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Thursday, 11 October 2012


I was listening - eavesdropping really - on a conversation in a shop between a manager and an assistant.  The gist seemed to be that the assistant had forgotten to complete a task list, claiming: "I've a terrible memory."

It reminded me of an incident a few years ago.  Someone who worked for me was always forgetting to do something, mostly trivial things and, occasionally, important things. It was very frustrating for me and for the rest of the team.

Rather like the shop assistant, he maintained: " I wish I had a better memory.  I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on."

After a bossly, fatherly chat about discipline and efficiency, I told him that I could prove that he had a great memory. "There are at least 5 things that you do every working day and you never, ever forget to do them," I said.

He looked at me with that "duh" expression.

I looked him in the eyes and said,
"You never forget these things:

Arrive at work
Have a coffee break
Have lunch
Have a tea break
Go home."

His face didn't flinch.  In the ensuing weeks, my clever-arse little speech made no difference.  Eventually, he found another job - so we all moved on.

Bad memory? Forget it!

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