Home > Happy Holidays Fun, The Monday Musings Column > It’s about 1150BC, and an FM in darkest Wessex has just taken a call

It’s about 1150BC, and an FM in darkest Wessex has just taken a call

It’s about 1150BC, and an FM in darkest Wessex has just taken a call from an Egyptian pal he met at the recent FM conference. In the best traditions of the wonderful Bob Newhart, we can only hear one end of the conversation:

Hey Jabari, when did you get back?

Four months? Took me nearly that. Too bad the Romans haven’t started their road building programme yet eh? So how’s that pyramid project going?

Just started. So how big is this thing?

Wow! That’s going to take a lot of labour.

OK, so you can get plenty of people in from overseas? You must have a great benefits, healthcare and welfare package down there to bring them in, right?

Slaves! Can you do that?

You do it all the time? OK, so if that’s how it is. I guess you don’t have a socialist government then? Say, Jabari, how do you do with accidents working with stone?

About 10% of the workforce? How many of those are serious?

That’s just the fatalities! Ouch! Good job liability lawyers haven’t been thought of yet. So, tell me, how do you get involved as an FM while the place is being built?

Trying to head off hand over problems? Yes, we get them too, and FMs do spend a lot of time trying to make new buildings work. Who’s your architect on this one?

No, I wouldn’t know him. How many of these jobs has he done?

This is his first! Why not go for someone with experience?

You kill them at the end of the job? I know I’ve felt like murdering one or two myself, but you must have been pretty dissatisfied right?

Client policy, eh? Rather you than me. I wouldn’t want to be failing my KPIs down your way!

Right. So how long are you going to be using this building when they hand it over?

All eternity? Goodness! Now I’m into future proofing, but this is in a different league. Sooner or later someone will invent stuff we can’t even imagine, so you might want leave some sort of access, and maybe carve some instructions into the stone to say what you’ve done?

OK, well, look: this pyramid shape, it’s not great in terms of user friendliness you know? Over here we’re still strong on the roundhouse for now, but what you need are vertical walls, right? But stick with the pointy roof on top; believe me you do not want to go with a flat roof. So your square shape with walls would give you a great useable space.

Yes, we’re still on open plan, but we have this great new concept; you have interior walls to break up that space, and then you can separate the masters from the animals and the workers.

You already do that? How does that work for you?

OK, so you call them chambers. So how are your occupancy numbers on these pyramids with chambers?

That’s terrible! With that floor plan, even as a pyramid, you need to be getting a lot more people in than that. I know! This some sort of scam to keep the rates down right?

Oh! It’s a tomb for the king! Yes, I get it, so you’re thinking security. We just pile tons on earth on ours so no one can dig through fast enough to not get spotted, but if you’re all sand down there I see why you need so much stone.

Talking about stone buildings, I told you we’re trying to build some over here? Well, I managed to get a couple of big piles of decent stones assembled down in Wessex ready for when we get some demand. Funny thing though, you remember that craze for crop circles we talked about at conference?

That’s right. Well, some crazies got into our storage yards and spread all the stones out into circles and patterns!

No, I’m not joking. They even hoisted some of the damn things up and stood them on top of each other. Goodness knows how, but those Celts are strong lads, especially when they’ve been on the mead.

No, it’ll cost a fortune to tidy it all up again, so I’m going to leave them as they are and just take the odd stone when I need it. Mind you, there’s some religious group want to rent one of the sites for a festival.

Good point! I’ll put a clause in about no sacrifices. They make such a bloody mess.

Your money’s running out? OK Jabari. Good talking to you. Maybe see you again next conference.

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