Management by numbers

The Managers are numerologists. They convene secretly to pore over papers and touch screens streaming with mystical figures. However, they have not mastered the numbers they fear and revere. When the statistics roar at them they tremble and perspire.


In the sacred space of Meeting Room D, the Managers make human sacrifices to propitiate the terrible gods Profit and Performance Target.


The Managers pray for Mammon’s Orgasm, the prophesied moment at which sales figures peak beyond all rational forecasts.


The Managers decorate their fluorescent tube-lit temple with such hallowed iconography as bar graphs, dollar signs and motivational posters.


Occasionally the Managers need to instruct those beneath them, so they employ their hieratic tongue, trusting it will have the desired effect, burbling the sacred phrases whose meanings are presumed lost: “blue sky thinking”, “close of play”, “let’s action that.” The blank looks with which they are greeted don’t discourage them; they assume the power of the words operates on the soul and will manifest in some mysterious but beneficial way before their next pay review.


The Managers won’t tolerate failure, even in each other. Unsuccessful Managers are ground into pâté and served with champagne and canapés at company functions.

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