need a bit of time.
- Time is what we haven't got.

Fitwear are already
[INAUDIBLE] their summer range.

- Yeah, we'll move fast.
- Can we make space in the stores?

Sure, we can, with
the expansion program.

About how many do new lines?

We don't know till we try it.

Apart from action togs,
who else could we go to?

What about KBJ made to wear?

Wow, they do a super
range in men's wear.

Can you get some quotes?

- Would there be, uh--
- Yes?

Would there be reductions
in the other lines?

Not necessarily.
I mean--

And if we get the slick
stores and the KBJ reps

to come around here tonight and see
if they can pull up some new ideas.

Yes, you do that. And, Nick, have a
word with the store managers, will you?

- Mm-hmm.
- Anything else?

What about publicity?

Uh, point of sale should be enough.
Get me some spreadsheets.

- Could there--
- Yes?

Could there be more
than 15 new lines net?

- Easily.
- Bound to be.

- Uh, well--
- Problems?

Uh, no.

Could we get action togs to pay
some of the promotional costs?

That's an idea. We could try it
on them anyway. Anything else?

- Nope.
- Nope.

Sam?

[MUMBLING]

- Sam?
- Uh, sorry. No.

No, good, meeting closed.

[WHOOSHING]

You see?
Sam just won't contribute.

That's the problem.
He just clams up.

- Does it matter?
- Does it matter?

Do you know what happened?

- Yes.
- How?

We're 3,000 years ahead of you.

The system couldn't cope with the extra
lines. Couldn't allocate stock in time.

The warehouse people were
twiddling their thumbs

all Monday and half Tuesday.
Empty shelves in the stores.

- Angry customers.
- Frustrated staff.

And then we had to take on
extra vans and extra people

to rush stuff through
at the end of all of it.

And two days later, Sam's
report arrived and told you

all of this would happen.

But he sat through that
meeting and never said a word.

- Why?
- Don't ask me.

Some sort of
deficiency, I suppose.

Exactly, a deficiency-- a
malfunction of the manager.

- The manager?
- Yes, the manager.

Do you mean me?

Yes, you.

Look.
I'm busy.

If you haven't got
anything sensible to say,

you'd better time warp
yourself out of here.

It wouldn't help.

Remember, I am 3,000
years ahead of you.

It's a question of
close destination.

You have to listen.

Soda pop?
- Not at the moment.

You see, a manager's job
is to use his resources.

Now Sam is a valuable resource,
and you are not using him.

But my way works.
Look at Nick and Sarah.

It doesn't work with Sam.

You see, all you
others are articulate.

You think quickly.

Sam thinks deeply.

You're good with words.

He's good with flow charts.

You like to express
your ideas in meetings.

- He expresses his on paper.
- So?

So give him time, time to think, and
time to communicate his thoughts.

Even so, he must have
seen what would happen.

Does he understand
merchandising?

Does he know what days the
goods have to be in the stores?

No.

Then he could equally
say that you should

have known what would happen.

He told you about the
stock allocation program.

- Yes, he mentioned it, but--
- Well, he thought that was enough.

It was obvious to him.

He didn't know how
ignorant you were.

With Sam, you have
to give him time

to think and time to speak
and not spring meetings on him

with only five Earth
time units notice.

Minutes.

Minutes, give him space.

Give him encouragement.

The others will force themselves
into the conversation.

It's your job to drag Sam in.

Praise him.
Encourage him.

Make him realize his
contributions matter.

And that does the trick?

One more thing, don't
understand his technical jargon.

Make him spell it out in plain English.

You mean, play the technical moron?

- Will that be difficult?
- No.

Oh, and when he does
make an observation,

ask him to explain how it
affects the matter in hand.

Like warning me that we'd have
empty shelves on Monday and Tuesday?

- Exactly.
- Yes, well, it's too late now.

No, it's not.

[BEEPING]

Good heavens, how
did you do that?

Simple phase quantizing
at the temporal stream loop.

Oh.

Sam?
Hillary, look.

I've got an idea about increasing
our garment revenues, all the stores.

Yes, yes, I'll send you a note.

Have a think, and then we'll
talk to Nick and Sarah about it.

All right?
The 19th, great, bye.

Now all we have to do is
reconstitute the meeting.

With the phased, um, what--

No, no, no, with the ergomotive
time flip intensifier.

[BEEPING]

But suppose we add
their men's wear range.

Wow.

Yes, 70% of their men's
wear is bought by women.

- That could really move.
- Sam?

Well, it needs a bit
of thinking about.

- What does?
- Uh, stock allocation.

- What about it?
- Well, I'd need a bit of time.

- Time's what we haven't got.
- No, no, hold on, Nick.

Go on, Sam.

It's a question of the capacity
of the stock allocation program.

Presumably, you can
cope with that somehow.

Wait a sec.
I'm sorry, Sam.

I don't understand
what you mean.

Well, if there's more lines, it will
take longer to produce the picking list.

Well, we'll just have
to-- how much longer?

- I haven't worked it out yet.
- Well, roughly.

24 hours, 48 perhaps, depending on
the number of lines and volumes.

And what would that mean?

An extension of the master file,
a new file-handling program.

No, what will it mean
for the business?

Well, it would mean the warehouse
wouldn't get the list until Tuesday.

Tuesday?
That's impossible.

We have to get the garments
in the stores by Tuesday.

Are you sure, Sam?

Yeah, if the figures in
your note were right.

Well, thank heavens you've told us.

Is there anything
you can do about it?

Yes, I think we can.

But it will mean expanding the CPU
unit to handle the master file.

- Is that expensive?
- Not necessarily.

- Um, how long?
- Four to six weeks.

It will take us that long to get
the goods into the brochures.

Great, Sam, that's marvelous.

Can you start straightaway?
- I will.

[WHOOSHING]

- You see?
- You're absolutely right.

It will be a while before
it happens naturally.

So all must give him time
to think and time to talk.

Protect him from the others.

Draw him out.
Encourage him.

Make him translate his jargon,

and make him explain what
it means in business terms.

Well, I'd better be on my way.

Thank you for the
glass and the water.

[WHOOSHING]

How did you do that?

There's a battery in my pocket
and a bulb up my sleeve.

Farewell.

[WHOOSHING]

Sam, I've got a problem.

Stand back, Gathron, or I'll blast
you to the other end of the galaxy.

Oh, no.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Sam has a communication problem,

and the rules for dealing with him are
fundamental to communication technique.

Give him time to think.

Yes, yes, I'll send you a note.

Have a think, and then we'll
talk to Nick and Sarah about it.

All right, the 19th, great, bye.

Defend him from
the sharpshooters.

- What about it?
- Well, I need a bit of time.

- Time's what we haven't got.
- No, no, no, hold on, Nick.

Go on, Sam.

Make him explain in layman's language.

And what will that mean?

Extension of the master file,
a new file-handling program.

No, no, what will it
mean for the business?

Oh, well, it would mean the warehouse
wouldn't get the list until Tuesday.

Show him that his
contribution is appreciated.

Are you sure, Sam?

If the figures in
your note were right.

Well, thank heavens you told us.