Nothing is a clearer indication of how the dickheads that run large companies are set firmly in the face of common sense than watching the interminable policy leap-frogging of Waterstones and Borders.
After years and years of running a Distribution Centre in the remote corner of England that is Cornwall, Borders decided to close it last Summer and order the stock for stores via the publisher directly. In order to save money you understand, and of course it meant that a few Cornish people were cast out onto the stony ground, but you know ... it's not like they're that important.
Today I read in The Guardian that Waterstones (after somewhat smugly priding themselves on their expert staff ordering their own books for years and years) have announced that they will be opening a new Distribution Centre in Burton-on-Trent with stores now ordering from the central hub. The intention is to save money, of course, though there will be up to 650 jobs axed as a result, presumably in the sort rooms of their 300-odd stores. So, THAT approach means saving money and redundancies as well?
I must admit I am confused. It would be simpler, perhaps, to conclude that the wobbly-jowled cretins that run these organisations couldn't save money if it floated past them on a lifeboat, but feel the need to make themselves feel important by signing big important pieces of paper that smell of the future. Thinking out of the big blue sky box of thinking.
On a job interview last year, one such tubby bigwig asked me what I would do to save money if I was in charge of a bookshop. I talked about stock management and making sure no money was being wasted on supplies. He said he would sack the cleaners. Now, that's bold management!