This article is more than 1 year old

BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

Leadership styles ... I like Hugo Boss suits and people waving at me?

You must think I'm some kind of fool, sir!

"Oh yes. Then what happens," the Boss asks, dryly.

"No idea. As I usually choose Hitler or Mussolini – for the salutes – I get asked to leave around then."

The Boss is at a bit of an impasse. On one hand, he's obliged to offer me some sort of professional development every year, but on the other he doesn't want to agree to anything too technical because at my level that's almost certain to involve a week-long course which will only be offered at some overseas destination.

"So you've never completed a leadership course, then," the Boss asks, seeing an opportunity to bolster his suggestion.

"I've completed several – and have the attendance certificates to prove it," I say, seeing the disappointment in the Boss' eye as he realises my real reasons for plying administrative assistants with alcohol.

"And as a result, what you look for in your leadership role is..." he asks, hoping to trip me up with a trick question.

"Fear," I say. "See, some men lead from the front – inspiring their troops with their ability to 'muck-in' as it were. Others lead from the rear – with carefully thought-out strategies designed to promote victory at minimal cost. I favour the way-way-back-in-the-rear strategy, where accurate artillery shelling and friendly fire are just descriptions of the same thing.

"I'm not sure I follow, but as you know it's company policy to aid you in your professional development and so we'd like to be able to..." the Boss continues.

"What a coincidence you should mention that!" I interrupt. "I only this morning discovered an exciting development opportunity to get the most out of our Virtual Infrastructure by leveraging nearside optimised hybridised resource. It's right up my alley because as you know we're always looking for ways to get the most out of our Infrastructure and we have pantloads of hybridised resource..."

"Oh yes," the Boss says dubiously, but not wanting a technical explanation. "What's the course called?"

"'Getting the most out of your Virtual Infrastructure by Leveraging Nearside Optimised Hybridised resource'," I reply. "It's in Munich, 19th to 25th of September."

"Isn't... that when Oktoberfest is on?"

"Really, Dave? Pure coincidence!"

"Philip. In any case I don't see that we have the budge–"

"Hey, if it makes you feel better I'm sure you have a stack of money set aside for the PFY's professional development as well – and you'll never guess who's never been on a Leadership course. And it's so much better than hiding under your desk waiting for an artillery shell to land in your office."


By the end of a short discussion about the relative combustibility of common workplace items, I am fairly certain that about the time my Munich flight departs, the PFY will be setting his scrotum on fire and reaching for a size 10 Nike TW 15.

Good times. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like