Unseasonal weather, impending redundancy and the anniversary of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother…
Despite all the hype regarding global warming, temperatures so far this year have been lower than the seasonal average. However, the weather in the first half of April 2003 was exceptional. With temperatures approaching 26°C and cloudless skies, conditions were far better than those in Spain!
My redundancy was getting ever closer so observing the puerile behaviour of senior management from afar helped pass the days. After reading a Head Office communiqué to branches, I was in no doubt that being forced out of the company was the best option. The following message in postcard form had been sent out to branches in relation to the launch of a new project relating to the supply of cheap electrical products:
Hi there budding Crocketts and Tubbs!!
You may have heard about an exciting brand new challenge that we have undertaken here. This project is called MIAMI. We will be gathering a number of Store Managers and Head Office colleagues together to share the story so far around the project and hopefully set all your creative juices flowing on the day in order to come up with ideas that will implement and deliver it…Get your diary out now…fill up the Beach Buggy and head to the hottest beach in the north…Manchester
Meeting date: 24 April 2003 Time: 10am-5pm
Dress Code: come dressed for the sun…loud shirts, shorts, grass skirts, bikinis…and that’s just the blokes!!
Bring with you a notepad and pen…so that you can pass this on to your teams. Come on in…the water’s lovely…
Reading that simply confirmed my suspicions that the business was being run by a load of half wits!!
Within 12 months the Company had been sold by its parent company and reduced in size by about 60%. Senior management had failed miserably!
The Easter Holiday weekend of 2002 was marred by the sad news of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. She was undoubtedly a noble lady who, through her endearing and enduring smile, captivated the hearts of millions of people throughout the world. The Queen Mother was very much a family person who fought to keep the Royal Family united despite the events of recent years.
She had firm beliefs about what the Royal Family should and should not be, and appreciated that people would only remain loyal if the Royal Family committed itself to the people. In order to accomplish this, members of the family have undertaken many diverse commitments over the years, including the now familiar ‘walkabout’ which was instigated by the QM.
Publicly, and unlike her grandchildren, the QM was a person of few words, choosing not to speak out on either world events or personal family problems. Nevertheless, she was a pillar of advice and guidance within the Royal Family, giving the family a more human persona and representing an element of stability. Prince Charles once described her as ‘one of the most remarkable and wonderful people in the world’. Whatever one’s own individual thoughts on the Royal Family in general, it has to be acknowledged that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was a very special person who would be greatly missed.